Bush Praises Faith-Based Initiatives on HIV and Malaria In his June 28 weekly radio address, President George W. Bush said that faith-based groups, funded partly by the federal government, have reduced homelessness and unemployment in the U.S. and have fought HIV/AIDS and malaria overseas, Voice of America News reports.
U.N. Chief to Rally G8 Against Disease, Food Crises
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on July 26 that he will urge Group of Eight (G8) nations to bolster efforts to combat disease, global poverty, climate change, the ongoing food shortage, Agence France-Presse reports.
African Voices Ignored in African AIDS Fight? The ideas and wisdom of Africans have been left out of the dialogue of how to fight AIDS on the continent, says Rev. Sam L. Ruteikara, cochair of Uganda's National AIDS-Prevention Committee, in a Washington Post editorial.
PEPFAR Reauthorized? Not Just Yet On June 26, members of the U.S. Senate pushed for the passage of a bill reauthorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), but some Republican opponents continued to block it because of its cost, Reuters reports.
HIV/AIDS Diagnoses Rise Among Young Black MSM According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV and AIDS diagnoses rose significantly in young men who have sex with men (MSM) between 2001 and 2006, particularly African-American men, The New York Times reports.
Tentative Senate PEPFAR Agreement On June 25, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that an “agreement in principle” had been reached in the Senate on reauthorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Associated Press (AP) reports.
Latino Leaders Rally Against AIDS
In press conferences in major U.S. cities on June 24, Latino leaders and health officials called for improved federal policies aimed at HIV/AIDS prevention and early treatment for the Latino community, NorthJersey.com reports. Latinos constitute 15 percent of the U.S. population, yet they account for 25 percent of HIV diagnoses and 19 percent of people living with AIDS.
Newark’s Costly HIV Funding Mistake An administrative oversight in the Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being nearly resulted in a loss of $11.9 million in federal funding for HIV/AIDS programs, The Star-Ledger/NJ.com reports. Officials in the New Jersey department attribute the slipup to a failure to process grant applications sufficiently in advance of the deadline.
NYC to Push Testing in Bronx The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has announced a three-year plan for every adult living in the Bronx to be tested for HIV, The New York Times reports. According to the article, the rate of deaths due to AIDS in the Bronx is the highest in the city, at 37 per 100,000 residents. The borough is home to 1.3 million people.
Senators John Kerry and Gordon Smith Slam HIV Travel Ban In a Washington Times editorial, 2004 U.S. presidential candidate Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) and Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore) say the United States should “strike from the books” a law that prohibits HIV-positive people from entering the country.
Rising Food Prices Harm Positive Ethiopians The global rise in food prices is forcing people in Ethiopia to give up such nutritional staples as vegetables and eggs, compromising a healthy diet. However, for people living with HIV in the country, poor nutrition may create an even greater risk, PlusNews reports.
Muslim Leaders Target HIV Stigma A workshop held June 16-18 in San'a', Yemen, helped 25 Islamic preachers, along with female religious health advisers, learn to combat HIV-related stigma and discrimination through their teachings, the Yemen Observer reports.
June 24, 2008
Florida Minorities Need AIDS Education On National HIV Testing Day, June 27, health officials in southwest Florida will focus testing and awareness efforts on minority populations, the Naples Daily News reports. In 2006, Florida had the third-highest AIDS prevalence rate for African Americans and the fourth-highest rate for Hispanics in the United States.
HIV Saps Botswana’s Blood Reserves The high prevalence of HIV in the southern African nation of Botswana has considerably reduced the amount of blood in the country’s blood banks, said the region’s Red Cross President Nomsa Mbere on June 14.
Infections Rise Among Gay Men in Israel A new report presented to Israel’s Health Ministry shows a significant rise in the number of HIV infections among gay men in the country, Israeli news portal Ynet News reports.
Free HIV Screening (and Gasoline) in Alabama In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, June 27, Franklin Primary Health Center, Inc. in Mobile, Alabama, will offer gift certificates for free gasoline to the first 50 people who get tested, Alabama newspaper The Press-Register reports.
New York Times Editorial Slams PEPFAR Opposition A New York Times editorial published on June 21 criticizes the seven Republican senators—led by Tom Coburn of Oklahoma—who are delaying passage of a bill that would reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
June 20, 2008
PEPFAR Reauthorization Deadline: June 24 The U.S. Senate majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, has set a June 24 deadline for reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has provided antiretroviral treatment to some 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world, the Associated Press reports.
A Call for Continued HIV Vaccine Research In an opinion piece published in the June 19 edition of Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail, Queens University philosophy professor and chair of bioethics and public policy Udo Schuklenk urges the continuation of vaccine trials despite recent failures.
Alaska: HIV Low, Chlamydia High While Alaska’s rate of HIV infection remains relatively low, its chlamydia infection rate is among the highest in the United States, the Associated Press/Juneau Empire reports.
Desmond Tutu Urges U.S. Senate to Reauthorize PEPFAR South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged the U.S. Senate to reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) bill, which will more than triple the amount of money spent on fighting AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries, Reuters reports.
June 18, 2008
NYC Clinics Halt OraQuick Oral HIV Testing The rate of false HIV-positive results using oral fluid specimens with the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV 1/2 test in New York City rose as high as 1.1 percent over the past eight months, causing the city’s Bureau of STD Control clinics to suspend saliva-based screening with the assay on May 27, Bloomberg reports.
Advocates Demand Generic Drugs for Mexico
Advocates from several nongovernmental organizations are calling on the Mexican government to declare a “national HIV/AIDS emergency” that will allow the country to import generic antiretroviral drugs for people with HIV, according to the Apria Healthcare company’s news site.
HIV Diagnoses Rise in Ireland The number of people diagnosed with HIV in Ireland rose by 7 percent in 2007 over the previous year, Irishhealth.com reports.
June 17, 2008
Free Female Condoms Flood NYC
New York City health officials are spending $2 million to provide the city’s five boroughs with 2 million female condoms, the New York Daily News reports.
HIV Testing for Black Women in Florida Florida health officials hope that a state-sponsored AIDS conference in Orlando June 20 will empower the black women attendees to return home and lead their communities to get tested for HIV, the St. Petersburg Times reports.
Culture and Religion vs. HIV Transmission
Religious beliefs and culturally specific behaviors continue to have both positive and negative impacts on the spread of HIV around the world, according to the United Nations.
June 16, 2008
Lawmakers Mass Against South Carolina School HIV Notification Rule In the aftermath of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s veto of a bill that would have eliminated the state’s current requirement that school faculty and administration be notified of any HIV-positive students enrolled in their schools, the bill’s legislative sponsors say they will attempt to override the veto, according to the Columbia, South Carolina, newspaper The State.
AIDS Kills Education, Too African children lose an average of half a year of school in areas where more than 10 percent of a community is living with HIV/AIDS, said Robert Greener, a senior economic advisor for the United Nations agency UNAIDS, in an Inter-Press Service news agency report.
Vaccine Trials: Too Risky for U.S. Teens?
Testing potential AIDS vaccines in teens may be justifiable in countries with extremely high HIV prevalence but not in countries with comparatively lower prevalence, such as the United States, reports a panel of advisors to the Food and Drug Administration, according to Bloomberg.
Shout Out in Arkansas! The Arkansas HIV/AIDS Minority Task Force is studying how to urge the state’s HIV-positive people to play a stronger, more visible role in public forums, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette/NWAnews.com reports.
In the Caribbean, Condoms and Conjugal Visits for Prisoners
Conjugal visits from female spouses and condom distribution could help reduce the spread of HIV through male homosexual sex in the Caribbean region’s correctional facilities, according to the Association of Caribbean Heads of Corrections and Prison Services, Agence France-Presse reports.
India vs. HIV/TB Coinfection Acknowledging that more than 60 percent of India’s HIV-positive people die of tuberculosis, the country is integrating its national HIV and TB programs, The Times of India reports.
June 12, 2008
More Than a Quarter of New Yorkers Have Genital Herpes According to a recent New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene study, approximately 26 percent of New Yorkers (versus 19 percent of adults nationwide) are infected with the Herpes Simplex Virus-2, the virus that causes genital herpes the Associated Press reports. Higher rates were found among women, African Americans and gay men.
Vietnam Still Requires International Assistance On June 10 at the United Nations’ 2008 high-level meeting on AIDS, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vihn Trong reported that the Vietnamese government has made dramatic improvements in addressing the epidemic, rallying the efforts of ministries, agencies, political and social organizations and civil society, according to a report on VietNamNet.
HIV Notifications to Continue in South Carolina Schools Just weeks after the South Carolina House of Representatives eliminated the state-mandated notification of faculty and administration if HIV-positive students are enrolled in their schools, Governor Mark Sanford has called for a reinstatement of the policy, local NBC affiliate WIS 10 reports.
WHO Responds to Media Criticism The World Health Organization has issued a statement on its website, in response to criticisms following a recent media report in which its HIV/AIDS director, Kevin De Cock, stated that AIDS should not be considered a concern for heterosexuals outside of sub-Saharan Africa.
June 11, 2008
Why Hasn’t HAART Stopped AIDS Deaths?
A feature story in the June 16 issue of New York Magazine, “Who Still Dies of AIDS, and Why,” probes why people living with HIV in the age of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) continue to die of AIDS-related illness.
U.N. Leaders: More AIDS Money, Fewer Travel Restrictions At a media briefing on June 8 before the United Nations’ two-day High Level Meeting on AIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria called for a funding increase of $7 billion to $8 billion to continue fighting the disease in the developing world, Reuters reports.
HIV Pushes Uganda’s Kids Into Work Force
HIV/AIDS has left almost 1 million Ugandan children orphaned and responsible for their siblings, Uganda’s New Vision Online reports. With no parents, children become caregivers and must provide for their siblings.
Zimbabwe’s Relief Ban Harms People With HIV In the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s government recent suspension of humanitarian relief efforts, many nongovernment organizations (NGOs) that had been offering AIDS services in the country are now unable to provide sufficient care and treatment, the Agence France-Presse reports.
Free HIV Testing for Massachusetts African Americans Massachusetts health officials announced the state’s first new HIV/AIDS testing campaign in four years on June 6, which will target African Americans, who make up 6 percent of the state’s population but 28 percent of people with HIV/AIDS, reports the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
European Leaders Challenge New U.S. Entry Screening In August 2008, the U.S. is expected to implement a Web-based pretravel authorization process for foreigners entering the country, the Associated Press/International Herald Tribune reports. The screening form, which will be mandatory for all visa-free travelers by January 2009, will ask them if they suffer from communicable diseases, including HIV.
U.N. Meeting Fights AIDS and TB
Eight foreign presidents and more than 90 prime ministers, diplomats and health officials met at United Nations headquarters in New York on June 10 and 11 to discuss the international fight against AIDS.
HIV Pedal Pushers A seven-day, 545-mile event that began in San Francisco and ended, on June 7, in Los Angeles, the AIDS/LifeCycle bike-a-thon raised more than $11.6 million for HIV/AIDS research, the Ventura County Star reports.
June 09, 2008
AIDS: Not a Heterosexual Disease? AIDS should not be considered a global concern for heterosexuals outside sub-Saharan Africa, asserts the HIV/AIDS director for the World Health Organization (WHO), Kevin De Cock, according to London’s The Independent newspaper.
Jamaican Officials Reject HIV Poster Woman
Government-funded posters, billboards and flyers featuring HIV-positive AIDS awareness spokeswoman Annesha Taylor covered the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, in early 2007—until she became pregnant less than a year after her campaign launched and was reassigned within the Ministry of Health, according to a profile in the Washington Post.
Bush Urges HIV Funding From G8 Countries President George W. Bush has called on Group of Eight nations to commit to increased funding to fight AIDS and malaria internationally, the Washington Post reports.
Freezing HIV Med Prices for U.S. Agencies Pharmaceutical companies Gilead Sciences Inc. and Boehringer-Ingelheim GmbH will stop price increases on HIV/AIDS medications for U.S. federal agencies, according to an AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) June 3 announcement reported on Bloomberg.com.
Zimbabwe Rejects Humanitarian Aid
Some international aid groups in Zimbabwe have been ordered to suspend their operations, leaving thousands of Zimbabweans without access to food and humanitarian assistance, the International Herald Tribune reports.
Refusing HIV Tests in Nation With Highest HIV Rate Though the southern African nation of Swaziland has the world’s highest HIV rate, a new survey has found that 80 percent of Swazi men would refuse to take an HIV test if offered, Agence France-Presse (AFP)/Yahoo News reports.
Syringe Machines for Prague For the first time in the Czech Republic, vending machines selling disposable, single-use syringes have been installed at two Prague railway stations to prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases—such as hepatitis C and HIV—among intravenous-drug users, reports the Czech News Agency (CTK)/Prague Daily Monitor.
June 04, 2008
New Abstinence-Education Campaign The National Abstinence Education Association is launching a new nationwide campaign hoping to enlist 1 million parents to support abstinence education in U.S. schools, the Washington Post reports.
Gay Men Excluded From Ugandan HIV Treatment On June 2, the head of Uganda’s AIDS commission, Kihumuro Apuuli, said gay men in the country would not be targeted for treatment, because a lack of funding prevents the organization from providing attention or treatment to homosexuals, the gay news and cultural journal The Advocate reports.
Estrogen May Protect Uncircumcised Men From HIV Researchers in Australia have discovered that adding topical estrogen to the penis thickens the layer of natural keratin in the skin, potentially reducing the risk of HIV transmission, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Malaysian Women Urged to Carry Condoms A Malaysian official urged women in the country to carry condoms to protect themselves from contracting HIV—on the same day that the nation commemorated International AIDS Memorial Day for the first time, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
Japan Helps Africa Fight AIDS
At the Tokyo International Conference on African Development held May 28-30, African leaders met with development partners from Japan and other countries who agreed to help Africa improve efforts to fight AIDS and other diseases, as well as the continent’s agriculture and education systems, Japan Economic Newswire/TMCnet reports.
HIV Crusaders for Philly Prisons AIDS activist group ACT UP Philadelphia and former Philadelphia prisons commissioner Leon King will be honored June 3 for bringing condoms to the city’s prisons, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
Traveling Huge Distances to Get HIV Meds in India Though India gives free HIV treatment to its positive citizens, the vast distances between rural treatment clinics and those in need help fuel the country’s rising HIV rate, Reuters India reports.
June 02, 2008
AIDS Expert Responds to Senator
In a Washington Times letter to the editor, David Bryden of the Global AIDS Alliance says that Senator Jim DeMint’s argument in a recent Times opinion piece urging less U.S. spending for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) rests on “a number of misconceptions.”
Utah Group Rejects Federal Funding
The Utah AIDS Foundation has decided to produce HIV prevention advertisements without federal assistance and is asking private donors to help cover the cost, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Answering Record HIV in Iowa Officials at the Iowa Department of Public Health are planning an HIV/AIDS conference to address the spread of HIV in the state, the Associated Press/WHOTV.com reports.
Ugandan Activists Call HIV a Human Rights Issue In a report by the Open Society Initiative for East Africa, activists are linking the spread of HIV in Africa to human rights and challenging Ugandan leaders to protect the rights of the sick, New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports.
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