Archive for August 2015

Few gay teenage boys get tested for HIV

August 26, 2015

 From Medicalpress.com

teensThe greatest barriers to these teenage males getting tested are not knowing where to go to get an HIV test, worries about being recognized at a testing site and—to a lesser degree—thinking they are invincible and won’t get infected.

“Understanding the barriers to testing provides critical information for intervening, so we can help young men get tested,” said study first author Gregory Phillips II, a research assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an investigator for the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program at Feinberg.

“Rates of new HIV infections continue to increase among young gay and bisexual men,” said Brian Mustanski, principal investigator of the study, an associate professor of medical social sciences at Feinberg and director of IMPACT. “Testing is critical because it can help those who are positive receive lifesaving medical care. Effective treatment can also help prevent them from transmitting the virus to others.”

The study will be published Aug. 26 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.Continue reading.

HIV/AIDS still holds a powerful stigma

August 17, 2015

head-shot-will-you-still-love-me-bbf66e1c54ba224d30e4f1b43a80b972571de120-s800-c85From NPR.org

Indiana was hit with an outbreak of HIV/AIDS this spring, and it got a lot of attention because it is so exceptional.

Our perception of HIV/AIDS has changed since the disease emerged in the early 1980s. There are all kinds of treatments and resources — things that simply didn’t exist when the epidemic began.

In the U.S., an estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV, according to the CDC. New infections are down from the peak in the 1980s, but the epidemic is nowhere near over. HIV/AIDS has affected millions of people around the world. In this country, gay men have been hardest hit.

Today on For the Record: HIV then and now. Two survivors, from two different generations, tell their stories. Click the audio link on this page to listen to the full conversation.

White House AIDS plan echoes In Pittsburgh

August 6, 2015

rom WESAfm

Allegheny County health officials say they are already in line with new White House standards to fight HIV and AIDS. The plan unveiled Thursday updates one issued by the Obama administration five years ago. Developments since then include new diagnostic tests, a daily pill for infection prevention and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which allows for more American’s to receive treatment and testing.

Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force Executive Director Charles Christian said programs in the region have already been pushing for testing among all populations, not just those considered to be at risk, and for efforts to find ways to get more individuals into treatment programs.

The updated document adds some new goals for 2020, like reducing the death rate among HIV-diagnosed people by at least one-third, and increasing the percentage who control their infection though medication.

Treatment can help suppress the amount of detectable virus in an HIV-positive person’s system, which can also reduce the possibility that he or she will spread the disease.

Christian told Essential Pittsburgh host Paul Guggenheimer Friday that the region and the nation need to get beyond the belief that AIDS is just a risk faced by homosexuals and drug users.

You can listen to the full story here.

Updated HIV/AIDS strategy and amfAR releases report

August 4, 2015

From OUT online

Last week the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States updated through the year 2020. It’s vision statement read: “The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”

The five-year plan discusses steps that are necessary to take across different facets of the HIV/AIDS topic, including reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care for those infected and improving health outcomes for them, reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities, and achieving a more coordinated national response to the HIV epidemic.

To accompany the strategy, the American Foundation for AIDS Research released a report commending the amount of coordinated efforts to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the federal level, but admits that to be successful, the same thing has to happen on a state level.

The foundation gave recommendations for the states so they can improve their HIV prevention and care, and align with the vision set out by the national strategy. “The burden of HIV, and the responses to it, varies across states due to a number of social, political, and economic factors,” said Jeffrey S. Crowley, Program Director of the National HIV/AIDS Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law in a release. “But we have found that if states focus on a handful of priority action steps and implement them successfully, they can begin to close critical gaps and dramatically accelerate progress toward ending their HIV epidemics.”

Continue reading.