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June 30, 2009
White House Enlists Ashton Kutcher to Promote HIV Testing on Twitter
In light of Ashton Kutcher’s substantial Twitter following—2.5 million people subscribe to his updates—the White House asked the actor to spread the word about National HIV Testing Day, which was June 27, Politico reports. 
Fatalistic Youth More Likely to Engage in Risky Behavior
New research shows that about 15 percent of young people think they’re going to die early, which is why they are more likely to abuse drugs, attempt suicide, participate in other unsafe behavior—and to be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, the Los Angeles Times reports. The study appears in the July issue of Pediatrics
Malawi Bolsters Treatment Access
Malawi already gives a quarter million of its HIV-positive citizens free antiretrovirals (ARVs), but the sub-Saharan African country plans to produce the meds locally and export extra drugs to neighboring countries, Agence France-Presse reports. 
June 29, 2009
Obama Takes Steps to End the HIV Travel Ban
The federal Office of Management and Budget posted a notice on its website June 26 saying that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could take steps to remove a travel regulation that prohibits HIV-positive travelers from entering the United States, The Advocate reports. Specifics about the regulatory change will be available in the next few days.
LA County Jail Might Double Condom Distribution to Combat HIV
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is considering doubling the number of condoms that are distributed to the 300 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Men’s Central Jail in response to the rising HIV infection rate in state prisons, the Los Angeles Times reports.
United Black Media Companies Confront AIDS
On June 25, the U.S. Black AIDS Media Partnership unveiled “Greater Than AIDS,” a multifaceted campaign that seeks to promote unity among Black Americans in response to HIV/AIDS. 
June 26, 2009
Questionable AIDS Charity Continues Seeking Funds
Three months ago, the Beverly Hills–based Center for AIDS Prevention was found to be spreading false HIV information and failing to disclose how it spreads donations. However, Pro Publica reports, the charity is continuing its high-profile 18-month fund-raising campaign that has reached the home pages of The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today
HIV Testing Increases 28 Percent in The Bronx, New York
HIV testing in The Bronx, New York, has increased by 28 percent in the past year thanks to a borough-wide initiative, “The Bronx Knows,” that included voluntary tests provided by clinics, hospitals and community organizations, United Press International reports. 
CDC: Many Teens Not Getting Tested for HIV
Using a survey of high school students ages 14 to 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that only 22 percent of teens having sex are getting tested for HIV, Reuters reports. Almost half of American HIV-positive young adults are unaware of their status.
June 25, 2009
Rep. Barbara Lee Promotes HIV Testing in Nation’s Capital
Earlier today, June 25, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) along with Representatives Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Donna M. Christensen (D-Virgin Islands) and the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), gathered on the House Triangle in Washington, DC, to encourage HIV testing in anticipation of National HIV Testing Day on June 27.
Baptists Address HIV/AIDS Crisis in the Black Community
Kicking off the National Baptist Convention USA’s Congress of Christian Education on June 22, African-American Baptist leaders and health professionals discussed ways in which to better address HIV in the black community, the Detroit Free Press reports. About 40,000 people are expected to participate in all or parts of the five-day conference. 
Dozens Indicted in Medicare HIV Therapy Scam
Fifty-three suspects in Miami, Denver and Detroit were indicted in connection to false Medicare claims, primarily for expensive HIV infusion medication and physical and occupational therapy, the Miami Herald reports. Included in the arrests were doctors, clinic owners and patients charged with attempting to defraud the government program of $56 million in treatments that were medically unneeded and in some cases not provided.
June 24, 2009
Major U.S. Companies Unite for Domestic AIDS Campaign
On June 23, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GBC) and a consortium of well-known U.S. companies announced a campaign to revamp domestic HIV/AIDS programs, reinforce local health systems and bolster prevention, testing and treatment.
MTV Rocker Honors AIDS Activist During Trek to India
During a three-country tour, Gym Class Heroes front man and MTV Staying Alive Foundation ambassador Travis McCoy presented Indian AIDS activist Mandakini Behara with a 2009 Staying Alive Foundation Award for her work in running the Utkal Network of People Living with HIV (UNP+) in Cuttack, Orissa, The Times of India reports.  
China Aims to Teach Sex Workers About HIV Prevention
In an effort to counter the spread of HIV, the Chinese government is conducting a long-term educational campaign to distribute information, dispel misconceptions and encourage condom use among the country’s general public and high-risk populations, such as sex workers, CNN reports. 
June 23, 2009
HIV Campaign to Distribute Non-FDA Approved Testing Kits in DC
A national campaign called “Don’t?Guess?Test!” is controversially distributing HIV home testing kits in Washington, DC, that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Washington Business Journal reports. The kits provide results in about two minutes.
Advocates: Visa Laws Pose Risks to Those With HIV
Human Rights Watch reported last week that international migrant workers, foreign students and political refugees living with HIV worldwide are discriminated against and often endangered by restrictive visa laws, The New York Times reports. 
Digital Map Shows America’s Highest HIV Rates Are in the South
A new Internet data map by the National Minority Quality Forum gives a comprehensive “county-level” look at HIV cases in the United States and reveals that the South has the highest infection rates, The Associated Press reports.
June 22, 2009
Louisiana Man Charged With Attempted HIV Exposure
An HIV-positive Houma, Louisiana, man is accused of failing to disclose his status to an undercover police officer during a prostitution and drug bust, The Associated Press reports.
CVS Criticized for Condom Lockup in Communities of Color
Change to Win, a coalition of labor unions, believes that CVS’s practice of locking up condoms at certain stores—commonly in communities of color—creates a barrier to access for young people who are less likely to ask a store associate for them, The Tennessean reports. The group asserts that CVS’s anti-theft policy puts those communities at risk for unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV
Hip-Hop Concert to Spur HIV Testing in Houston
In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, June 27, The Houston health department and community health agencies are using free tickets to a hip-hop concert, featuring former Destiny’s Child member LeToya Luckett among other performers, to entice thousands of young adults to get tested for HIV and syphilis, the Houston Chronicle reports. 
June 19, 2009
Study Links South Africa Rape Incidence to Macho Culture
South Africa’s male-dominated culture is contributing to that country’s high incidence of rape, according to a study from the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) and reported on by Reuters.
Cambodia Forces Positive Families to Relocate to “AIDS Village”
Cambodian authorities evicted 20 families from their homes in Borei Keila—a community for families living with or affected by HIV/AIDS—forcing them to live on a small settlement 12 miles from the capital of Phnom Penh because officials plan to build new offices for the Ministry of Tourism, The Associated Press reports. 
Premier Delaware ASO Closes Doors Due to Lack of Funding
After providing 28 years of prevention, outreach and education to those living with HIV, the Sussex County AIDS Committee (SCAC) in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, will close its doors on Tuesday, June 30, the Delaware Coast Press reports.
June 18, 2009
HIV-Positive British Activist Denied Entry to U.S.
A British health activist scheduled to speak on June 17 at the Pacific Health Summit 2009 in Seattle was denied a U.S. visa because he is HIV positive, The Seattle Times reports. 
Auto Race Honors Late HIV-Positive NASCAR Driver
An ARCA ReMax series auto race will be held Saturday, June 20, in Mansfield, Ohio, to honor the memory of Tim Richmond, a NASCAR driver who 20 years ago died from AIDS-related illness, the Mansfield News Journal reports. The event also aims to raise HIV awareness. 
Baylor Health Care System Receives $8M to Research Drug-Free HIV Treatment
The government of France has donated $8 million to the Texas-based Baylor Health Care System to develop a therapeutic way to manage HIV without drugs, the Dallas Morning News reports. 
June 17, 2009
L.A. County: HIV Cases Might Not Be Among Working Porn Actors
While Los Angeles County public health officials announced last week that at least 16 unpublicized HIV cases among adult-film performers had been reported since 2004, they recently clarified that they do not know whether those individuals were active porn performers when they tested positive, the Los Angeles Times reports.
U.N. Chief Warns of AIDS Funding Negligence in Faltering Economy
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon advised government leaders not to let the global economic downturn disrupt AIDS funding pledges, The Associated Press reports.  
Swazi Couples Urged to Take HIV “Love Test”
Population Services International (PSI), a global charity, has implemented a so-called “love test” campaign in Swaziland to encourage couples in the sub-Saharan African country to get tested for HIV, CNN reports. 
June 16, 2009
Positive Tenn. Man Sentenced 6 Years for Break-in, Sexual Assault
An HIV-positive Tennessee man was sentenced to six years in prison on June 12 after pleading guilty to breaking into a mentally challenged woman’s home and sexually assaulting her, the Kingsport Times-News reports. The woman has tested negative for HIV since the March 9, 2008, assault. 
Pregnant, HIV-Positive Mother in Maine to Be Released on Bail
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock has ordered that Quinta Layin Tuleh—an HIV-positive pregnant woman from Cameroon arrested for having false immigration documents—will give birth in a Portland, Maine, hospital rather than a federal prison, the Bangor Daily News reports. She will be released on personal recognizance bail, with her appeal to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals currently pending in Boston.
In 3 Countries, United Voices Decry HIV Criminalization
Meetings and rallies took place in Australia, Canada and Sweden last week to unite judges, lawyers, politicians, civil society organizations and people living with HIV in the global movement against unjust criminalization of positive people, reports. 
June 15, 2009
Congressional Panel Examines VA HIV Exposure Case
A congressional panel in Washington, DC, on June 16 will urge the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain whether improperly sanitized equipment that may have exposed 10,000 veterans to HIV and other blood-borne illnesses was isolated to three Southeast facilities or if the problem is more widespread, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
Arizona ADAP Faces Budget Cuts
Beginning July 1, Arizona’s Department of Health Services (DHS) will no longer pay for more than 130 medications that help low-income or uninsured HIV-positive residents manage HIV-related complications and drug side effects, The Arizona Republic reports. 
HIV-Positive South African Activist and Radio Personality Dies
Thembi Ngubane, a South African health activist who spoke openly about her battle with HIV/AIDS through her radio diary, died last week from drug-resistant tuberculosis, The Washington Post reports. According to the article, nearly one third of young women in South Africa are living with the virus. 
June 12, 2009
At Least 16 Adult Film Stars Test Positive in Los Angeles
After a female porn star recently tested HIV positive in the San Fernando Valley—one of the largest producers of pornography in the world—Los Angeles County health officials announced June 11 that 16 other unnamed performers have also tested positive, the Los Angeles Times reports. This brings the total number of HIV cases among adult film performers to 22 over the last five years.
Village People Cowboy Performs for HIV Prevention
Randy Jones, the cowboy from the iconic pop music act the Village People, will perform in Wilmington, North Carolina, on the cruise boat Royal Winner Princess II for an HIV prevention concert, Star News Online reports., a gay online magazine, is organizing the event. A portion of the proceeds will benefit YouthAIDS, an organization dedicated to HIV education and prevention among young people.
New Jersey Might Legalize Medical Marijuana
Lawmakers in Trenton hope a new bill approved last week will, if enacted, allow residents living with chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and seizure disorders to legally obtain marijuana for medicinal use, The Star-Ledger reports.
June 11, 2009
Washington, DC, May Host 2012 International AIDS Conference
The International AIDS Society (IAS) is eyeing Washington, DC, as the location for the next International AIDS Conference, slated for 2012. The final decision would hinge on whether the United States removes a ban that forbids HIV-positive foreigners from entering the country.
Female Porn Star Tests Positive, Rekindles Industry Safety Debate
An unnamed porn actress in Southern California has tested positive for HIV, renewing health concerns over whether the adult entertainment industry is protecting its performers from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, the Los Angeles Times reports. None of the partners she has performed with has tested positive.
Air Force Vet Refused Job Based on HIV Status
An Air Force veteran was denied a position as a baggage screener with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) because he is HIV positive. On June 11, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a complaint against the TSA on his behalf, demanding that the organization rescind his disqualification from the job. 
June 10, 2009
Health GAP Founder Alan Berkman, MD, Dies
Alan Berkman, MD, a renowned HIV/AIDS doctor and founder of Health GAP (Global Access Project), died of cancer on June 5. 
HIV-Positive Activist, Author Marvelyn Brown Recognized for HIV Work
Do Something, an organization that supports young entrepreneurs, awarded activist and author Marvelyn Brown with $10,000 for her consulting business Marvelous Connections, Fast Company reports.
Mom Imprisoned for Posting HIV Patient’s Medical Info Online
A 22-year-old mother of three has been sentenced to a year in prison for posting the medical records of an HIV-positive woman online, Hawaii’s KGMB9 reports. She will also serve five years of probation and 200 days of community service.
June 09, 2009
Dallas Agencies May Face a $325K Cut to HIV Funding
The city of Dallas is proposing a $325,000 cut in HIV outreach, education and prevention funding in response to its $190 million budget deficit, the Dallas Voice reports.
Study: South Africa HIV Rate Steady at 10.9% Thanks to Condoms
South Africa’s HIV infection rate has leveled off at 10.9 percent for people ages 2 and older, according to a new study reported on by BBC News. 
Faith-Based HIV Prevention Group Defends Controversial Billboard
St. John Faith Church in New Orleans put up a controversial billboard on Interstate 10 in an effort to address the rising number of HIV infections in the region, reports WDSU New Orleans. 
June 08, 2009
Special Tony Award Given to HIV-Positive Songwriter Jerry Herman
Acclaimed Broadway composer (and POZ cover boy) Jerry Herman was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the 63rd annual Tony Awards on June 7, The Associated Press reports.
Same-Sex Marriage Bans Linked to Uptick in U.S. HIV Cases
Bans on same-sex marriage in the United States may be linked to an increase in new HIV infections, according to a new study conducted by economists at Emory University in Atlanta. Researchers estimate that banning same-sex unions raises the domestic HIV rate by four cases per 100,000 people. 
Today Is National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Coinciding with National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, today, June 8, is National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NCAHAAD). Held annually, NCAHAAD encourages Caribbean-Americans and Caribbean-born people in the United States and its territories to get educated about HIV, get tested, seek out HIV treatment if they are positive and get more involved in their communities.
June 05, 2009
Federal Stimulus Money Channeled to Latino HIV Prevention
Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—commonly referred to as the federal stimulus that President Obama signed in February 2009—will go to developing an HIV prevention program for young, heterosexual Latino couples, Health News reports. 
DC Officials Commit to Increasing HIV/AIDS Awareness
Amid criticism from Washington, DC, residents and activists, the city’s HIV/AIDS Administration (HAA) insists that it is working on a social marketing campaign to increase HIV/AIDS awareness, The Washington Post reports. 
"Virgin Myth" Rape Survivors Find Refuge
Zimbabwean girls find protection from HIV-positive attackers through Girl Child Network (GCN), a refuge started by Betty Makoni, a rape survivor, to support victims of the "virgin myth" that raping a virgin female can cure someone of HIV/AIDS, CNN reports.
June 04, 2009
California Activists to Rally Against HIV/AIDS Budget Cuts
In response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest proposal to cut $67.8 million from state HIV programs—and his request for an additional $12.3 in budget cuts to California’s AIDS drug assistance program (ADAP)—AIDS activists are mobilizing at the state’s Capitol on Friday, June 5, to urge the state legislature’s Budget Conference Committee to reject the proposed health cuts, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
Study: 50% of Chicago’s Positive MSM Are Unaware of Their Status
Half of Chicago’s HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) and two thirds of positive black MSM were unaware of their status, according to a recent study by the Chicago Department of Public Health as reported by the Chi-Town Daily News
HIV-Positive Woman Is Jailed Until Baby Arrives
Quinta Layin Tuleh, an HIV-positive woman from Cameroon charged with possession of false immigration documents in Maine, will give birth in prison because U.S. District Judge John Woodcock mandated a sentence that coincides with her due date, the Bangor Daily News reports. Woodcock said the sentence—extended to 238 days from 114—would make certain the infant, due August 29, has an opportunity to be born HIV negative.
June 03, 2009
NIH to Use Stimulus Money to Study Universal HIV Testing
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to use taxpayer stimulus money to study whether universal HIV testing is “feasible,” Cybercast News Service reports.
Funding Cutbacks Shutter California ASO in Bay Area
After providing 25 years of comprehensive services to low-income and homeless clients living with HIV in California’s Bay Area, Vital Life Services was forced to close last month because of cuts in federal support and decreased funding from private donors and foundations, The Oakland Tribune reports. 
Indonesia’s HIV Cases Triple Since 2005
HIV cases in Indonesia are three times higher than they were in 2005, said Nafsiah Mboi, head of the Southeast Asian country’s AIDS commission, as reported by Agence France-Presse. The number of diagnoses grew from 9,565 in 2005 to 26,632 in March of this year. 
June 02, 2009
Positive Frisco, Texas, Man Sentenced to 45 Years for Transmitting HIV
An HIV-positive Frisco, Texas, man who was arrested two years ago for transmitting HIV to at least six female sexual partners was handed five 45-year prison sentences and one 25-year sentence after being found guilty of six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, The Dallas Morning News reports. The sentences, issued on Friday, May 29, will run concurrently. 
Black Churches Rally to Support National Faith-Based HIV Bill
African-American religious leaders nationwide have united in support of the National Black Clergy for the Elimination of HIV/AIDS Act of 2009, a bill that calls for more than $600 million in funding for faith-based prevention, testing and outreach, the St. Petersburg Times reports. 
HIV Cases Continue to Rise Among Women in Wisconsin
The rate of new HIV infections among women in Wisconsin continues to grow although the state’s overall number of new cases has remained stabile the past 10 years, The Associated Press reports. 
June 01, 2009
Thousands Cycle From San Francisco to LA for HIV Care
The eighth annual AIDS/LifeCycle—a 545-mile HIV fund-raising trek from San Francisco to Los Angeles—attracted more than 2,100 bicyclists when it kicked off Sunday, May 31, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. 
Botswana Launches Male Circumcision Initiative to Prevent HIV
Botswana’s government recently launched an awareness campaign to encourage 460,000 men to get circumcised by 2012 in an effort to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, Agence France-Presse reports. A UNAIDS report estimates that the effort could prevent about 70,000 new infections by 2025. 
U.K. Dentist Puts Thousands at Risk for HIV With Unsterilized Equipment
Thousands of National Health Service (NHS) dental patients in the United Kingdom may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne illnesses after a dentist failed to properly sterilize his equipment, The Daily Mirror reports. 
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