New study shows gay and bi men twice as likely to get skin cancer

From USA Today

Tanning-x400Gay and bisexual men in the United States are twice as likely as heterosexual men to get skin cancer, a new study shows.

One likely reason: Gay and bisexual men are three times more likely to engage in indoor tanning, according to the study to be presented Friday in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The study suggests that anti-tanning messages, most often aimed at young women, need to be broader, says researcher Sarah Arron, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. “The primary reason that men and women engage in indoor tanning is because of the cultural association of tanning with a healthy look and overall attractiveness,” Arron says. “We need to dispel the myth of the healthy tan.”

Tanning, whether in the sun or in a tanning bed, can cause skin cancer, including melanoma, the most dangerous kind, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s office.

Free AIDSINFO drug app: HIV-Related drug information for health care providers and consumers

Healthcare providers and consumers need HIV-related drug information and, increasingly, they depend on mobile devices to access that information. AIDSinfo is meeting both needs with the release of the AIDSinfo Drug App. Using data from theAIDSinfo Drug Database, the drug app provides information on more than 100 HIV-related Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved and investigational drugs. The AIDSinfo Drug App—provided free from the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health—is available for iOS and Android devices.

The information on the AIDSinfo Drug App, offered in English and Spanish, is tailored to meet the needs of both healthcare providers and consumers. The app works offline, ensuring that healthcare providers and consumers can access vital drug information anywhere—even in healthcare facilities that may not have an Internet connection.

The AIDSinfo Drug App pulls FDA labels from Daily Med for approved HIV-related drugs. The app also integrates information on drug nomenclature and chemical structure from ChemIDplus. Information from the labels is condensed in easy-to-understand summaries in English and Spanish for consumers.

Users can also access information on HIV-related drugs under investigation via the AIDSinfo Drug App. The investigational drug summaries, which are developed from the latest clinical trial results, are tailored by audience: technical, more detailed summaries for healthcare providers and less complex summaries in English and Spanish for consumers.

Users can also personalize the AIDSinfo Drug App. According to their needs, users can set pill reminders, bookmark drugs, or add personal notes:

  • Set pill reminders: Medication adherence is crucial to successful HIV treatment, and the app’s medication reminder can help those taking HIV medicines stay on schedule. Choosing from a menu of alarms, app users can set pill reminders for any time of the day and any day of the week.
  • Bookmark drugs: Busy users can bookmark frequently referenced drugs. No more searching for the same drugs again and again.
  • Add notes: App users can also customize drugs with personal notes. For example, patients can add notes during medical visits; healthcare providers can add relevant information useful at the point of care.

Stay tuned as AIDSinfo updates the app with additional features. Visit AIDSinfo to download the drug app to your iOS or Android device. And keep us posted on your experience with the app. We welcome your questions and comments at ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov.

Most HIV infections from those not treated

From the Washington Blade

protection-from-HIV-1-infection-in-human-CD4+-T-cellsA new study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that more than 90 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. are passed on from HIV-positive people who are not in medical care or treatment, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.

The study, published Feb. 23, “estimates that 91.5 percent of new HIV infections in 2009 were attributable to people with HIV who were not in medical care, including those who didn’t know they were infected. In comparison, less than six percent of new infections could be attributed to people with HIV who were in care and receiving antiretroviral therapy,” the Journal reports.

“We were shocked to see that the number was as high as it is — nine out of 10 new HIV infections in 2009 occurred this way — over 91.5 percent” said Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President. “Such off-the-charts numbers suggest that HIV/AIDS resources, funding and energies must be directed toward far more aggressive and proactive HIV testing, linkage to medical care and antiretroviral treatment for those already infected rather than to the more expensive and esoteric HIV prevention methods such as PrEP. We’ve known for over four years that ‘treatment as prevention’ works. Until this study, we just didn’t know how great the need was for us to fully deploy ‘treatment as prevention’ to get as many HIV-positive individuals in care and on treatment as possible in order to break the chain of infection.”

New study: AIDS drug cuts risk of infection by 86 percent

prep-400x210(Reuters) – Gay men at high risk of HIV who took a daily dose of a Gilead AIDS drug as a preventative measure cut their risk of infection by 86 percent, according to results of a British trial released on Tuesday. Researchers who conducted the trial of so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) said the results offer real hope of reversing the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men, one of the highest risk groups.

“These results … show PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV infection in the real world,” said Sheena McCormack, a professor of clinical epidemiology at University College London and the study’s lead investigator.

PrEP involves people who do not have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected and seek to protect themselves by taking a single pill, usually a combination of two antiretrovirals, every day.

Continue reading.

Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States 2013 is now available online

map2From the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual HIV Surveillance Report titledDiagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2013, is now available online [PDF 2.9MB]. The report summarizes information about diagnosed HIV infection from 2009 to 2013 representative of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and six U.S. dependent areas. Overall, HIV diagnosis rates remain stable yet disparities persist among some groups.

The report shows that the annual rate of diagnosis in the United States remained stable with 15.0 per 100,000 in 2013 compared to 15.3 per 100,000 in 2009.

Despite this, disparities persist—and in some cases—rates have increased among certain groups. As evidenced by this report and other previously released data, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM); young adults; and racial and ethnic minorities continue to bear the disproportionate burden of HIV…

Continue reading.

HIV health advocates reach gay men at risk on cell phone apps

images (1)From the Washington Blade

Hook-up apps on smartphones continue to be an avenue for HIV health advocates to reach gay men at risk, Bloomberg reports.

Citing surging rates of new infections in gay and bi men 24 or younger, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the CDC coordinated an online campaign last month with several dating services to promote testing. The messages, which were donated by the app companies, were seen by 19 million users and more than 30,000 clicked through for more information, Hecht said.

Hornet and Jack’d are among dating apps that have undertaken their own awareness campaigns, deploying them in regions with less public discussion about the virus that causes AIDS. Last year Hornet teamed with a local non-profit in the Philippines to send messages to 94,000 users about testing services, with links for online registration. More than 4,300 men responded, and 539 were HIV positive, said Sean Howell, founder and chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based company.

“Gay men are always on their phone, looking for other gay men,” said Howell, 34, who created Hornet after he realized how much time his friends spent online. “We have 4 million users worldwide who are at the highest risk for HIV and we have their attention.”