President Obama final AIDS Day message

Posted December 1, 2016 by administrator
Categories: Commentary, Features, Media, video

AIDS Free Pittsburgh releases HIV testing video featuring famous Pittsburghers to raise awareness of the importance of HIV testing

Posted November 30, 2016 by administrator
Categories: Community, Features, HIV care, Prevention

 To raise awareness of World AIDS Day on December 1st,  AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP), an initiative comprised of government agencies, healthcare institutions, and community-based organizations, has released a video featuring prominent Pittsburgh citizens being tested for HIV to support its mission to eliminate new AIDS diagnoses in Allegheny County and reduce new HIV infections by 75% by 2020.

You can also find the video here: http://aidsfreepittsburgh.org/hiv_testing.php#world-aids-day

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports that there are 2,830 people living with HIV in Allegheny County. And Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States 1 in 8 Americans who are HIV-positive do not know their status. Testing helps reduce the transmission of HIV. Early diagnosis allows those infected to take steps to protect their partners from infection, and early treatment can lower viral load, and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others. And, for people who do not have HIV, testing is just as critical because this information can help link them with important prevention services so they can remain HIV-free.

The AFP World AIDS Day video features:

  • Facts on the climate of HIV infection in southwestern Pennsylvania
  • A trip to a health center to show the ease of HIV testing
  • Several prominent Pittsburghers promoting and/or being tested for HIV, including Mayor Bill Peduto, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Actress Tamara Tunie, Performer Alaska 5000, and Artist Vanessa German

AFP was officially launched on December 1, 2015 to support and improve the care of people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as those who are HIV-vulnerable. AFP does not provide services directly, but rather works to raise awareness and build collaboration among community stakeholders.

Learn more about AIDS Free Pittsburgh: www.aidsfreepittsburgh.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AIDSFreePittsburgh/?fref=ts.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AIDSfreePgh

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxBZzHykC3KKDYLAUdEfotQ

MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center hosts World AIDS Day 2016 conference

Posted November 30, 2016 by administrator
Categories: Community, Features, HIV care

nov_labg_worldaidsday2WHAT: To observe the 28th World AIDS Day, The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center (MAAETC), based at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, will collaborate with UPMC and local HIV/AIDS clinics to host an all-day educational event. The World AIDS Day 2016 conference will bring together experts in the field of HIV to enable physicians, nurses and other HIV care providers to improve care. Experts will discuss prevention including PreP, aging and HIV, antiretroviral treatment, and substance use and HIV. To learn more or register, visit https://www.maaetc.org/events/view/8202.

WHY: Despite advances in HIV treatment, there continues to be an increase in HIV infections. This necessitates routine testing for everyone, to identify and link persons with HIV to care so that they can live longer lives. New treatment is available to prevent HIV infection, and concerns and issues are emerging among persons aging with HIV infection.
WHO: Introductions by Corey O’Connor, councilman, City of Pittsburgh, and Donald S. Burke, M.D., Dean, Pitt Public Health. Speakers include Rachel Levine, M.D., physician general, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Harold Wiesenfeld, M.D., M.P.H., Allegheny County Health Department, and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, Donna Gallagher, Ph.D., M.S.N., ANP-BC, F.A.A.N., New England AIDS Education and Training Center, Ken Ho, M.D., M.P.H., medical director, Pitt Men’s Study, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Antoine Douaihy, M.D., medical director, Addiction Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1
WHEREUniversity Club, 123 University Place, Pittsburgh, 15260
Note to Media: To cover this event, contact Allison Hydzik at 412-647-9975 or HydzikAM@upmc.edu.

A combination vaccine and immune system stimulant appears to suppress virus levels in tests on monkeys

Posted November 22, 2016 by administrator
Categories: Features, HIV care, Research

From the Huffington Post

A new experimental HIV vaccine, when combined with a compound that stimulates a person’s immune system, demonstrated potential for a path to curing HIV.

The small study, involving rhesus monkeys who had the monkey equivalent of HIV, revealed that this novel combination was effective at suppressing the virus to undetectable levels in a few of the subjects, without the need for antiretroviral treatments.

If the combination of the HIV vaccine and immune system compound is shown to be effective in people, it could mean one step toward a cure for HIV, said lead investigator Dan Barouch, director for the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

Read the full article.

$1 million renovation and expansion of the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force

Posted November 7, 2016 by administrator
Categories: Community, Features, HIV care, Prevention

From the Pittsburgh Trib Review

A recently completed $1 million renovation and expansion of the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force in East Liberty has made Sean DeYoung’s vision a reality.

The project, which took about a year to complete and included a medical clinic expansion, is a step toward PATF’s goal to transition to a fully integrated medical and social-service care organization for people with HIV.

“I’m a social worker, and that’s where the social work field is moving,” said DeYoung, the AIDS Task Force CEO who came aboard last year. “Research has shown that people who can receive all of their medical and social services in one place are much more likely to get the comprehensive level of care they need.”

The population served by PATF has unique challenges in addition to living with HIV/AIDS, DeYoung said.

“Ninety-eight percent of our client base is below the poverty line,” he said, “so they may also face housing challenges and job challenges, which is a huge problem. If you’re worried about getting evicted or not having a place to stay, you’re not going to be worried about taking your medication like you’re supposed to or coming to see your doctor when you need to.”

The renovated PATF center, unveiled at a ribbon-cutting last Tuesday, offers a food pantry, an on-site pharmacy, legal aid, programs for medical case management and federal housing assistance. It also offers an adherence program designed to help patients who struggle to remember to take their medications through personalized texts or phone calls.

Read the full article on the Trib Review online.

Smoking may be more likely to kill HIV patients than the virus

Posted November 7, 2016 by administrator
Categories: Features, Health Alerts, Research

From NBC News online

Smoking is so deadly that it may be more likely to kill HIV patients than the virus, researchers reported Thursday.

A second study helps explain why — it causes dozens of cancer-causing DNA mutations.

New cocktails of HIV drugs can keep patients healthy, even though they don’t cure the infection. And they work so well that HIV patients who can get the drugs have almost the same life expectancy as uninfected Americans.

Image: Mutations produced by smoking

A chart of the yearly number of mutations produced in a given type of cell by smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Genome Research Limited

The trouble is, 40 percent of HIV patients smoke — more than twice the rate of U.S. adults as a whole.

Dr. Krishna Reddy of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and colleagues wanted to see which was worse — smoking or HIV. They used a computer projection to calculate the odds.

Smoking is worse, they report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. On average, smoking cuts six years from the life expectancy of an otherwise healthy 40-year-old with well-controlled HIV, they found.

“It is well known that smoking is bad for health, but we demonstrate in this study just how bad it is,” Reddy said in a statement.

Read the full article.

H.I.V. arrived in the U.S. long before ‘patient zero’

Posted October 27, 2016 by administrator
Categories: Features, Research

From the New  York Times

In the tortuous mythology of the AIDS epidemic, one legend never seems to die: Patient Zero, a.k.a. Gaétan Dugas, a globe-trotting, sexually insatiable French Canadian flight attendant who supposedly picked up H.I.V. in Haiti or Africa and spread it to dozens, even hundreds, of men before his death in 1984.

Mr. Dugas was once blamed for setting off the entire American AIDS epidemic, which traumatized the nation in the 1980s and has since killed more than 500,000 Americans. The New York Post even described him with the headline “The Man Who Gave Us AIDS.”

27aids4-superjumboBut after a new genetic analysis of stored blood samples, bolstered by some intriguing historical detective work, scientists on Wednesday declared himinnocent.

The strain of H.I.V. responsible for almost all AIDS cases in the United States, which was carried from Zaire to Haiti around 1967, spread from there to New York City around 1971, researchers concluded in the journal Nature. From New York, it spread to San Francisco around 1976.

Read the full article.