Harvard Study: South African AIDS Denialism Resulted in 365,000 Deaths The South African government could have prevented 365,000 HIV/AIDS deaths, The New York Times reports. A study by Harvard University researchers estimates that providing antiretroviral drugs in general and drugs specifically to prevent mother-to-child transmission could have prevented those deaths.
Report: Audit Wealthier Nations’ Response to AIDS A report from Swedish-based foundation AIDS Accountability International (AAI) states that wealthier nations such as the United States are “worse at monitoring and/or reporting on the fundamentals of their epidemics and their responses” than poorer countries, reports the Financial Times.
(RED) Digital Music Service to Fight AIDS in Africa Co-founded by Bono, a new digital music service promises exclusive tracks for $5 a month from U2, Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, Dixie Chicks, Jay-Z, John Legend and Sheryl Crow. Launching December 1, the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, the service will donate a portion of its profits to fight AIDS in Africa, USA Today reports.
November 25, 2008
Beijing Sex Workers Neglect Condoms
More than half of the sex workers in Beijing do not use condoms, AFP reports. According to the Chinese state media, sexual transmission has replaced drug use as the most common route for HIV infection.
White House Rally Celebrates Obama’s AIDS Focus
A group of 1,000 AIDS advocates and people living with HIV convened in front of the White House on November 20 for a demonstration to support President-elect Barack Obama’s commitment to fight AIDS, Voice of America reports.
Docs, ERs Still Ignore CDC Suggestion to Test for HIV Two years after the federal government recommended that patients in emergency rooms and doctors’ offices be routinely tested for HIV, a large number of studies show that few are following that advice, The Washington Post reports.
Oakland Remembers Transgendered Lives Lost During the 10th anniversary of Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, the lives of trans men and women who have lost their battles with HIV/AIDS and those who were victims of hate crimes were commemorated across the nation, including Oakland, California, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
November 20, 2008
HIV, STIs on the Rise in Toronto
Toronto health officials are “alarmed” at the recent increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reported in the city, the National Post reports.
Positive Film Extra Recounts Philadelphia Experience With this year marking the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking film Philadelphia and 20th anniversary of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, HIV-positive movie extra Sue Kehler spoke with ThePhiladelphia Inquirer about her life with the virus, experience on the film and memories of those who lost their battle with the virus.
November 19, 2008
U.K. Nurses Call for Safer Needles in Health Settings
Nurses in the United Kingdom are urging the National Health Service to provide them with safer, shielded hypodermic needles to prevent the risk of HIV or hepatitis transmission in health care settings, BBC News reports.
Political Cartoonist’s Exhibit Lauds, Lambastes Mandela South African political cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro’s latest exhibit praises and pokes fun at Nelson Mandela; the Johannesburg show is part of a yearlong celebration marking the 90th birthday of the political activist, AIDS advocate and former South African president, The Associated Press reports.
AIDS Misconceptions Still Rampant in China
A recent Chinese survey reveals discrimination toward people living with HIV and misconceptions about the virus despite China’s public education efforts, Xinhua News Agency reports.
November 18, 2008
Woman Infected Through Transplant Sues Chicago Hospital An unnamed 33-year-old woman who tested positive for HIV and hepatitis C after receiving an infected kidney during an organ transplant is suing the University of Chicago Medical Center and a surgeon on the transplant team, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The woman’s body rejected the kidney, and she is now on dialysis in addition to an antiretroviral regimen.
Higher Risk of Non-AIDS Cancer in HIV Patients
According to a presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, individuals with HIV have a higher risk of cancer unrelated to HIV infection, Newswise reports.
UNAIDS Head Blasts MSM Criminalization in India An outdated law that criminalizes men who have sex with men (MSM) is a major obstacle to fighting HIV/AIDS in India, UNAIDS executive director Peter Piot said November 16 during his visit to the country, Newstrack India reports.
November 17, 2008
HIV Co-Discoverer Calls for Domestic PEPFAR Plan In an opinion piece published in the November 16 edition of The Washington Post, Robert C. Gallo, MD—director of the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore and co-discoverer of the HIV retrovirus—praised George W. Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for providing treatment to more than 1.7 million HIV-positive people around the world, but he said that a similar program was needed to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.
Nearly 2,000 Chileans Never Informed of Positive Status
Chile’s health minister Álvaro Erazo announced November 13 that the country’s public health system failed to inform at least 512 people that they had tested HIV positive, while the private sector did not inform an additional 1,364 that they were positive, The New York Times reports. Erazo told lawmakers that in about half of cases, there was no evidence that anyone made any effort to reach the patients.
Alicia Keys Throws Annual AIDS Bash Singer and actress Alicia Keys hosted her fifth-annual Black Ball on November 13; the gala benefits Keep a Child Alive, an organization that serves children and families living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, USA Today reports.
Philippine Advocates Push for Reproductive Health Bill Lawmakers in the Philippines are being urged to pass a national policy on reproductive health that will require schools to teach reproductive health education and government hospitals to supply contraceptives, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.
Bush Accepts Walker Award for Africa AIDS Work
President George W. Bush’s commitment to fighting AIDS in Africa earned him a Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Award, which is given each year to leaders who have made a significant commitment to Africa, Voice of America reports.
More Countries Criminalize Transmitting HIV With a growing number of countries criminalizing HIV transmission, health officials are concerned that the trend may challenge the progress made in fighting the AIDS pandemic, The Associated Press reports.
November 12, 2008
Caribbean Officials Criticize Laws Criminalizing MSM During the eighth-annual General Meeting of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS, regional health officials called for an end to the region’s “Buggery Act”—which criminalizes male-on-male sexual contact—saying that the law reinforces HIV stigma and makes it more difficult to fight the spread of the virus among men who have sex with men (MSM), the Antigua Sun reports.
New York Fights AIDS With Biotechnology Medical scientists will soon be searching for an AIDS vaccine from inside a former World War I military supply depot in Brooklyn, The New York Times reports. The new home of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is New York’s latest effort to make the city a biotechnology epicenter and to reduce its economic reliance on Wall Street.
November 11, 2008
Late HIV Diagnoses Prevalent Among LA Latinos
Latinos in Los Angeles County are getting diagnosed late in their infection, often waiting until they are extremely ill before seeking testing or care, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.
Kelly Rowland Stars in MTV Doc About HIV/AIDS MTV’s Staying Alive campaign will mark 10 years of fighting HIV/AIDS by airing a documentary on World AIDS Day, December 1, reports MarketWatch. The hour-long film will star Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland, the newly appointed Staying Alive Foundation ambassador.
Baltimore ASO Closes After 25 Years
Baltimore’s oldest and largest nonprofit AIDS service organization will close its doors November 26—the day before Thanksgiving, local CBS affiliate WJZ-TV reports.
November 10, 2008
HIV-Positive New York Lawmaker Philip Reed Dead at 59
Philip Reed—an openly gay, HIV-positive member of the New York City Council—died November 6 at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt City Hospital Center from complications of pneumonia resulting from leukemia, The New York Times reports. He was 59.
Obama’s Global AIDS Policy to Promote Condom Use
President-elect Barack Obama will reverse U.S. family planning and AIDS-prevention strategies that have long linked global funding to antiabortion policies and abstinence education, Bloomberg reports.
Indianapolis Walgreens Specializes in HIV Care Walgreens stores across the country specialize in services for those with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and respiratory problems, but an Indianapolis branch is reaching out to a new market: residents with HIV, The Indianapolis Star reports.
November 07, 2008
Scotland Upholds Ban on MSM Blood Donations
Health officials in Scotland rejected on November 5 a petition to lift a ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM), The Scotsman reports. Officials linked the current rise in new HIV infections among MSM in the country to risks of contaminating the blood supply.
Zimbabwe Returns $7.3 Million to Global Fund The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has released $7.3 million in aid money belonging to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the fund’s executive director said November 7, Reuters reports.
November 06, 2008
Health Economist: Obama Must Build on PEPFAR Health economist Mead Over says that a primary goals of the Barack Obama White House should be to maintain and build upon President George W. Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has provided lifesaving antiretroviral treatment to millions of people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries since its launch in 2003, Voice of America News reports.
United Arab Emirates OKs PEP for HIV Exposure The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Health has approved and made available across the country eight different antiretroviral (ARV) medications to use as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), Gulf News reports. PEP cuts the chances of HIV infection by 79 percent if taken within 72 hours after exposure. A typical PEP regime lasts four weeks.
Michigan Voters OK Medical Marijuana
Michigan became the 13th state to approve the use, possession and growth of marijuana by patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer and other conditions, the Detroit Free Press reports.
November 05, 2008
Gates Urges Leaders to Not Cut Global Spending
Echoing comments made last week by U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon, Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates called on leaders of wealthy nations to remain steadfast in their relief efforts to fight poverty, hunger and diseases such as HIV/AIDS despite the global economic crisis, Reuters reports.
U.K. Launches $350 Million Fund for AIDS Research
The United Kingdom’s development minister Gareth Thomas announced a new $350 million U.K. fund for research into technologies such as vaccines and microbicides that will stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, The Guardian reports.
Examining Obama’s Promises, Challenges
With Senator Barack Obama’s presidential victory on November 4, The Associated Press examines the promises that he has made throughout his campaign—including his plan for health care reform—and the challenges that he will likely face in making them a reality.
November 04, 2008
Papua New Guinea Launches Its First National HIV Conference Papua New Guinea is holding its first national conference for people living with HIV/AIDS this week, Papua New Guinea’s Post-Courier reports. Chairman of the Special Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS Jamie Maxtone-Graham opened the three-day event Sunday, November 2, in PNG’s capital of Port Moresby.
Study Examines Failure of Merck Vaccine Trial Testing of an experimental HIV vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck was halted in September 2007 because results showed the drug may increase the risk of contracting HIV rather than prevent it. In a recent study, researchers at France’s Montpellier Institute of Molecular Genetics examined just why that vaccine trial failed; the results were published November 3 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Agence France-Presse reports.
Ugandan Program Targets Mother-to-Child Transmission The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)—a global leader in the fight against AIDS—is piloting a home-based prevention approach in Uganda by educating HIV-positive mothers how to administer antiretroviral medications to their infants at home, The New Vision reports. In many developing countries, women often deliver babies outside health facilities and don’t have access to postnatal checkups.
November 03, 2008
POZ Founder Finds Refuge in Victorian Home Sean Strub, founder and advisory editor of POZ, has had numerous identities in his professional life: theater producer, political consultant, marketing executive and author. But as The New York Times reports, soon after Strub purchased property in Milford, Pennsylvania, in 1996, he added another title to his resume: local businessman.
AIDS Group Calls for $7.3 Million Refund From Zimbabwe The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is demanding that Zimbabwe return $7.3 million of $12.3 million dollars in donations it claim were misused, The New York Times reports. The article did not mention how the funds were misspent.
HIV-Positive Organ Transplant Sets Medical Precedent
In late September, doctors at the Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, performed the world’s first organ transplant between an HIV-positive donor and a positive recipient, The Guardian reports.
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