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January 30, 2009
Nebraska Implements ADAP Waiting List
Nebraska is among the latest states to implement an AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting list, The Grand Island Independent reports. The Nebraska list includes about a dozen people without private health insurance.
North Carolina’s Oldest ASO Remains Open Despite Funding Loss
Its executive director left, 32 of its employees were laid off and its federal grants are on hold, but the Metrolina AIDS Project (MAP) in Charlotte, North Carolina, will remain open, though perhaps under a different name, The Charlotte Observer reports. 
Kenya: Female Genital Mutilation Falsely Viewed as HIV Prevention
In Kissi, a city in western Kenya, a new troublesome HIV prevention trend is emerging—using female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) as a means to halt the AIDS epidemic, reports IRIN/PlusNews. 
January 29, 2009
Unprotected Serodiscordant Sex Among MSM Ratchets Up in Sydney
An increased number of HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM) in Sydney are reporting having casual unprotected anal sex with HIV-positive partners, according to the online edition of AIDS and Behavior as reported by aidsmap.com.  
W. Virginia Resolution Would End Written Consent for HIV Test
West Virginia’s state Legislature has been asked by the Wheeling-Ohio County Board to overturn a law that requires doctors to receive written consent before administering an HIV test, The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register reports. 
House and Senate Include HIV Prevention in Stimulus Bills
Both the House and Senate versions of the economic stimulus bill allot millions to preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs), The Washington Times reports. 
January 28, 2009
Study Clears NYC of Children’s Deaths in AIDS Drug Trials
The Vera Institute of Justice—an independent nonprofit group—has released its findings addressing allegations that hundreds of HIV-positive New York City foster care children who took part in clinical drug trials from the late 1980s to 2005 were victims of racial discrimination and medical mismanagement, reports The New York Times.
Gates Foundation to Increase Global Spending Despite Recession
While the nonprofit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has lost about 20 percent of its assets due to the global economic crisis, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said on January 26 that the group will increase spending on global health, education and other efforts, Reuters reports.
Positive Former Green Beret Files Discrimination Suit Against State Department
A former Green Beret has filed a discrimination suit against the State Department and private security firm Triple Canopy for removing him from a training program due to a provision that requires contract employees to be “free from communicable disease,” including HIV, reports The Washington Post. The provision was in the State Department’s World Personal Protective Services Contract with the company.
January 27, 2009
Antonio Pagán, Controversial Former NYC Councilman, Dies
Former Democratic New York City councilman Antonio Pagán, known for his inconsistent stances on low-income and AIDS housing programs, died Sunday morning at Beth Israel Medical Center, The New York Times reports. He was 50. The cause of death is unknown.
Many Gay Brits Support HIV Criminalization
Fifty-seven percent of gay men in the United Kingdom support imprisoning HIV-positive people who recklessly infect others, according to a recent study published by Sigma Research—a social research group that specializes in human behavior, HIV and sexual health—and reported on by aidsmap.com.
Cambodia Nears 2010 Goal of ARV Treatment for Most
With more than 92 percent of HIV-positive Cambodians receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in 2008, Cambodia is closer to its goal of making the drugs available to 97 percent of those who need them by 2010, Xinhua News Agency reports.
January 26, 2009
Obama Administration Asks PEPFAR Head Mark Dybul to Resign
President Barack Obama’s administration has asked U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and administrator of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), ambassador Mark Dybul, to tender his resignation immediately, according to CQ HealthBeat as reported by kaisernetwork.org.
Indonesia’s Transgendered Community Seeks More Protections
Despite a high-profile equal rights campaign in Indonesia, transgendered people—particularly those living with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—are still experiencing a large amount of discrimination, reports The Jakarta Post.
After HIV Uptick, Testing Funds Requested in Palm Springs, CA
A recent spike in new HIV diagnoses in California’s Coachella Valley has prompted the Desert AIDS Project (DAP) to seek additional funds for more testing resources from the Riverdale County Department of Public Health, The Desert Sun reports. 
January 23, 2009
Marty Delaney, Founder of Project Inform, Dies
Marty Delaney, founder of Project Inform and a prominent HIV/AIDS treatment activist, died on Friday, January 23, according to longtime friend and AIDSmeds senior writer David Evans.
Obama Lifts Global “Gag Rule” on Reproductive Health
President Obama has repealed a policy that restricts funding to organizations worldwide with reproductive health services that provide abortion, Reuters reports. 
African-American MSM Conference Begins in Atlanta
The National African-American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS is being held January 22 to 25 in Atlanta, the Southern Voice reports. Hosted by the National AIDS Education and Services for Minorities, the fifth annual conference will focus on how to slow HIV rates among black men who have sex with men (MSM).
January 22, 2009
“Milk” Nominated for Eight Oscars
Milk, Gus Van Sant’s film chronicling the life of late gay rights activist Harvey Milk, received eight Oscar nominations on January 22, including best picture, best director, best original screenplay (Dustin Lance Black), best actor (Sean Penn) and best supporting actor (Josh Brolin), The New York Times reports.
Success and Setbacks for Atlantic City’s Needle-Exchange Program
While Atlantic City’s three-year needle exchange program is successfully distributing clean needles in an effort to stem the spread of HIV and hepatitis, it’s struggling to refer addicted clients to drug treatment, Newsday reports. 
PREFA Acquires Food for HIV-Positive People in Uganda
The Ugandan nongovernmental organization PREFA, which works to protect and prevent families against HIV, has created food security and nutrition programs for HIV-positive people in Masindi, Bulisa and Kayunga districts, The New Vision reports. 
January 21, 2009
Renowned Iranian AIDS Doctors Convicted
Two Iranian AIDS physicians—brothers Arash and Kamiar Alaei, MD—were convicted for allegedly participating in a U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow the country’s Islamic government, The Associated Press reports. 
Study: Term “On the Down Low” Could Harm HIV Prevention for Black Men
The use of the term “on the down low” in HIV prevention strategies may weaken efforts to understand the nature of HIV risk among African-American men, aidsmap.com reports. In the United States, HIV infection rates are seven times higher among African-American men than they are for white men.
Advocates Call on Obama to Revamp Global AIDS Relief
The United Nations will soon hold meetings and conferences to establish international standards on HIV/AIDS, family planning and human rights—and social progressives are urging President Barack Obama to influence a departure from the former administration’s conservative values, reports The Washington Post
January 20, 2009
PrEP Studies Raise HIV Prevention Concerns
With worldwide clinical trials currently under way for a drug regimen that could boost HIV immunity before exposure—known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—public health officials worry that high-risk groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM) might abandon condoms and have unprotected sex if the pill becomes widely available, ABC News reports.
AIDS Deaths Decrease in Iowa as New Infections Climb
Although more Iowans are being diagnosed with HIV, fewer are dying from AIDS, The Associated Press reports. The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that 1,567 people in Iowa were living with HIV or AIDS in 2008. 
Project Inform Founder Martin Delaney Honored for AIDS Work
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) presented AIDS activist Martin Delaney, founder and longtime director of HIV advocacy and education organization Project Inform, with the NIAID Director’s Special Recognition Award for his contributions to the fight against AIDS, according to the institute’s website.
January 16, 2009
Former UNAIDS Head Peter Piot Joins the Gates Foundation
Peter Piot, MD, PhD, former founding executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) and co-discoverer of the Ebola virus, has agreed to serve briefly as a health adviser to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.
Increased HIV Deaths in Bali Prison
The number of HIV-related deaths in Bali’s Kerobokan State Penitentiary has increased during the past year, The Jakarta Post reports.
Penile Size May Cause Men to Be Negative Toward Condom Usage
According to a new report, men with short or relatively large penises are more likely to have negative attitudes toward condom fit and feel, aidsmap.com reports. 
January 15, 2009
San Francisco Falls Short of MSM HIV Prevention Goal
Five years ago, San Francisco health officials aimed to reduce by 50 percent new HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) by 2008; however, the latest data show that the city failed to reach that goal, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
How Often Are Young People Really Using Condoms?
A new study shows that many teenagers and young adults tend to overestimate how often they use a condom during sex, Reuters reports. 
New Orleans Officials Revamp Ryan White Distribution Process
After last year’s six-month delay in allocating millions of federal Ryan White funding for HIV/AIDS treatment and services, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration says it plans to speed up this year’s process, The Times-Picayune reports.
January 14, 2009
South Dakota’s HIV, STI Cases Rose in 2008
According to the South Dakota Health Department’s 2008 infectious disease report, the Midwestern state saw an increase in HIV/AIDS cases, The Associated Press reports. 
Positive People to Receive First-Time ARV Therapy in Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) will for the first time offer antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to 40 of the 504 known HIV-positive people living in the country, IRIN/PlusNews reports. There are 2,000 to 2,500 suspected HIV/AIDS cases nationwide.
Mark Dybul to Continue Overseeing PEPFAR Under Obama
Ambassador Mark Dybul, President George W. Bush’s U.S. global AIDS coordinator, announced that he will remain at the helm of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief under Barack Obama’s administration for an indeterminate time period, The Washington Post reports. 
January 13, 2009
Fifth Annual PEPFAR Report Released
President George W. Bush’s administration on January 12 released its fifth annual report to Congress on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which outlines the program’s first five years, according to Agence France-Presse. 
European Officials Call on U.S. to End HIV Notifications for Travelers
The European Commission has asked the United States to finally remove legislation requiring U.S.-bound passengers to inform authorities of their HIV status before entering the country, Agence France-Presse reports. HIV remains on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) list of communicable diseases, placing travel restrictions on HIV-positive foreigners. 
Dallas County Authorizes Condom Distribution
Dallas County commissioners voted 3 to 2 on January 13 to allow health workers to distribute free condoms in high-risk neighborhoods to prevent the spread of HIV, The Dallas Morning News reports.
January 12, 2009
Looking Back on Bush’s Fight Against AIDS
The Associated Press (AP) on January 11 examined George W. Bush’s AIDS legacy in Africa, where his President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has helped provide antiretroviral treatment to more than 2 million people living with the virus. 
HIV-Positive Surgeon Should Return to Work
Israel’s Ministry of Health has recommended that an HIV-positive heart surgeon be allowed to return to work without any restrictions and should not be required to disclose his status to prospective patients, Reuters reports. 
Lutheran Bishops to Get HIV Tests to Raise Awareness
The bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will take HIV tests at their upcoming spring conference March 5?10 in Itasca, Illinois, in order to raise awareness about screening for the disease, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
January 09, 2009
Prominent AIDS Activist Arrested in Senegal
Nine men in Senegal, including the head of an AIDS service organization, were sentenced to eight years in prison on January 7 for criminal conspiracy and engaging in homosexual acts, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
New Bill May End Ban on Federal Funding for Syringe Exchange Programs
Congressman José E. Serrano (D–N.Y.) opened the 111th Congress on January 6 with a bill that would lift the ban on federally funded syringe exchange programs, according to the Harm Reduction Coalition. He is joined by 27 co-sponsors. 
Florida HIV Clinic Owner Admits to Health Care Fraud
Orlando Pascual Jr., the owner and operator of Medcore Group LLC and M&P Group of South Florida, pleaded guilty January 7 to defrauding the Medicare program in connection with a $5.3 million HIV infusion fraud scheme, South Florida Business Journal reports.
January 08, 2009
Possible HIV Link to Papua New Guinean Burnt to Death
A young girl in Papua New Guinea was burnt to death in what officials believe may be the latest sorcery killing in the country’s lawless jungle highlands, a common punishment for women accused of sorcery, adultery or spreading HIV/AIDS, Times Online reports. The reason for her murder remains unknown. 
Cambodia Bolsters Mother-to-Child HIV Prevention
A young girl in Papua New Guinea was burnt to death in what officials believe may be the latest sorcery killing in the country’s lawless jungle highlands, a common punishment for women accused of sorcery, adultery or spreading HIV/AIDS, Times Online reports. The reason for her murder remains unknown. 
California Groups Hope to Unite Local Neuropathy Community
With 2 million California residents living with neuropathy—a nerve condition common in HIV-positive people—various chapters of the state’s Neuropathy Association hope to raise awareness about the disorder, the Mercury News reports. 
January 07, 2009
Binge Drinking Raises HIV Risk in New York
New Yorkers who consume five or more alcoholic drinks on a single occasion at least once a month are more likely than moderate drinkers to contract HIV or other sexually transmitted infections, Crain’s New York Business reports.
Low-Income HIV-Positive Indians Benefit From State Pension Plan
A new government ruling in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh will allocate a monthly pension of 200 rupees (about $4.08) to its low-income HV-positive residents to help pay for antiretroviral therapy, The Times of India reports. 
HIV-Positive Pastor Charged With Sexual Abuse of Minor
A central Kentucky-based pastor has admitted to having unprotected sex with a 15-year-old and not disclosing his HIV-positive status to the minor, MSNBC reports. 
January 06, 2009
Tommy Morrison’s In-Ring Return Worries Boxing Officials
An Australian boxing doctor has raised concern over allegedly HIV-positive U.S. boxer Tommy Morrison’s return to the sport, months ahead of the former world heavyweight champion’s proposed bout in Melbourne against Australian heavyweight champion John Hopoate, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Survey: Abstinence Vows Fail to Prevent Teen Sex
Teenagers who promise to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not and are less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they have sex, The Washington Post reports. 
S. Africa’s President Appoints Positive Judge to Highest Court
South Africa’s first senior official to reveal his HIV-positive status was appointed to the country’s Constitutional Court, Pink News reports.
January 05, 2009
Connecticut Hospitals Offer Free HIV Testing in ERs
Emergency departments in three Connecticut hospitals—Yale-New Haven Hospital, Waterbury Hospital and Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London—are participating in a national pilot program that offers free HIV testing, The New York Times reports.
Cell Phone Soap Opera Helps Fight HIV
A New Jersey safe-sex campaign aims to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among women through a series of 20-minute soap operas that they can watch on their cell phones, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
Head of U.K.’s Premier HIV Charity Is Knighted
Nick Partridge, chief executive of the United Kingdom’s largest HIV/AIDS charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), received a knighthood on December 31 for his 20 years of service to health care, aidsmap.com reports. 
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