Safe-Injection Site to Stay Open North America’s only location where addicts can inject themselves with illegal drugs under medical supervision to prevent transmission of HIV and other blood-borne illnesse will remain open, thanks to a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling on May 27, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
Kids Talk to Kids About HIV
UNICEF is evaluating a pilot peer-to-peer program in India, where children across the country learn about HIV and then teach their friends about the virus, the Times of India reports.
May 29, 2008
South Carolina Stops School HIV Notification The South Carolina house of representatives has eliminated a state requirement that school nurses and school district superintendents be notified when a student tests positive for HIV, South Carolina’s The State reports.
Mandatory HIV Tests Before Marriage?
Several Washington, DC, council members are opposing a motion to require HIV tests for people applying for marriage licenses, the Washington Post reports. The council members also recommend that the currently required pre-license syphilis tests be dropped.
Tackling HIV in Afghanistan
According to Afghanistan’s Public Health Ministry, the country’s HIV prevalence is low but transmission risk remains high, Reuters reports.
May 28, 2008
San Francisco Mayor Defends AIDS Programs HIV/AIDS programs in San Francisco may be spared an additional $3 million in funding cuts following local and state budget changes, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Yet Another AIDS Expert Blasts HIV Spitting Case
In a New York Times letter to the editor, John M. Samuels, administrative director of AIDS Services at New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center, says that reactions to the recent case involving an HIV-positive Texas man sentenced to prison for spitting on a police officer shows that “[we] clearly have a long way to go” in combating HIV stigma.
Demanding Family Planning for PEPFAR The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) reauthorization bill should address the importance of family-planning programs in HIV/AIDS care and treatment, says Pat Daoust, a nurse and the Health Action AIDS Campaign director for Physicians for Human Rights, in a Boston Globe opinion piece.
Black Preachers vs. AIDS in Kansas City Many African-American preachers in Kansas City—once silent on the issue of HIV/AIDS—are speaking out and raising awareness from the pulpit as HIV rates in the city continue to rise, Kansas City newspaper The Pitch reports.
May 27, 2008
After Cyclone, Myanmar Needs Condoms
Following a devastating cyclone in early May, the southeast Asian nation of Myanmar urgently needs more condoms to reduce the risk of increased HIV/AIDS transmission, says the United Nations Population Fund in a report published in the Folsom, California-based newspaper the News Blaze reports.
Peacekeepers, Aid Workers Accused of Child Abuse
A leading European charity has accused humanitarian workers and United Nations peacekeepers of having sexually abused small children in several poor, resource-limited and war-ravaged countries, CNN.com Europe reports.
U.S. Senator Urges Less PEPFAR Spending
In a Washington Times opinion piece, Republican U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina calls on Congress to lessen federal funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which provides funding for HIV prevention and treatment programs in developing countries.
Fighting HIV Among Chinese Drug Users
A new study in China is examining how a new methadone substitute may reduce HIV transmission risk among injection-drug users, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. David Metzger, a researcher from the AIDS Prevention Research Division at the University of Pennsylvania, is leading the trial, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Smaller Pharmacies Focusing on HIV Care
In regions of the United States with large populations of people living with HIV, small, specialized pharmacies are catering to positive people’s medication needs in ways that mail-order services cannot, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Gilead AIDS Drug Patent Upheld On May 20, pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) upheld one of four recently challenged patents for Gilead’s AIDS drug Viread, Reuters reports.
HIV Infection Often Results From Single Copy of Virus in Cell While such sexually transmitted diseases as gonorrhea and syphilis invade the body with as many as 10, 20, 100 or 200 bacteria, , scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have found that most HIV infections are the result of a single copy of the virus penetrating the body’s defenses, The Birmingham News reports.
More Jamaican Men Getting Tested for HIV Family-planning organizations and health clinics in Jamaica are reporting increases in the number of men that show up for HIV tests, the Jamaica Gleaner reports.
Desmond Tutu Demands More Global Health Spending At the annual World Health Assembly this week in Geneva, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged government leaders around the world to increase efforts to provide health care for all, particularly those suffering from diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, river blindness and polio, Voice of America (VOA) News reports.
Life Insurance for India’s Sex Workers Sex workers in India are now eligible for life insurance coverage, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports (news.yahoo.com, 5/19). While prostitution remains illegal in India, sex workers hope that this move will help legitimize and eventually legalize the profession.
POZ Cover Boy Jack Mackenroth Designs Emmy Dress HIV-positive Project Runway star Jack Mackenroth, who was featured on the April cover of POZ, is designing a dress for actress Heather Tom of CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful, E! Online reports.
May 20, 2008
The 25th Anniversary of an HIV Milestone On May 20, the 25th anniversary of the publishing of the first scientific research paper identifying HIV, AIDS experts say that new researchers, increased funding, and novel ideas are needed to invigorate the fight against HIV/AIDS, Agence France-Presse reports.
HIV Awareness Among Asian and Pacific Islanders To commemorate U.S. National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, May 19, the Banyan Tree Project—a national campaign funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—has released four 30-second HIV public service announcements (PSAs), USNewswire/Yahoo News reports.
Alabama Swimming Pool Owners May Face HIV Discrimination Lawsuit According to Alabama’s Press-Register newspaper, the U.S. Justice Department is considering filing a discrimination lawsuit against the Wales West RV Resort in Silverhill, Alabama, after its owners in July 2007 barred 2-year-old Caleb Glover from using their swimming pool and restrooms because he is HIV positive.
Canada’s Federal Budget Cuts Hurt ASOs AIDS service organizations in Canada are concerned over the federal government’s recent $26 million funding shift from HIV/AIDS services to vaccine research, the Canadian Press reports.
May 19, 2008
AIDS Over 50 in Harlem
Iris House—a Harlem-based AIDS service organization—helps local black and Hispanic HIV-positive women over 50 find new strength and regain self-esteem, The New York Times reports.
Lambda Legal Responds to HIV Spitting Conviction Last week, an HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison after spitting in the eye and open mouth of a Dallas police officer, with a jury concluding that the man’s spit be classified as a deadly weapon due to his HIV status, even though no case of HIV transmission through spitting has ever been recorded. Lambda Legal—a group advocating for the rights of lesbians, gay men and people living with HIV—criticizes the verdict as misinformed, saying it has the potential to spread false information on how the virus is transmitted, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Global Health Ministers Talk HIV Drug Access At the five-day World Health Assembly (WHA), which began today, May 19, health ministers from around the globe will meet with World Health Organization officials in Geneva to discuss how to make medicines—including medications for people living with HIV and other incurable conditions—more affordable and easier to access, reports Reuters UK.
Another Peace Corps Volunteer Dismissed for Being HIV-Positive In January, the Peace Corps dismissed volunteer Jeremiah S. Johnson, 25, after he tested HIV-positive during his service in the Ukraine. Along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Johnson is working to bring legal action against the Peace Corps; at the time of his ouster, the corps stated that he was the first volunteer to be diagnosed with the virus. But in the May 16 edition of The Washington Post, reporter Stephen Barr reveals that of the 75,000 Americans who have joined the Peace Corps since 1989, 36 have tested positive either during or at the conclusion of their overseas tours.
South African HIV-Positive Soldiers Sue Government A group of South African soldiers, with the help of the trade union The South African Security Forces Union (SASFU), have filed discrimination lawsuits against their country's Defense Ministry for not recruiting soldiers who have HIV and for denying promotions to soldiers who are HIV-positive, reports the BBC.
Positive Legislator and Advocate Dies at 63 Democratic Illinois state representative Larry McKeon—the state’s first openly gay and HIV-positive legislator—died on Tuesday, May 13, at the age of 63 from stroke complications.
May 15, 2008
HIV Infection Rates Rise Near Myanmar Health officials are concerned about a recent spike in HIV infections in a northeastern Indian state bordering the recently cyclone-ravaged Myanmar, according to the Indian news website Daily News & Analysis (DNA).
Does HIV Affect Memory and Thinking? Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are studying the potential cognitive impacts HIV may have on people over 60, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
Andrew Sullivan Blasts HIV Travel Restrictions In a Washington Post opinion piece, HIV-positive political commentator Andrew Sullivan urges the removal of the United States travel ban on HIV-positive immigrants entering the country.
Microsoft Executive Takes the Reins at the Gates Foundation Longtime Microsoft executive Jeff Raikes will succeed Patty Stonesifer as the next chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic organization which donates billions in grant money each year to fight global poverty, malaria and HIV/AIDS, The Seattle Times reports.
Chicago Tribune Magazine Looks at America’s Positive Youth In a feature story published on Sunday, May 11, the Chicago Tribune Magazine (chicagotribune.com, 5/11) examined children and teenagers who were born with HIV—highlighting their day-to-day challenges despite the improved treatment options available to them.
Kenya’s Muslim Leaders Call for Ban on Condoms Muslim clerics are campaigning against condom programs in Kenya’s provincial capital of Garissa, claiming that HIV transmission can be prevented solely by following Islamic teachings including fasting, regular prayer and abstaining from extramarital sex, IRIN/PlusNews reports (plusnews.org, 5/12).
May 12, 2008
An HIV Doc’s Dilemma In a first-person special to the Los Angeles Times (latimes.com, 5/12), Marc Siegel, MD, examines the ethical debate faced by many doctors who learn that an HIV-positive patient may be concealing his status while having unprotected sex with a negative partner.
Community Leaders Call for HIV Prevention Funding Boost In a West Oakland, California, forum hosted by U.S. Representative Barbara Lee on May 9, health and federal officials met with African-American community leaders to discuss the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on black Americans, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
New Computer Game May Fuel Future Disease Research
A new computer game developed by researchers at the University of Washington allows gamers to manipulate and fold virtual protein strands and gain a better understanding of their structures, U.K. news website In The News reports.
May 09, 2008
AIDS Researchers Call for HIV/AIDS Funding Shift Some HIV/AIDS researchers are arguing that funding for condom promotion, HIV testing and vaccine research is hindering prevention efforts in sub-Saharan Africa, saying more money should be funneled into programs that promote circumcision and reduction of sexual partners, BBC News reports.
International Health Group Helps HIV-Positive People in Myanmar In an interview with Joe Belliveau, Médecins Sans Frontières’ (Doctors Without Borders) operation manager for Myanmar, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reports that the organization has worked to help people in Myanmar who are living with HIV and who lost access to antiretroviral treatment in the devastating cyclone earlier this month.
Russian Official Won’t Support Methadone Replacement Therapy
On May 5, a top Russian health official, Gennady Onishchenko, said Russia is “not ready” to implement methadone replacement therapy for intravenous-drug users in the country, a move that could help prevent the spread of HIV in Russia, the Associated Press reports.
HIV Cases Rise in Germany The number of reported HIV cases in Germany rose by 4 percent last year, German broadcast company Deutsche Welle reports.
May 07, 2008
HIV Prison Program Gives Inmates Outside Chance A recent study has found that 95 percent of the former prison inmates in a transitional HIV care program called Project Bridge were still returning for care more than a year after their release, according to EurakaAlert/Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.
Making AIDS a Family Practice Findings printed in the April 23 edition of the journal AIDS support a “family-centered” approach to HIV treatment for children in Africa on antiretroviral therapy, AIDSMap.com reports.
U.N. Takes Awareness to Work
On May 6, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched a program that will offer U.N. employees and their families HIV training, counseling and testing, Chinese news site Xinhuanet.com reports.
Nelson Mandela’s Birthday Bash Fund-raiser Performers Annie Lennox, Dame Shirley Bassey, Razorlight and Queen with Paul Rodgers will headline Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former South African president Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert in London June 27, with all proceeds benefiting Mandela’s 46664 HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, Agence France-Presse reports.
May 06, 2008
Texas Attorney General Stops Needle Exchange Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott rejected a bill on May 5 that would have legally sanctioned the state’s first program for giving intravenous-drug users clean needles to prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
UNAIDS Urges Russia to Tackle IV-Drug Use At a Moscow AIDS conference on May 3, UNAIDS chief Peter Piot said Russia should build on its progress combating HIV/AIDS by offering more help for injection-drug users in the country, Reuters reports.
Saddam Hussein Feared HIV in U.S. Custody Published excerpts of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi prison writings showed that he feared that he would contract HIV and other sexually transmitted infections during his time in U.S. custody, The Associated Press (AP)/Yahoo News reports.
South African Health Dept. Disputes Country’s HIV Rates South African health officials are challenging the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s (DBSA) claim that 7.6 million South Africans are living with HIV, according to South African newspaper Business Day/AllAfrica.com.
May 05, 2008
Global Fund May Provide Loans to Wealthy Countries Officials at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are contemplating a move to start loaning money to developing countries that grow too wealthy to qualify for grants, Reuters reports.
Expert Calls for Emergency HIV Prevention Plan According to Beny J. Primm, MD, executive director of the Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation, a Brooklyn-based AIDS policy group, the United States is in urgent need of a specific domestic HIV/AIDS prevention program, The Hartford Courant reports.
HIV Official Won’t Reopen San Francisco Bathhouses At a recent community meeting in San Francisco, the city’s new HIV prevention director said he is not prepared to support ending a decades-long ban on city bathhouses, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
Canadian Government Thwarts AIDS Prevention? An article published in the International Journal of Drug Policy claims the Canadian government interfered with research at a Vancouver safe-injection site and committed a “serious breach of international scientific standards” after a 2006 independent scientific review of the facility, The Globe and Mail reports.
Survey Says: Aussie AIDS Charities Lagging People are less likely to open their wallets for AIDS charities than they are for charities benefiting children, the elderly and animals, Australian gay and lesbian newspaper SX News reports.
A Home for HIV-Positive New Yorkers In its Job Market section on April 27, The New York Times (nytimes.com) profiled Praxis Housing Initiatives, a nonprofit group that works to improve the lives of homeless New Yorkers living with HIV.
Sex Ed for Palm Beach Preteens Beginning in May, middle schools in Florida’s Palm Beach County will provide comprehensive sex education for their sixth-grade students, including lessons on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy and contraceptives, the Palm Beach Post reports.
New Methadone Clinics Fight Spread of HIV in Vietnam On April 28, the United Nations announced that Vietnam has launched a methadone drug substitution program to help injection drug users in the country fight addiction and reduce the spread of HIV, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
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