President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Secretary of Health and Human Services deliver remarks in observance of World AIDS Day 2013.
Categories: Features, HIV care
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday announced a boost to funding for research into HIV/AIDS prevention and pledged up to $5 billion to support an international effort aimed at combating HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at the White House to mark World AIDS Day, the president said the United States would contribute $1 for every $2 pledged by other donors over the next three years to support The Global Fund, an international financing institution that fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Obama also said he would redirect $100 million into a National Institutes of Health program to research a cure for HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. “The United States should be at the forefront of new discoveries into how to put HIV into long-term remission without requiring lifelong therapies – or, better yet, eliminate it completely,” Obama said at an event attended by Secretary of State John Kerry and software magnate Bill Gates, whose foundation has pledged up to $500 million for The Global Fund.
Continue reading on Reuters online.
Categories: Features, HIV care
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) honors World AIDS Day 2013 and celebrates the improved wellbeing of millions of people around the world living healthy and full HIV-positive lives. As the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS has expanded so has the number of people living long HIV-positive lives. As of 2012, nearly 10 million people throughout the world were receiving antiretroviral therapy , vastly improving their quality of life and reducing the number of early deaths due to the disease. And recent changes to the World Health Organization’s treatment guidelines are expected to substantially increase the number of people qualifying for treatment.
Widespread access to HIV medications and treatments, principally through PEPFAR and the Global Fund, has changed the course of HIV infection from an acute and deadly infection to a chronic disease requiring long-term care management. While this means a diagnosis is no longer a death sentence, it also means health systems now need to be prepared to address the long-term care needs of those living—sometimes for decades—with HIV.
Continue reading at AIDS.gov.
Each year on World AIDS Day, we come together as a global community to fight a devastating pandemic. We remember the friends and loved ones we have lost, stand with the estimated 35 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and renew our commitment to preventing the spread of this virus at home and abroad. If we channel our energy and compassion into science-based results, an AIDS-free generation is within our reach.
My Administration released the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2010. Since then, we have made significant progress in strengthening scientific investments, expanding effective HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and connecting stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. At the same time, advances in our scientific understanding have allowed us to better fight this disease. We know now that by focusing on early detection and treatment, we can both prevent long-term complications and reduce transmission rates. To build on this progress, I issued an Executive Order in July establishing the HIV Care Continuum Initiative, which addresses the gaps in care and prevention, especially among communities with the greatest HIV burden. And this November, I signed the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, lifting the ban on research into the possibility of organ transplants between people with HIV.
My Administration remains committed to reducing the stigma and disparities that fuel this epidemic. Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will require health insurance plans to cover HIV testing without any additional out-of-pocket costs. It will also prohibit discrimination based on HIV status and eliminate annual benefit caps. Under this law, we have already expanded Medicaid for working class Americans and banned lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
Our work to end HIV extends far beyond our borders. This is a global fight, and America continues to lead. The United States has provided HIV prevention, treatment, and care to millions around the world, helping to dramatically reduce new infections and AIDS-related deaths. This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a powerful bipartisan effort to turn the tide on this epidemic. Through PEPFAR, we are making strong global progress and are on track to achieve the ambitious HIV treatment and prevention targets I set on World AIDS Day in 2011. Because country ownership and shared responsibility are vital to a2 strong and sustained global response, we launched PEPFAR Country Health Partnerships, an initiative that will empower our partner countries as they progress toward an AIDS-free generation. In the next few days, my Administration will host the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Replenishment Conference to enlist new partners, leverage American funding, and increase our collective impact against these diseases. With continued United States leadership, strong partners, and shared responsibility, we can realize this historic opportunity.
Continue reading on WhiteHouse.gov.
Categories: Commentary, Health Alerts
Getting a flu shot is good advice for pretty much anyone. Even more so if you’re HIV positive.
For patients with HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the flu shot instead of the live attenuated flu vaccine or “FluMist.” The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (containing a killed virus) that’s given with a needle. FluMist contains a weakened form of the live flu virus and is only approved for use in people ages 2 to 49 with unimpaired immune systems. Preventing the flu is important for people with HIV/AIDS due to an increased risk from serious influenza-related complications. Studies have shown an increased risk for heart and lung-related hospitalizations in people infected with HIV during influenza season, as well as a higher risk of influenza-related deaths. Other studies have indicated that influenza symptoms might be prolonged for certain HIV-infected people. And, no, you can’t get the flu from the vaccination. For more information about HIV and influenza, go to the CDC Website.
You can find a place to get the flu shot here. You can also ask your doctor for additional options.
Categories: Features, HIV care, PMS Matters
Obamacare – officially known as the Affordable Care Act (or ACA) — makes health insurance easier to get and more affordable for many people with HIV. It also removes barriers that may have kept you from being able to get coverage in the past. Starting January 1, 2014, no one can be denied health insurance or charged more because of a pre-existing health condition such as HIV. And insurers can no longer limit how much they’ll spend on your medical care —over a year or your lifetime. These are important changes for someone with HIV. Find out more on greaterthan.org.