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January 29, 2010
Activists: NYC’s Proposed Budget Would Cut HIV, Housing Services
AIDS activists are criticizing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for releasing a fiscal year 2011 (FY11) budget proposal that cuts services for low-income, HIV-positive New Yorkers. 
Minnesota to Launch HIV Education Programs for Young MSM
In response to a 17-year high in new HIV cases in 2009, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has announced a plan to create more HIV testing and education programs aimed at men who have sex with men (MSM) ages 15 to 24, reports minnpost.com.
USAID Grants $5 Million to Kenyan HIV Program and Indiana University
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) granted $5 million to a partnership between the Indiana University School of Medicine and a medical school and hospital in Kenya to bolster access to HIV treatment in the sub-Saharan African country, the Chicago Tribune reports. 
January 28, 2010
Poltergeist Actress and HIV Activist Zelda Rubinstein Dies at 76
Actress and HIV activist Zelda Rubinstein—best known for her role as diminutive psychic Tangina Barrons in the Poltergeist films—died January 26 at the Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles, The Advocate reports. She was 76.
Man Uses Needles Allegedly Containing HIV as Weapon in Robberies
A Delaware man is suspected of robbing a series of stores in Pennsylvania and threatening to stab employees with hypodermic needles he claims contain HIV, according to KYW Newsradio. 
Canada Stalls Plans for HIV Vaccine Production Facility
The Canadian government’s $88 million initiative to build an HIV-vaccine manufacturing facility has stalled without an explanation, reports The Globe and Mail.
January 27, 2010
Bill Gates Talks HIV Prevention, Vaccines in 2010 Annual Letter
Writing as the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates discussed HIV/AIDS in his annual letter. The Microsoft billionaire-turned-philanthropist stressed the importance of scaling up prevention efforts such as male circumcision, ensuring access to care in developing countries and supporting vaccine research.
New HIV Diagnoses Reach 17-Year High in Minnesota
The number of new HIV diagnoses in Minnesota increased from 326 in 2008 to 368 in 2009—the state’s highest number in 17 years—according to state health officials and reported by The Associated Press. 
Haitian AIDS Group GHESKIO Still Operating After Earthquake
In the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, GHESKIO, an AIDS organization based in Port-au-Prince, continues to provide lifesaving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to those in need, Agence France-Presse reports. 
January 26, 2010
AIDS Healthcare Foundation Bans Merck Reps Over Drug Costs
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is accusing Merck of overcharging for the antiretroviral Isentress (raltegravir) and is banning the company’s representatives from its clinics, Agence France-Presse reports. 
New Yorkers’ Life Expectancy Highest in City’s History
New Yorkers are now living longer than ever, according to new data released by city health officials as reported by the New York Daily News. City health commissioner Thomas Farley attributed New Yorkers’ longevity to better lifestyle habits. 
Abbot Submits Early Detection HIV Test for FDA Approval
Abbott Laboratories has submitted a Premarket Approval application for its Architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for expedited review. The assay simultaneously tests for HIV antigens (proteins produced by the virus) as well as antibodies (proteins produced by the body). 
January 25, 2010
More Men Getting HIV Tests in Johannesburg
HIV testing among men in Johannesburg increased from 24 percent to 60 percent in the past year, according to a new survey reported on by news24.com. 
South Dakota: HIV Incidence Reaches Five-Year Low
New HIV infections in South Dakota have reached their lowest point in five years, according to South Dakota’s health department and reported on by the Argus Leader. There were 21 new cases in 2009, down from 34 the previous year. 
More HIV Cases Arise Long After China’s Blood Buying Scandal
It has been confirmed that more than 80 patients who received blood transfusions longer than a decade ago at a hospital in central China have just tested HIV positive, Agence France-Presse reports. 
January 22, 2010
HIV Activist, UNAIDS Staffer Eric Sawyer Carries the Olympic Torch
Eric Sawyer, a founding member of activist group ACT UP New York and the civil society partnerships advisor with UNAIDS, carried the Olympic flame in Calgary, Canada, on January 20 as part of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. 
Study: Herpes Therapy Does Not Reduce HIV Transmission Risk
Treating herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) in HIV-positive people does not reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners, according to study from University of Washington at Seattle and reported by MedPage Today. 
HIV-Positive Former Olympic Equestrian Arrested for Not Disclosing to Partner
Former U.S. Olympic equestrian Darren Chiacchia was charged with not disclosing his HIV-positive status before having sex with his partner, violating Florida Statute 384.24(2), ocala.com reports.
January 21, 2010
Scottish HIV Groups: Proof of HIV Transmission Needed for Legal Prosecution
After Mark Devereaux was convicted of having unprotected sex with four women without disclosing his HIV-positive status, HIV groups in Scotland said there should be the highest standard of proof before prosecution of reckless transmission of the virus, BBC News reports. Out of the four women Devereaux had sex with, one tested positive for HIV.
Rockland, N.Y., Day Camp Found Guilty of HIV Discrimination
A U.S. district judge has ruled that the Deer Mountain Day Camp in Rockland County, New York, violated state and federal discrimination laws when it turned away a 10-year-old boy because he is HIV positive, reports The Journal News
Illinois ADAP Faces Budget Cuts as Enrollment Predicted to Spike
Illinois’s $12 billion budget deficit might force the state to cut funding to its AIDS drug assistant program (ADAP), which helps low-income HIV-positive people pay for medications, the Windy City Times reports. 
January 20, 2010
Study: High-Risk Populations Might Not Accept an HIV Vaccine
If an HIV vaccine were to become widely available, many high-risk populations would still have difficulty accepting it, according to researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). Their findings are published in the December/January issue of Health Services Research, a peer-reviewed medical journal. 
U.S. Justice Department Settles HIV Discrimination Suit in Alabama
The U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement in a discrimination lawsuit against Wales West RV Resort and Train and Garden Lovers Family Park in Silverhill, Alabama. 
AIDS Activists React to Press Coverage of Online HIV Hoax
HIV activists and media experts are criticizing the coverage of an online hoax in which an allegedly HIV-positive woman claimed in a video to have intentionally transmitted the virus to 500 people, The Michigan Messenger reports. The woman, Jackie Braxton of Detroit, is actually HIV negative and was not charged for the hoax. 
January 19, 2010
No Charges Filed Against Detroit Woman for Online HIV Hoax
A Detroit woman who posted a video clip in which she claimed to have intentionally transmitted HIV to 500 people told police the clip was a hoax, The Associated Press (AP) reports. No charges have been filed. 
Johns Hopkins Awarded $8 Million for HIV Eradication Research
The National Institutes of Mental Health have awarded $8 million to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore to develop methods to fully eradicate HIV from the body and the nervous system.
U.S. Student’s African AIDS Charity Is Finalist in $1 Million Facebook Contest
Notre Dame student Jeff Lakusta’s Eyes on Africa Foundation—which supports orphanages and people living with and affected by HIV—is one of 100 finalists in Facebook’s national Chase Community Giving contest, The Dallas Morning News reports. The prize is $1 million.
January 15, 2010
Woman Claims She Intentionally Transmitted HIV to More Than 500 People
In a video posted on mediatakeout.com, an unidentified woman claims to have intentionally transmitted HIV to more than 500 people, The Associated Press reports. Authorities are working to determine whether the video is a hoax. (Watch video.)
HIV-Positive Pilot Files Damages Suit for Status Disclosure
San Francisco pilot Stanmore Cooper is suing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Social Security Administration (SSA), the U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies for freely sharing information about his HIV status, claiming a violation of the Privacy Act, law.com reports. 
Zambia: Human Rights Commission Provides HIV Education to Prisoners
Educators in Zambia’s prisons are being trained about human rights and HIV issues, such as HIV prevention, treatment and care, Post Zambia reports. 
January 14, 2010
Uganda to Amend Proposed Antigay Bill Following Global Outcry
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said a proposed bill to further criminalize homosexual activity in the country will be softened in response to international pressure, The Guardian reports.
Pittsburgh Researcher Granted $17.5 Million to Develop Rectal Microbicide Gel
University of Pittsburgh researcher Ian McGowan, MD, has received two grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling $17.5 million to research and develop a rectal microbicide gel to prevent HIV transmission through anal sex, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. 
Rhode Island Might Cut $375,000 in AIDS Funding
Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri has proposed cutting $375,000 in HIV/AIDS funding to counter budget deficits, The Associated Press reports. 
January 13, 2010
New York State AIDS Housing Bill Passes Assembly
A bill that would reduce housing cost for more than 11,000 HIV-positive New Yorkers living in government-subsidized housing passed the State Assembly by a vote of 82 to 54, timesunion.com reports. 
China Launches Weekly HIV Radio Show
One of China’s leading state-run radio networks is launching a nationwide, AIDS-focused program featuring HIV-positive hosts, Xinhua News Agency reports. 
DC, NIH Unveil $26.4 Million HIV Testing and Treatment Initiative
Washington, DC, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are launching a $26.4 million initiative to fight the district’s HIV/AIDS epidemic by expanding testing and treatment, The Washington Post reports. 
January 12, 2010
Chicago Man Claims He Is HIV Positive to Ward Off Train Attackers
A Chicago man claims he was able to escape a beating on a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train on January 10 by smearing his blood on the attackers and telling them he was HIV positive, which he is not, the Chicago Tribune reports. 
New Jersey Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Bill
The New Jersey Legislature passed a bill January 11 to legalize medical marijuana, The New York Times reports. 
UNAIDS Chief Calls for Elimination of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission by 2015
UNAIDS executive director Michele Sidibe said new programs must be implemented in Africa to stop mother-to-child HIV transmission entirely by 2015 in order to achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, Capital News reports. 
January 11, 2010
Lady Gaga, Dr. Dre Partner With (Product) Red
Pop songstress Lady Gaga will sell a (Product) Red edition of her Heartbeats headphones, USA Today reports. 
Iowa: 2009 Might Mark Largest Single-Year Increase in State HIV Incidence
If Iowa’s HIV incidence from the first half of 2009 continued for the rest of the year, the state could experience one of its largest single-year HIV infection increases, according to the Iowa Department of Health and reported on by The Iowa Independent.
Hillary Clinton Reiterates U.S. Support of Women’s Access to Contraception
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted the Obama administration’s continued support of the International Conference on Population and Development Action Plan, a 1994 agreement signed by 180 nations calling for universal access to contraception by 2015, All Headline News reports. 
January 08, 2010
Uganda Lawmaker Defends Antigay Bill
Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati, who proposed a controversial bill in September that would make acts of homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment or even death, said January 8 that he will refuse any request to withdraw the legislation, The New York Times reports. 
Pennsylvania Bar Offers Free Drinks to People Who Get Tested for HIV
Working in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Community Care Management, a nonprofit health care organization, Lucille’s Bar in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, offered free drinks on January 6 to people who get an HIV test, WJAC Johnstown reports. When people got their results, they received a $25 gift certificate. 
Study: Soda Fountain Bacteria Hazardous to the Immuno-Compromised
Bacteria found in restaurant or cafeteria soda fountain drinks can be a health risk to people with compromised immune systems, including people living with HIV, according to research from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, and reported on by CBS News.
January 07, 2010
Advocates for Sex Workers Fear HIV Risk at 2010 World Cup
Advocates in South Africa fear that an increased demand for sex workers during this year’s World Cup, which will take place from June 11 to July 11, will lead to a rise in new HIV infections, CNN reports. 
Division of NYC’s Housing Works Merges With AIDS Treatment Data Network
New York City AIDS service organization Housing Works’ announced a merger between its new Access to Care department and AIDS Treatment Data Network (ATDN), a treatment, research, advocacy and information clearinghouse. The alliance will allow both groups to better serve people living with HIV and hepatitis C while pushing for expanded access to care for both groups.
Adoption Agency Helps HIV-Positive Orphans Find Homes
Illinois-based Adoption-Link Inc. has found adoptive families for about 60 HIV-positive children through its Chances by Choice program, the Chicago Tribune reports. The organization works with an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where many of the children are living with HIV.
January 06, 2010
Safe Injection Pamphlet for New York City Drug Users Raises Controversy
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene created its “Take Charge, Take Care: 10 Tips for Safer Use” harm reduction pamphlet for injection drug users in 2007, but the brochure has come under fire recently, with critics claiming it promotes illicit activity, CNN reports. 
Study: Circumcision Lowers HIV and Bacterial Infection Risks
Circumcision not only reduces the risk of HIV transmission in men, but also drastically changes the bacteria on the penis, reducing the risk of HIV and bacterial infection transmission to female partners, suggests a study published in PloS ONE and reported on by United Press International. 
Study: HIV-Positive Postmenopausal Women Are Vulnerable to Bone Fractures
Postmenopausal women living with HIV are at risk for future bone fractures because of a high prevalence of low bone mineral density and high bone turnover, according to a new study reported on by Asian News International. The study will be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
January 05, 2010
HIV Experts: Transgender Identity Is a Medical Condition, Not a Mental Illness
Transgender identity should be classified as a medical condition and not a mental illness, according to HIV experts as reported by Pink News. The issue was raised at the second International Experts’ Meeting on HIV Prevention for MSM, WSW [men who have sex with men, and women who have sex with women] and Transgenders in Amsterdam last November.
STI Screenings Required for Pregnant Women in Texas
Texas health care providers are now required to test pregnant women for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) under the revised Texas Health and Safety Code, reports local CBS affiliate TXA 21. 
Anti-HIV Molecule Might Block Transmission
U.S. investigators have found a molecule called surfen that can block HIV transmission, Voice of America News reports. The molecule, first described in 1939, is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent that can bond to both HIV and white blood cells.
January 04, 2010
Man Files $30 Million Negligence Lawsuit After Contracting HIV
34-year-old Percy Whiteman of Toronto is filing a $30 million lawsuit against his HIV-positive ex-wife, Thai-born Suwalee Iamkhong, along with the Canada Border Services Agency, Immigration Canada and the Zanzibar Tavern—where she worked as a stripper—for negligence, claiming that failure to test her when she arrived in Canada in 1995 led to his contracting the virus, Canoe.com reports. 
New York Legislators Support HIV/AIDS Housing Bill
A bill offering more affordable housing to people living with HIV/AIDS has received support from both chambers of the New York legislature, The Associated Press reports. 
U.S. HIV Travel Ban Ends Officially
On January 4, the United States ended its 22-year-old ban on HIV-positive foreigners entering the country, BBC News reports. 
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