Archive for August 2011

CDC rolls out ‘Strength Through Affirmation’

August 22, 2011

From the Website Colorlines.com…

When the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest estimates of HIV infection earlier this month, it made unexpected headlines with a startling finding: 30 years into the epidemic, researchers have found a burgeoning epidemic among young black gay and bisexual men. This week, at the agency’s massive annual convening of HIV prevention scientists and experts, federal health officials rolled out a rare national campaign targeting black gay men.

According to the CDC, new infections among black gay and bisexual men under 30 years old shot up by 48 percent in recent years, rising from an estimated new 4,500 infections in 2006 to an estimated 6,500 in 2009. The findings—which also confirmed the U.S. continues to log 50,000 new cases a year overall, roughly half of which are among African Americans—prompted many to ask the perennial question: Why is this happening and what can be done about it?

The CDC has pointed to several factors, including limited access to both HIV testing and sexual health education, stigma surrounding HIV and homosexuality that has gone unchallenged in communities of color and a higher incidence rate of other sexual transmitted illnesses, which have been show to facilitate transmission of HIV.

Richard Wolitski, a deputy director in the CDC’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Division, spoke with Colorlines.com about the Testing Makes Us Stronger campaign and the CDC’s concern over the increase in HIV infection rates among black gay and bisexual men.

Read the full interview at Colorlines.com.

An important message for recipients of the SPECIAL PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS PROGRAM (SPBP) concerning the 2011 recertification period

August 12, 2011

The SPBG will mail recertification forms to currently enrolled clients. Clients will then have 30 days to complete and submit the forms for recertification in the program.

SPBP Recertification is occurring earlier this year and the time period to submit recertification forms will close earlier as well. Cancellation letters will be mailed on September 16, 2011 for individuals who do not respond to the recertification. The 30 day appeal period will close on October 17, 2011.

It is therefore imperative that cardholders respond within the identified timeframe, in order to avoid an interruption in enrollment status. Any interruption in enrollment status will result in the inability to qualify for the expanded income criteria for program eligibility.

Note that the SPBP requires a minimum of three business days to process Recertification Forms. When it is necessary to provide additional supporting documentation of required information, an additional three business day processing period applies. Also, this recertification applies to people who have commercial coverage or Medicare and use SPBP for co-pays.

Please allow at least seven business days before calling the SPBP Customer Service Line, toll free at 1-800-922-9384, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., to inquire regarding the status of a Recertification. You may also contact the SPBP staff by email at: spbp@state.pa.us.

If you haven’t received the recertification form in the mail, you can download the form and the instructions from this Website.

New three-in-one HIV med approved

August 11, 2011

From POZ online:

Complera, a complete single-tablet regimen containing Janssen Therapeutics’ Edurant (rilpivirine) and Gilead Sciences’ Viread (tenofovir) and Emtriva (emtricitabine), was approved August 10 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to an announcement byGilead. Complera, the second all-in-one fixed-dose combination tablet for people living with HIV, is approved for those starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for the first time. 

The approval of Complera is supported by 48-week data from two Phase III randomized studies (ECHO and THRIVE) conducted by Tibotec, a subsidiary of Janssen, evaluating the safety and efficacy of Edurant compared to Sustiva (efavirenz) among first-time treatment takers, with both drugs typically used in combination with Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine). Both regimens were comparable in terms of efficacy, with fewer volunteers in the Edurant group experiencing side effects, notably the central nervous system problems associated with Sustiva use.

Read the full article on POZ.

You can read about the specifics of Complera on AIDSmeds.com