Monthly Archives: January 2018

Free continuing education for clinicians caring for people with HIV

CDC’s MMWR and Medscape are proud to introduce a new FREE continuing education (CE) activity that describes diagnosis delay among persons infected with HIV: Vital Signs: Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing and Diagnosis Delays — United States.

This activity is intended for infectious disease clinicians, family medicine specialists, internists, nurses, pharmacists, public health officials, and other clinicians caring for patients with or at risk for HIV infection.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe diagnosis delay among persons infected with HIV, based on an analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National HIV Surveillance System, and missed opportunities for HIV testing, based on CDC’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance.
  2. Identify the proportions of persons in various high-risk populations who tested for HIV in the past 12 months.
  3. Determine the clinical and public health implications of these findings regarding HIV testing, missed opportunities for testing, and diagnosis delay among persons infected with HIV.

To access this FREE MMWR / Medscape CE activity visit https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/cme/medscape_cme.html. If you are not a registered user on Medscape, please register for free or login without a password and get unlimited access to all continuing education activities and other Medscape features.

HIV care continuum: Effects of depression, alcohol use on early retention in ART

From Infectiousdiseaseadvisor.com

Both alcohol use and depression are associated with increased disengagement from antiretroviral therapy for patients with HIV in South Africa, according to the results of a recent study published in PLoS ONE.

In this prospective cohort study, 136 people living with HIV in South Africa who were initiating antiretroviral therapy were enrolled. Anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and alcohol use disorder was evaluated with the CAGE questionnaire. Researchers also measured internalized stigma and quality of life in participants. The associations between mental health variables and 6-month retention in care and viral suppression were evaluated.

Read the full article here.

Many at-risk men still don’t take HIV prevention pill

From The Associated Press…

From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which — in their view — remains woefully underused.

Marketed in the United States as Truvada, and sometimes available abroad in generic versions, the pill has been shown to reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent if taken daily. Yet worldwide, only about a dozen countries have aggressive, government-backed programs to promote the pill. In the U.S., there are problems related to Truvada’s high cost, lingering skepticism among some doctors and low usage rates among black gays and bisexuals who have the highest rates of HIV infection.

“Truvada works,” said James Krellenstein, a New York-based activist. “We have to start thinking of it not as a luxury but as an essential public health component of this nation’s response to HIV.”

A few large U.S. cities are promoting Truvada, often with sexually charged ads. In New York, “Bare It All” was among the slogans urging gay men to consult their doctors. The Los Angeles LGBT Center — using what it called “raw, real language” — launched a campaign to increase use among young Latino and black gay men and transgender women.

“We’ve got the tools to not only end the fear of HIV, but to end it as an epidemic,” said the center’s chief of staff, Darrel Cummings. “Those at risk have to know about the tools, though, and they need honest information about them.”

In New York, roughly 30 percent of gay and bisexual men are using Truvada now, up dramatically from a few years ago, according to Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, a deputy commissioner of the city’s health department.

However, Daskalakis said use among young black and Hispanic men — who account for a majority of new HIV diagnoses — lags behind. To address that, the city is making Truvada readily available in some clinics in or near heavily black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Read the full article on Newsday.com.