“Protecting Pennsylvania’s more vulnerable residents is one of the Wolf Administration’s primary objectives,” said Secretary Murphy. “Providing drug coverage for individuals suffering from hepatitis C or HIV who couldn’t otherwise afford the proper medical treatments is a part of our goal to ensure that every resident of the commonwealth has the ability to access needed medication.”
Categories: Community, Features, HIV care
Categories: Features, HIV care, Research
CytoDyn Inc. announced in a news release last week that its ongoing extension study of PRO 140 monotherapy has shown “complete viral-load suppression” for well over a year, with some patients approaching 17 months. The phase I trial included 23 patients.
“The company believes that complete virologic suppression through treatment with a single agent, PRO 140, a safe and efficacious antibody, rather than through the widely used HAART combination therapy, could present a significant opportunity to treat HIV patients. Based on these monotherapy results, the company plans to file a second Phase 3 protocol for PRO 140 monotherapy with the FDA. CytoDyn is currently conducting a pivotal phase 3 trial for PRO 140 as an adjunct therapy with expected commercialization in 2017.”
On Jan 22, the company filed a request for Breakthrough Therapy Designation with the FDA for PRO 140 as a treatment for HIV-1 infection in treatment experienced patients with virologic failure, meaning other medications alone no longer work for them.
PRO140 works by blocking the HIV co-receptor CCR5 on T-cells, preventing entry of the virus. So far, CytoDyn claims that PRO 140 does not negatively impact the normal immune functions mediated by CCR5.
“A recent Phase 2b clinical trial demonstrated that PRO 140 can prevent viral escape in patients during several weeks of interruption from conventional drug therapy,” according to a news release.”
Read the article on HIV Equal online.
Categories: Community, HIV care, PMS Matters
If you’re looking for LGBTQ-friendly health care in Western PA, you can now download the Western PA GLBTQ Health Directory 2016. The listing was compiled by the Pitt Men’s Study at the University of Pittsburgh, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, Persad Center and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. The list includes mental health professionals, HIV testing and medical care, primary care doctors and dentists. The 2016 list is an expansion on past lists and includes care providers in southwestern PA.
Categories: Features, Stigma
From the New York Times…
Following up on a preliminary recommendation it made a year ago, the Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that the agency would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men.
The agency continued to bar men who have had sex with men in the past year, however, saying the measure was needed to keep the blood supply safe.
Gay rights groups considered the lifting of the lifetime ban a major stride toward ending a discriminatory national policy, but had wanted blanket bans for gay men to be removed entirely. Donations should be considered on an individual basis, critics said, as some gay men — like some heterosexual men and women — are at far higher risk of H.I.V. infection than others.
GMHC, the advocacy group formerly known as Gay Men’s Health Crisis, harshly criticized the 12-month delay. Kelsey Louie, the group’s chief executive officer, said it “ignores the modern science of H.I.V.-testing technology while perpetuating the stereotype that all gay and bisexual men are inherently dangerous.”
The Food and Drug Administration enacted the lifetime ban in 1983, early in the AIDS epidemic. The virus that would become known as H.I.V. was discovered that year, and no way to test for it in donations existed.
Now, however, tests can tell whether donated blood contains the virus in as little as nine days after the donor has been infected. The “window period” — during which a unit of donated blood might test negative but still infect the recipient — is the reason for continuing time-based bans on people who engage in various kinds of high-risk behavior.
Read the full on the New York Times.
Categories: Features, Health Alerts, Prevention, Research
New strategies to reduce risky sexual behaviors among young gay and bisexual men with human immunodeficiency virus may be needed to reduce new infections, according to a new study.
Researchers found that most young gay and bisexual men with HIV don’t have the virus suppressed by medication, making them more likely to infect others, and more than half reported recent unprotected sex.
While medications for HIV and access to those treatments improved over time, lead author Patrick Wilson said addressing unemployment, education and mental health is also important.
“I think we have to take a multipronged approach,” said Wilson, of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.
Gay and bisexual men represent about 2 percent of the U.S. population, but accounted for about 67 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV in 2014, according to the HIV Surveillance Report released on Sunday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see Reuters Health story of December 6, 2015 here).
The steepest rise in HIV diagnoses between 2005 and 2014 was among young gay and bisexual men, with increases ranging from 56 percent among young white men to 87 percent among young black and Latino men.
Categories: Features, Media, PrEP, Prevention
Categories: HIV care, Stigma, video
Michael Rizzi, a 21-year-old YouTube personality widely known for his “strange addiction” to the exclamatory word “yaaaaass,” is taking a more serious note in a recent project. In the video “Living With HIV Stigma,” Rizzi spoke to five men and one woman who are HIV-positive about the social hurdles they face on a daily basis. Take a look…