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October 30, 2009
Obama Lifts HIV Travel Ban
President Barack Obama announced October 30 that the 22-year-old ban on HIV-positive visitors and immigrants entering the United States will be lifted, Reuters reports. 
Obama Signs Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
On October 30, President Barack Obama signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act into law, authorizing a 5 percent increase in federal support for HIV programs during the next four years, CNN reports. 
South African President Jacob Zuma Fights AIDS Inaction, Denialism
South African President Jacob Zuma said on October 28 that his administration would make preventing and treating HIV/AIDS a top priority, Times LIVE reports. The announcement came 10 years to the date after former South African president Thabo Mbeki told the National Council of Provinces that it would be “irresponsible” for the state to give out antiretroviral drugs, deeming them toxic. 
October 29, 2009
CDC Studies Debunk Black Down Low Myths
In an interview with NPR’s Michel Martin, Kevin Fenton, MD, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), discussed a series of CDC studies aimed at curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS misinformation in the black community.
Bea Arthur Leaves $300,000 in Will to Shelter for Homeless LGBT Youth
Late Golden Girls star Bea Arthur allotted $300,000 in her will to the Ali Forney Center, which supports LGBT youth in New York City, the New York Daily News reports. The organization provides services to more than 1,000 adolescents every year, offering food, clothing, medical and mental health therapy, vocational and educational assistance plus HIV testing, treatment and prevention services.
HIV Travel Ban Might Be Coming to an End
The rule denying HIV-positive foreigners from entering the United States will soon be overturned, according to LGBT and HIV advocacy group Immigration Equality as reported by the South Florida Blade.
October 28, 2009
World’s Fastest Supercomputer Maps HIV Family Tree
In November 2008, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico activated Roadrunner, the world’s fastest supercomputer. While IBM and the Department of Energy built Roadrunner to simulate nuclear explosions, Popular Science reports that the computer has been used to create the largest HIV family tree ever built. 
Advocates: Russia’s HIV Strategy Ineffective Among High-Risk Groups
Russia’s current abstinence-based HIV outreach and prevention ignores the spread of the virus among drug users and other high-risk groups, according to AIDS advocates meeting in Moscow this week as reported by The Associated Press.
Minnesota Man Receives 90 Days in Jail for Allegedly Exposing Woman to HIV
Jessie Allen Tuff has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for allegedly exposing Debra Jean Miller of Duluth, Minnesota, to HIV by having unprotected sex with her without disclosing his status, the Duluth News Tribune reports. 
October 27, 2009
Caribbean: HIV Education and Care Led to Decline in New Cases
Thanks to comprehensive public education programs and widespread condom use in the Caribbean, the region recorded 3,000 fewer HIV cases and AIDS-related deaths in 2008 than the previous year, according to data collected from Guyana-based Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP), a unit of the Caribbean Community headquarters, reports Agence France-Presse. 
Senate Health Care Reform Bill Includes Public Option
On October 26, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid announced that the chamber’s health care reform bill would include a government-supported insurance plan called a public option, reports The Washington Post. The Senate legislation, however, would give individual states the right to opt out of the government plan.
U.S. to Launch 3-Year Comprehensive “Test and Treat” Study in Bronx and DC
Federal officials are preparing a three-year pilot study of an HIV prevention strategy that involves testing nearly every adult in a community and promptly providing antiretroviral treatment to those who test positive, The New York Times reports. 
October 26, 2009
Sperm—Not Just Semen—Might Play HIV Transmission Role
While it has been long proved that HIV-positive men can transmit HIV to sexual partners through their semen, a new study suggests that sperm cells may actually play a role in transmission, HealthDay News reports. 
Arkansas AIDS Foundation Cuts Services Due to Lack of Funding
The Arkansas AIDS Foundation (AAF)—which is based in Little Rock and helps more than 500 HIV-positive clients cover their health care costs—is discontinuing and reducing services because of a funding shortfall, reports the Arkansas News Bureau. 
Court: Referee Can Sue Boxing Commission for Allowing Positive Fighter in Ring
After referee Ray Corona Sr. learned that an HIV-positive boxer—who was not named—competed in one of his matches, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Bernadino, California, ruled October 23 that Corona could sue the State Athletic Commission for negligence, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. 
October 23, 2009
CDC Issues H1N1 Warning for HIV-Positive People
On October 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning for HIV-positive people concerning the H1N1 virus, the Dallas Voice reports. 
Australian Needle Exchange Program Has Prevented 32,000 HIV Cases
Since Australia began implementing needle exchange programs in 2000, more than 32,000 HIV infections have been prevented as well as 100,000 cases of hepatitis C, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales, as reported by ABC News, a national Australian news service. 
Study: Stigma a Barrier to HIV Care and Medication Adherence
Stigma toward people living with HIV can prevent patients from seeking necessary care, according to research from the University of California in Los Angeles. The study is published in the October issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine
October 22, 2009
Ryan White Reauthorization Bill Passes House and Senate
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on October 21 that will reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act through 2013, The New York Times reports. The Senate has unanimously passed the bill, so the legislation now awaits the signature of President Barack Obama, who has already shown support.
Survey: DC Teens Refuse Certain Condom Brands, Even If Offered for Free
Public high school students in Washington, DC, rejected free condoms on the basis that they didn’t like the brands, according to a new survey by the Youth Sexual Health Project that was reported on by USA Today
Rape Victims Denied Health Coverage After Taking PEP
After being sexually assaulted, Christina Turner was prescribed post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent potential HIV transmission from taking place. She did not contract the virus. But, the Huffington Post reports, the Florida resident was later denied health coverage when an insurer learned she had taken HIV medication, which raised questions about her medical history. 
October 21, 2009
Obama AIDS Adviser Discusses Domestic Commitment to HIV
In an Advocate.com interview, Helene Gayle, MD, chair of the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), spotlights President Barack Obama’s pledge to put a greater emphasis on bolstering domestic HIV prevention, education and treatment.
Australia: Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Knowingly Transmitting HIV
An HIV-positive Victoria, Australia man—who was diagnosed in 1993—faces a 10-year jail sentence for transmitting the virus to a female partner, the Australian Associated Press reports. 
Gates Foundation Supports Unusual Research With $100,000 Grants
On October 20, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that 76 grants of $100,000 each will go to unconventional research approaches to global health issues such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia and diarrheal diseases, The Associated Press reports. 
October 20, 2009
DC Officials to Investigate Misspent HIV/AIDS Funds
A 10-month Washington Post investigation published this week found that Washington, DC’s HIV/AIDS Administration has given $25 million over the past few years to small nonprofit organizations that may have misspent the funding. Now, the newspaper reports, city officials will investigate those groups and how they have spent the money. 
Michigan Activists Protest Bill to Remove Informed Consent From HIV Testing
An AIDS activist group called Michigan POZ Action—which is not affiliated with POZ magazine—is protesting a bill that would allow any doctor to order an HIV test for a patient without permission, consultation or counseling, The Michigan Messenger reports.
White House Supports Ryan White Reauthorization Act
In a statement released October 19, the Obama Administration said it “strongly supports” Senate passage of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, which will authorize funding for the program for the next four years. 
October 19, 2009
Advocate Seth Berkley Responds to HIV Vaccine Critics
The president and chief executive of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Seth Berkley, wrote an opinion piece in the October 19 New York Times in which he criticizes those who cast doubt on recent HIV vaccine successes. 
Los Angeles AIDS Walk Raises $3.1 Million
The 25th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles  in West Hollywood, drew 30,000 people and raised more than $3.1 million—$100,000 shy of last year’s total, KABC-TV reports. That money will benefit AIDS service organizations in the Los Angeles area. 
After Legal Settlement, Texas Surgeon Won’t Deny Positive Patients Treatment
After denying knee injury surgery to an HIV-positive patient—who later complained to authorities—an Austin-based orthopedic surgeon has promised not to refuse to treat patients living with the virus, modernhealthcare.com reports. The surgeon has entered a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR). 
October 16, 2009
FDA Warns of Illegal H1N1 Drugs Sold Online
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 15 warned consumers to avoid purchasing any products over the Internet that claim to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 (swine flu) virus. The FDA issued the warning after purchasing and analyzing products represented online as Tamiflu (oseltamivir), which might prove dangerous to consumers. 
House Energy and Commerce Panel Approves Bill To Extend Ryan White Program
A bill to extend the Ryan White CARE Act, which was set to expire on October 30, was sent to the House of Representatives floor October 15 after being approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, The Wall Street Journal reports. 
AIDS Activists Fear Ugandan Draft Bill Promotes HIV Stigma, Discrimination
A draft bill before the Ugandan parliament proposes a seven-year jail term for anyone committing, aiding or promoting homosexual activity, IRIN PlusNews reports. If the measure is passed, AIDS activists fear it will force men who have sex with men (MSM) further underground and away from HIV prevention and education services.
October 15, 2009
Today Is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
Since 2003, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), recognized on October 15, draws much needed attention to HIV/AIDS among Latinos in the United States, a group that accounts for 18 percent of new HIV cases while only representing 15 percent of the general population. (Watch video.)
Former Patients Test Positive After Florida Nurse Reused Supplies
An undisclosed amount of Broward General Medical Center patients tested positive for infectious diseases following treatment by Qui Lan, a nurse who reused IV bags and tubing while administering chemical stress tests, The Miami Herald reports. Broward General is located in Fort Lauderdale.
Legislation Could End HIV Testing Written Consent in Massachusetts
Two pending bills in the Massachusetts Senate—proposed by Democratic senators Patricia Jehlen and Robert O’Leary—may end written consent for HIV testing in the state, EDGE Boston reports.
October 14, 2009
Vending Machines Provide Clean Needles for Puerto Rico’s Drug Users
To stem transmission of HIV and hepatitis C among Puerto Rico’s intravenous drug users, Community Initiative, the island’s sole needle exchange program, is testing a vending machine program that provides clean syringes after-hours, The Associated Press reports. 
Harvard HIV Researcher Killed in Car Accident
Stephen Lagakos, PhD, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and director of the school’s Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research, died in a New Hampshire car accident on October 12, reports The Boston Globe
Senate Finance Committee Passes Health Care Reform Bill
On October 13, the Senate Finance Committee approved Senator Max Baucus’s (D-Montana) $829 billion health care reform bill, according to U.S. News and World Report. More than half of the money will help low-income Americans afford health insurance. 
October 13, 2009
Officials Make a Call to Action Against Fake HIV Drugs
Two African presidents—Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin and Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso—were among the dignitaries at a meeting in Cotonou, Benin, making an international call to action against counterfeit medications, Time reports.
Study: Policies of International Global Fund Restrict AIDS Money in Kenya
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) policies have restricted the Kenyan government’s financial fight against AIDS, according to a study by the Centre for Economic Governance and AIDS in Africa, reports Daily Report
Women’s Soccer Team in Zimbabwe Fights AIDS Stigma
A soccer team of HIV-positive female athletes in Zimbabwe is using the sport to reduce stigma against people living with the virus, IRIN Plus News reports. 
October 12, 2009
HIV/AIDS Advocates Speak at LGBT National Equality March
The National Equality March took place Sunday, October 11, in Washington, DC. The march went by the White House and ended at the Capitol Building. Tens of thousands of participants from around the country attended.
HIV Cases Increase in the Bahamas
The National AIDS Programme (NAP) in the Bahamas has had some success at lowering the number of AIDS cases, but HIV prevention efforts have not been as effective, The Tribune reports. 
Robert Scott, Prominent U.S. HIV/AIDS Physician in Zimbabwe, Dies
Robert Scott, MD, an American AIDS physician who has treated HIV-positive Zimbabweans for nearly a decade, died October 8 of complications arising from blood clots, The Zimbabwe Times reports. 
October 09, 2009
HIV-Positive Sailor Sentenced for Consensual, Unprotected Sex
An HIV-positive U.S. Navy officer was sentenced to three months of confinement for having unprotected, consensual sex with two women who were aware of his status, The Virginian-Pilot reports. According to testimony in a court-martial at Norfolk Naval Station, neither women—one of whom is an ex-wife—contracted the virus.
The New York Times Profiles POZ Founder Sean Strub
On October 9, The New York Times published a profile on HIV-positive POZ founder Sean Strub in anticipation of his participation in this weekend’s LGBT National Equality March in Washington, DC.
HIV Testing to Be Mandatory for Pregnant Women in India
All pregnant women in India will be subject to mandatory HIV testing, officials said October 9 as reported by the Indo-Asian News Service. In India, at least 2.5 million people are living with HIV and thousands of babies are born positive. 
October 08, 2009
Coca-Cola CEO Elected to Co-Chair Global HIV Business Group
The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GBC) announced October 8 that Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, will serve as cochairman of the organization’s board of directors. GBC represents more than 220 companies worldwide dedicated to fighting these epidemics. 
Gay Man Challenges Canada’s Blood Donation Ban
A Canadian man allegedly lied repeatedly about having sex with other men in order to donate blood to Canadian Blood Services, The Ottawa Citizen reports. The agency does not accept donations from men who have had sex with other men since 1977, deeming them at high-risk for HIV.
AIDS Leaders to Obama: Include HIV-Positive People in Health Care Reform
The head committee of the HIV Health Care Access Working Group, a coalition of national and community-based AIDS service organizations, sent a letter to President Barack Obama that highlights what they hope to see in a final health care reform bill, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
October 07, 2009
Study: Childbirth Deaths Higher Than Child AIDS Mortality Worldwide
More than 2 million mothers and infants die worldwide each year from childbirth complications, outweighing the number of child deaths from malaria and HIV/AIDS, according to a study led by Save the Children and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as reported by The Associated Press.
Bill Clinton Increases HIV/AIDS Treatment Services in Haiti
Former President Bill Clinton—representing the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI)— signed an agreement with Haitian President René Préval to expand access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment services in the country, The Daily Tell reports. 
Miami Clinic Operators Convicted in HIV Medical Claims Fraud Case
Two Miami clinic operators, Scarlet Duarte and Rechart Garcia, were convicted of $51 million in medical claims fraud for falsely reporting treatment of Medicare beneficiaries with HIV, reports the South Florida Business Journal
October 06, 2009
Second Analysis of Vaccine Trial Casts Doubts on Result
An unrevealed second analysis of the results from the initially lauded RV 144 HIV vaccine trial failed to show a statistical benefit over placebo, according to a ScienceInsider blog entry authored by longtime AIDS journalist Jon Cohen.
Broward County, Florida, Nurse Might Have Exposed Patients to HIV, Hepatitis
A nurse at Broward County Medical Center in southern Florida might have exposed more than 1,800 patients undergoing chemical cardiac stress tests to HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne illnesses by reusing saline bags and tubing during a five-year period, The Miami Herald reports.
Advanced Liquid Logic Wins Fed Contract to Develop HIV Test
Advanced Liquid Logic, based in Morrisville, NC, has won a four-year, $5.2 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop an HIV-detection tool, reports the Triangle Business Journal.
HIV/AIDS Rates in South African Pregnant Women Remain High
The number of HIV-positive pregnant women in South Africa has settled at 29 percent while the rate of positive expecting mothers in their early 30s remains high at 40 percent, according to a 2008 government study reported on by Agence France-Presse.
October 05, 2009
Scientists Rebuild HIV Camouflage Mechanism in Vaccine Breakthrough
British scientists have re-created HIV’s so-called “camouflage jacket,” which enables the virus to shape-shift and avoid detection by the human immune system, Times Online reports. This research, led by Ben Davis, PhD, at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, could turn one of the virus’s greatest strengths against itself and help create an effective HIV vaccine.
Dallas Receives Federal Funding for Prisoner-Focused HIV/AIDS Programs
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the city of Dallas $247,000 for its HIV/AIDS Initiative for Re-Entry (HIRE) program, the Dallas Voice reports. HIRE is an outreach and prevention program for positive people who are being released from prison.  
HIV Misdiagnosis Lawsuit Might Lead to Future Cases in DC
A Washington, DC, man’s HIV misdiagnosis case might open new doors for emotional distress lawsuits against doctors, reports The Washington Examiner. Terry Hedgepeth was misdiagnosed in 2001 at DC’s Whitman-Walker Clinic and later sued the facility when a second test showed that was HIV negative. 
October 02, 2009
White House Issues HIV/AIDS Call to Action
Today, October 2, the Obama Administration’s Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) announced an online “Call to Action: Americans Speak Out About HIV/AIDS” to urge community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, schools, businesses, researchers, institutions and other groups to hold local discussions on how the president can best live up to his promise of developing an effective national AIDS strategy for the United States and its territories. 
U.S. Gov. Earmarks $5 Billion for “Cutting-Edge” Medical Research
The United States will invest $5 billion in scientific research, medical supplies and upgraded laboratory capacity as part the Obama Administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus package, Reuters reports. 
NYC Council Supports State HIV/AIDS Bill to Cap Rent
The New York City Council unanimously passed on September 30 a resolution in support of a state bill that would cap rent contributions for low-income HIV-positive people in the state, The Advocate reports. The bill would cap rent at 30 percent of their income.
October 01, 2009
White House Sets Tentative Dates for HIV/AIDS Community Discussions
The Obama Administration’s Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) has set tentative dates for 11 of its 12 remaining HIV/AIDS Community Discussions, in which policymakers invite the HIV community in to participate in the formation of a national AIDS strategy. 
Senate Approves 30-Day Ryan White Extension
The U.S. Senate approved legislation that extends HIV/AIDS funding under the Ryan White CARE Act for 30 days after the September 30 deadline, reports the Southern Voice
Minnesota Paper Puts Burglary Suspect’s HIV Status, Name, Photo on Front Page
On September 25, Minnesota newspaper the Pioneer Press published the mug shot and HIV-positive status of an 18-year-old burglary suspect, City Pages reports. The information was splashed across the front page, as the paper’s top story.
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