HIV-Positive Canadian Delegates Barred Entry to the U.S. Up to 60 HIV-positive Canadians were barred May 22 from entering the United States. They had planned to attend the North American Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit in Washington, DC, but are being forced to undergo a rigorous new approval process just days before the conference, scheduled for June 2 to 5.
Fishing Industry Fuels HIV in Africa’s Lake Victoria Region HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been increasingly linked to fishing activities in Africa’s Lake Victoria region, The Citizen reports. According to recent survey findings, HIV prevalence is greatest in communities along beaches and among females.
Rwandan HIV Campaign Addresses Cross-Generational Sex To curb HIV prevalence among young people, Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth recently launched a six-month campaign to fight cross-generational sex, allafrica.com reports. The campaign, a joint effort with the National Commission for the Fight against AIDS (CNLS), USAID and Population Services International (PSI), is called “Sinigurisha (I Am Not for Sale).”
HIV-Positive Texas Man Found Guilty of Aggravated Assault
A jury recently found Philippe Padieu, a martial art instructor from Frisco, Texas, guilty of six counts of aggravated assault for having unprotected sex with at least six women and not disclosing his HIV-positive status, The Dallas Morning News reports.
May 27, 2009
New California Budget Slashes $55.5 Million From AIDS Funds
On May 26, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released his plan to cut $5.5 billion through June 2010 from the state budget to help close its budget gap, which currently stands at $24.3 billion, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The budget includes cuts to California’s AIDS drug assistance program (ADAP) and other programs overseen by the state Office of AIDS.
Rhode Island Allows 3 Stores to Sell Medical Marijuana A maximum of three “compassion centers” in Rhode Island are permitted to distribute marijuana for medical purposes, thanks to a bill recently approved by the state’s House of Representatives, The Associated Press reports. Marijuana has been proved to help alleviate certain HIV medication side effects—including nausea—as well as stimulate appetites in HIV-positive people.
HIV-Positive Cuban Immigrant Seeks U.S. Political Asylum
Though Congress passed the Cuban Adjustment Act to expedite the approval of Cubans seeking refuge in the United States, Raul Hernandez, a Cuban-born, HIV-positive gay man, was turned down in 2005 because of his HIV status, the Washington Blade reports. Last year, Congress repealed the U.S. law that bans HIV-positive visitors and immigrants, but it is still upheld by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).
IAS Head Says Swine Flu, Poor Economy Must Not Distract From HIV Julio Montaner, MD, head of the International AIDS Society (IAS), called on members of the World Health Assembly—who met in Geneva last week—to remain focused on fighting HIV/AIDS worldwide despite concern over the flagging global economy and the spread of H1N1 (swine flu), Voice of America News reports.
Orange County, California, AIDS Walk Raises $480,000 Orange County’s 23rd annual AIDS Walk was held May 16 in Anaheim, California, with more than 5,000 walkers converging on the 3.1 mile course. Despite a weakened economy, the OC’s largest annual rally against HIV brought in $480,000 in donations, PNNOnline reports.
May 22, 2009
Evander Holyfield to Box in Ethiopia for AIDS Charities In July, four-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will participate in a fund-raising boxing match in Ethiopia to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities, Reuters reports. He will square off against local fighter Sammy Retta in a match that organizers expect to raise between $5 million and $10 million.
Former President Clinton Launches Air Travel Health Care Fund-raiser Former President Bill Clinton, who has been appointed as the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, is joining an international fund-raising initiative to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries through air travel purchases, The New York Times reports. When purchasing airline tickets online, travelers have the option to add a $2 donation to their ticket price.
Only One Third of Pregnant Mothers With HIV Get Antiretrovirals Worldwide
Two thirds of pregnant women living with HIV around the globe—roughly 370,000 women—do not have access to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, which has been proved to reduce mother-to-child transmission of the virus, according to a new study by the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition and reported on by Bloomberg.
May 21, 2009
Will Gov. Schwarzenegger Terminate California’s HIV Programs? After voters rejected ballot measures that would have helped ease California’s $21 billion deficit May 19, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other state officials are preparing sizeable budget cuts, including $600 million from health and human services, The Washington Post reports. These cuts would affect HIV education, the state’s version of Medicaid, in-home support services and disease prevention programs.
Elton John: AIDS Needs More Attention in America At the 2009 Bio International Convention held in Atlanta, keynote speaker Sir Elton John told the crowd that more attention needs to be paid to the HIV epidemic, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
HIV Cases Rise Among New York City Teens Despite New York City’s overall decline in new HIV cases between 2003 and 2007, the number of newly diagnosed teens increased from 118 to 172 during that same time period, according to U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (DBrooklyn-Queens) as reported by the New York Post.
Celebs Turn Out for Austrian AIDS Gala Fund-raiser Eva Longoria Parker, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Pamela Anderson and singer Katy Perry were among the celebrities who attended the Life Ball in Vienna on May 16, The Associated Press reports. The annual charity event—now in its 17th year—raises funds for programs benefiting people affected by HIV/AIDS worldwide.
May 18, 2009
Today Is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
The 12th annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD) acknowledges the work of volunteers, health professionals, scientists and community members in finding a safe and effective HIV vaccine. Commemorated yearly May 18, HVAD is led by the National Institutes for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Social Justice Pioneer Rodger McFarlane Dies Rodger McFarlane, a leading civil rights pioneer for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and HIV communities, died May 15 in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. He took his own life. According to a letter found with his remains, he had been suffering from worsening heart and back problems and did not want his illnesses to become debilitating.
AIDS Walk NY Raises $5.6 Million, Draws Record Turnout Despite the gloomy economy and weather, the 24th annual AIDS Walk New York—which took place May 17 in and around Central Park—raised $5.6 million in donations and attracted a record turnout of 45,000, reports Out in New York City.
Rochester, NY, Nonprofit AIDS Agencies Merge Two of Rochester’s largest AIDS service organizations—AIDS Community Health Center and AIDS Rochester—are joining to become one ASO early next year, reports the Democrat and Chronicle.
Arkansas Assisted Living Facility Faces HIV Discrimination Lawsuit Robert Franke, PhD, and his daughter, Sara Franke Bowling, have filed a federal lawsuit against an Arkansas assisted living facility, claiming that Franke was illegally evicted because he is HIV positive, Today’s THV reports. Franke is a former dean and professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Canadian Grandmothers Fight HIV in Africa Canadian grandmothers helped raise more than $6 million to benefit community-based HIV/AIDS organizations through the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Leader-Post reports.
Activists Demand Iranian AIDS Physicians Be Released Activists challenged the imprisonment of renowned Iranian AIDS physicians Arash Alaei, MD, and his brother, Kamiar Alaei, MD, at rallies in New York City and in 20 countries around the globe, Inter-Press Service reports.
Joan Rivers Wins Celebrity Apprentice, Raises $500,000 for Food Charity
Comedian Joan Rivers bested 14 opponents to win this season of Donald Trump’s The Celebrity Apprentice, earning more than $500,000 for God’s Love We Deliver (GLWD), a New York City-based organization that prepares and delivers meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses, CNN reports.
Africa Urged to Begin Manufacturing HIV Drugs The African Union’s commissioner for social affairs, Bience Gawanas, is strongly encouraging the continent to produce its own generic HIV medications in order to boost its economy and provide treatment access to more HIV-positive Africans, Reuters reports.
Journalist Files Libel Suit Against HIV Treatment Advocate Journalist Celia Farber has filed a 21-page libel suit against Richard Jefferys of the HIV/AIDS research- and policy-focused Treatment Action Group, accusing him of orchestrating a smear campaign against her, the New York Post reports.
May 08, 2009
Free HIV Testing Clinic in New Jersey to Remain Open While Bergen County, New Jersey, officials were considering closing the county’s only free HIV testing clinic, the New Jersey Board of Freeholders has rejected the notion, citing that the closure may jeopardize federal Ryan White CARE Act funding, NorthJersey.com reports.
Britain Leads Europe in New HIV Cases
Britain has about twice as many new HIV cases diagnosed annually as other Western European countries, according to new UNICEF figures as reported by Metro. There were 7,734 new diagnoses reported in 2007—nearly twice the amount reported in 2000.
AIDS, Recovery Advocate Dan Cusick Dies at 50 Dan Cusick, an HIV-positive AIDS activist and advocate for those recovering from addiction, died Thursday, April 23, due to hepatitis Crelated liver failure, according to the Bay Area Reporter. He was 50 years old.
Scientists Developing At-Home Viral Load Monitoring Device HIV-positive people may soon be able to monitor their viral load at home by using a finger prick blood-testing gadget, BBC News reports. U.K. researchers have received a $2.67 million grant to develop a hand-held device—similar to those used by diabetics—that would alert users of a heightened viral load and if they need to see a doctor.
AIDS Treatment Advocate Carlos Arboleda Dies Carlos Arboleda, an HIV treatment advocate and former contributing editor at POZ, died Tuesday, April 28, according to the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC). The cause of death was not reported.
All-Star Baseball Player’s Ex-Girlfriend Drops HIV Case
Former All-Star second baseman Roberto Alomar is no longer being accused of transmitting HIV to ex-girlfriend Ilya Dall, who withdrew her $15 million civil suit against him for having unprotected sex with her without disclosing his alleged HIV status, ESPN reports.
Obama to Broaden, Expand PEPFAR to $51 Billion Over Six Years President Barack Obama wants to expand former President George W. Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); on Tuesday, he asked Congress to spend $51 billion over the next six years to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria overseas while allocating an additional $12 billion toward other global health concerns, The New York Times reports.
May 05, 2009
New Jersey’s Only Free HIV Testing Clinic to Close Doors The Bergen County, New Jersey, Health Department is closing its only free HIV testing clinic, NorthJersey.com reports. Advocates worry that the closure will endanger the $4 million in annual grant money that Bergen and Passaic counties receive annually through the Ryan White CARE Act.
Leading Canadian AIDS Researcher to Join American Institute Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, one of Canada’s premier AIDS researchers, is moving his work from Montreal to the United States because of better funding in America, CBC News reports. Sékaly was chosen to be scientific director of the new Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute in Florida.
May 04, 2009
Nearly 20,000 Are HIV Positive in Iran At least 19,435 Iranians are living with HIV, with more than 1,000 new diagnoses recorded since December 2008, Agence France-Presse reports. The figures were originally reported May 3 by the ISNA news agency, quoting Iran’s health ministry.
Genetic HIV Tests Effective but Rarely Used
A test that looks for genetic traces of HIV detects the virus sooner after initial infection than standard antibody tests, but health professional rarely use it, according to The New York Times.
FDA Urged to Lift “Gay Ban” on Blood Donations California State Assembly member Tom Ammiano (DSan Francisco) hopes a new Assembly resolution will encourage the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to end a federal policy that prohibits men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood, Capitol Weekly reports.
May 01, 2009
Rural, Southern U.S. Suffers HIV Funding Shortages Home to more than half of the 1.1 million HIV-positive people in the United States, the South struggles to provide treatment and related services through federally funded programs, according to the Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) as reported by The Westside Gazette.
Prudential Offers Life Insurance to HIV Positive in U.K. For the first time, a mainstream life insurance provider is offering coverage to HIV-positive people in the United Kingdom, The Daily Telegraph reports. The insurance policy will at first cover just 7 percent of positive Britons, but will likely extend to 20 percent in the near future.
General Practitioners Deny Treatment to Positive Patients in Wales HIV-positive people in Wales are being denied treatment for common illnesses by their general practitioners (GPs) and are instead being referred to hospitals or specialists, BBC News reports. The British Medical Association denies that these actions are discriminatory.
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