New Orleans Officials Delayed AIDS Funds 6 Months It took New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration more than half a year to distribute money to agencies serving more than 4,000 HIV-positive people living in the city, The Times-Picayune reports.
Court Commits Mentally Ill, Positive Man for Unsafe Sex Minnesota’s Court of Appeals upheld a decision to have David Kendall Renz civilly committed to a secure facility for admittedly engaging in unprotected intercourse without informing his partners that he is HIV positive, Gay City News reports.
October 30, 2008
Palin’s Fave Thrift Shop Infringes on AIDS Charity After causing a stir for her reported $150,000 campaign wardrobe, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin revealed that she’s “back to wearing my own clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska.” CBS News reports. She said it’s called Out of the Closet! and is an upscale for-profit resale store.
Chilean Politico Quits Over Mishandling HIV Tests Chile’s health minister is resigning amidst turmoil over the government’s failure to notify people who had tested HIV positive, The Associated Press reports. A spokesman for President Michelle Bachelet said that the president accepted Soledad Barria’s resignation on Tuesday.
U.K. Scouts Receive Safe Sex Education The U.K.’s Scouting Association has issued new guidelines to provide its 14- to 18-year-old members with practical advice about sex, Agence France-Presse reports.
October 29, 2008
UNAIDS Head: Economic Crisis Linked to Spread of HIV The growing economic crisis and the rising cost of food and energy across the globe may make people more vulnerable to AIDS, according to UNAIDS executive director Peter Piot and reported by kaisernetwork.org/CQ HealthBeat.
New Website Shows Faces of Positive Women in U.S. Last week, the Southern AIDS Coalition and Test for Life launched a new website called the Southern AIDS Living Quilt (livingquilt.org) to help destigmatize HIV infection among U.S. women, The Times-Picayune reports. The site features video interviews with HIV-positive women, giving them a forum to disclose their status.
Zambia’s Presidential Hopefuls Silent on HIV Both of Zambia’s presidential candidates have been silent on the topic of HIV/AIDS, and that is causing the country’s citizens to speak up for a leader who will help fight the disease, Reuters reports.
Lebanese Religious Leaders Combat HIV Ignorance, Stigma Religious leaders from across Lebanon met in Beirut for a three-day conference designed to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, The Daily Star reports. The event included interactive workshops to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and reduce stigma toward people living with the virus.
WHO Forecasts Fewer AIDS Deaths by 2030 The World Health Organization (WHO) has drastically lowered its earlier projections of deaths related to HIV/AIDS, according to Agence France-Presse. In the next few years, deaths will continue to rise, from 2.2 million in 2008 to a maximum of 2.4 million in 2012—but then they’ll start to decline.
October 27, 2008
Chinese AIDS Activist Awarded Prize Amid Opposition
Hu Jia, a Chinese campaigner for civil rights, environmental protection and AIDS advocacy, will receive the prestigious Sakharov Prize despite opposition from China’s government officials, Agence France-Presse reports.
Text Messages Urge HIV Testing in South Africa
About 350,000 people die of AIDS-related diseases in South Africa every year. Project Masiluleka hopes to reduce those deaths by sending a million free text messages a day to urge people to get tested and treated for HIV/AIDS, DigitalTrends.com reports.
October 24, 2008
Lancet Looks at 4 Finalists for UNAIDS Ex. Director An editorial in the October 18 edition of medical journal The Lancet examines four individuals the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board recommended to replace the organization’s executive director Peter Piot, Kaisernetwork.org reports.
E-cards Send HIV Alerts to Sexual Partners More people are using new technology to notify their partners that they’ve been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI)—they’re sending the alerts via electronic postcards, or e-cards, Reuters reports.
HIV, Women’s Health Advocate, Dr. Allan Rosenfield, Dies at 75 Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and global HIV/AIDS and women’s health advocate Allan Rosenfield, MD, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on October 12 at his home in Hartsdale, New York, according to The New York Times. He was 75.
October 23, 2008
Up to 50 St. Louis Students Possibly Exposed to HIV Earlier this month, St. Louis County Health Department officials announced that they will offer HIV tests at Normandy High School after a public health inspection determined that some of its students may have been at risk for HIV infection. On October 22, however, officials said that the estimated number of students who may have been exposed to the virus may be as high as 50, the St. Louis Dispatch reports.
Aboriginal Youth in British Columbia Learn About HIV Aboriginal youth gathered at a three-day Youth Train-the-Trainers conference in Prince George, British Columbia, to learn more about HIV/AIDS and how they can help end the virus that is spreading among their communities, reports the Prince George Citizen.
October 22, 2008
New Study Stresses HIV Med Adherence
A new study suggests HIV can remain inactive inside a small amount of cells or a single cell only to re-emerge later and wreak havoc, HealthDay reports.
Gates Foundation Funds Testing of Potential HIV Cure Thanks to a new initiative to stimulate bold approaches to global health, University of Washington researcher Keith Jerome, MD, PhD, will have one year and $100,000 to prove that his proposed cure for HIV is effective, The Seattle Times reports.
Advocates Call for Women-Focused HIV Prevention While Ghanaian advocates of women’s reproductive health rights recognize the recent gains in HIV prevention, they also call attention to the role that gender inequality plays in more and more women becoming infected, Ghana’s Public Agenda reports.
October 21, 2008
Bush Urges Leaders to Honor Foreign Aid Commitments With the global economy in crisis, President George W. Bush urged countries in the developed world to honor their commitments to programs—including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—that provide foreign assistance to fight disease and counteract poverty around the world, The Associated Press reports.
Lawsuit: Atlanta Cops Violated HIV-Related Privacy A man who applied to become a police officer in 2006 sued the Atlanta police department, claiming they tested him for HIV without his consent and then wouldn’t hire him after learning his HIV-positive status, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Utah Expert Links Meth to High-Risk Behavior, HIV Much like cocaine in the 1980s, methamphetamine use is increasing the rate of today’s HIV infections, according to an expert at the Living With AIDS Conference, held at Salt Lake Community College in Sandy, Utah, the Desert News reports.
October 20, 2008
Obama Campaign Set to Boost Domestic HIV/AIDS Funding In an October 16 conference call, Senator Barack Obama’s campaign highlighted specific strategies to fight HIV/AIDS in the United States and abroad; they included increasing funds for research, care and prevention as well as developing a national AIDS strategy within the first year of his presidency if elected, The Advocate reports.
Researchers Evaluate AIDS Vaccine Development Researchers at the weeklong International AIDS Vaccine Conference in Cape Town, South Africa—which ended October 17—voiced their disappointment in failing to discover an AIDS vaccine and said they are now forced to rethink their approach in combating the disease, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
N.Y. Health Care Workers Challenge Testing Law EMTs, paramedics, emergency room workers and other health care providers in New York are trying to change the state law that requires written consent before testing patients for HIV in the event that an accidental needle prick occurs, the Times Union reports. New York also does not permit HIV testing if the patient is unconscious or dead.
October 17, 2008
U.N. Official Urges Female Empowerment in AIDS Fight
Nafis Sadik, U.N. special envoy for HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific region, told a poverty alleviation conference in Beijing that a lack of respect for women is fueling the spread of the virus, Reuters reports.
HIV-Positive Muppet Still Reaches S. African Children Kami—an HIV-positive Muppet character that has been instrumental in generating AIDS awareness among South African children—made an appearance at the Soweto Hospice and the Mapetia Day Care Center on October 13 to commemorate World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, America.gov reports.
October 16, 2008
HIV Scare Hits St. Louis High School St. Louis County Health Department officials will offer HIV tests at Normandy High School later this month after a public health inspection determined that several of its students may have been exposed to HIV, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Indonesia Encouraged to Treat Jailed Drug Users With an estimated 25 percent of Indonesia’s convicted drug users believed to be HIV-positive, the country is encouraged to decriminalize drug use and expand its drug treatment centers, The Associated Press reports.
Monkeys Subject of HIV Testing Debate Researchers at the International AIDS Vaccine Conference 2008 debated as to whether macaques monkeys should be the “gatekeepers,” the preliminary test subjects for what could be human clinical trials of new vaccines, South Africa’s The Times reports.
McCain, Obama Vow to Improve Global Health Both U.S. presidential candidates promise to improve global health by boosting funds to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world, Voice of America News reports.
U.N. Chief: Financial Crisis Impairs Goals to Fight AIDS
The global financial crisis may hinder efforts to halt the spread HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries by 2015, according to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and reported by Agence France-Presse/The News International.
New HIV Infections in S.E. Idaho Linked to Online Dating Half of the 19 new HIV cases reported in southeastern Idaho were linked to couples who met on the Internet, The Associated Press reports. According to the Southeastern District Health Department, 10 men and one woman tested HIV positive during the past three weeks and each case traced back to online dating.
October 13, 2008
Nobel Winner: Economic Crisis Hinders Medical Research Françoise Barre-Sinoussi—who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize for medicine with fellow researcher Luc Montagnier for discovering HIV in 1983—says that the world economic crisis will hurt medical research, Agence France-Presse reports.
AIDS Researchers Redirect Vaccine Focus At AIDS Vaccine 2008—a weeklong conference beginning October 13 in Cape Town, South Africa—HIV researchers will propose shifting vaccine efforts away from human clinical trials to small-scale laboratory work, Reuters reports.
No More Extra Pay for Positive Civil Workers in Malawi The Malawi government suspended extra monthly payments to 38,000 HIV-positive civil workers, Agence France-Presse reports. The cuts resulted from “gross abuse” of a program aimed to improve workers’ nutrition and help them access HIV treatment.
October 10, 2008
Magic Johnson Accused of Faking HIV Conservative morning radio duo Chris Baker and Langdon Perry of Twin Cities, Minnesota station KTLK (100.3 FM) accused NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on October 8 of faking being HIV positive, the Star Tribune reports.
AIDS Institute Executive Director Dies
Gene Copello, executive director of the AIDS Institute, died October 7 in Alexandria, Virginia, from kidney complications, the Washington Blade reports. He was 49.
Family Support Helps Prevent HIV in Mentally Ill Teens
New research shows that parental encouragement is key in preventing HIV infection in teens living with mental illness, who have been shown to have high rates of risky sexual behavior such as not using condoms, United Press International reports.
New HIV/AIDS Agenda in Papua New Guinea A five-year research agenda was recently launched in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea (PNG), in the hope of strengthening the country’s response to HIV/AIDS, the Post-Courier newspaper reports.
October 08, 2008
Circumcision May Not Prevent HIV in MSM While African trials have shown that circumcision lowers the risk of female to male HIV transmission by 60 percent, a U.S.-based study has recently found that HIV prevalence among circumcised men who have sex with men (MSM) is not significantly lower than their uncircumcised counterparts, BBC News reports.
San Francisco Divided Over Legal Prostitution Proposition K—a measure that would decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco—is coming under fire for failing to set limits on street prostitution, regulate the locations of brothels, assist sex workers who want to leave the profession, and require HIV tests, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Number of Undiagnosed HIV Infections Falls 4% in U.S.
New estimates show that one in five HIV-positive people in the United States is unaware of his or her status; the previous estimate was one in four, according to recent estimates in the October 3 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and reported by aidsmap.com
Annie Lennox Calls for Internet Activism to Fight AIDS Singer Annie Lennox called on world leaders to increase foreign spending on programs benefiting children impacted by HIV/AIDS worldwide at the Fourth Global Forum Affected by HIV and AIDS, held in Dublin, The Irish Times reports.
UNESCO Gives Meds to Zimbabwe’s Positive Teachers Zimbabwe’s HIV-positive educators will receive free antiretroviral medications under a new network formed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO), Xinhua News Agency/The Herald reports.
Condoms Stolen From Missing Mexican Condom-Mobile
A truck used by safe-sex advocates to distribute condoms throughout Mexico was stolen, The New York Times reports. On October 1, the police recovered the vehicle, but the thieves made off with 5,000 prophylactics.
Study: HIV Goes Back 100 Years
A new study suggests that AIDS originated 100 years ago, decades longer than scientists thought, The Associated Press reports. Scientists have reason to believe that HIV emanated in 1908 rather than 1930, the disease’s original discovery date.
McCain Talks Gay Rights and Domestic HIV/AIDS In an interview with the Washington Blade, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain expressed support for a National AIDS Strategy and discussed gay rights legislation and his thoughts on President Bush’s domestic AIDS efforts.
October 01, 2008
Czechs Forego HIV Protection for Hormonal Birth Control Czech women are not shy about using hormonal and intrauterine birth control. As a result, fewer are using condoms as contraception, which means they’re not protecting themselves from HIV, Czech News reports. According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Health and Statistics, 70 percent of women in capital city Prague and neighboring regions use hormonal or intrauterine contraception.
Atlanta ASO Closes Due to Idea AIDS Is Under Control
Atlanta’s nonprofit group AIDS Survival Project (ASP) shut down operations because of increased competition for grants and the prevailing notion that HIV/AIDS is no longer a crisis in the United States, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The advocacy group specializes in testing and training HIV-positive people to counsel peers, lobby politicians and educate the public.