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.
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
The 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.
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
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.”
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.
On 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 email@example.com. You can also download the study flyer pdf for more information.
Please 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.
For those who cannot attend, we invite you to send greetings to Scott through SWC (firstname.lastname@example.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!
Shepherd Wellness Community is hosting a 2 part Mental Health First Aid In-Person Training on Fridays, June 11 and 18, 9 am – 1 pm. Registration closes June 9 and is limited to 20 vaccinated participants. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Richard Krug at email@example.com.
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.