HIV/AIDS

  • WASHINGTON (AP) – Addressing gay and lesbian concerns, the Obama administration Friday moved to expand health insurance access for same-sex couples and close a loophole that threatened to leave some HIV/AIDS patients without coverage.

  • South Florida continues to be an epicenter for new HIV/AIDS infections.

  • Greater Than AIDS is getting real about HIV.

  • “No one should ever knowingly put another person at risk of harm, but the ability to disclose is not quite as simple as that,” said Sean Strub, President of the Sero Project, an advocacy group fighting for decriminalization of HIV/AIDS.

  • (EDGE)The California HIV/AIDS Research Program has announced that it has funded three new demonstration projects - including two in the Bay Area - to learn more about PrEP for transgender women and men.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will no longer use the phrase ‘unprotected sex’ in research. Instead it will use the phrase ‘sex without condoms’ to reflect increased HIV prevention options such as Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), serosorting, etc.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Pinkela of the U.S. Army was sentenced to one year in military prison and recommend for dismissal from service on charges of exposing a younger lieutenant to HIV.

  • On Oct. 17 in Miami, the Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) hosted a statewide meeting for providers and the community, about the health of gay, bi, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). FLDOH wanted to obtain suggestions about the implementation of PrEP and troubling trends.

    Troubling Trends among gay, bi and other MSM in Florida

    New syphilis infections increased in 2014, by 29 percent from the yearly average of the previous three years. Gonorrhea cases rose by 80 percent and chlamydia cases by about 75 percent from 2010 to 2014. These increases occurred most often among gay, bi, and other MSM in their 20s.

    From 2005 to 2014, new HIV infections in Florida increased about 26 percent among gay, bi, and other MSM. At the same time, new HIV infections in Florida decreased among all other adult males. Gay, bi, and other MSM are the key to controlling the HIV epidemic in Florida.

    The Continuum of Care for the HIV Diagnosed identifies points of successful HIV care:

    1. Diagnosis of the HIV infected (HIV testing)
    2. First visit to an HIV care provider (Linkage).
    3. Regular visits to an HIV care provider (Maintenance), and 4) Minimal amounts of active virus in the body (A Suppressed Viral Load). When someone has a suppressed viral load, they will maintain their own health and have minimal risk of infecting others. Among gay, bi, and other MSM, all racial groups show about a 20 percent drop from Linkage to Maintenance in Care. This 20-point drop exceeds all other differences between two adjacent points in the Continuum. Maintaining people in HIV care has become the point of HIV care most in need of improvement to control the epidemic.

    As in most areas of life, racial differences occur in the Continuum of Care among HIV infected gay, bi, and other MSM in Florida. Among Black gay, bi, and other MSM, only 52 percent had achieved viral suppression. Among Latino and White gay, bi, and other MSM, these rates run from 63 percent (Latinos) to 68 percent (Whites). All three racial groups need improvement, but the greatest need for improvement occurs among Black gay, bi, and other MSM.

    Suggestions offered

    FLDOH set up the meeting for maximum idea generation. The meeting had no space for discussing the suggestions and no decision making power. Individuals made the suggestions below as individuals.

    HIV TESTING: The mobile vans should test for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia as well as HIV.

    PrEP: Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) should be linked with PrEP, as people who need PEP would be good candidates for PrEP. A 24/7 PrEP/PEP hotline could increase uptake of PrEP and PEP. More providers need training in administering PrEP. In order to identify possible gaps in PEP and PrEP care, people have to create and maintain local PEP and PrEP resource inventories of providers, pharmacies, labs etc.

    CONDOMS: People need to develop a consistent dialogue about “bareback” sex and “bareback” porn for the PrEP era. Any condom campaign should be sex-positive and avoid “slut-shaming.”

    INCREASING LINKAGE TO CARE. It would be useful to co-locate testing and care more often. Phone aps used in Africa to increase adherence might be useful here.

    A full report of the feedback will be available by the end of the year.

    To read the full report on “The Epidemiology of HIV among MSM in Florida”, please visit http://bit.ly/1S9KkUh

    For information on financial assistance with co-pays for PrEP or for those without insurance, please visit http://bit.ly/1Yl9Zx4.

    If people want information about Truvada from its manufacturer, Gilead, they can visit Truvada.com and TruvadaPrEPrems.com.

  • International, national, and local news...

  • Each month HIV service providers and members of the HIV infected and affected communities meet to exchange information and gain knowledge about HIV at the monthly meeting of the South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN). Below are the highlights of the SFAN meeting on January 10, 2014.

  • The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) met on July 11. Joey Wynn, SFAN’s chair, announced that changes to the bylaws of the Broward County HIV Health Services Planning Council (see article “Changes to RWC administration in Broward”) threatened to put the Ryan White Care (RWC) Part B contracts out of compliance. In order to bring Broward’s RWC Part B contracts, back into compliance, RWC Part B has to redesign its structure. SFAN’s next meeting (August 1), will begin a half an hour earlier (9:30 a.m.) to include a full presentation of the new structure.

  • The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) functions as the networking/advisory body for the Ryan White Care (RWC), Part B grant n Broward County. Its monthly meetings are open to the public.

  • The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) meets monthly. Below are the highlights of the SFAN meeting on March 6, 2014.

    This meeting primarily discussed the administrative rule changes proposed by the Florida State AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), and the workshops held throughout the state to gather feedback. The Broward workshop happened Feb. 26 at Holy Cross Hospital.

  • (EDGE) Today, NMAC Launches "Save Our Services," an innovative campaign created to empower Americans across the country in fighting the proposed federal budget cuts that would cause severe harm to vital HIV treatment and prevention services. 

  • Executive Director of Latinos Salud talks HIV

  • A group of noted AIDS activists issued a statement calling out pharmaceutical giant Gilead over price gouging. The group, which included Peter Staley and Larry Kramer, slammed the makers of PrEP drug Truvada and called for the profiteering to end.

  • The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) is the networking and advisory body for the Florida-Department of Health, Ryan White Care (FL-DOH-RWC) grant in Broward County. Its monthly meetings are open to the public.

  • This report discusses the monthly meetings of the HIV Planning Council (HIVPC) and the South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN). The HIVPC is the planning body for the Ryan White Care (RWC) Program of Broward County (Broward-RWC). SFAN is the advisory for the RWC program of the Florida Department of Health in Broward (FL-DOH RWC).

  • The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) functions as the networking/advisory body for the Ryan White Care (RWC), Part B grant in Broward County. Its monthly meetings are open to the public.

  • (EDGE) As New York City prepares for AIDS Walk New York on Sunday, May 15, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) will "Light Up New York" from May 12-15. Beginning May 12, many of New York City's landmarks will light up red, marked by a special ceremony at the Empire State Building held that day, to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS and build momentum toward the AIDS Walk on Sunday, May 15 in Central Park.

  • With coronavirus cases tracking at a rate of about 300 new cases per month in Oakland Park, the city commission received an update on vaccines from Holy Cross Hospital during its meeting on Wednesday.

  • On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on what would later be understood as the first documented cases of AIDS. The past 35 years tell a story that bends from uncertainty, fear, and loss toward resilience, innovation, and hope.

  • The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) functions as the networking/advisory body for the Ryan White Care (RWC), Part B grant in Broward County. Its monthly meetings are open to the public.

  • NEW YORK (AP) - Is Ebola the world's worst infectious disease threat since AIDS?

  • Oktoberfest is an annual autumn festival that communities celebrate with plenty of beer drinking and merriment. One can say that sounds like any given Friday night, or most nights, here in Wilton Manors. However, this October has been reason to celebrate here in our Island City.

  • (EDGE) When it comes to HIV prevention and treatment, there is a growing population that is being overlooked -- older adults -- and implicit ageism is partially responsible for this neglect, according to a presentation at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

  • (EDGE) Due to the stigma surrounding STDs, people often turn to the internet for answers instead of seeking proper medical attention. GetTested.com mapped out the 'Most Googled STDs Per State' to find out what Americans wanted to know about their sexual health. 

  • The new variant of Omicron for COVID was uncovered by South African immunologists because their country has some of the best research scientists in the world.

  • “Willkommen,” sings the master of ceremonies at the opening of “Cabaret,” the classic Broadway musical, going on to say, “Happy to see you again.”

  • It would seem to be quite strange that after all this time AIDS is still as urgent to me as it always was. Thirty-six million dead later, it still haunts me. I am a fossil with the engraving of the fallen leaves upon me.