Rates of HIV infection still going up in U.S. among young gay males

From philly.com

A new report offers good and bad news about the AIDS epidemic in the United States: The annual diagnosis rate of HIV, the virus that causes the disease, has dropped by one-third in the general population but has climbed among young gay and bisexual males.

Significantly fewer heterosexuals, drug users and women were diagnosed each year with HIV, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the annual diagnosis rate more than doubled for young gay and bisexual males.

The push for safer sex may be falling on deaf ears in a generation too young to have seen the ravages of AIDS, said report co-author Amy Lansky, deputy director for surveillance, epidemiology and laboratory sciences at the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

“It’s been more than 30 years since the first cases were reported,” she said. “It’s harder to maintain that sense of urgency.”

The report only looked at people diagnosed with HIV, and health officials think many more are infected with the virus but don’t know it. The statistics also don’t say anything about when these people were infected, making it hard to pinpoint trends in efforts to prevent transmission of the virus.

Still, “we’re making significant progress and seeing declines overall,” said Lansky. However, she added, the rising numbers of diagnoses among young men who have sex with other men are “a considerable problem.”

The AIDS epidemic began more than 30 years ago. While the last two decades have brought great advances in drugs that prevent AIDS from developing in HIV-positive people, an estimated 1.1 million people are still living with HIV in the United States, Lansky said. Officials believe about 16 percent of those people — or about 176,000 — don’t know they’re infected, she said.

In the new report, published in the July 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers examined HIV diagnoses in the United States from 2002 to 2011 in people aged 13 and older.

Although almost 500,000 people were diagnosed with HIV during that time, the annual rate of diagnoses fell from 24 out of every 100,000 people to 16 — a decline of 33 percent.

Continue reading.

WHO recommends PrEP for gay and bi men at risk for HIV

From the Bay Area Reporter online

Gay and bisexual men who are at risk for HIV infection should consider using antiretroviral drugs for pre-exposure prophylaxis, better known as PrEP, according to new guidelines from the World Health Organization.

The WHO recommendation is similar to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines released in May, which state that health care providers should consider advising people at “substantial risk” to use PrEP to prevent HIV infection.

“With the WHO’s recommendation, two of the world’s most important public health institutions have recommended that gay and bisexual men who could become infected by HIV carefully consider PrEP,” said Project Inform Executive Director Dana Van Gorder. “In Project Inform’s view, this would especially include men and transgender women who ever bottom without condoms.”

Noting that HIV infection rates among gay and bi men remain high almost everywhere and new prevention options are urgently needed, WHO strongly recommended that men who have sex with men consider taking antiretroviral drugs as an additional method of protection along with condoms.

Continue reading here.

Newer, safer antiretrovirals an option for majority of HIV patients

From aidsmap.com

The majority of patients taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) that includes drugs associated with long-term side-effects may have the option of switching to a novel regimen that uses newer and safer anti-HIV drugs, according to Australian research published in PLOS One. The single-site study showed that up to 89% of patients had the option of changing to a combination that includes three active newer agents with improved safety and side-effect profiles.

The drugs associated with long-term side-effects evaluated in this study comprise the core antiretroviral drugs prescribed to the majority of people taking antiretroviral treatment today. But the authors acknowledge “most of the regimens considered as ‘viable’ in this study have not been rigorously tested in clinical trials and might be regarded as unconventional.” Nevertheless, they stress “the growing interest in testing novel combinations of ART agents, which exclude nucleoside(tide) and older non-nucleoside reverser transcriptase inhibitors (N(t)RTIs and NNRTIs, respectively), as well as ritonavir (booster dose).” Most patients taking HIV therapy have an excellent life expectancy. However, there is concern about the safety and tolerability of many routinely used anti-HIV drugs.

Investigators at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia, called these the “RATE” drugs: ritonavir (Norvir), which is associated with drug interactions, diarrhoea and lipid disturbances; abacavir (Ziagen), which can involve a hypersensitivity reaction, has reduced potency at higher viral loads and may involve a risk of cardiovascular disease; tenofovir (Viread), which can cause bone and kidney problems; and efavirenz (Sustiva), associated with neuropsychiatric side-effects and increased lipids. Moreover, these drugs are usually used in combination, compounding their toxicity profiles.

Continue reading here.

AIDSVu shows the level of infections in your area

map2

Click on the image to view the interactive map

AIDSVu is an interactive online map illustrating the prevalence of HIV in the United States. The national, state and local map views on AIDSVu allow users to visually explore the HIV epidemic alongside critical resources such as HIV testing center locations, HIV treatment center locations, and NIH-Funded HIV Prevention & Vaccine Trials Sites. The map also lets users filter HIV prevalence data by race/ethnicity, sex and age, and see how HIV prevalence is related to various social determinants of health, such as educational attainment and poverty.

The state- and county-level data on AIDSVu come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national HIV surveillance database, which is comprised of HIV surveillance reports from state and local health departments. ZIP code and census tract data come directly from state, county and city health departments, depending on which entity is responsible for HIV surveillance in a particular geographic area. AIDSVu is updated on an ongoing basis with HIV surveillance data released by CDC, as well as with new data and information from other sources as they become available.

HIV drug may boost suicide risk

From philly.com

sustiva 3A medication commonly used to treat HIV appears to double the risk that patients will develop suicidal thoughts or take their lives, new research contends. The finding concerns the anti-HIV drug efavirenz, which is marketed as Sustiva. Prior investigations indicated that efavirenz might boost suicide risk because of a negative impact on the central nervous system. The new investigation is the first to pinpoint a link to suicidal thoughts, attempts and completion, the researchers said.

“Efavirenz is a very important and effective antiretroviral medication that is the foundation for much of HIV therapy worldwide,” said study co-author Dr. Joseph Eron, of the University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research at Chapel Hill. “Our study demonstrated a clear association between efavirenz and suicidality,” he said.

Although that risk seems very small, he said, it appears to be persistent, lasting as long as patients take the drug.sustiva 2 Antiretroviral treatment typically is lifelong, helping people with the AIDS-causing virus live healthier lives. “Clinicians should be aware of this ongoing risk, and talk to their patients to assess suicidality,” Eron added. That means looking for any history of depression or suicidal thoughts or attempts, the study noted.

Continue reading on philly.com.

 

 

 

GLMA concerned about LGBT health implications of Supreme Court ruling

In response to the US Supreme Court ruling allowing closely held corporations to deny insurance coverage of contraceptives to their employees based on religious beliefs, GLMA executive director Hector Vargas issued the following statement:

“We are disappointed at today’s troubling ruling. This decision opens the door to employers interfering with the healthcare decisions that should be between the employee and their healthcare provider. We are very worried about the potential implications this decision could have on LGBT-related healthcare, such as HIV and transgender-related care.

“Earlier this year, GLMA joined Lambda Legal and Pride at Work in submitting a friend-of-the-court brief to the Supreme Court because we know all too well how allowing personal beliefs to interfere with healthcare services can result in biased care or departure from scientifically sound standards of care, and can have disastrous effects for LGBT patients.

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes the contraceptive coverage provision at issue in this case, is incredibly beneficial to the health and well-being of the LGBT community, including important non-discrimination provisions covering LGBT people. A decision, like the one today, chipping away at benefits provided by the ACA is extremely concerning.

“The attempts by the majority decision to limit the effect of its ruling are of little comfort to LGBT people and make GLMA’s educational and policy work to expand access to healthcare for LGBT people, including ensuring non-discrimination in healthcare, all the more critical.”

 

 

Men at high risk for HIV may misjudge their vulnerability

By Andrew M. Seaman
Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Many gay, bisexual and queer men who are good candidates for a drug that prevents HIV don’t believe their risk of being infected with the virus is high enough to warrant the drug’s use, suggests a new study. The poor perception of HIV risk suggests people need to be educated about how to lower the chance of being infected, according to the researchers, who do HIV testing and other research in commercial sex venues in New York City.

“Our testers and counselors were always amazed that a lot of these guys underestimated their risk for HIV – anecdotally,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the study’s senior author and medical director of ambulatory HIV services at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Continue reading on the Chicago Tribune Website.

 

Users of smartphone apps like Grindr more likely to get STDs

cell phoneFrom MedlinePlus (a National Institutes of Health Website)…

Gay men who use smartphone apps such as Grindr or Scruff to find sexual partners are more likely to acquire certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than if they meet partners in bars or clubs, a new study suggests. The research was led by Matthew Beymer of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, Los Angeles, and included nearly 7,200 local gay and “bi-curious” men. All of the men were tested for STDs and provided information about how they found their sexual partners.

Smartphone apps such as Grindr, Scruff or Recon are designed to make it easier for gay men to meet potential partners more quickly. According to background material provided in the study, Grindr, one of the first gay male “hook-up” apps, garnered 2.5 million new users in 2012, and by 2013 its makers said that Grindr had 6 million users in 192 countries worldwide. However, the authors of the new study say the use of these technologies may raise the chances of anonymous and risky sexual encounters and the likelihood of getting an STD.

(…) Compared to other men in the study, those who used smartphone apps to find sex were 35 percent more likely to be infected with chlamydia and 23 percent more likely to be infected with gonorrhea, the researchers found. The method of finding sexual partners had no effect on the risk of being infected with syphilis or HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, however.

Continue reading on MedlinePlus.

Bisexual men facing unique sexual health challenges

From Gaystarnews.com

Bisexual men are disproportionately affected by HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new study. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the research in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. According to study author William Jeffries, bisexual men are facing unique sexual health challenges. Factors that may affect the sexual health include sex without condoms, forced sexual encounters, an increased number of sexual partners and attitudes toward pregnancy.

While the study notes HIV is less common in bisexual men than gay men, bisexuals are less likely to get tested for HIV which can increase the possibility of transmitting the virus to partners. In the US last year, 21% of bisexual men reported STD treatment compared to 12% for gay men and 2.3% of straight men. In the social climate, Jeffries says men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) face ‘several sociocultural obstacles’ including biphobia. Biphobia can manifest in erroneous beliefs that MSMW are gay men who have not disclosed their sexual orientation and, particularly for black men, responsible for HIV transmission to women,’ he said. ‘Experiencing these sentiments can contribute to MSMW’s social isolation and psychological distress, which in turn may promote HIV/STI risk through substance use, sexual risk behaviors, and the avoidance of prevention services.’

Jeffries said even though the percentage of bisexual men is small in his estimate, around 2% of the population, he says more research and outreach is needed to understand their sexual health. ‘Recognition of MSMW’s unique sexual and social experiences can lay the foundation necessary for ensuring that these men have healthy and fulfilling sexual experiences,’ he said. ‘Purposefully designed and tailored efforts for MSMW are indispensable for improving the sexual health of this vulnerable population.’

 

Condoms being used by MSM and youth

LOS ANGELES–(Business Wire)–A survey by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) studying the effectiveness of its social marketing efforts found that men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) reported using condoms nearly 64% of the time, while the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sponsored 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) showed that despite a decrease in usage from ten years ago, 59% of young people still report using condoms. Despite a recent push by the CDC to encourage high-risk individuals to take a daily AIDS treatment tablet as a form of possible HIV prevention in a procedure known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), condoms remain the most effective barrier protection to prevent transmission of HIV and a number of other sexually transmitted diseases.

The AHF survey, conducted by L.A.-based Sentient Research, surveyed over 600 Los Angeles area gay men and MSM in February and March of this year. Participants were asked questions about AHF’s extensive social marketing and advertising—including their ‘Awareness & Associated Behaviors’ or their recall of, and reactions to artwork for AHF billboards and bus bench ads as well as print and online advertisements. Study participants also were queried on their sexual practices including condom use during the previous six months.

 

“We are heartened to see that despite rumors and hearsay to the contrary, a majority of gay men report using condoms, which remain by far the most effective method of preventing HIV and STD transmission when used—and when used properly,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

 

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com

STD screenings increasingly important for all men

From Edgeonthenet.com

June is Men’s Health Month, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America is encouraging men of all ages to take charge of their sexual health by getting regular checkups and, if they are sexually active, regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV.

“The truth is that not enough men get the checkups and preventive care they need. It can be easy to take your health for granted, but preventive care is a critical part of staying safe, healthy, and happy for men,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, PPFA vice president of external medical affairs.

Men are less likely than women to visit the doctor until they’re experiencing the symptoms of a serious ailment. Twenty-four percent of men don’t have a usual source of health care. Twenty-one percent of men didn’t have a health care visit at all in 2012.

“Protecting themselves against sexually transmitted diseases is one of the most important things men can do to protect their health,” said Cullins. “STDs, if left untreated, can lead to serious health outcomes.”

Rates of STDs among men are on the rise in the U.S. It’s important for men to think about getting tested for STDs as a basic part of staying healthy and taking control of your sex life — and it’s easier than ever before.

Continue reading: www.edgeonthenet.com.

 

Presure to be macho puts Black gay men at risk for HIV

By Mathew RodriguezBlack men holding each other
From TheBody.com

Social and cultural pressures to adopt masculine norms — to act, to walk, to talk and to be as masculine as possible — cause young, black gay men extreme psychological distress and isolation, which can cause them to engage in “high-risk” behavior that can result in HIV transmission, according to research led by the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and newly published in the American Journal of Public Health. Often, these behaviors occur because young, black gay men are seeking approval and acceptance. However, these high-risk behaviors have resulted in young, black gay and bisexual men accounting for 4,800 new HIV infections in 2010 — about 10% of all the infections in the U.S., and more than twice that of either young white or young Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study is the result of interviews conducted with 35 openly gay or bisexual young black men, as well as men who have sex with men, but who do not identify as gay or bisexual. Investigators stressed that their findings “offer one possible explanation for the disproportionately high HIV infection rate among young black men who have sex with men.”

“HIV risk is the sum total of many factors, but social and family stress is a well-known driver of all types of risk-taking behaviors, and our findings clearly support the notion this also holds true when it comes to HIV risk,” says study lead investigator Errol Fields, M.D., Ph.D., an adolescent medicine expert at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Continue reading on The Body.

The use of PrEP can help reduce anxiety and provide greater ‘peace of mind’

American gay men who have chosen to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are aware of their own risk of being exposed to HIV and see PrEP as providing ‘an extra layer of protection’ on top of their efforts to use condoms, some or all of the time. The use of PrEP can help reduce anxiety and provide greater ‘peace of mind’, men reported in in-depth interviews.

The study also sheds light on the motivations of men who stopped taking PrEP or who chose not to take it at all. Most frequently this was because their sexual relationships or behaviour had changed, but concern about potential side-effects also deterred a number of men.

The findings were presented to the 9th International Conference on HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence in Miami earlier this week. Hailey Gilmore and colleagues interviewed 87 American men who have sex with men who were enrolled in iPrEx OLE – a programme which offered men who had participated in a clinical trial of PrEP the possibility to take, or continue to take, PrEP after the randomised study had ended. Whereas the effectiveness of PrEP had previously been unknown, by this stage men had learnt that it could help prevent HIV infection.

Continue reading on aidsmap.com.

Start talking and stop HIV

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched their latest communication campaign under its Act Against AIDS initiative – Start Talking. Stop HIV. This new national HIV prevention campaign is the result of input from more than 500 gay and bisexual men from various racial and ethnic groups, ages, and geographic areas across the United States. The campaign was created by and for gay and bisexual men to promote open communication about a range of HIV prevention strategies for sexual partners.

Start Talking. Stop HIV. features messages that engage, inspire, and spark conversations between sexual partners and provides gay and bisexual men with practical tools and tips for talking about important HIV prevention topics like:

  • HIV testing and their HIV status,
  • Condoms and engaging in lower-risk sexual behaviors,
  • Medicines that prevent and treat HIV, including the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and antiretroviral therapy (ART).

More than thirty years after the first diagnosis of AIDS in the United States, gay and bisexual men continue to be the population most severely affected by HIV nationwide, due to a number of complex factors.

Research shows that communication between sexual partners is associated with reduced risk behavior and increased HIV testing and HIV status disclosure; however, many gay and bisexual men may still find it difficult to talk openly with their sexual partners about HIV prevention.

A dedicated campaign website and Facebook Page  provide conversation starters and accurate information to inform these life-saving conversations.

Study supports benefits of beginning HIV therapy early

From aidsmeds.com

Starting antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV before CD4 cells drop too low reduces the risk of AIDS and HIV-related illnesses, according to the same large study that proved early ARV treatment reduces the risk of HIV transmission by 96 percent, aidsmap reports. Called HPTN 052, the study was a large multi-site trial conducted in 13 sites in nine countries. Results were published in Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The trial randomized 1,762 HIV-positive participants who had CD4s between 350 and 550 to either begin ARVs immediately or to wait until their CD4 levels had either dropped to 250 or until they developed a symptomatic disease related to HIV. The median CD4 count at the study’s outset was 436. The participants were followed for a median of 2.1 years.

A total of 57 participants (6 percent) who started treatment early and 77 (9 percent) who delayed treatment experienced one or more of the following (considered a “primary outcome”): death, an AIDS diagnosis, tuberculosis (TB), a severe bacterial infection, cardiovascular disease, serious liver or kidney disease, non-AIDS cancers or diabetes. The cumulative two-year probability of such an outcome was 4.8 percent for the early treatment group, compared with 7.9 percent for the delayed treatment cohort. Although there was a 27 percent reduced risk of a primary outcome among those who started early, this difference was not statistically significant, meaning it could have occurred by chance.

Five percent of those in the early treatment group were diagnosed with an AIDS-defining event, compared with 7 percent among those who delayed treatment. The cumulative two-year probability of an AIDS diagnosis was 3.3 percent in the group that started ARVs early and 6 percent in those who delayed. Starting treatment early lowered the risk of an AIDS-defining illness by 36 percent, a difference that was statistically significant.

 

Just-released guidelines: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) use for HIV prevention

From AIDS.gov

The U.S. Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for the use of daily oral antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, for HIV infection, entitled: Preexposure Prophylaxis for the Prevention of HIV Infection in the United States – 2014 [PDF 867KB].

These guidelines provide health care providers with recommendations on the use of PrEP to prevent HIV, and include a supplement [PDF 690KB] with additional materials and tools for clinicians who prescribe PrEP and their patients. These guidelines replace previous interim guidance released by CDC for the use of PrEP.

CDC recommends PrEP for HIV-uninfected patients at substantial risk for HIV infection, including patients who have any of the following indications:

  • Is in an ongoing relationship with an HIV-infected partner;
  • Is not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative; and is a
  • gay or bisexual man who has had sex without a condom or been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection within the past six months;
  • heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms when having sex with partners known to be at risk for HIV (e.g., injecting drug users or bisexual male partners of unknown HIV status); or
  • Has, within the past six months, injected illicit drugs and shared equipment or been in a treatment program for injection drug use.

PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool. However, for sexually active people, no prevention strategy is 100% effective. Therefore, the guidelines also recommend that physicians encourage patients to use PrEP with other effective strategies—like using condoms, testing for HIV with partners, reducing the number of partners, and having partners who are HIV positive take antiretroviral therapy—to provide even greater protection from HIV.

To achieve the full promise of PrEP, each of us has a critical role to play. Clinicians play a central role in increasing awareness and the delivery of this new prevention method when there are indications for its use. Advocates can help raise PrEP awareness and understanding about PrEP, especially in at-risk populations. Medical associations and professional organizations can help educate providers and share clinicians’ experiences delivering PrEP, and HIV prevention programs can integrate PrEP education into existing activities.

We mark a milestone with the release of these new guidelines—a promising tool for HIV prevention, and one that has the potential to alter the course of the U.S. HIV epidemic.

For more about PrEP and its use. Please visit the CDC PrEP page.

Pitt breakthrough may improve HIV treatment

From the Triblive.com

A discovery about how HIV spreads through the human body could help doctors tame the virus in some infected patients, researchers say. Findings at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health show the disease moves slowly in people whose immune cells are low in cholesterol. That suggests HIV patients might live longer if researchers can regulate cholesterol metabolism in those cells, said lead author Giovanna Rappocciolo.

“We think it’s important because it’s a very new approach to the study of the HIV infection. I think it could be significant,” said Rappocciolo, an assistant professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Pitt. Her work with department Chairman Charles Rinaldo appears Tuesday in mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Funded through the National Institutes of Health, their discovery caps several years of research focused on eight men in the Pittsburgh area.

The men are among 5 percent to 10 percent of the more than 1.1 million people in the United States living with HIV who can stay healthy for seven years — or longer — without conventional therapies, Rappocciolo said. Those patients had low cholesterol levels inside certain cells that spread HIV in the body, Rappocciolo and several Pitt colleagues found. Researchers relied on data assembled over 30 years through the Pitt Men’s Study, part of the NIH-supported Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study spanning four cities.

“Results like ours are the real payoff of the past three decades of meticulous data and specimen collection,” Rinaldo said in a statement. Rappocciolo said their department has received more than $70 million for research related to AIDS, the final stage of the HIV disease that severely inhibits the immune system. Rappocciolo stressed her findings do not mean that HIV patients with low-cholesterol diets are safeguarded.

Read more at triblive.com 

Marking a scientific milestone

research pageFrom the Huffington Post
by John-Manuel Andriote
Journalist and author, ‘Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America’

Thirty years ago, in an April 23, 1984 press conference in Washington, D.C., the world learned that American microbiologist Robert C. Gallo and his colleagues at the National Cancer Institute had proved that a retrovirus first seen by their counterparts at Institut Pasteur in Paris was the cause of AIDS.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler also announced that day that the Gallo team had created a blood test to detect antibodies produced by the body to fight infection. With it we finally had the ability to know who was infected, to screen donated blood and to track the spread of the virus.

By the time of the announcement, 4,177 AIDS cases had been reported in the United States across 45 states. New York City alone accounted for more than 1,600 cases. San Francisco, far smaller than the nation’s largest city and the East Coast’s biggest gay mecca, had more than 500 cases. The majority of these cases were among gay men of all skin tones.

Although the HIV test was originally intended to screen the blood supply, it became available to the public in early 1985. After early uncertainty about what, exactly, a positive test meant, it became clear it meant that a microbial time-bomb was ticking inside you, set to explode at some unpredictable time in a nightmare that would eventually lead to your death from the cancers, dementia, brain infections and other horrors that attack a body when HIV has destroyed the immune system.

Continue reading on the Huffington Post.

Combating HIV by zip code

Minority neighborhoods in the U.S. are hit as hard by HIV as gay enclaves

From Healthline.com

HIV rates in some urban American neighborhoods rival those of Haiti and Ethiopia, according to a researcher at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

And while affected communities include big-city gay enclaves, such as New York’s Chelsea district, minority neighborhoods in the Bronx and Harlem make the list, too. The difference is that those in mostly white neighborhoods are more likely to be tested and treated than those in minority neighborhoods.They are also less likely to die of AIDS.

In an era of Internet targeting, Dr. Amy Nunn’s approach of going door-to-door if necessary to reach people with HIV may seem old-fashioned. But in areas with limited access to health care, employment, and education, HIV experts agree that a new model is needed to reach at-risk groups of black and Hispanic Americans.

Of the 50,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2010, gay and bisexual men accounted for two-thirds of them, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Black men and women are eight times more likely to become infected than whites, based on population size. Of all groups, white men who had sex with men comprised the largest segment of new infections, at 11,200. Black men who had sex with men were second, with 10,600 new infections.

Dr. Nunn, an assistant professor of medicine at Brown, told Healthline that more money must be targeted toward poor and minority neighborhoods. “If this were happening to white people there would be protests,” she said. “It’s so easy to overlook poor people.”

Of the more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. living with HIV, almost 16 percent don’t know they have it, according to the CDC. Powerful antiretroviral medications available to most everyone in the U.S. can suppress viral loads to the point that transmission is unlikely. But they will only work if they are taken regularly.

“We’ve got to get these people into treatment come hell or high water,” Nunn said.

Continue reading on Healthline.com.

Weekly clinic geared toward LGBTQ clients in Pittsburgh

research pageFrom The Pittsburgh Post Gazette… 

The first weekly Community Clinic for lesbian, gay and transgender people will be held Thursday in downtown Pittsburgh. The clinic, with physician Stacy Lane, is the only one targeting LGBTQIA individuals with no age limits or income requirements. It will be held on the eighth floor at 810 Penn Ave. from 2 to 5:30 p.m. During the clinic hours, the Garden of Peace Project will supply testing for sexually transmitted diseases and Project Silk will provide HIV testing.

Charmaine Turner, founder and director of Step Up 2 Step Out, will host a hip-hop dance class at 4 p.m. The Garden of Peace Project and Project Silk, which are the hosts, invite other providers to host their own dance classes or other health-related group activities such as yoga, meditation and self-esteem workshops.