Tobias Resigns Amid Sex Scandal Randall L. Tobias, formerly President Bush’s Global AIDS Coordinator, resigned last week as Director of Foreign Assistance after it was reported that he used an escort service.
ACLU Threatens Condom Lawsuit The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) penned a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt last week demanding that the department change its abstinence-only prevention information in order to comply with a federal law stipulating that all educational materials include medically accurate information about condoms.
Tracking HIV Transmission Through DNA? Australian Health Minister Tony Abbott is backing an investigation into the possibility of mapping a genetic profile of HIV in order to track HIV transmission in criminal cases, according to The Age.
Ethiopia: One Disease Is Contained But Not Another Medecins Sans Frontieres announced that it is handing off its HIV/AIDS program in the Humera district of Ethiopia to the Ethiopian Bureau of Health, applauding the government’s quick response to AIDS in the region.
Girls at Risk
Young girls who are born with HIV have a higher risk of cervical problems, according to a new study.
Heavyweight Morrison Back in the Ring Tonight
Texas state officials have granted former heavyweight champion and POZ cover boy Tommy Morrison the boxing license that is his green light to participate tonight in his second fight in 11 years—despite being diagnosed with HIV in 1996.
Calling Young Activists The Youth Action Institute (YAI) is looking for budding AIDS activists between the ages of 16 and 26 to participate in a five-day training session this summer.
UK Journalists Get HIV Savvy
UK’s National AIDS Trust policy group and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have created a new guide to help journalists report accurately on stories about HIV.
April 26, 2007
HIV on the Reservation With HIV rates soaring among Native Americans, Arizona’s Yuma Sun newspaper looks at the problem of anti-AIDS stigma and profiles a Quechua Tribe program that’s educating people about the virus and fighting isolation.
Cash for South Carolina South Carolina will receive more than $26 million in federal grants for HIV and AIDS treatment, including money for low-income individuals and families.
Brazil to Buy Generic Sustiva Brazil announced plans yesterday to buy a generic version of Merck and Co.’s efavirenz (sold as Sustiva in the U.S.) if the pharmaceutical company does not drop the price of the drug.
“American Idol” Gets Charitable Last night, the TV show “American Idol” raised $30 million for charities in Africa and the U.S., including African HIV/AIDS organizations.
Indiana-Kenya Program Gets Nobel Nod An AIDS treatment program that is a partnership between the Indiana University School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
More on That Abbott-Thailand Standoff HIV/AIDS activists are calling for a global boycott of Abbott Laboratories products to protest the company’s handling of a generics standoff with the Thai government.
HIV Criminalization A-Z NAM, a UK-based HIV/AIDS information source, has released a book that examines the criminalization of HIV transmission.
April 24, 2007
HIV Crisis in Uganda’s War Zone Ugandans uprooted by war in the northern part of the country are without access to even the most basic HIV care and services, according to a review by the International Organization of Migration.
Thursday: Dine Out for Life
Restaurant lovers in dozens of U.S. cities can join the 6th annual Dining Out for Life this Thursday to support HIV prevention programs at the San Francisco-based Stop AIDS Project.
Over 50? Press “1” A health psychologist at Ohio University has received a $1.5 million grant in order to test the effectiveness of a telephone-based support system for people over 50 who are living with HIV.
April 23, 2007
Meds Still Scarce in India
In India, the country believed to have more positive people than any other, HIV meds are only reaching about 15 percent of those who need them, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and UNAIDS.
Caribbean Hate Criminals Beware The University of the West Indies has launched an online project to document harassment, discrimination and violence related to homophobia and gender and HIV status in the Caribbean area.
Prevention en Español Public health officials in the city of Seattle and surrounding King County are launching a new HIV/AIDS awareness campaign for Spanish-language television and radio programs in order to address rising rates of infection in the Latino community.
Inside Indonesia’s Closet Jakarta has a thriving but underground gay scene that has so rarely been targeted with HIV information that the virus is believed to be widespread, according to the Jakarta Post newspaper.
A Good Year for Gilead Gilead Sciences’ first quarter profit jumped 55% due to the sale of once-a-day Atripla, the only HIV med containing a regimen in a single pill, as well as Truvada.
Medicines Without Doctors? Doctors Without Borders and other organizations are sounding an alarm that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria may be focusing too much on funding treatment at the expense of hiring enough health care workers to deliver the drugs.
Revisiting the HIV Travel Ban Public health experts and AIDS advocates met in Washington, DC, last week to discuss ways to ease or even overturn the ban on HIV positive foreign visitors to the U.S. that Congress passed into law in 1993.
April 18, 2007
Gates and Pharma Should Team Up
Pharmaceutical companies need to work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has given billions of dollars to global health issues, both for practical drug development purposes and to improve their public image, according to a report by the pharmaceutical information group IMS Health.
HIV Spikes Among Minnesota Latinos The number of new HIV infections in Minnesota’s Hispanic population doubled in 2006, and 50% had progressed to AIDS by the time they were diagnosed.
Serodiscordant Dating In Uganda HIV positive adolescents in Uganda prefer to date HIV negative people, according to a study by the Pediatric Infectious Disease Clinic in Mulago.
Sudan Breaks HIV Silence Sudan’s Islamic government is working with the United Nations to train journalists to accurately discuss the virus in the hopes of driving down the nation’s 2.3% infection rate, breaking with a long tradition of HIV silence in the public arena.
April 17, 2007
China’s First HIV Campaign for Gay Men The Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is consulting with the gay community before the launch next month of the government’s first ever HIV campaign aimed at men who have sex with men.
The number of people with access to HIV treatment has increased 54% in the past year, according to the World Health Organization—but that means meds reach only 28% of people in need.
India Will Pay for Second-Line Meds The Indian government is promising to provide second-line HIV drugs for free to positive people with drug resistance—after it reaches 100,000 people with first-line meds.
Florida Woman Charged With Trying to Transmit HIV
A Florida woman is being charged with attempted prostitution and attempted criminal transmission of HIV, a rarely used state statute that is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
April 16, 2007
Indians to Richard Gere: No Kissing, Please
Angry crowds in several Indian cities burned photographs of Richard Gere and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty today to protest a public display of affection they shared last night.
NYC Activists Debate HIV Services New York AIDS activists are sparring with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn over her reported lack of support for an initiative that would improve services for asymptomatic New Yorkers with HIV, according to the local New York City TV station NY1.
Housing for Tanzania’s AIDS Grannies An AIDS service organization in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania is launching a program to provide housing for elderly widows taking care of children whose parents have died of AIDS.
Film Editor and Actor James Lyons Dies Film editor and actor James Lyons, known for his work on films like “Safe” and “Far from Heaven,” died last week in Manhattan of squamous cell skin cancer.
April 13, 2007
Abstinent At First, But Then... In a study of more than 2,000 U.S. youths, students who participated in abstinence-only trainings behaved no differently a few years later than students who didn’t participate.
Australia: No HIV Immigrants Allowed? Australian Prime Minister John Howard has come under fire for saying that HIV positive immigrants should not be allowed to move to Australia, except under special circumstances.
Gonorrhea Alert Officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are advising doctors to switch to newer classes of drugs to treat gonorrhea because a common strain of the disease is becoming resistant to common antibiotics.
African Union Says Let’s Make Our Own HIV Drugs Health ministers convening at an African Union meeting in Johannesburg this week may be discussing ways to produce HIV drugs on the continent itself in order to reduce Africa’s reliance on the West.
How Super Was the “Super-Bug”? Two years after a gay New York City man was reported to have a highly drug-resistant “super-bug,” a new report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases argues that many of the assumptions in the case were untrue.
WHO Applauds Kaletra Price Drop The World Health Organization applauded the decision this week by Abbott Laboratories to lower the price of its second-line drug lopinavir/ritonavir (marketed as Kaletra or Aluvia) by 55 percent in more than 40 developing countries.
African Activists Confront Health Ministers AIDS activists urged African health ministers today to move forward on earlier commitments instead of starting from scratch at an ongoing summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
ADAP Up Close
The Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors released an annual report yesterday on the state-by-state status of AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), the government programs that provide HIV medications to positive people.
Johannesburg Cemeteries Are Full Johannesburg, the biggest city in the AIDS-ravaged nation of South Africa, is running out of cemetery space, according to Mayor Amos Masondo.
April 10, 2007
Kaletra Price Offer in Thailand The Thai government announced today that it would consider an offer by Kaletra-maker Abbott Laboratories to sell the drug at a considerable discount.
Pot Makes the Grade in New Mexico New Mexico Governor and presidential hopeful Bill Richardson signed a bill into law last week that will allow doctors in his home state to prescribe marijuana to seriously ill patients.
NYC Circumcision: An Update In a letter to AIDS community members, the New York City Department of Health has denied media reports that it is planning to promote circumcision among adult men in the city and will instead hold a community discussion on the topic.
Prenatal HIV Testing in R.I.? A Rhode Island state representative has introduced a bill that would make HIV/AIDS screening an integral part of the prenatal testing process.
April 09, 2007
An Alabama Prison Program That Works Alabama’s HIV re-entry program for prisoners has been so successful at helping positive people plan for life on the outside that the state’s Department of Corrections (ADOC) will use it as a model for a broader program involving the entire prison population.
AZT Scare in Infant Research AZT, an antiretroviral drug very commonly used to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, may cause DNA damage that can increase an infant’s risk of developing cancer, according to two new studies in Environment and Molecular Mutagenesis.
Dying in Jamaica Can Be Expensive A Jamaican AIDS group is looking into complaints that some funeral homes are charging families higher than normal rates to handle the bodies of family members who died of AIDS.
April 06, 2007
Medicare Part D Gets an F Bureaucratic complications, high co-pays and plans that don’t cover essential drugs make Medicare Part D big trouble for people with HIV, according to an informal survey of medical providers by the HIV Medicine Association and the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
It’s Hard Out There For a Pimp The Tennessee House of Representatives passed a bill that would require HIV tests for all those convicted of promoting prostitution, not just sex workers themselves.
NYC’s Condom Is a Sensation
New York City has handed out 5 million of its free subway-themed condoms in the past month, or about two for every NYC man—more than the city gave out in all of 2003.
April 05, 2007
NYC to Promote Circumcision The New York City Department of Health is planning a campaign to promote circumcision for adult men in order to reduce HIV infection, and is proposing that the procedure be provided at no cost to uninsured men.
Fighting HIV With Rabies Scientists may be able to attach HIV-related proteins to a weakened rabies virus to prevent the development of HIV-related diseases—although not actual infection—according to the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Naked Fundraising for a Buddhist Temple? A campaign to sell nude photos of celebrities to raise money for a Buddhist Temple that shelters thousands of HIV positive people is “inappropriate” and “a violation of Buddhist morality,” Thailand’s Ministry of Culture said this week.
The HPV Vaccine Debate Is On Washington D.C.’s City Council agreed to support vaccinating all preteen girls for HPV this week, while New Mexico’s governor Bill Richardson said he would veto a bill mandating the vaccine.
April 04, 2007
California HIV Law Never Implemented Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration has yet to implement a 2003 law that would give Medi-Cal access to approximately 8,000 low income HIV positive Californians, as opposed to only those who have AIDS.
UK Deports Positive Parents The United Kingdom plans to deport an HIV positive mother and father from Malawi who are seeking political asylum, despite pleas from advocates that they will likely die there without adequate treatment—and orphan their 7-year-old son.
Minnesota STDs Hit Record High
Rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia are skyrocketing across Minnesota, reaching a record high in 2006, according to the Minnesota Health Department.
April 03, 2007
Names Reporting, Coast to Coast All 50 U.S. states will report new HIV infections by name instead of numerical code by the end of 2007, a move some advocates worry could lead to discrimination.
Granddad's Chin. Dad's Eyes. Mom's HIV. A new German HIV prevention campaign funded by Wimbledon Champ Michael Stich’s charitable foundation is drawing fire for its intentionally shocking imagery, which features a mother wheeling her baby in a stroller-sized hearse and a topless woman performing fellatio on a pistol.
U.S. AIDS Policy Steps On Its Own Toes
The Institute of Medicine praised President’s Bush $15 billion global AIDS effort Friday but said it was badly hindered by administration policies and other obstacles.
Ugandans Line Up for Circumcision Research findings that circumcision can cut the chances of HIV infection by at least 50% have prompted a rush to sign up for the procedure in Uganda.
Treat Your Children Well The American Academy of Pediatrics called today for more child-friendly HIV drugs, saying the unavailability of smaller doses puts lives at risk in developing countries.
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