New study finds zero new HIV infections among PrEP users

Posted September 30, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Health Alerts, Prevention, Research

A new study has found zero new HIV infections among a group of people on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco tracked the health of over 600 people as they used Truvada daily for 32 months to prevent the virus in a real-world setting.

The average age of the study participants was 37, and 99 percent were men who have sex with men. Members of this group also reported a higher likelihood of having multiple sex partners than those not using PrEP. Again, no one in the study contracted HIV. Lead author Dr. Jonathan Volk emphasized that this is the first time such a study has been done in a clinical practice setting at this size. The findings were published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The medical staff at the Pitt Men’s Study emphasize that PrEP is not a substitute for condoms. It should be used in addition to condoms, to further reduce your risk. It is also important to note that PrEP doesn’t protect against other STDs like syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

To learn more about PrEP, check out the CDC’s Website. If you have questions about PrEP, you can speak to your doctor. You can also call the PrEP clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: (412) 647-0996.

Lambda Legal launches “Know Your Rights: HIV”

Posted September 29, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Community


On September 28, 2015, Lambda Legal launched the newest section of its Know Your Rights information hub. “Know Your Rights: HIV” provides information for people living with HIV people on topics such as disclosure and discrimination in housing, healthcare and employment.

Justice“Based on calls to our Legal Help Desk, people living with HIV still face, even in 2015, continued discrimination rooted in ignorance, unfounded fear, misconceptions and outdated science,” said Scott Schoettes, Senior Attorney and HIV Project National Director.

“When denied access to health care or fired from a job because they have HIV, people living with HIV will be able to turn to the “Know Your Rights: HIV” hub to provide much-needed information to help access and navigate the resources and protections that are available. This resource helps to further educate the public and end the stigma and discrimination that people with HIV encounter. Such stigma and discrimination hinder efforts to combat the epidemic.”

Launched the day after the 2015 National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the “Know Your Rights: HIV” hub provides a wide range of information about the rights of all people living with HIV, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Though Lambda Legal is primarily an LGBT organization, our mission with respect to HIV covers all people living with HIV, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Kyle Palazzolo, HIV Project Staff Attorney. “We believe everyone living with HIV will find this information useful, and we hope that even more people will call our Legal Help Desk when seeking guidance.”

Read more.

Increasing levels of engagement with care is key to controlling HIV epidemic in US

Posted September 23, 2015 by administrator
Categories: HIV care, Prevention, Research


engagement with care key to controlling HIVTest-and-treat’ is unlikely to be an effective strategy to control the HIV epidemic in the United States without improvements in retention in care, investigators argue in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. A mathematical model suggested that without interventions to address poor levels of engagement in HIV care, there could be as many as 1.39 million new HIV infections in the US over the next 20 years, at a cost of $256 billion. Targeting testing and linkage would only prevent 21% of these new infections. But a package of interventions comprising testing, linkage and retention in care would prevent over half of the projected new infections, reduce AIDS-related mortality by almost two-thirds and be cost effective.

“To alter the course of the HIV epidemic in the United States, strategies of ‘test and treat’ alone may be insufficient; attention to the full continuum of care will be essential,” comment the authors.

United States guidelines recommend expanded HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy at any CD4 count as strategies to reduce rates of AIDS-related deaths and HIV transmissions. However, this approach may not be as effective as hoped. Recent research has shown that there is significant attrition at each stage of the HIV care continuum in the US. Up to a fifth of HIV-infected individuals are undiagnosed; 20% of recently diagnosed patients are not linked to care within 90 days; 54% of patients are not retained in care; only 30% of diagnosed patients have an undetectable viral load.

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Gonorrhea rising among gay and bi men

Posted September 16, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Community, Health Alerts, Research


gonorrhea on the rise according to the CDCDiagnoses of gonorrhea among men who have sex with men are apparently rising in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers, in order to determine demographic information, interviewed a random sample of individuals diagnosed with the sexually transmitted infection (STI) in 12 areas across the country between 2010 and 2013. The researchers then used census and Gallup opinion polling data to estimate the respective sizes of the U.S. MSM, heterosexual male, and female populations by age group at the state, county and city levels.

In 2010, there were an estimated 1,169.7 diagnoses of gonorrhea per 100,000 MSM. In other words, about 1.17 percent of MSM contracted the STI that year. This rate rose 26 percent in three years, hitting 1,474.4 diagnoses per 100,000 MSM, or 1.47 percent, in 2013. Looking at MSM according to age bracket, those between 25 and 29 years of age  had the highest diagnosis rate: 3,400 per 100,000, or 3.4 percent.

During the study period, gonorrhea diagnosis rate among MSM was between 10.7 and 13.9 times higher than that of women or heterosexual men. While the researchers speculate that the rising gonorrhea rates may be indicative of a national trend, they caution that the data in this study is not nationally representative.

Bone loss slows, but continues long-term in HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy

Posted September 15, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, HIV care, Research


33395-x-raymanPeople with HIV experienced a decrease in bone density at the hip and spine during their first two years after starting antiretroviral therapy (ART). While bone loss slowed after 96 weeks, it continued to decline more rapidly among HIV-positive people compared with the usual age-related bone loss seen in HIV-negative people over seven years, researchers reported at the recent 8th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver.

Research over the course of the epidemic has found that people living with HIV typically have lower bone density and higher risk of fractures than HIV-negative people, but whether this is attributable to HIV infection itself, associated metabolic or immunological changes, antiretroviral drug toxicity or a combination of factors is not fully understood.

Studies have shown that people on ART – especially regimens containing tenofovir (Viread, also in the Truvada, Atripla, Eviplera, and Stribild combinations) or HIV protease inhibitors – experience bone loss during the first couple of years after starting treatment, but less is known about longer-term effects on bone health.

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Largest U.S. AIDS conference convenes in D.C.

Posted September 10, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Events, Features

From the Washington Blade

More than 1,000 people involved in efforts to fight the AIDS epidemic, including leaders of community-based organizations and government officials, are convening in Washington from Sept. 10-13 for the 19th Annual United States Conference on AIDS.

AIDS Day Ribbon on North PorticoA wide range of events associated with the conference, including exhibits, panel sessions and workshops, are scheduled to take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Washington and the nearby Walter Washington Convention Center.

The conference is organized by the D.C.-based National Minority AIDS Council, or NMAC.

“USCA is the largest AIDS-related gathering in the U.S., bringing together thousands of workers from all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic – from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, and people living with HIV/AIDS to policymakers,” according to a statement released by the chair of the conference’s D.C. Host Committee, Leo Rennie.

Rennie said that among other things, the objectives of the annual conference are “to build national support networks, exchange the latest information, and learn cutting-edge tools to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS.”

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Aging with HIV: What we know and what you can do

Posted September 1, 2015 by administrator
Categories: HIV care


Untitled-1In the early years of the epidemic, there were few who thought that we would ever focus on HIV and aging. In fact, many providers are still not facing the massive change in the age of people with HIV and the challenges that come with it.

Although we are seeing new HIV infections in people over 50, the main reason for the rising number of older adults with HIV is better HIV medications. In 1985, a 20-year-old with AIDS might expect to live only to age 22. Today, that 20-year-old can look forward to an almost normal lifespan. This year, half of those living with HIV in the U.S. will be over 50. By 2020, that number may rise to 70%.

But HIV is not the only health issue these older adults face. Research shows that people with HIV have an increased risk of many illnesses associated with aging. These conditions, including heart disease, cancers, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and others, are occurring more often and sometimes earlier than expected. Also, mental health conditions like depression are common among those with HIV.

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