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July 31, 2009
Advocates: Cambodian “AIDS Colony” Violates Human Rights
More than 100 HIV/AIDS and social justice groups are urging the Cambodian government to stop sending families affected by HIV/AIDS to a so-called “AIDS colony,” Human Rights Watch reports. They delivered their message via a joint letter to the country’s prime minister and health minister. 
New Study to Examine Acute HIV Infection in Sub-Saharan Africa
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has given a $3.5 million grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) to research HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa, the Triangle Business Journal reports.
Queens, NY, Residents Reject Homeless Shelter for HIV-Positive People
New York City’s Human Resources Administration has decided not to send homeless clients who are HIV positive to a shelter in Elmhurst, Queens, because of protests from the neighborhood’s residents, the New York Daily News reports. Despite a rally against shelter earlier this month, the Queens Alliance, which runs similar facilities in other boroughs, plans to continue operating their Elmhurst location.
July 30, 2009
Advocates: Budget Cuts Will Increase HIV in California
AIDS advocates fear that severe cutbacks to California’s HIV/AIDS funds will increase HIV rates in the state’s hard hit regions, according to the Bay Area Reporter. Earlier this week, in an attempt to manage the state’s $24 billion deficit, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used his line-item veto power to cut $52 million in HIV/AIDS funding from his revised budget; coupled with cuts to the state’s Office of AIDS, this would eliminate as much as $85 million for HIV/AIDS funding. 
Veteran Is a Possible Source of HIV Exposure in VA Hospital Errors
Ron Hereford, an HIV-positive veteran, could be the possible source of HIV infections at hospitals administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), WMSV.com reports.
Students Who Think They’re “Invincible” Less Likely to Get STI Vaccines
Researchers from the University of Missouri have found that if a vaccine that protects against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were available, college students who believe themselves to be physically invulnerable, or “invincible,” would be less likely to seek it out, ScienceDaily reports.
July 29, 2009
Racy TV, Lack of Sex Ed Blamed for Increased STIs Among Illinois Teens
Sexualized images in the media and a lack of comprehensive sexual education in the classroom are being blamed for the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among teens, The State Journal-Register reports. 
About 53,000 Children in India Are HIV Positive
Nearly 53,000 of India’s 2.5 million HIV cases are children, the Times of India reports. 
More HIV/AIDS Funding Cuts in Revised California Budget
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made further cuts to HIV/AIDS services in the state’s revised budget using his line-item veto power, The Advocate reports. He also made deep cuts in programs for children and senior citizens.
July 28, 2009
Study: 17% of Chicago MSM Are HIV Positive; Half Don’t Know It
About 17 percent of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Chicago are HIV positive—half of whom are unaware of their status, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The HIV rate of the general male population is estimated at 1.2 percent.
Veterans to File Claims for VA Hospital Errors
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) soon will receive claims from an attorney on behalf of about 60 veterans to pay disability benefits and damages for exposure to infectious body fluids, The Associated Press reports. 
Lesbians in China Rally Against Country’s Ban on Gay Blood Donors
Lesbians in China have created an online petition urging the country’s government to eliminate a 1998 law that prohibits LGBT people from donating blood, The Associated Press reports. The petition has drawn 540 signatures so far, with the goal of reaching 1,000. 
July 27, 2009
House Bill With Restrictions Lifts Ban on Needle Exchanges
On July 24, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would lift the 21-year-old national ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs, The Washington Post reports. 
$80M Boost From Gates Foundation for HIV Prevention in India
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) increased its commitment to fund HIV prevention in India by $80 million, The Times of India reports. This new funding increases the previous commitment of $258 million to $338 million.
Alcoholism and HIV Might Affect Short-Term Memory
A new study has found that HIV infection and chronic drinking can cause problems with short-term episodic memory, HealthDay News reports.
July 24, 2009
FDA Warns Abbott Over Kaletra Ad Featuring Magic Johnson
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter to Abbott Laboratories regarding a promotional DVD in which HIV-positive basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson discusses his experiences with HIV medication Kaletra, Bloomberg reports.
Man’s HIV Status Raises Assault Charges in Biting Attack
Police upgraded assault and battery charges against a South Carolina man after discovering he is HIV positive, WSOC Charlotte reports. 
Pioneering AIDS Physician Joel Weisman Dies
Joel D. Weisman, MD, one of the first physicians to detect the AIDS epidemic in the United States, died July 18, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 66. He had heart disease and was sick for the past few months, said Bill Hutton, his partner of 17 years.
July 23, 2009
Abbott’s New Blood Test Detects HIV Earlier
An HIV test developed by Abbott can detect HIV antigens before viral antibodies are present, meaning that it can detect HIV sooner compared with tests currently on the market. According to research on the assay, presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, the test can effectively detect HIV from zero to nine days following infection.
Obama: Health Care Reform Will Boost Economy
In President Obama’s July 22 nationally televised address to the country, he said that health care reform is key to restoring the economy and that without immediate congressional action, “We are guaranteed to see Medicare and Medicaid basically break the federal budget,” The Washington Post reports. 
Scientists Discover HIV “Missing Link” in Primates
Scientist believe that a primate version of HIV—called simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)—is killing the endangered African chimpanzee at a high rate, The Associated Press reports. It had previously been believed that chimps, like other primates in the wild, did not get sick from SIV.
July 22, 2009
Study: Food Pre-Chewed by Positive Caregivers May Transmit HIV to Infants
U.S. researchers said they have “compelling evidence” that three infants have contracted HIV by eating food pre-chewed by their positive caregivers, a transmission route that has been not previously reported and has important global implications, Reuters reports. Their study is published in the latest issue of Pediatrics
Colorado Man Sentenced 15 Years for Transmitting HIV to Son
Shad Skov was sentenced to 15 years in prison for transmitting HIV to his son, The Associated Press reports. The Grand Junction, Colorado, man had not disclosed his status before having sex with the boy’s mother, his fiancée.
HIV-Positive Porn Actress Sues California Health Officials for Privacy Violations
An HIV-positive porn actress is suing the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) and the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM) for reportedly violating her rights to privacy, Courthouse News Service reports. 
July 21, 2009
Study: Male Circumcision Alone Does Not Reduce HIV Risk in Women
New research warns that the while male circumcision may have some public health benefits, the surgery alone does not reduce the risk of HIV transmission from men to women, Times Online reports. 
Pregnancy and STI Rates Climb Among U.S. Teenagers
A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that birth rates in teenagers increased in 2006 and 2007 and that sexual and reproductive health in young people has been declining in recent years, ABC News reports.
NY Senate Passes Three Measures to Benefit HIV-Positive People
Following an impassioned speech by openly gay and HIV-positive Senator Tom Duane (D-Manhattan), the New York State Senate passed three bills last week that will assist people living with HIV and improve HIV prevention efforts, Out in Buffalo reports. 
July 20, 2009
Lawsuit: LA County Too Lax on HIV Prevention in Porn Industry
A petition filed by the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation is urging the LA County Supreme Court to require that county health officials enforce stricter condom regulations and safety measures in the porn industry to better prevent transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among adult-film performers, the Los Angeles Times reports. 
Camp for HIV-Positive Children Closes Because of H1N1 Flu Virus
A camp session for homeless children and those living with HIV/AIDS was canceled after two of its volunteers tested positive for H1N1 virus (swine flu), The Associated Press reports. One Heartland, a Milwaukee-based charity, scheduled the weeklong camp to begin July 17 at Willow River in eastern Minnesota. 
Major HIV Vaccine Trial Continues Despite Funding Cut
Despite the lack of funding from South Africa’s government, clinical trials for an HIV vaccine that launched July 20 will continue with financial backing from the United States, The Associated Press reports. 
July 17, 2009
Amendment May Restrict Federally Funded Needle Exchange Programs in DC
A proposed amendment to the federal appropriation for Washington, DC, would reduce public funding for needle-exchange initiatives, The Washington Post reports. The House Appropriations Committee approved the bill earlier this month.
Federal Grant Will Fund HIV Prevention for Former Inmates in Austin
AIDS Services of Austin (ASA) will use a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health to create a substance abuse and HIV prevention program for former inmates, Austin Business Journal reports. 
NYS Sen. Duane Delivers Impassioned Speech on Behalf of People With HIV/AIDS
Duane is the first openly HIV-positive and the first openly gay member of the New York State Senate. (Watch video.)
July 16, 2009
Positive Spokane Man Charged Again for Failing to Disclose to Partners
An HIV-positive man in Spokane, Washington, who was charged with first degree assault for having sex with other men without disclosing his status, returned to court July 15 facing a second assault charge, KREM reports. 
Boston Takes Part in a Six-City Study on Black MSM
Boston’s Fenway Health and the Multicultural AIDS Coalition (MAC) are looking to recruit 330 HIV-positive and -negative black men who have sex with men (MSM) for Project Save Ourselves (SOS), the Boston branch of a new six-city study to find effective ways to combat HIV in the black gay community, Bay Windows reports. The study is also collecting data from black MSM in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, DC. 
Amarillo, Texas, Uses Federal Grant to Track HIV Needs
The Amarillo, Texas, city commission will use $51,636 from a Texas Department of State Health Service grant to set up an HIV surveillance program in the Texas Panhandle region, KFDA-TV reports. 
July 15, 2009
Florida Man Denied Hair Transplant Because He Is HIV Positive
A South Florida man claims he was refused a hair transplant because he is HIV positive and is suing the Age Defying Surgical Center (ADSC) in Fort Lauderdale for discrimination, NBC Los Angeles reports.
U.K. Sex Ed Booklet Teaches Teens That Sex Is Fun, Healthy
Britain’s Nation Health Services (NHS) has released a new sex education pamphlet that teaches teens the physical and emotional benefits of sex and masturbation, The Associated Press reports. The organization is facing opposition from some educators who fear the material will encourage casual sex among teens when the country already has high rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
California Clinics Cancel Needle Exchange as U.S. Lawmakers Revisit Ban
Open Door Community Health Centers’ clinics in Arcata and Eureka, California, have discontinued their needle exchange program this month because of a lack of resources, the Times-Standard reports. Open Door clinics in both areas exchanged more than a total of 190,000 needles in 2008.   
July 14, 2009
Obama Selects Alabama Family Doctor as Next Surgeon General
President Barack Obama has chosen a rural Alabama physician as the next surgeon general, The Associated Press reports. 
Unprotected Sex Puts Tijuana Sex Workers and Clients at Risk
U.S. and Mexican researchers have found that high incidence of unprotected sex and intravenous drug use among male clients of female sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico, is driving rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the region, United Press International reports.
July 13, 2009
French First Lady Spurs G8 to Honor Global HIV/AIDS Commitments
In a July 7 Guardian opinion piece, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, called on G8 leaders meeting last week in L’Aquila, Italy, to stay focused on HIV/AIDS despite the turbulent global economy. Bruni-Sarkozy is a global ambassador for HIV prevention for women and children with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. 
Kansas Advocates Petition for CVS to Unlock Condoms Nationwide
Advocates throughout Kansas join more than 200 groups nationwide in a petition urging drug store chain CVS Caremark Corp. to stop its practice of keeping condoms locked in cases, especially in low-income neighborhoods with high numbers of minorities, The Kansas City Star reports. The national petition is sponsored by Change to Win, a labor coalition. 
Dancer at Michigan Strip Club Sentenced for Not Disclosing HIV Status to Partner
A former exotic dancer at the Escape Reality strip club in Michigan entered a guilty plea July 10 to five charges and a no-contest plea to one count of engaging in a sex act without disclosing that she is HIV positive, the South Bend Tribune reports. 
July 10, 2009
Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Delhi, India, Draws Opposition
While HIV/AIDS advocates applauded the recent decriminalization of homosexuality in Delhi, India—a measure that would improve outreach efforts as well as access to testing and treatment—a new petition has been filed to reinstate the 148-year-old colonial-era law, BBC News reports.
Female Condoms Finally Profitable and Popular
The Female Health Company (FHCO), manufacturer of the only female prophylactic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is turning a profit for the first time in nearly 20 years thanks to the success of its second-generation female condom, the FC2, CNN Money reports.
New Facility Fills HIV Care Gap in Arlington County, Va.
A new health facility has opened two blocks down the road from the former Whitman-Walker Clinic in Arlington County, Virginia, in an effort to offer care to some of the HIV-positive clients who were treated at the clinic before it closed this year because of financial constraints, The Washington Post reports. 
July 09, 2009
AIDS Activists Arrested During Capitol Demonstration
Police arrested 26 AIDS activists earlier today, July 9, for holding a demonstration in the Capitol rotunda, The Associated Press (AP) reports. Demonstrators chanted “Fight global AIDS now” and “Clean needles save lives” while carrying signs in support of HIV prevention programs, treatment access, needle exchange funding and HIV/AIDS housing.
Beijing: New HIV Cases Up 21% in Past Year
The Beijing Disease Control and Prevention Center reported 501 new HIV cases during the first five months of this year, an increase of 90 cases from the same period in 2008, the Xinhua News Agency reports.
DC Health Officials Push for Opt-Out Routine HIV Testing
In response to the disproportionately high rate of HIV in Washington, DC—where at least 3 percent of the overall population is HIV positive—the district’s HIV/AIDS Administration is urging health care providers to make HIV testing a routine part of a doctor’s visit, The Washington Examiner reports. 
July 08, 2009
New Tool Helps Countries Estimate Health Workforces Needs
Software launched July 7 by the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA) will allow countries to better estimate their health workforce needs and scale up their health care systems. 
Illinois Appoints Its First Openly HIV-Positive Cabinet Member
It was announced on July 6 that  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has named Brent Adams—who is openly gay and HIV positive—as the Acting Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Adams’s appointment makes him the state’s first openly HIV-positive cabinet member.
HIV-Positive Woman in Cincinnati Arrested for Spitting at Boyfriend
An HIV-positive woman in Cincinnati has been arrested for allegedly attacking her boyfriend with her spit and hitting him in the face with a bottle during an argument in “an attempt to cause him physical harm,” local ABC affiliate WCPO reports. 
July 07, 2009
HIV Prevention Succeeding in Haiti
About 20 years after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed Haitian nationality as a primary risk factor for HIV, the country has been ahead in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, The New York Times reports. 
Michigan Sex Sting Raises HIV Disclosure Concerns
The Lansing Police Department faces legal backlash after publicizing the HIV status of a man accused of trying to engage in sexual intercourse without first disclosing his status, The Michigan Messenger reports
Lax Attitude Fuels HIV Infections Among Mid-Missouri Teens
Advocacy groups in Central Missouri said the 18 percent increase in people seeking treatment for HIV is due in part to a casual attitude among young people about sex and HIV transmission, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports.
July 06, 2009
Iowa Might Revisit HIV Transmission Laws
A recent Iowa court case regarding the criminal transmission of HIV has lawmakers and residents considering whether to revisit the Hawkeye state’s criminal code, reports the Iowa Independent
UNAIDS: Indian Court Fights HIV by Decriminalizing Homosexuality
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) praised the Delhi High Court’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality in India’s capital city, the Voice of America reports.
Proposed HIV/AIDS Shelter Angers Residents in Queens, New York
Residents of a New York City neighborhood expressed their displeasure with plans by a local nonprofit group to open a shelter for people with HIV/AIDS without first consulting the community, the New York Daily News reports.
July 02, 2009
Web-based Video Game Educates Positive Teens
A new Web-based game called +CLICK (Positive Click) is educating HIV-positive teens about how to avoid transmitting the virus to their sexual partners, Reuters reports. 
Higher HIV Risk Among Black MSM Linked to Fewer Potential Partners
A new study from the San Francisco Department of Public Health suggests that black men have an increased risk of HIV because they have closely connected sexual networks and fewer partners to choose from, Pink News reports.
Canada’s HIV Vaccine Ready for Human Testing in U.S.
Canadian researchers are awaiting approval to begin human trials of an HIV/AIDS vaccine in the United States, CBC News reports. The vaccine has already passed safety tests in animals.
July 01, 2009
Lady Gaga Supports HIV-Positive Youth in England
Pop singer Lady Gaga recently paid a visit to Body Positive North West, an AIDS service organization in Manchester, England, that caters to young people living with and affected by HIV, The Telegraph reports. She met with volunteers from the organization and helped them paint a mural of herself.
Ryan White’s Mom Remembers Michael Jackson
The mother of Ryan White, a hemophiliac teenager who died of AIDS-related illness in 1990 after contracting HIV through a blood transfusion, mourns the loss of music icon Michael Jackson, who died from cardiac arrest on June 25, FOX 35 reports. Jackson befriended the teen in the late 1980s and, after Ryan’s death, dedicated a song to him titled “Gone Too Soon.”
WHO: TB Vaccination Fatal for Babies With HIV
A new three-year study by the World Health Organization (WHO) has shown that babies with HIV could die if given a standard tuberculosis vaccine, The Associated Press reports. The study was published July 1 in the journal Bulletin of the World Health Organization
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