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November 30, 2009
International AIDS Conference Returns to U.S. in 2012
The XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) will be held July 2012 in Washington, DC. As the custodian of the conference, the International AIDS Society (IAS) made the decision because the United States is repealing its HIV travel ban, effective January 4, 2010. The last time the conference was held in the United States was 1990 in San Francisco.
Report: PEPFAR, Other Global AIDS Initiatives Ease Pandemic
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other global AIDS initiatives have contributed to significant declines in AIDS-related mortality, according to a report by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Center for Global Health Policy.
Study: Stigma Persists Against People With HIV in U.K.
Stigma against people living with HIV in the United Kingdom persists, according to the People Living With HIV Stigma Index and reported by Pink News. The index was the result of a two-year study of 867 HIV-positive respondents.
November 25, 2009
Analyzing the Politics of Needle Exchange Worldwide
The effectiveness of needle exchange programs worldwide in reducing HIV rates has been demonstrated, but politics repeatedly gets in the way, The New York Times Magazine reports.
Study: PrEP for High-Risk Gay Men Possibly Cost Effective
Even if pre-exposure prophylaxsis (PrEP) only prevented one in two HIV cases and were taken only half the time, it would keep HIV prevalence at current levels among gay men with high-risk behaviors and prevent as much as a 5 percent prevalence increase, according to an Australian study reported by aidsmap.
UNAIDS: Sex Is Key Reason for New HIV Cases in China
Forty percent of new HIV cases in China are caused by unprotected heterosexual sex, according to a study by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and reported by The Associated Press.
November 24, 2009
UNAIDS: Worldwide Decrease in HIV Incidence and AIDS Deaths
HIV incidence worldwide has decreased 17 percent since 2001, and AIDS-related deaths worldwide decreased 10 percent in 2008, according to a report by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and reported by aidsmap. UNAIDS and WHO released their annual report titled AIDS Epidemic Update in advance of World AIDS Day on December 1.
Study: Treating AIDS in Africa at Home Is Effective
Providing treatment in Africa to people with AIDS in their homes is as effective as doing so in a clinic, according to a study published in the November 24 issue of The Lancet and reported by The New York Times. The study was conducted in rural Uganda.
Advisory Group Says England Needs New Approach to HIV
The Independent Advisory Group (IAG) report on enhancing the response to HIV in England advised the country to provide a comprehensive approach to HIV care and education, the Pink Paper reports.
November 23, 2009
Addressing HIV/AIDS Rates in N.J. Transgender Women
To reduce HIV/AIDS rates among transgender women in Hudson County, New Jersey, two local organizations have committed to developing a new intervention program in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Playboy Playmate Talks 20 Years After HIV Diagnosis
Rebekka Armstrong, a Playboy Playmate and a POZ cover girl, spoke with students at Towson University in Maryland about her experiences being diagnosed with HIV, The Towerlight reports.
AIDS Activist and Health Professor Gilbert Kombe Dies at 49
Gilbert Kombe, an AIDS activist and a health professor at George Washington (GW) University in Washington, DC, died November 6, The GW Hatchet reports. He was 49 years old. His wife said a cerebral stroke was the cause of death.
November 20, 2009
Survey: 1 in 3 U.K. Respondents Never Discuss Sexual Health With Partner
There is a widespread lack of knowledge regarding safer sex and sexual health in the United Kingdom, BBC News reports. Results of a survey of 2,000 people ages 16 to 50 by the U.K. Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families reveal many misconceptions.
Death, Poorer Treatments for HIV/TB Coinfections Higher in Eastern Europe
Coinfection with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) results in poor medical outcomes in Eastern Europe, according to a study published in the November 27 issue of AIDS and reported by aidsmap. TB is the leading cause of illness and death in people with HIV worldwide.
World Cup to Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness in South Africa
South Africa will raise awareness of HIV/AIDS before millions of local and visiting soccer fans while hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup next June and July, IRIN reports. Health officials and activists met November 18 in Johannesburg to craft a plan.
November 19, 2009
British Red Cross Web Campaign Debunks Fears About Kissing and HIV
An online web video created by the British Red Cross takes on misperceptions that many young people have about HIV transmission, The Guardian reports. In the 60-second ad, British television personality Konnie Huq asks viewers, “If I had HIV, what would it take to get you to kiss me?”(Watch video.)
AIDS Activist Edward Zold Dies at 38
Edward Zold, an HIV-positive AIDS activist known for his tireless work with Ryan White funds, ACT UP and teen programs, died in his home in San Francisco November 4, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. He was 38.
Study: Few Canadian Seniors Vacationing in Florida Get Tested for HIV, STIs
Fewer than one in five so-called “snowbirds,” or Canadians older than 50 who spent at least one month in the past year vacationing in Florida, have been tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, according to researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, as reported by Canwest News Service. 
November 18, 2009
Report: U.S. and European Philanthropic HIV/AIDS Funding Declined Since 2006
HIV/AIDS funding from most private U.S. and European donors has decreased since 2006, according to new reports released November 17 by Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) and the European Funders Group (EFG). Philanthropy from U.S.-based groups totaled $618 million in 2008 while European-based groups donated $134 million.
World AIDS Experts Advise Russia to Revamp Approach to HIV Prevention
At a regional AIDS conference on November 18, international AIDS experts called on Russian health officials to cast aside their abstinence-based HIV prevention strategy in favor of comprehensive sex education along with needle exchange programs and replacement therapy for intravenous drug users, The Associated Press reports.
OraSure’s Over-the-Counter HIV Test One Step Closer to FDA Approval
On November 18, OraSure Technologies Inc. announced that it took part in a Blood Products Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting—held the previous day—to discuss, among other topics, the public need and performance characteristics for over-the-counter (OTC) home use HIV test kits. The BPAC gives advice to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on issues pertaining to the safety and effectiveness of biological products and medical devices.
November 17, 2009
Elton John Says Young People “Not Listening” When It Comes to HIV/AIDS
At his foundation’s annual Enduring Vision fund-raiser in New York City, Sir Elton John said that young people are not taking HIV/AIDS seriously enough, The Press Association reports. 
Global Fund OKs $2.4 Billion Over 2 Years to Fight Disease
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved $2.4 billion in grants to fund efforts to combat the diseases during the next two years, reports Voice of America News. 
Freedom of Information Act Policies Under Review After Man’s HIV Status Exposed
After police released classified information concerning an arrested man’s HIV status in Lansing, Michigan, officials are reviewing the city’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policies, the Lansing State Journal reports. 
November 16, 2009
Public Comment Period on National AIDS Strategy Extended to Nov. 23
The White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) has extended its deadline to receive public comments regarding the formation of a national AIDS strategy until Monday, November 23. The original deadline of the online initiative, titled “Call to Action: Americans Speak About HIV/AIDS,” was November 13.
Activists to Call on White House to Increase Southern AIDS Spending
Southern activists and health care providers plan to urge the Obama Administration to allocate more federal and state funding to Southern states, The Associated Press reports. 
CDC: Sexually Transmitted Infections Remain High in U.S.
Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis remain at high levels in the United States—particularly among teens—according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported on by Reuters. All three of these sexually transmitted infections (STIs) increase the risk of HIV transmission. 
November 13, 2009
NY Activists Urge State to Expand AIDS Services to Those With HIV but Not Ill
New York City-based AIDS service organization Housing Works staged a demonstration during a November 12 public meeting of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council. At issue is expanding state aid from those who are “HIV ill” to those who are “HIV positive.” (Watch video.)
Longtime HIV/AIDS Activist Howard Jacobs Dies
Howard Jacobs, an HIV-positive AIDS activist and advocate for youth, social services and people living with disabilities, died November 11 from liver cancer, LGBT POV reports. He was 45.
At 40, Sesame Street Still Educates, Even Tackling HIV Stigma Overseas
On November 10, First Lady Michelle Obama and Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda dropped by the set of Sesame Street to help the cast celebrate the show’s 40 years of teaching kids ABCs, numbers and daily life lessons, USA Today reports. 
November 12, 2009
North Carolina ASO May Shutter Due to Funding Shortfall
Pitt County AIDS Service Organization Incorporated (PiCASO) in Greenville, North Carolina, may be forced to close its doors because of financial difficulties, leaving about 180 of its HIV-positive clients without services, local ABC affiliate WNCT reports. PiCASO is seeking community donations over the next eight weeks so it can continue offering HIV testing, counseling and drug assistance.
Washington, DC, Risks Losing AIDS Funding From HUD
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is threatening to withhold $12.2 million in federal dollars for next year if the Washington, DC, Department of Health does not improve how it tracks HIV services and spending, The Washington Post reports. 
Denver: HIV-Positive Man Faces Prostitution Felony Charges
HIV-positive Denver man Darren Garcia, 29, has been charged with prostitution with knowledge of being HIV positive—a class five felony—as well as possession of a controlled substance, reports ABC affiliate KMGH. 
November 11, 2009
LGBT Provisions in House Health Care Bill Include Early HIV Treatment
Advocates are pushing to ensure that LGBT-focused provisions in the House of Representatives’ health care reform bill will remain in the final bill that moves to President Obama’s desk, The Advocate reports. Among those provisions is language calling for early HIV treatment under Medicaid so that people living with the virus won’t have to progress to an AIDS diagnosis before receiving coverage.
Positive Man Charged Under Anti-Terrorism Laws in Michigan Assault Case
Daniel Allen, an HIV-positive man from Macomb County, Michigan, faces a terrorism charge after he allegedly bit his neighbor Winfred Fernandis Jr. during an October 18 fight, The Michigan Messenger reports.   
Doctors Without Borders: Global Recession Hurting the Fight Against AIDS
The economic crisis and donor pressure to divert funds to other disease categories are hindering the global response to HIV/AIDS, said Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins San Frontieres (MSF), at a November 5 news conference, The Associated Press reports. 
November 10, 2009
Map of Viral Loads in San Francisco Highlights HIV Treatment Inequities
New research has allowed San Francisco’s health department to map out where HIV/AIDS care should be targeted, The New York Times reports. The map uses data from individuals’ viral loads to identify these treatment gaps and show where the virus is circulating.
AmEx Executive Allegedly Fired Because He Is HIV Positive
Brett Knight, 41, filed a lawsuit November 4 against American Express for unlawful termination, which claims he was fired for being HIV positive, reports The New York Post.
WHO: AIDS Is Leading Cause of Death and Disease Among Women
AIDS is the main cause of death and disease among women ages 15 and 44, according to research by the World Health Organization (WHO) as reported by The Associated Press. This is the first WHO study focused on global women’s health.
November 09, 2009
HIV Used in Gene Therapy for Lorenzo’s Oil Disease
Researchers have successfully used gene therapy to halt the progression of fatal degenerative disease adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)—the illness at the center of the film Lorenzo’s Oil, the Los Angeles Times reports. The breakthrough therapy—highlighted in the November 6 issue of Science—used a harmless version of HIV as a delivery system to stabilize ALD in two boys, who were 7 at the time of treatment.
Obama Presses Senate to Pass Health Care Reform Bill This Year
On Sunday, November 8, President Barack Obama urged senators to quickly take action and pass the health care bill by the end of this year, The New York Times reports. The House of Representatives’ version of the bill passed November 7 by just two votes.
Bill to Lift Federal Needle Exchange Ban Awaits Senate Approval
Congress is still processing a bill that will lift a 20-year-old ban on using federal money for needle exchange programs, However, The New York Times reports, the bill includes a stipulation that prevents federally financed programs from distributing sterile injection equipment to intravenous drug users within 1,000 feet of any place where children might convene.
November 06, 2009
UK: Same-Sex Relationships and HIV Included in Sex Education
All public schools in the United Kingdom will be required to teach comprehensive sex education that includes HIV/AIDS and same-sex relationships, announced U.K. officials on November 5, reports Pink News. 
South African Health Minister Supports Country’s HIV Policy Shift
South African health minister Aaron Motsoaledi reiterated that the government, including President Jacob Zuma, is devoted to helping fight HIV/AIDS, Times LIVE reports. Motsoaledi spoke during a conference in Midrand, a section of Johannesburg, about living with HIV/AIDS.
Precious, a Film With an HIV Plotline, Opens in Select Theaters
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire opens in select theaters today, November 6. The film follows African-American Harlem teenager Claireece “Precious” Jones as she faces hardships such as sexual abuse, illiteracy, poverty, obesity, teen pregnancy and HIV. 
November 05, 2009
Activist Urges China to Lift Its HIV Travel Ban
Beijing-based antidiscrimination activist Lu Jun has issued a letter to China’s Ministry of Health requesting that officials honor their promise to revise laws preventing HIV-positive foreigners from entering the country, China Daily reports.
California: Two AIDS Groups Merge to Overcome Economic Woes
Two Monterey County, California, HIV/AIDS organizations—the Monterey County AIDS Project and John XXIII—are merging to form Central Coasts HIV/AIDS Services (CCHAS) to cope with California budget cuts, reports The Salinas Californian
Researchers Enlist Dark-Haired Volunteers for PrEP Study
Dark-haired HIV-negative men and women in San Francisco are being enlisted in a study that examines whether pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) prevents HIV transmission, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. 
November 04, 2009
Experts Warn That AIDS Will Remain a Global Crisis in 2031
Unless there is a more comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS, the epidemic will remain out of control on its 50th anniversary in 2031, according to a panel of experts reported on in The New York Times
Positive Texas Man Charged for Having Unprotected Sex With a Minor
Aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon charges have been filed against 26-year-old HIV-positive Texas man Christopher Everett for having unprotected sex with a 16-year-old boy without disclosing his status, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by local ABC affiliate KXXV. 
With Nearly 100 People, Kentucky ADAP Waiting List Is Longest in U.S.
Kentucky’s AIDS drug assistance program (ADAP), which offers free or inexpensive drugs to low-income HIV-positive residents, has the longest waiting list in the country, The Associated Press reports. More than 1,200 people are enrolled in the program, and nearly 100 are on the waiting list, which started in June. 
November 03, 2009
U.N. Chief Urges All Countries to Lift HIV Travel Bans
Applauding President Barack Obama’s removal of the United States’ 22-year-old travel ban on HIV-positive visitors, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged other countries to follow his lead, Agence France-Presse reports. 
Prosecutors Deem HIV a Weapon in Michigan Assault Case
Daniel Allen, an HIV-positive Clinton Township, Michigan, man who allegedly bit his neighbor’s lip during a dispute, faces up to 15 years in prison on charges of assault with intent to maim, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and possession or use of a harmful device; prosecutors claimed he intentionally tried to transmit HIV to his neighbor, The Detroit News reports. 
GSK and Pfizer Launch HIV-Specific Drug Company
GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer announced November 3 the launch of ViiV Healthcare, a collaboration between both pharmaceutical companies’ HIV drug divisions. The new company, based in London and the United States, aims to address needs specific to those living with HIV worldwide through investing in innovative research and by offering improved patient access to treatment. 
November 02, 2009
Michigan Officials Push to Remove Food Service Ban for Positive Prisoners
The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) is working to revamp a contested policy that bars HIV-positive prisoners from working in prison food service jobs, The Michigan Messenger reports. A new policy could lift the ban by early December. 
Study: Men With Larger Foreskins Are More Likely to Contract HIV
Men with larger foreskins are more likely to become HIV positive, according to a new Uganda-based study as reported by Reuters. 
Study: HIV Self-Tests Are Highly Accurate, Easy to Understand
By following basic written instructions and using a standard HIV testing kit, people can self-administer the test with the same accuracy as a health care professional, according to a study from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore as reported by Science News
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