Spirit

  • Jinkx Monsoon is one busy drag queen! She’s a spokesperson for the at-home HIV test OraQuick, has just released a new album, is a working actress and just wrapped up appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She won Season 5.

  • The worldwide pandemic that is HIV/AIDS has inspired a vast amount of literature. They include self-help manuals, personal accounts, histories, memorials, novels, poetry and plays; and they range from the sublime to the ridiculous.

  • "A Finished Life, The Goodbye and No Regrets Tour"

  • The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) opened two new healthcare centers in May in Homestead and Pensacola, bringing resources to those in need.

  • South Florida’s LGBT community has just celebrated Gay Days, and we are getting ready to kick in Gay Pride and Stonewall. 

  • In 2011 Michael Musto wrote a column for The Village Voice called "Why I Hate Being Gay.” At the time I thought it was tongue and cheek. Perhaps not. It made me stop and think.

  • amfAR wants to get real close to curing AIDS by 2020—and now it’s $200,000 closer to that goal thanks to the Campbell Foundation.

  • When Joan Rivers passed away on September 4, her status as a comedy legend was intact, as was her work ethic.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants gay and bisexual men to start talking to stop AIDS with a new HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.

  • A new project by two daughters of gay dads aims to reveal a part of history that has rarely been told before: the stories of people like themselves who lost parents to AIDS.

  • As a young medical student, Dr. Gerald Pierone had ambitions to save the world from infectious disease, imagining himself traveling to Africa to treat patients, developing brand new lifesaving vaccines, and helping eradicate disease.

  • Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), another Ryan White Care (RWC) program linked RWC clients to insurance for HIV care. The AIDS Insurance Continuation Program enabled its clients to keep their private health insurance and saved public funds. Unfortunately, that program has had a very turbulent year.

  • One of the many tragic consequences of the AIDS epidemic is the loss of so many creative individuals. In his Dedication of the book “Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories” (1996), Patrick Merla listed 144 “writers lost to AIDS;” scholars, novelists, poets, playwrights and composers.

  • Rocco Steele talks Charlie Sheen

  • The origin of the AIDS pandemic has been traced to the 1920s in the city of Kinshasa, in today's Democratic Republic of Congo. A feat of viral archeology was used to find its origins. It is a mutated version of a chimpanzee virus, which made the species-jump through contact with infected blood while handling bush meat. Roaring sex trade, population growth, unsterilized needles used in primitive clinics helped spread the virus thru the Congo. Railways had one million people flowing through the city each year, taking the virus to nearby regions, the same way as Ebola is today carried by plane from one continent to the other. HIV came to global attention in the 1980s and has infected nearly 75 million people.

  • A World AIDS Day special

  • The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) held their monthly meeting on June 6. It functions in three ways:

  • 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.

  • Wesley Alphonse has never known life without HIV.

  • My third major leather event of the year has yielded yet another rewarding and even sexy time for me. If you follow my Facebook page, you know that I wrote about hooking up with my first transgender man at the Cleveland Leather Annual Weekend.

  • New York Blood Center's Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute (LFKRI) Laboratory of Social and Behavioral Sciences has received a three-year, $2 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop and test an HIV self-testing intervention for young, Black, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.

  • Trans women of color face highest rates of new HIV infections

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Annual day raises awareness of LGBT bullying

  • Once again, our community commemorates a World AIDS Day.

  • Eight LGBT, immigration and HIV activist groups have come together to plead for the U.S. to not deport a gay, HIV positive Mexican man back to his home country.

  • Two European researchers have traced the origins of HIV/AIDS back to 1920 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • Poz Magazine, an award winning magazine and website for people living with and affected by HIV, released its annual Poz 100 list and three South Floridians are included in this year’s list.

  • For World AIDS Day TheBody.com has launched The Red Reminds Me photo contest to help fight the stigma of living with HIV. They’re asking readers to share a photo that incorporates the color red, while sharing their opinions about the current state of HIV and how it affects them using the hashtag #RedRemindsMe on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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