Senator Tom Coburn Calls International AIDS Conference a Waste of Money
In a February 19 letter to the president of the International AIDS Society, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) said the upcoming International AIDS Conference in Vienna should be canceled, suggesting that its funds be used for HIV treatment and research instead, The Washington Times reports.
Researchers: Vigorous Test and Treat Strategy Would Eliminate HIV Within 30 Years
At this week’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Diego, researchers from the South African Center for Epidemiological Modeling and Analysis (SACEMA) proposed that aggressive, blanket HIV testing and early treatment would eliminate HIV/AIDS worldwide within 30 years, Voice of America News reports. The strategy, which is based on a mathematical model, would target the world’s most at-risk populations.
Nigeria Refocuses Efforts on Universal Access to HIV Treatment, Care On a joint visit in Nigeria this week, UNAIDS executive director Michael Sidibé and Ambassador Eric Goosby, who serves at the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, are collaborating with Nigeria’s acting president to help the country reach its goal for universal access to HIV care.
Court Ruling: Pilot Can Sue Federal Agencies for HIV Status Disclosure The Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that small-plane pilot Stan Cooper could sue the federal government for disclosing his HIV-positive status during a security probe, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Cooper’s damage suit was originally dismissed in 2008 despite findings showing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) violated the Privacy Act.
February 22, 2010
White House Releases Details of Its Health Reform Proposal For the first time, President Barack Obama has laid out a detailed legislative proposal for health care reform, sticking with the Democrat-supported Senate version of the plan while making concessions to the House of Representatives version of the bill, The New York Times reports. Obama released his proposal in anticipation of an all-day televised health care “summit” this Thursday, February 25, at Blair House, the president’s guesthouse.
Michigan Group Promotes HIV Testing Among Black Sororities
The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Community AIDS Resource and Education Services (CARES) center recently teamed with a variety of historically African-American sororities to encourage locals—especially those in the black community—to get tested for HIV, the Kalamazoo Gazette reports. CARES organized a testing event February 19 in cooperation with the graduate chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.
February 19, 2010
ACLU Sues USAID Over Religion-Based Abstinence-Only Programs Overseas The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to obtain public documents detailing its abstinence-only-until-marriage sexual education programs overseas. A recent inspector general’s report deemed the programs unconstitutional because they use taxpayer money to promote religious-based messaging.
HIV-Positive Ottawa Man Faces Three Years for Not Disclosing
Justin Bruneau, an HIV-positive Native American man, could be sentenced to three years in prison for repeatedly having unprotected sex without disclosing his status, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Bruneau pleaded guilty to aggravated assault charges and will be sentenced February 23.
February 18, 2010
Study: Uncomfortable Condoms Increase Unsafe Sex
Men are twice as likely to remove condoms before ending penile-vaginal sex if the condoms are uncomfortable, according to a study published in the February 2010 issue of the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections and reported by BBC News.
UNAIDS: Swaziland Needs Greater Response to HIV/AIDS UNAIDS executive director Michael Sidibé urged for a greater national response to decrease Swaziland’s high HIV prevalence, Afrol News reports. The southeast African nation has the world’s highest HIV prevalence, with one in every four people living with HIV.
February 17, 2010
Keith Haring Foundation Teams With GMHC for NYC Food Pantry Program
New York City-based AIDS service organization Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) has launched a five-year partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation—named after the late artist and HIV activist Keith Haring—to feed low-income individuals and families living with HIV. The partnership was launched February 16, the 20th anniversary of Haring’s death from AIDS-related complications.
This Week Is National Condom Week
February 14 through 21 is National Condom Week, an annual celebration honoring the importance of prophylactics in preventing unplanned pregnancies as well as the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Philadelphia HIV, Mental Health Activist Norman Baker Dies
Norman Baker, a longtime HIV/AIDS activist who served as president of the Philadelphia AIDS Advocacy Coalition and volunteered with ActionAIDS and Philadelphia FIGHT, died at the Keystone Hospice House in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Gay News reports. He was 58.
February 12, 2010
Super Bowl Champ Anthony Hargrove Heads to Africa on Humanitarian Mission New Orleans Saints defensive lineman and 2010 Super Bowl Champion Anthony Hargrove will leave February 13 for Swaziland, where he and two other NFL stars, Cornell Green and George Foster, will begin a 10 day humanitarian mission in the impoverished sub-Saharan African country, Yahoo! Sports reports.
Gay Couple Supports Haiti Earthquake Survivors, AIDS Orphans
Luke Montgomery—who founded an AIDS orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti—has launched an online initiative with his partner, Nate Guidas, to bring emergency medicine, food and tents to remote regions of Haiti affected by the January 12 earthquake. (Watch video.)
Tuberculosis/HIV Coinfection Cases Rising Among U.S. Latinos The majority of San Diego’s tuberculosis (TB) and HIV coinfections cases occur in the Latino community, according to a study that will be published in the American Journal of Public Health. Latinos account for more than 80 percent of San Diego’s TB/HIV coinfection cases.
February 10, 2010
Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper Lend Starpower to M·A·C Cosmetics’ Women-Focused HIV Initiative Pop divas Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper are the faces of From Our Lips, which is M·A·C Cosmetics’ Viva Glam campaign honoring women living with HIV/AIDS and those working to prevent new infections. All proceeds from sales of Viva Glam Cyndi (a light coral red lipstick) and Viva Glam Gaga (a light blue-pink lipstick) will benefit the M·A·C AIDS Fund. To date, the fund has raised more than $150 million to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and improve the lives of HIV-positive people worldwide.
New Vaccine Might Prevent Tuberculosis in HIV-Positive People A new vaccine called mycobacterium vaccae (MV) might prevent tuberculosis (TB) in HIV-positive people, according to a new study published in the journal AIDS and reported on by HealthDay News. TB is the most common cause of death among HIV-positive people in developing countries.
February 09, 2010
St. Vincent’s Hospital Gets Second Loan From New York State, Creditors
New York Governor David Paterson has agreed to a second state loan to financially struggling St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. The $3 million loan follows an $8 million loan from the state and the hospital’s main creditors, GE Capital and TD Bank, The New York Times reports. The hospital’s creditors will also put up $3 million to help keep the hospital open in spite of its $700 million debt.
U.S. Freezes HIV Treatment Spending in Africa, Shifts Focus to Prevention The Obama administration is freezing spending on HIV treatment in several African countries and is instead shifting its focus to HIV prevention, Agence France-Presse reports. In response, activists and health officials say they are concerned about reversing the gains made against global HIV/AIDS since 2003, when former president George W. Bush launched the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
February 08, 2010
HIV Research Forum Offers Full Scholarships for HIV Advocates
An HIV research forum held April 20 through 23 in Baltimore is offering 150 full scholarships to advocates working in HIV/AIDS or related fields. The event is titled The HIV Research Catalyst Forum: Treatment, Prevention, Advocacy. The deadline for submissions is February 19.
San Francisco Clinic Is First Health Care Facility for Ex-Prisoners
The San Francisco-based Transitions Clinic is the first health care facility specifically helping former prisoners, The New York Times reports. According to a 2009 report from the RAND Corporation, HIV rates in prison populations are nine times higher than in the general population because of intravenous drug use, unprotected sex and tattoos made with unsterilized needles.
February 05, 2010
"Abstinence-Only" Study Reignites Sex Education Debate
A recent study found that abstinence-only sex education programs
delayed the onset of sexual activity in pre-teens and reduced the
amount of sexual activity among those who were sexually active. The New York Times reports that the study is already beginning to shake up the debate over
how to best reduce incidence of sexually transmitted infections and
pregnancy in teenagers.
Florida HIV/AIDS Insurance Program Faces Budget Crisis
The Florida Department of Health’s AIDS Insurance Continuation Program, which provides assistance to HIV-positive people who can no longer maintain private health coverage, has been struggling financially. Last summer, it had to institute a waiting list in response to an increased caseload, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. In South Florida alone, nearly 50,000 people are living with the virus.
IAS Urges G20 World Leaders to Renew Fight for Universal Access to HIV Treatment In anticipation of the G8 and G20 summits, which Canada will host in June, the International AIDS Society (IAS) is calling on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper—and, in turn, leaders from around the globe—to honor the country’s 2005 commitment to financing global access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.
Study: “Abstinence-Only” Delays Sexual Activity in Pre-Teens
Abstinence-only sex education delayed sexual activity among pre-teens, and it reduced the amount of recent sexual activity among those who were already sexually active, according to a study published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine and reported in ScienceDaily.
Precious Receives 6 Oscar Nods, Including Best Picture The film Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire received six Academy Award nominations—including best picture and best director—for its story of a black teenage girl who overcomes sexual and physical abuse in addition to illiteracy, only to learn that she is HIV positive. The awards ceremony will air March 7 on ABC.
Takeover of St. Vincent’s in NYC Would Retain Hospital’s HIV Services A large New York City hospital system called Continuum Health Partners offered to take over St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, prompting an outcry from health care advocates who fear many hospital programs will be compromised, The New York Times reports. Continuum affirmed that St. Vincent’s well-known HIV and psychiatric services would continue.
South Africa: Military to Recruit HIV-Positive Soldiers The government has approved a new HIV/AIDS policy that allows the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) to recruit and selectively deploy HIV-positive soldiers; this overturns a previous provision excluding soldiers living with HIV, reports PlusNews.
New Miss America Champions HIV Awareness The newly crowned Miss America 2010, Caressa Cameron of Fredericksburg, Virginia, promises to promote HIV awareness and education during her one-year reign, The Free Lance-Star reports. The platform is a personal one for Cameron, whose uncle died of AIDS-related illnesses when she was 8 years old.
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