Category Archives: Media

Dr. Charles Rinaldo and Alan Jones of PATF talk about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic

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Charles Rinaldo, PhD – Chairman and Professor, Dept. of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Men’s Study’s Dr. Rinaldo talks with NPR’s Essential Pittsburgh

Dr. Charles Rinaldo was part of a team of researchers investigating the rise of AIDS in Pittsburgh, research that at that time was called a “natural history study.” Through his subjects, Rinaldo developed an understanding of the severity of the spread of HIV , and became an early advocate for AIDS education and prevention. He joins Alan Jones of the Pittsburgh AIDS Taskforce to discuss what the social and medical landscape was like when AIDS was first appearing among the gay communities of Pittsburgh.

Listen to the interview here.

Pitt Men’s Study’s own Jessica McGuinness featured in Post Gazette series nominated for GLAAD award

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Clinic specialist Jess McGuinness

“An Identity to Call Their Own” series nominated for GLADD media award

A series of six Pittsburgh Post-Gazette articles focusing on the lives of transgender individuals was recently nominated for Best Newspaper Article by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The series of three articles, An Identity to Call Their Own was written by Michael A. Fuoco and focuses on 6 individual stories, including the moving testimonials of activists Jessica McGuinness, Sarah Parlow and Rayden Sorock. You can find the nominated series on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Website

The GLADD Media Awards honors film, television and print media for their “fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community.” The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held on March 21st in Los Angeles and also on May 9th in New York.

More information about Trans-related nominations, check out GLAADs Website

Can Selfies in the Shower Fight HIV Stigma?

If you’re looking for HIV’s answer to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised over US$100 million for the ALS Association, Jack Mackenroth just may have it: the HIV Shower Selfie Challenge. Mackenroth, a famous HIV-positive activist and prior contestant on Project Runway, has partnered with Moovz, a global gay social networking app, to launch the project. Playing to a culture that loves a good selfie, Mackenroth is urging everyone to fight HIV stigma by simply taking a special kind of selfie.

INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Take a selfie or Vine video of yourself in the shower.**NO EXPLICIT NUDITY** 2) Post your photo now on Moovz and all social media platforms with the caption “Take HIV Shower Selfie Challenge raise $$ for AIDS cure bit.ly/CUREAIDS #weareALLclean” 3) Nominate 3 or more other people to participate! 4) (Optional) DONATE!! Please consider a small donation if you are able. Every penny counts! bit.ly/CUREAIDS 5) On World AIDS Day (or before): Monday, December 1st, please change all your social media profile pix to your shower selfie photo and spread the word!!

Jack Mackenroth

“I was inspired by the use of the word ‘clean,’ especially common in gay culture, to describe oneself as STI/STD free. Indirectly this implies that HIV-positive people are somehow ‘dirty,’” says Mackenroth. “I thought a PG or PG-13 shower selfie or Vine video would be a fun way that everyone could easily show their support for finding a cure on social media by using the hashtag #weareALLclean when they post their photo with the link. They then nominate 3 other people to participate and hopefully donate to the project as well.”

Continue reading on TheBody.com.

Gay dating apps pledge to do more to combat HIV stigma and promote testing

cell phoneFrom the Gay Star News online…

Representatives of seven of the most popular gay dating websites and apps have collaborated with leading US AIDS organizations to discuss strategies to help promote HIV/STI testing and to reduce the stigma associated with HIV infection. The results of a San Francisco summit between representatives of the dating sites and health leaders – including San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research – have been published in a new report.

Across the US, around 20% of gay and bisexual men are estimated to be living with HIV, while some estimates indicate that 3 in 5 men now meet their partners online. The apps and websites that were able to attend the summit – which took place over two days in early September – included BarebackRT, Daddyhunt, Dudesnude, Gay.com, Grindr, PozPersonals, and SCRUFF. Three other apps were unable to attend the summit but have pledged their support.

Continue reading on Gay Star News.

Hornet ap locates nearby HIV testing and services

hornetFrom the Washington Blade

The Hornet Gay Social Network has launched a feature that will help users locate HIV testing services and learn more about PrEP and other topics, the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports. The app’s creators have partnered with aids.gov to power the feature, which was used about 30,000 times its first day, the article said. Hornet is a gay-owned location-based dating and social network.

The gay community has made progress in reducing HIV infection rates, but new trends among young people show that HIV rates are increasing once again, 132.5 percent from 2001-2011—a much higher increase than older gay men and a significant contrast with the drop among the general population. Studies show that public concern about HIV has decreased, yet the number of people living with HIV in the U.S. exceeds 1.1 million and continues to increase, the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News article said.

In a news release, Hornet said that in order to end the epidemic, help is needed to promote HIV services in ways that are far-reaching and lasting. Traditional advertising does not reach all users in need of health services. Sophisticated geo-specific resources are powerful. Within the Hornet app, social network members can use the tool to find the 10 closest HIV locations. The widget is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is available for free, the article said.

CDC’s Start Talking campaign to fight HIV

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched their latest communication campaign under their Act Against AIDS initiative –  This new national HIV prevention campaign is the result of input from more than 500 gay and bisexual men from various racial and ethnic groups, ages, and geographic areas across the United States. The campaign was created by and for gay and bisexual men to promote open communication about a range of HIV prevention strategies for sexual partners.

Start Talking. Stop HIV. features messages that engage, inspire, and spark conversations between sexual partners and provides gay and bisexual men with practical tools and tips for talking about important HIV prevention topics like:

  • HIV testing and their HIV status,
  • Condoms and engaging in lower-risk sexual behaviors,
  • Medicines that prevent and treat HIV, including the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and antiretroviral therapy (ART).

More than thirty years after the first diagnosis of AIDS in the United States, gay and bisexual men continue to be the population most severely affected by HIV nationwide, due to a number of complex factors.

Research shows that communication between sexual partners is associated with reduced risk behavior and increased HIV testing and HIV status disclosure; however, many gay and bisexual men may still find it difficult to talk openly with their sexual partners about HIV prevention.

A dedicated campaign website and Facebook Page  provide conversation starters and accurate information to inform these life-saving conversations.