UNITED STATES: Longevity of AIDS Patients Presents New Risks: US

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 – http://www.afp.com/english/home/

CDC is marking the 30th anniversary of AIDS this week by calling on Americans to recommit themselves to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment efforts. “Over the last three decades, prevention efforts have helped reduce new infections and treatment advances have allowed people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. “But as these improvements have taken place, our nation’s collective sense of crisis has waned. Far too many Americans underestimate their risk of infection or believe HIV is no longer a serious health threat, but they must understand that HIV remains an incurable infection.” “Currently, more than 1.1 million people in the United States live with HIV, and as this number increases, so does the risk of transmission,” Frieden said. The agency released updated data Thursday showing that 20 percent of teenagers and adults with HIV are unaware of their infection. Approximately 1,819 of every 100,000 African Americans have HIV, 593 of Hispanics or Latinos and 238 of whites. The rate of new HIV infection for black men is six times that of white men, and about three times that of Hispanic men. Black women are 15 times more likely to have HIV compared to their white peers, and almost four times more likely than Hispanic women. Among Hispanics, the rate of new infections among men is more than double that of white men, and the rate among Latinas is almost four times that of white women. Men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately impacted by the disease, accounting for nearly 50 percent of people living with HIV. “Today, the most infections are among people under 30, a new generation that has never known a time without effective HIV treatments and who may not fully understand the significant health threat HIV poses,” Frieden noted. To view CDC’s media statement, visit http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/s0602_hivaids30years.html. The update, “HIV Surveillance – United States, 1981-2008,” was published in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2011;60(21):689-693).

UNITED STATES: Black MSM Focus of New HIV Campaign

Thu, 26 May 2011 – http://ebar.com

CDC’s “Know Where You Stand” prevention campaign urges African-American men who have sex with men to learn their HIV status. Launching in 14 cities, the outreach has recently put up billboards in Oakland and San Francisco calling for black MSM to “Get Tested. Know More.” Banner ads touting the same message are running on several websites that target black MSM, including LOL Darian, Black Gay Chat Live, and DowneLink. The campaign also will feature prominently at Black Pride events across the country this summer. CDC consulted 19 black MSM stakeholders to assist in developing the campaign, a group that ranged from community leaders to researchers. Ernest Hopkins, legislative director for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, was one of those who helped CDC “go through the literature and test campaign ideas to really begin to understand what would be needed in order to address this population in a culturally appropriate way.” Another consultant was Venton Jones, a D.C.-based senior program associate for communications and member education at the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition. The campaign message of “knowing your truth” is designed to get men not only to test for HIV but also take care of their health in general, he said. “It is powerful just in the title itself to know where you stand, and that is making sure you get tested and if you are positive, to start treatment,” Jones noted. “Know Where You Stand” is part of CDC’s Act Against AIDS, which launched in 2009 as a multi-pronged, five-year campaign. Data show black MSM are the group most disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. A 2008 CDC study of 21 US cities found that 28 percent of black MSM were HIV-positive, of which 59 percent were unaware of their infection.

UNITED STATES: Emory Map Pinpoints HIV Rates

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 – http://www.ajc.com

A new interactive map developed by Emory University utilizes state and regional statistics to identify US areas with the highest HIV rates. Patrick Sullivan, an Emory associate professor of epidemiology, hopes the map will help pinpoint areas requiring the greatest prevention support and encourage action there. “Are we matching up the services, the testing, the care resources to the communities that are most impacted?” Sullivan asked. CDC data indicate that 1.1 million people in the United States are HIV-positive. Emory collaborated with state health departments and CDC in gleaning data for the map. The map affords regional and nationwide viewpoints unobtainable by surveying state data in isolation, said Sullivan. For example, the Southeast region is home to some of the highest US HIV statistics. “People look at this map and almost without exception say, ‘Wow,’” Sullivan said. The map also permits users to assess HIV rates along race, gender, and age lines. Sullivan said the disproportionate rates among African Americans and Hispanics are related to disparities in wealth, as well as access to fundamental health care services and HIV testing. Tracy Elliott, executive director of the nonprofit AID Atlanta, described the impact of these disparities on African-American communities as “significant and tragic.” To access the interactive map, visit www.AIDSVu.org.

AUSTRALIA: Safe Sex Ads to Return to Bus Shelters

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 – http://aap.com.au/

Ads advocating protected sex are set to return to Brisbane bus stops after being removed following complaints. The ads depict a fully dressed same-sex couple grasping a wrapped condom. The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) accused the “Rip and Roll” campaign of illustrating foreplay and being inappropriate for public display. The week of the ad’s debut, the advertising firm Adshel, the billboard vendor Goa and the Advertising Standards Bureau logged 30 complaints. The ad presents contact information for Healthy Communities, a recipient of local government support for sex education marketing since 1988. A Healthy Communities-spearheaded demonstration disputing the ad’s ouster drew 30 protesters to Adshel’s Brisbane headquarters Wednesday. A Facebook campaign signed up 30,000 supporters. Adshel CEO Steve McCarthy said the discovery that the complaints were the result of a “coordinated ACL campaign” caused the company to revisit its decision and replace the ads. According to Healthy Communities Executive Director Paul Martin, surveys and the quick response to the ads’ removal demonstrate widespread support for gay rights. “We keep drawing attention to that evidence, but some people give undue weight to a vocal minority in the community – like people connected to ACL,” said Martin. Wendy Francis, ACL’s Queensland director, said she led the campaign to oppose its sexual nature, irrespective of the homosexual context. “I think it’s another loss for our children, I really do,” said Francis. Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser admonished Francis to “Check the calendar, it’s 2011.” “I think we should call it for what it is and this is basic homophobia,” said Fraser.

CANADA: High Prevalence of Food Insecurity Among HIV-Infected Individuals Receiving HAART in a Resource-Rich Setting

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 – http://www.tandf.co.uk

The researchers set out to assess the prevalence and correlates of food insecurity in a cohort of HIV-positive persons receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy in British Columbia. The adults receiving HAART had voluntarily enrolled in the Longitudinal Investigations into Supportive and Ancillary Health Services (LISA) cohort. A modified version of the Radimer/Cornell questionnaire was used to measure individual food insecurity, while bivariate analyses determined the differences between explanatory variables for individuals who were food secure and food insecure. Independent predictors of food insecurity were determined through logistic regression. There were 457 individuals enrolled in the LISA cohort; of these, 324 (71 percent) were classified as food insecure. Multivariate analysis determined that the individuals more likely to be food insecure were those who had incomes of less than $15,000 (odds ratio 3.15, 95 percent confidence interval 1.83, 5.44), used illicit drugs (OR 1.85, 95 percent CI 1.03, 3.33), smoked tobacco (OR 2.30, 95 percent CI 1.30, 4.07), had depressive symptoms (OR 2.34, 95 percent CI 1.38, 3.96), and were younger (OR 0.95, 95 percent CI 0.92, 0.98). “Our results demonstrated a high (71 percent) prevalence of food insecurity among HIV-infected individuals receiving HAART in this resource-rich setting, and that food insecurity is associated with a compendium of environmental and behavioral factors,” the authors concluded. “More research is needed to understand the biological and social pathways linking food insecurity to these variables in order to identify program strategies that can effectively improve food security among HIV-infected populations.”

CALIFORNIA: Cyclists to Roll into Santa Cruz on Sunday for AIDS Awareness Event

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 – http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/

Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of CDC’s first report of the disease that became known as AIDS, and on that day some 2,500 bicyclists and 700 support personnel will set out on AIDS/LifeCycle10. The weeklong, 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles raises funds for HIV/AIDS-related services provided by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Registered riders range in age from 18 to 83, and they hail from 41 states and 11 nations. Each is required to raise at least $3,000. Since its 2001 inception, AIDS/LifeCycle has raised more than $70 million to fight the epidemic and support those living with HIV. “I don’t think I could really tell you the full number of people I have lost to this disease,” said Paul Ortega, who first participated two years ago and will ride again this year. “I feel blessed to be able to do just this little part.” For more information, visit www.aidslifecycle.org/.

GLOBAL: HIV/AIDS Numbers from Around the World

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 – http://www.reuters.com

Marking the 30th anniversary of the first reports of HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS has released its latest statistics on the epidemic. More than 60 million people have contracted HIV, of whom almost 30 million have died of related causes. 2009 saw 2.6 million new HIV infections, down from 3.1 million in 1999; 370,000 children born with HIV; and 1.8 million AIDS-related deaths. Of the estimated 33.3 million people living with HIV in 2009, 34 percent were in 10 nations of Southern Africa. In Asia, the number of people with HIV in 2009, 4.9 million, was about the same as five years earlier. Central and South America saw 92,000 new HIV infections in 2009, along with 68,000 AIDS-related deaths. About 2.3 million people were living with HIV in North America and Western and Central Europe that year, and another 101,000 individuals became infected.

OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma to Get More than $47 Million in HUD Funds

Tue, 31 May 2011 – http://www.ap.org/

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced $47.9 million in grants to Oklahoma. HUD officials said the awards include $27.3 million to Community Development Block Grant programs at the state and local levels; $18.1 million to the HOME Investment Partnerships program, which aims to produce affordable housing for low-income families; $1.3 million to the Emergency Shelter Grant program; and $1.1 million to Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: National Museum of American History Marks 30th Anniversary of HIV and AIDS

Wed, 04 May 2011 – http://www.miami.com/herald/

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is marking the 30th anniversary of the first reports of HIV/AIDS with a special exhibit examining the health, scientific and political responses to the epidemic. “HIV and AIDS 30 Years Ago” includes press coverage, photographs and prevention materials created by the gay community from 1981 to 1987. In “Archiving the History of an Epidemic: HIV and AIDS, 1985-2009,” the museum’s Archives Center presents materials including posters from AIDS-related films like “Philadelphia” and “Longtime Companion.” Also on display is a panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt honoring Roger Lyon, who died shortly after his 1984 testimony to Congress about the new disease. The exhibit’s online offerings may be viewed at www.americanhistory.si.edu/hivaids. For visitor information, telephone 202-633-1000 or 202-633-5285 (TTY) or visit www.americanhistory.si.edu.