Positive Men Have Higher Rates of Anal Cancer While antiretroviral (ARV) therapy is helping countless HIV-positive people live longer, a study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes reveals that anal cancer poses an increasing risk among positive men who have sex with men (MSM), Aidsmap.com reports.
Bush Reauthorizes PEPFAR
President George W. Bush on July 30 signed into law a bill that will triple the country’s global spending to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
July 29, 2008
Doubts That Nevirapine Reduces HIV Breast-Feeding Risk AIDS researchers have found that the inexpensive antiretroviral drug nevirapine can prevent HIV transmission through breast feeding, which is a significant issue in developing countries. However, the drug often can result in liver failure, rashes, low white blood cell counts and drug resistance, The New York Times reports.
Ugandan HIV Activist Missing
Usaam Auf Mukwaya, a Ugandan HIV activist, has been missing since last Friday, reports the Pink News (pinknews.com, 7/28).
Dr. Timothy Mastro on the Future of PrEP At the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City next week, Tim Mastro, MD, the senior director of Family Health International (FHI), will present findings from his study about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), reports Fox Business (foxbusiness.com, 7/28).
Positive Woman Gets 3 Years in Prison for Spitting An HIV-positive Georgia woman was charged with aggravated assault and sentenced to three years in prison for spitting on another woman, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports (ledger-enquirer.com, 7/23).
Afghanistan Opens New HIV/AIDS Centers Four cities in Afghanistan will house HIV/AIDS projects to enhance awareness, tackle stigma, identify policy gaps and provide recommendations for preventing the epidemic’s spread, PlusNews reports (plusnews.org 7/23).
Doctors Overlook Early HIV Symptoms British doctors are overlooking HIV symptoms, according to the National AIDS Trust. An opportunity to prevent further infections is being lost, the BBC reports.
House Passes PEPFAR Reauthorization Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives voted July 24 to triple spending to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world during the next five years, The Associated Press/The New York Times reports.
July 24, 2008
House to Move PEPFAR Reauthorization to Oval Office The U.S. House of Representatives on July 24 prepared to pass and send the $48 billion five-year President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to President George W. Bush, The Associated Press reports.
Combining Treatments for TB and HIV
Researchers urge tuberculosis (TB) prevention and treatment to be integrated into HIV-related programs, according to a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and reported on by Xinhuanet.
July 23, 2008
CDC to Release Revised HIV Estimates The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release its long-anticipated revised HIV incidence estimates August 3, Reuters reports.
Sex Taboos in Pakistan Hurt HIV Prevention Seven times as many men as women are living with HIV in Pakistan, but HIV stigma and taboos around sex make it difficult to successfully address the epidemic, The New York Times reports.
Latino HIV Infections Rising HIV infections are rising in the United State’s Latino population, bordering on a public health crisis, The Washington Post reports.
July 22, 2008
New Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Funds AIDS Charity In recognition of music legend Elton John before his first-ever Vermont performance on July 21, Ben & Jerry’s is offering an exclusive flavor honoring him. Proceeds will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Associated Press reports.
Should AIDS Remain a Global Emergency?
A new study examines whether HIV/AIDS should still be considered a global crisis in the age of antiretroviral medications, IRIN/PlusNews reports. Published in the June 2008 issue of Population and Development Review, the study asserts that HIV incidence worldwide has peaked.
Iran Detains Two HIV Activists Human Rights Watch has demanded that Iranian authorities either charge or release two doctors famous for their work in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, BBC News reports.
New Praise—and Criticism—for Antiretroviral Therapy A new report by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) says that while antiretrovirals (ARVs) are extending lives in Africa, hunger and poverty remain life-threatening problems for HIV-positive people, IRIN/PlusNews reports.
July 21, 2008
AIDS Funding Crisis in the South Federal funding to combat HIV/AIDS in the United States has largely ignored the South, according to a report from the Southern AIDS Coalition. HIV support, prevention and treatment programs in the region are struggling to stay afloat, Alabama newspaper The Birmingham News reports.
McCain and Obama to Discuss HIV at Church Forum Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama will make a joint appearance onstage with the Rev. Rick Warren on August 16 at his church in Lake Forest, California, for interviews on decision making, HIV/AIDS, poverty and the environment, The New York Times reports.
U.K. Sex Ed Should Target Young Gay Men New infections among the United Kingdom’s young gay men have more than doubled during the past decade, prompting the country’s National AIDS Trust to demand that sex and relationship education in schools focus more on same-sex relationships, Medical News Today reports.
Senate Reauthorizes PEPFAR On July 16, the U.S. Senate voted to triple funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which would allocate $50 billion to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS around the world, the Associated Press reports.
Arkansas AIDS Task Force to Push for Insurance Reform In a July 14 meeting, The Arkansas HIV/AIDS Minority Task Force discussed recommending to state lawmakers that insurance companies be required to cover people living with HIV in the state, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.
Free HIV Meds for Congo’s Children Congo health officials announced July 15 that free HIV/AIDS tests and anti-malaria medication will be made available to children and pregnant women, Agence France-Presse reports.
Needle Exchange for Canadian Prisons?
Canadian health activists want needle-exchange programs implemented in federal prisons in order to stop the rising number of inmates infected with HIV and hepatitis C, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
PEPFAR May Pass With Overwhelming Bipartisan Support
Amendments that would have significantly altered the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) were rejected by a broad, bipartisan majority of Senators on July 15, suggesting that the bill could pass with massive bipartisan support, according to CQ Today/Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report.
July 15, 2008
Sex Counseling for Recovering Drug Users in Russia Safer-sex counseling for people enrolled in drug-use treatment programs can help lower the risk of HIV transmission for both positive and negative people, according to researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, as reported by the Indian news site ANI/New Kerala.
Positive Children Banned From U.K. Schools HIV-positive children in the United Kingdom are being denied entry into primary and secondary schools despite HIV antidiscrimination laws, U.K. newspaper The Guardian reports.
Safety of Indian AIDS Meds Challenged in U.S. Probe India’s largest pharmaceutical company faces a U.S. investigation into allegations that the company made weak or adulterated HIV drugs given to thousands of AIDS patients in Africa and tried to cover it up, The Wall Street Journal reports.
July 14, 2008
Condoms Slip Through Gaza Strip Blockade United Nations agencies and Palestinian organizations vow that condom distribution in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip will continue despite Israel’s blockade of the region, PlusNews reports.
Does Internet Dating Boost Syphilis Rates Among MSM? According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, men who have sex with men (MSM) in the city are more likely to find sex partners online, which the researchers link to a rise in regional syphilis infections among men with same-sex partners, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Delayed PEPFAR Reauthorization Approaches Senate
Senate voting on the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a multibillion dollar AIDS package for Africa, is scheduled for the Senate this week after a tactical delay by some Republicans, the Associated Press/Forbes.com reports.
Unprotected Sex Limits Treatment-as-Prevention Theory, Study Finds Reported increases in unprotected sexual behaviors and risk taking since the arrival of protease inhibitors in 1996 threatens to eliminate any benefits from such antiretroviral therapy to reduce sexual infectiousness, according to a new study in the journal AIDS, AIDSmap reports.
Prince Harry Speaks Out Against HIV in Lesotho While helping to renovate a dilapidated school for mentally and physically disabled children in the southern African nation of Lesotho July 8, Prince Harry addressed the kingdom’s mounting AIDS epidemic, the U.K.’s Times Online reports.
July 10, 2008
Black Pastors Preach HIV Awareness in Nashville The Nashville Metro Health Department is teaming with local black pastors in raising HIV/AIDS awareness and promoting testing among parishioners, the Associated Press/Clarksville Leaf Chronicle reports.
More Than 400 HIV Infections Reported in Afghanistan Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health stated on July 9 that while 435 HIV cases have been recorded in the country, as many as 2,000-2,500 people may be living with the virus in the nation of almost 32 million, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reports.
July 09, 2008
Condoleezza Rice Honored for Defense of Accused HIV Infectors U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was awarded a medal on July 9 for helping to free imprisoned medical personnel sentenced to death after being accused of deliberately infecting 460 Libyan children with HIV, Reuters reports. The group says they are innocent, and that Libyan authorities tortured them and forced a confession.
UNITAID to Push for Lower HIV Med Prices UNITAID, the international agency created in 2006 to buy medicines to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria across the globe, is endorsing the creation of a panel focused on lowering drug prices in developing countries, reports The New York Times.
Caribbean Leader Wants $50 Million for HIV/AIDS Fight The prime minister of the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis will ask fellow regional leaders to contribute to a $50 million initiative to fight HIV/AIDS in the region over the next five years, The Miami Herald reports.
HIV Vaccine May Begin Human Testing
An Atlanta-based company specializing in prevention and treatment hopes to begin a human trial of its HIV vaccine this fall, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
America’s Southern Black “AIDS Apartheid” In an essay published in the political journal The American Prospect, writer Kai Wright calls for increased attention to AIDS among America’s black community—particularly those in the prison system—and a refocused assessment on domestic access to care for people living with HIV.
G-8 Countries Pledge Aid to Skeptical Africa
Activists were disappointed in African aid packages proposed during the second week of July by the Group of Eight industrialized nations meeting in Japan, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
Microbicide Trials Could Spur HIV Resistance According to a mathematical model, vaginal and rectal microbicide gels used to prevent HIV infection in women may lead to drug-resistant strains of the virus, Australia’s ABC Science Online reports. Researchers also found that microbicides may actually protect heterosexual men from infection more than their female peers.
July 07, 2008
Red Cross Declares HIV a Global Disaster HIV should be considered a “global disaster,” says the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in its World Disasters Report 2008. An editorial published in the July 5 edition of U.K.-based medical journal The Lancet responds to this assessment—as reported by AIDSmap.com—urging an increased humanitarian effort.
Stealing HIV Meds to Mix With Marijuana Recreational drug users in Durban, South Africa, are stealing HIV medications from positive people, crushing them and mixing them with marijuana to get high, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
G-8 Countries Hold One Another Accountable on AIDS
Leaders and diplomats from the Group of Eight (G-8) major industrial nations are assessing each country’s aid to Africa, The Washington Post reports.. Several recent studies suggest the G-8 countries will miss the goal, set in 2005, to double developmental assistance to Africa to $50 billion annually unless nations reenergize their efforts.
July 03, 2008
Ex-Senators Pledge AIDS Awareness in ’08 Election
Former Pennsylvania U.S. Senators Rick Santorum and Harris Wofford will be state cochairs of ONE Vote ’08, a national advocacy group pressing presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain to address poverty and global disease, including AIDS, during in the upcoming campaign, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
UNAIDS Praises Indian Politicians
Indian leaders have boosted HIV/AIDS awareness and have helped cut the number of new infections in many of the country’s remote regions, according to a UNAIDS report released on June 30, Reuters reports.
July 02, 2008
Bono’s (RED) to Launch Music Service RED), the nonprofit consumer AIDS advocacy organization cofounded by U2 frontman Bono, unveiled a digital music service June 30 that will benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The New York Times reports.
S.C. Continues HIV School Notification
On June 25, South Carolina legislators upheld Governor Mark Sanford’s veto of a bill that would have eliminated the state’s mandatory notification of nurses, teachers and administrators whenever an HIV-positive student in grades K through 12 enrolls in their school, the Associated Press (AP)/The Augusta Chronicle reports.