Category Archives: Events

Largest U.S. AIDS conference convenes in D.C.

From the Washington Blade

More than 1,000 people involved in efforts to fight the AIDS epidemic, including leaders of community-based organizations and government officials, are convening in Washington from Sept. 10-13 for the 19th Annual United States Conference on AIDS.

AIDS Day Ribbon on North PorticoA wide range of events associated with the conference, including exhibits, panel sessions and workshops, are scheduled to take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Washington and the nearby Walter Washington Convention Center.

The conference is organized by the D.C.-based National Minority AIDS Council, or NMAC.

“USCA is the largest AIDS-related gathering in the U.S., bringing together thousands of workers from all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic – from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, and people living with HIV/AIDS to policymakers,” according to a statement released by the chair of the conference’s D.C. Host Committee, Leo Rennie.

Rennie said that among other things, the objectives of the annual conference are “to build national support networks, exchange the latest information, and learn cutting-edge tools to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS.”

Continue reading.

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

From AIDS.gov

Like so many Americans, I have seen the tragedy first hand, of friends lost to HIV/ AIDS. I’ve also seen the hope of those living with HIV as we continue to work toward an AIDS free generation.

Each February 7th, we mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). It’s an opportunity for all of us to honor the memory of those we’ve lost, and to call attention to the fact that HIV continues to disproportionately affect African American men, women, and youth.

The numbers are startling: African Americans represent only 14 percent of the U.S. population, but account for almost half of all new HIV infections in the United States per year, as well as more than one-third of all people living with HIV in our nation.

NBHAAD Banner

This year’s NBHAAD theme, “I Am My Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS” challenges all of us to work to eliminate these unacceptable health disparities by ramping up our HIV prevention efforts, encouraging individuals to get tested, and helping those who are living with HIV to access the life-saving medical treatment they need.

One of the ways the Department of Health and Human Services is responding to this charge is by launching a new four-year demonstration project funded through the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative to address HIV disparities among men who have sex with men (MSM), including men of color.

We are focusing on HIV disparities among MSM, including MSM of color, because black gay and bisexual men—particularly young men—remain the population most heavily affected by HIV in the U.S. Young black MSM account for more new infections (4,800 in 2010) than any other subgroup of MSM by race/ethnicity and age. These shocking figures demand that we take action.

The cross-agency demonstration project will support community-based models in strengthening HIV prevention efforts, addressing gaps in care for those living with HIV, and helping meet the health care needs of MSM, including MSM of color. More specifically, the funding will support state and local health departments in providing MSM of color, and other MSM, with the health and social services they need to live healthy lives free of HIV infection. For those already infected, the funding will support community-based services that help MSM of color, and other MSM, get diagnosed and linked to the right care—including substance abuse and mental health treatment as well as necessary social services, like stable housing. Helping people access and remain in HIV care is good medicine and important to our public health—since it lowers individuals’ risk of passing HIV to others.

We all have a role to play in working toward an AIDS free generation. Education and understanding prevention and treatment of HIV is important. And HIV testing is also critical as we continue to tackle this disease. One thing we can all do is speak out – speak out against HIV stigma whenever and wherever you encounter it. Stigma and shame continue to prevent too many people from seeking testing and getting the health care they need to live healthy, active lives.

Read more about HIV among African Americans and efforts to prevent and treat this disease at CDC.gov.

#standOUTpgh

10933879_658281264281364_9173789996442469325_nThe #standOUTpgh campaign is a new media driven initiative to help prevent substance abuse and HIV and STDs as well as fight minority stigma among gay and bisexual youth of color and all that self identify as trans no matter their race or age.

#standOUTpgh seeks to change the conversation around subculture and different expressions by giving young minority gay and bisexual men and trans individuals a digital platform to share their stories of uniqueness and responsibility for the world to see!

We hope to engage all community organizations that care about and serve these individuals to participate in support by spreading the word to those who may wish to participate. By defeating stigma and promoting self worth, we can break down one of the largest barriers to getting tested for HIV and STDs, getting prevention messages, and living healthier and happier lives.

How can you help? Learn about the campaign and its corresponding awareness events at www.standout.hiv and follow our social media pages 

and share as the pageant unfolds. That’s it! Find us at:

The #standOUTpgh campaign will culminate in 6 events held in celebration of uniqueness and responsibility built around relevant national awareness days. These events will feature HIV/STD testing and prevention counseling. Information on these events will be broadcast via social media and standout.hiv. They are as follows:

World AIDS Day: Dec 1, 2014.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Feb 7, 2015.
National Youth Violence Prevention Week: March 18-22.
National Youth HIV Awareness Day: April 10, 2015.
National Prevention Week: May 12-18, 2015.
National HIV Testing Day: June 15.

We hope you will join us in building a positive movement behind these communities and shining a spotlight on what makes them stand out!

World AIDS Day 2014: Closing the gap in HIV prevention and treatment

From the World Health Organization Website

On World AIDS Day 2014, the World Health Organization will issue new recommendations to help countries close important gaps in HIV prevention and treatment services. aids-day500The guidelines will include advice on providing antiretroviral drugs for people who have been exposed to HIV – such as health workers, sex-workers, survivors of rape. They also include recommendations on preventing and managing common opportunistic infections and diseases such as severe bacterial and malaria infections, cryptococcal meningitis and the many oral and skin infections that can affect people living with HIV. In 2013, WHO published consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretrovirals that promote earlier, simpler and less toxic interventions to keep people healthier for longer, and to help prevent HIV transmission. A growing number of countries with a high burden of HIV have adopted these guidelines. In 2013, a record 13 million people were able to access life-saving ARVs. But too many people still lack access to comprehensive HIV treatment and prevention services. The 1 December supplement to the WHO consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection, released in June 2013, aims to help bridge that gap.

Pitt Men’s Study HIV educational forum April 16th

The Pitt Men’s Study will be hosting its annual HIV Educational Forum on Wednesday, April 16th. The forum is an opportunity for Pitt Men’s Study participants to hear talks from researchers and ask questions about important HIV and research matters.

The event starts at 6:30pm and is held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3454 Forbes Ave, in Oakland. It is a free event and includes a dinner served at 7pm, but you must register by April 7.

To register, email Jessica McGuinness at pitteventrsvp@gmail.com (or call 412-383-1674). When registering, specify your meal choice: Stuffed Chicken Breast, Cheese Tortellini, or Vegetable Napoleon (Cheese Tortellini and Vegetable Napoleon can be served as vegan on request).

Take a look at the flyer here