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December 31, 2009
Arkansas Man Gets 15 Years in Prison for HIV Felony
An 18-year-old Arkansas man born with HIV plead guilty December 21 to five counts of exposing another person to HIV, a class A felony in the state, NWAonline.com reports.
Officials: New Zealand TV Condom Ad “Inoffensive”
A television advertisement by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation was found to be “inoffensive” by the country’s Advertising Standards Authority, stuff.co.nz reports. The authority chairman said the ad carries an important health message. (Watch video.)
December 30, 2009
More Than 1.5 Million People Tested for HIV in Kenya
Kenya launched a major campaign in November to encourage its citizens to get tested for HIV voluntarily, PlusNews reports. As a result, more than 1.5 million Kenyans have been tested for the virus.
Christmas Gifts From NY Students Promote HIV Education
Members from an HIV/AIDS student education group at an alternative school in Buffalo, New York, collected Christmas gifts for an HIV-positive mother and her 10-year-old child, WIVB.com reports.
December 29, 2009
UNAIDS Asks Rwanda Not to Criminalize Homosexuality
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has requested Rwanda reform a proposal that would criminalize homosexuality under its penal code, AllAfrica.com reports.
Judge Dismisses Petition by AIDS Group to Require Condoms in Adult Films
A petition by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) requesting public health officials require condom use on adult film sets has been rejected by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, the Los Angeles Times reports. AHF plans to appeal the decision.
December 28, 2009
HIV/AIDS Among Top 10 Crises of 2009
HIV/AIDS makes the Doctors Without Borders top 10 list of humanitarian crises of 2009, the Associated Press reports. A funding shortage could leave an estimated 10 million HIV-positive people without treatment in the developing world.
Chinese Government Opens Gay Bar for HIV Prevention
The first government-backed bar in China for gay men has opened after its originally scheduled date of World AIDS Day, China Daily reports.
December 24, 2009
Ugandan President Promises to Veto Antigay Bill
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told the U.S. Department of State he would work to prevent a proposed antigay bill from becoming law in his country and he would veto the controversial legislation should it come to his desk, DC Agenda reports.
California AIDS Group Seeks Law to Require Condoms in Adult Films
The California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has filed a petition to amend state regulations to explicitly require condom use in the Los Angeles adult film industry, which has an ongoing sexually transmitted infection (STI) epidemic.
December 23, 2009
Violence Against Women a Major Cause of HIV/AIDS in Northern Ghana
Violence against women is one of the main causes of HIV/AIDS in Ghana’s three northern regions, according to research by the antipoverty nongovernmental organization Action Aid Ghana and reported by Ghana News.
NJ Activist Lobbies Religious Leaders on HIV Prevention
AIDS activist Deloris Dockery is having some success lobbying religious leaders in Newark, New Jersey, to discuss HIV prevention with their congregations, NJ.com reports.
December 22, 2009
Lawsuit Filed Against NYC Hospital for HIV Misdiagnosis
A medical-malpractice lawsuit has been filed against Harlem Hospital in New York City for misdiagnosing a patient with HIV, the New York Post reports.
NYC Residents Oppose Bronx HIV/AIDS Homeless Shelter
Some residents of the Bronx, New York, are raising objections to a proposed homeless shelter in their neighborhood for people living with HIV/AIDS, YourNabe.com reports.
December 21, 2009
President Obama Approves More Than $1 Billion for Global Fund
President Barack Obama approved $1.05 billion for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This commitment represents the largest single-year contribution to the fund from a single country.
CDC Switches Direction of Botswana PrEP Trial
A study already underway in Botswana regarding the usefulness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is being adjusted to account for the dropping HIV rates in that country, Reuters reports.
December 18, 2009
New York City Launches Condom Wrapper Design Contest
New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is inviting New Yorkers to design the wrapper for a “special edition” city-branded free condom that will be unveiled in the fall, The New York Times reports.
Positive Iowa Man Arrested for Unprotected Sex Without Disclosing Status
A Waterloo, Iowa man named Donald Eugene Bogardus was arrested for allegedly having unprotected sex without disclosing his HIV-positive status to his partner, reports the WCF Courier.
December 17, 2009
AIDS Foundation of Chicago Forms the Illinois Alliance for Sound AIDS Policy
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago has selected 17 local AIDS advocates to form the Illinois Alliance for Sound AIDS Policy (IL ASAP), which aims to empower policy and HIV community leaders, increase involvement in HIV-related activities across the state and strengthen ties and communication among elected officials, the media and those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. 
N. Carolina County Commissioner Makes Stigmatizing Remarks During Meeting
During a meeting of county commissioners in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Bill James made homophobic remarks about a man who died of AIDS-related disease, WBTV reports. 
U.S. Gives Kenya $2.7 Billion for HIV Prevention, Treatment
The United States committed $2.7 billion to help fight HIV in Kenya, where more than a million people are living with the virus, Reuters reports. 
December 16, 2009
Budget Cuts Threaten MSM-Focused HIV Prevention in King County, Wash.
Budget cuts to HIV prevention programs in King County, Washington—which includes Seattle—could derail efforts to reduce rising cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among men who have sex with men (MSM), reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Gates Foundation Offers Money for HIV Testing in China
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has created a unique blood-buying program in 14 cities throughout China that encourages organizations to establish makeshift blood collection centers in bars, bathhouses and apartment buildings to test for syphilis and HIV, The New York Times reports. 
South Africa’s Controversial Ex-Health Minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Dies at 69
South Africa’s former Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, MD, died from complications related to a 2007 liver transplant, BBC News reports. She was 69.
December 15, 2009
An AIDS Memorial for the Digital Age
A new website, The Gay History Wiki, memorializes gay men lost to AIDS in the early days of the epidemic, The New York Times reports.
White House Speaks Out Against Antigay Uganda Bill
President Barack Obama’s administration directly condemned a Ugandan bill that would punish acts of homosexuality by life imprisonment and even death for HIV-positive people performing those acts, The Advocate reports. 
Congress Lifts Bans on Medical Marijuana in DC, Federal Funds for Needle Exchange Nationwide
By approving the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act on December 13, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have voted to lift the ban on using federal funding for needle exchange programs nationwide. The appropriations bill now moves to President Barack Obama for signing. 
December 14, 2009
Tiger Linked to AIDS
HIV might have originated from an ancient tiger that lived thousands or even millions of years ago, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and reported on by HealthDay.
Study: PRO 2000 Microbicide Fails to Lower HIV Risk
An international clinical trial has deemed the PRO 2000 vaginal microbicide ineffective as an HIV prevention method, according to the Medical Research Council. 
Dennis deLeon, Longtime AIDS Advocate, Dies at 61
Dennis deLeon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA), died December 14 in New York City from heart failure, The New York Times reports. He was 61.
December 11, 2009
Pastor Rick Warren Speaks Out Against Antigay Ugandan Law
In response to recent speculation he supports a proposed Ugandan bill to further criminalize homosexuality in the East African country, Pastor Rick Warren, founder of the Evangelical Saddleback Church in California—who has been heavily involved in Ugandan religion and politics—has issued a letter and video statement to Ugandan church leaders calling the bill “unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals.” (Watch video.)
Assembly Speaker Backs 30 Percent Rent Cap for HIV-Positive New Yorkers
On December 10, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver announced he would bring to a vote legislation to reduce the rent burden for more than 11,000 low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS in government-subsidized housing to 30 percent of their income.
Texas: Illegal Tattoo Operation Poses Infectious Disease Risk
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has advised residents of Tyler, Texas, who received tattoos at an unlicensed, illegal apartment-based tattoo facility to get tested for HIV and other infectious diseases, reports local ABC affiliate KRTE 9 News.
December 10, 2009
Medicare to Cover HIV Testing
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced December 8 that Medicare recipients would now be covered for HIV tests. 
Calif. University Awarded $17M to Study Link Between HIV and Meth
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded $17 million to University of California in San Diego’s (UCSD) School of Medicine to study the link between methamphetamine use and HIV/AIDS, City News Service reports. 
University of Pittsburgh Awarded $7.2M to Study Two Microbicides
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health a five-year, $7.2 million grant to test two microbicide gels to curb male-to-female HIV transmission.
December 09, 2009
Congressional Committee Moves to Lift Needle Exchange Ban, End Abstinence-Only Funds
A combined fiscal year 2010 spending bill including provisions to lift the 20-year-old ban on using federal funding for needle exchange programs has worked its way through a House and Senate appropriations conference committee and is expected to move to the House of Representatives floor by tomorrow, December 10. The legislation must then pass the Senate before President Barack Obama can sign it into law. 
Activists: Invite HIV-Positive Leaders to White House
On World AIDS Day, the Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy urged President Barack Obama to invite HIV-positive community leaders to a White House summit on the formation of a national AIDS strategy. The request was laid out in a letter to the president endorsed by 119 organizations and 155 individuals.
HIV/AIDS Advocates Criticize Obama’s Global AIDS Program
President Barack Obama’s global AIDS program is facing criticism for scaling back efforts to put people on HIV drug therapy in order to emphasize HIV prevention and treat other less costly diseases, reports The New York Times.
December 08, 2009
Sir Elton John to Support HIV-Positive Toddler Despite Inability to Adopt
Ukrainian authorities will not permit Sir Elton John to adopt an HIV-positive orphan from the Eastern European country, but according to his partner, David Furnish, the pop icon will financially support the toddler regardless, The Associated Press reports.
Worldwide Protest Planned Against Uganda’s Proposed Antigay Bill
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has called for worldwide protest of the proposed Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill on International Human Rights Day, December 10, reports SW Radio Africa. 
Report: HIV Rates Still Rising Among New York City’s Young MSM
The number and proportion of HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City are still increasing, according to a report released World AIDS Day, December 1, by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 
December 07, 2009
Antigay Ugandan Law Ignites Controversy Among LGBT and HIV Advocates
Human rights groups around the globe are condemning a bill before Uganda’s parliament to further criminalize homosexuality in the country, The Guardian reports. Under the bill, the minimum punishment for anyone convicted of performing homosexual acts is life in prison; if the accused person is HIV positive, a serial offender, “a person of authority” over the other partner or if the partner is younger than 18, the penalty is death. 
South Africa’s Zulu King Promotes Male Circumcision
South African King Goodwill Zwelithini has proposed reintroducing the practice of circumcision to curb HIV transmission among Zulus, reports BBC News. Traditionally practiced as part of a Zulu ritual, circumcision was outlawed by King Shaka in the 19th century when he claimed that it sidelined young warriors for months at a time.
Michigan: HIV Among Teens More Than Doubles From 2003 to 2007
The rate of new HIV cases among 13- to 19-year-olds in Michigan more than doubled between 2003 and 2007, according to a World AIDS Day report from Michigan’s Department of Community Health written about in the South Bend Tribune
December 04, 2009
Examining the Obstacles to HIV Prevention
What constitutes evidence in the field of HIV prevention? That was the main topic of discussion on World AIDS Day at the Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance conference in Johannesburg, PlusNews reports.
Report: HIV Criminalization Laws Unnecessary
Laws criminalizing HIV transmission are not necessary, according to a report published in the November 2009 issue of Reproductive Health Matters and reported by Medical News Today.
Report: Pacific Region Needs Better Strategy Against HIV
HIV in the Pacific region cannot be managed in isolation and, instead, should be considered along with other issues of development in that part of the world, according to a report by the Commission on AIDS in the Pacific and reported by UNAIDS.
December 03, 2009
NYC Activists Interrupt Mayor Bloomberg’s World AIDS Day Breakfast
Dozens of activists from New York City AIDS service organization Housing Works rallied outside Gracie Mansion on World AIDS Day, calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to provide more affordable housing to low-income HIV-positive New Yorkers, Chelsea Now reports. (Watch video.)
Study: Needlestick Injuries at Med Schools Often Go Unreported
Medical students who stick themselves with needles often fail to report their injuries to employee health services, according to a study from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore as reported by Reuters. This puts them at risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis and other blood borne illnesses.
HIV-Positive Pennsylvania Man Convicted of Raping 12-Year-Old Girl
On December 2, Shaun Austin, an HIV-positive man from Bath, Pennsylvania, was convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl, The Associated Press reports. Northampton County jurors found the 25-year-old guilty of charges including statutory sexual assault and rape of a child. 
December 02, 2009
South Africa to Expand HIV Treatment for Pregnant Women, Babies
South African President Jacob Zuma announced a policy to broaden antiretroviral treatment to more pregnant women and babies, The New York Times reports. In an effort to combat mother-to-child transmission of HIV, the policy will cover more women; it will also make meds available earlier to babies. 
Virginia’s George Mason University Displays AIDS Memorial Quilt
A 1,200 square foot section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt was on display at Virginia’s George Mason University (GMU) on December 1, World AIDS Day, to honor those lost to AIDS, The Washington Post reports.
Alicia Keys and Jay-Z Perform at World AIDS Day Charity Concert in NYC
R&B songstress Alicia Keys spoke out about the impact of AIDS in Africa and raised funds for her charity, Keep a Child Alive, at her World AIDS Day concert in New York City’s Times Square, MTV News reports. The concert also featured an appearance by rap superstar Jay-Z. (Watch video.)
December 01, 2009
U.S. Latinos Less Adapted to American Culture Are More Likely to Test HIV Positive
Latinos in the United States are more likely to test HIV positive if they have not adapted well to the dominant American culture, according to a study published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved and reported by Medical News Today.
Google, Twitter, Facebook Promote Education and Advocacy on World AIDS Day
In recognition of World AIDS Day, December 1, Google, Twitter and Facebook have added special features and tools to educate users on HIV/AIDS and allow them to show support for those living with and affected by the epidemic, the Huffington Post reports. 
NYC YouTube Campaign Encourages HIV/AIDS Discussion
On World AIDS Day, December 1, the New York City Council—in partnership with local AIDS service organizations—launched “I Talk Because...,” an Internet-based HIV/AIDS awareness campaign that invites people to film and upload YouTube testimonials on why it’s so important to talk about HIV with people in their lives. (Watch video.)
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