Archive for August 2017

PATF changes name to reflect expanded services

August 30, 2017

From the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force

As of September 26, 2017, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force will be Allies for Health + Wellbeing! The name change follows a period of significant expansion for the agency and is in keeping with feedback given by current and potential clients. The new name also pays homage to the agency’s founders.

announcementIn 1985, the volunteers who formed the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force were truly allies fighting against HIV/AIDS on a number of fronts. They fought for the dignity, rights and humanity of those were dying of AIDS. They fought against rampant discrimination and fear. These allies fought to prevent HIV transmission by disseminating accurate information to the community and by offering free anonymous screenings.

Today, we continue to be on the side of people living with HIV, working with them to maximize their health and quality of life. From primary medical care to housing, to a food pantry and, soon, onsite mental health services, Allies for Health + Wellbeing delivers integrated services with a holistic approach. We have also expanded services for those at risk of HIV, including Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), treatment for sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis, as well as primary medical care.

With a new name comes a new logo and a whole new brand image. Our new brand image will be unveiled at a launch party on September 26th.

Pitt Men’s Study launching new initiatives in 2017

August 24, 2017

Wondering what’s up with the Pitt Men’s Study?

Principle investigator, Dr. Charles Rinaldo spells it all out in an open letter to the Study’s participants, including detailed information about upcoming research for 2018. Click on a printable PDF file of Dr. Rinaldo’s letter to get all the details.

For more information about the Pitt Men’s Study, contact us at:

Pitt Men’s Study
P.O. Box 7319
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-624-2008 or toll-free at 1-800-987-1963
PMS@stophiv.pitt.edu

New injectable antiretroviral treatment proved to be as effective as standard oral therapy

August 6, 2017

From Science Daily

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) intramuscularly administered may have the same effectiveness as current oral treatments. This is the main conclusion of the Phase II clinical trial carried out by 50 centers around the world — 9 in Spain — to which the team of Dr. Daniel Podzamczer, principal investigator of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and Chief of the HIV and STD Unit of the Infectious Diseases Service of Bellvitge University hospital (HUB) has contributed. The results of the trial, published by the journal The Lancet, pave the way to the implantation of all-injectable antiretroviral therapies with a lower frequency of administration, which would imply a significant improvement of the quality of life of HIV patients.

Read the full article.

Health insurance agency apologizes, reverses Truvada policy after HIV activists push back

August 6, 2017

From NBC News

Following outrage by HIV advocates after UnitedHealthcare sent a rejection letter to a patient seeking Truvada — denying him due to his “high risk homosexual behavior” — the insurer announced Friday it is changing its policy for the daily HIV prevention pill “effective immediately.”

“We apologize for the insensitive language appearing in the letter and regret any difficulty it caused. We have corrected our letters, removed the prior authorization requirement for Truvada and members can fill their prescription at the network pharmacy of their choice,” a spokesperson for the company wrote in an email to NBC News Friday night.

Image: Daily Antiretroviral Pill Found To Protect Healthy From AIDS TransmissionBottles of Truvada are displayed at Jack’s Pharmacy on November 23, 2010 in San Anselmo, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The monthlong controversy started with a pre-authorization denial letter sent to Thomas Ciganko, a New York man whose physician prescribed Truvada for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). While the rejection came as a surprise, the stated reason was the real shock.

“The information sent in shows you are using this medicine for high risk homosexual behavior,” the letter, dated July 11, 2017, read. In the same paragraph, however, the letter listed an approved reason for taking the medication “to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection in adults at high risk.”

Read the full article on NBC News online.

How the HIV/AIDS crisis redefined the concept of family

August 3, 2017
From the Washington Post

When the HIV/AIDS crisis emerged in the 1980s, New York became its epicenter. According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, more than 25,000 people had died of AIDS-related complications in the city by the end of 1990.

The Museum of the City of New York is presenting an exhibit on how city residents coped with AIDS.

The epidemic didn’t just create patients; it also turned New Yorkers into caretakers. “AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism” at the Museum of the City of New York explores how.

Using art as a lens, the exhibition chronicles the emotional and personal effects of the epidemic. As activists took to the streets to demand research, funding and recognition, much of the response to the crisis took place behind closed doors.

As people struggled to learn how to care for their loved ones and community members, the exhibition argues, they also redefined the concept of family.

Read the article here.