The Pitt Men’s Study World AIDS Day Virtual Commemoration Service 2021

World AIDS Day takes place on December 1st each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

This year, the the Pitt Men’s Study commemorative service is being presented virtually in the video below. The Pitt Men’s Study staff, volunteers, and advisory board members would like to thank everyone who helped in putting together this year’s presentation. Together we can end HIV in our lifetime.

World AIDS Day 2021 message from UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima

Dear friends, 

Greetings on this World AIDS Day, and my solidarity with all around the world as we confront the impact of colliding pandemics.

This year, the world agreed on a bold plan that, if leaders fulfil it, will end AIDS by 2030. That’s so exciting.

But today we, as the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, issue a stark warning. AIDS remains a pandemic, the red light is flashing and only by moving fast to end the inequalities that drive the pandemic can we overcome it.

UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima

UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima

Where leaders are acting boldly and together, bringing together cutting-edge science, delivering services that meet all people’s needs, protecting human rights and sustaining adequate financing, AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections are becoming rare.

But this is only the case in some places and for some people.

Without the inequality-fighting approach we need to end AIDS, the world would also struggle to end the COVID-19 pandemic and would remain unprepared for the pandemics of the future. That would be profoundly dangerous for us all.

Progress in AIDS, which was already off track, is now under even greater strain as the COVID-19 crisis continues to rage, disrupting HIV prevention and treatment services, schooling, violence prevention programmes and more.

On our current trajectory, we aren’t bending the curve fast enough and risk an AIDS pandemic lasting decades. We have to move faster on a set of concrete actions agreed by United Nations Member States to address the inequalities that are driving HIV.

Through fighting the AIDS pandemic, we have learned a lot about what we need more of for AIDS and for all pandemics.

We urgently need sufficient community-led and community-based infrastructure as part of a strong public health system, underpinned by robust civil society accountability.

We need policies to ensure fair and affordable access to science.

Every new technology should reach each and everyone who needs it without delay.

We need to protect our health workers and expand their numbers to meet our urgent needs.

We must protect human rights and build trust in health systems.

It is these that will ensure we close the inequality gaps and end AIDS. But they are too often applied unevenly, are underfunded and are underappreciated.

I salute the front-line communities that have pioneered the approaches shown to be most effective, that have driven the momentum for change and that are pushing leaders to be bold. I urge you: keep pushing.

World leaders must work together urgently to tackle these challenges head-on. I urge you: be courageous in matching words with deeds.

There is not a choice to be made between ending the AIDS pandemic that is raging today and preparing for the pandemics of tomorrow. The only successful approach will achieve both. As of now, we are not on track to achieve either.

If we take on the inequalities that hold back progress, we can deliver on the promise to end AIDS by 2030. It is in our hands.

Every minute that passes, we are losing a precious life to AIDS. We don’t have time.

End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics.

Thank you.

The Pitt Men’s Study will observe World AIDS Day 2021 virtually

World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988. This year, the Pitt Men’s Study will observe World AIDS Day virtually, through an on-line presentation.

World AIDS Day logoWho:  Pitt Men’s Study

What:  World AIDS Day Memorial Service 2021

When: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 7:00 PM

Where: Further information regarding access to the event can be found at The Pitt Men’s Study website.

Go to https://pittmensstudy.com/world-aids-day 2021/ .  You can also link in from our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PittMens 3 hours prior to the event.  The virtual service will continue to be available http://www.PIttMensStudy.com after World AIDS Day.

Be a part of the Pitt Men’s Study World AIDS Day Memorial on Dec. 1, 2021

The Community Advisory Board of the Pitt Men’s Study has started planning this year’s World’s AIDS Day Memorial to be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2021.

World AIDS Day logo This year’s service—like last year—will be virtual, and the board’s organizers are asking community organizations and individuals to participate. Last year’s service, which can be viewed on at the link above, included musical performances and tributes to honor people who’ve been affected by HIV and AIDS.

If you’re interested in performing or providing a tribute, please contact Bart Rauluk, Co-Chair of the Pitt Men’s Study Community Advisory Board, at barauluk@gmail.com. If you know someone who died from HIV/AIDS and would like their name to be read aloud during the annual Circle of Love tribute, you can send an email to Ray Yeo at rgy2@pitt.edu. Please add “Circle of Love” in the subject line.

More information about the World AIDS Day Memorial for 2021 will be posted as it becomes available. If you want to know more about the Pitt Men’s Study and our history, you can go to our history page.

People who are immunocompromised should get an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine

From HIV.gov

C D C logoThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised get an additional dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after the initial two doses. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.

This includes:

  • Recipients of organ or stem cell transplants
  • People with advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active recipients of treatment for cancer
  • People who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system
  • And others

We spoke with Harold J. Phillips, Director of The White House Office of National AIDS Policy, about what people with HIV need know. “There are three key messages we need to share,” he said:

  • Everyone over 12 years of age, regardless of HIV status, get vaccinated
  • Those with advanced HIV disease and/or not on medications, get a third dose of the vaccine
  • Those in HIV care and treatment who are virally suppressed, talk with your health care provider about the need for an additional dose.

“By working together and spreading the word,” he continued, “we can help keep everyone in our HIV community safe and healthy.”

Join a research study to help understand how sleep can affect the health of people living with HIV

The aim of this study is to understand how sleep can affect the health of people living with HIV through effects on the immune system. We hope information from this research will help us find ways to improve sleep or lead to treatments that could reduce the bad effects of poor sleep.

The study involves two (2) visits to Montefiore Hospital. Each visit is about one (1) hour.

man sleeping in bedOn the first visit, subjects would complete questionnaires and get a watch-like device similar to a Fitbit. Subjects would wear the device for two (2) weeks to track their sleep patterns. Subjects would also answer a few questions in a diary each morning about their sleep. At the end of two (2) weeks, subjects would return the watch, complete more questionnaires and provide a urine and blood sample.

Subjects will receive up to $100 for their participation. Parking vouchers or bus fare will also be provided.

Please remember that subjects may choose whether they would like to participate in the study. It is completely voluntary and there are no consequences if subjects decide not to.

To learn more about the study, please call the study team at 412-330-1453 or email them at healthysleep@pitt.edu.  You can also download the study flyer pdf for more information.

Shepherd Wellness Community honors Scott Peterman

From the Shephard Wellness Community

Scott PetermanPlease join us at Shepherd Wellness Community for a Community Open House on Thursday, October 7, 6-8 pm as we honor Scott Peterman, who retired last December (in the midst of the pandemic) after serving 21 years as our Executive Director!

Stop by our center at 4800 Sciota St, Pittsburgh 15224 (one block from West Penn Hospital – use our S. Mathilda St entrance with the awning) to greet Scott, enjoy appetizers and beverages, and see how we have honored him for his two plus decades of faithful service. No RSVP needed, but vaccination and masks required.

Click here for the official invitation letter with more information, and here to see a tribute plaque and donor flyer for Scott which will hang in our center.

For those who cannot attend, we invite you to send greetings to Scott through SWC (office@scwonline.org or by regular mail to our Sciota St. address), with a deadline of August 20 for submissions. All letters will be compiled and presented to Scott.

As we are finally able to honor Scott upon his retirement, we hope you can join us and give him your personal greetings on October 7!

 

People living with HIV are eligible for COIVD 19 vaccination now

A message from Rob Ghormoz, Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the Governor…

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today will announce two additional categories of eligible individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as part of Phase 1A. Beginning today, all individuals 65 and older, and individuals ages 16-64 with certain medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus, are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination. The Departments’ Updated Interim Vaccine Plan can be found here.

Those conditions are outlined by the CDC here and include: Cancer; Chronic kidney disease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); Down Syndrome; Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines; Obesity; Severe Obesity; Pregnancy; Sickle cell disease; Smoking; and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

If you are part of a group that is eligible for vaccination, you can use the Pennsylvania Vaccine Provider Map to find a place to schedule your vaccine. Contact the vaccine provider of your choice directly to schedule an appointment. This map will be updated as more locations receive vaccine. Although a provider may have received vaccine, there is no guarantee that they have open appointments as supply is still very limited. Check back frequently as the map will be updated multiple times per week.