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CDC Study Reveals Half of Gay, Bi Men with HIV Are Not Receiving Necessary Treatment

Hiv

A disturbing new study issued by the Center for Disease Control finds half of gay and bisexual men with HIV go untreated, with nearly one in five men who have sex with men (MSMs) being unaware that they're infected.

NBC News reports:

Nearly 600,000 U.S. gay and bisexual men have HIV, the CDC says, and they make up more than half the Americans with the virus even though they account for just 2 percent of the population. CDC’s Sonia Singh and colleagues looked at a large national HIV survey and found that while 77 percent of gay men diagnosed with HIV have some sort of care available to them, only half were actually getting that care and just under half had been prescribed the drug cocktails recommended for just about everyone with HIV. Younger men and blacks were less likely than older, white men to be getting good treatment.

Added Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention:

“It’s unacceptable that treatment, one of our most powerful tools for protecting people’s health and preventing new HIV infections, is reaching only a fraction of gay men who need it. A top prevention priority at CDC is making sure every gay man with HIV knows his status and receives ongoing medical care – otherwise, we will never tackle the HIV epidemic in the country.”

For more info on the study, visit the CDC website HERE

Last week, the CDC lauched a video campaign encouraging people living with HIV to seek treatment. 


CDC Launches 'HIV Treatment Works' Campaign: VIDEO

CDCHIV

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun a video campaign titled "HIV Treatment Works." Their goal? Encourage and support people living with HIV to do just that, keep living a vibrant and healthy lifestyle.

The CDC reports:

More than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. This campaign features people from across the United States who are living with HIV talking about how sticking with care and treatment helps them stay healthy, protect others, and live longer, healthier lives.

This campaign shows how people living with HIV have overcome barriers to get in care and stay on treatment. On this website, you will find information encouraging people living with HIV to get in care and stay on treatment, as well as resources on how to live well.

The CDC website has a series of videos chronicling a wide array of Americans living with HIV as well as an HIV testing location finder and a list of other resources.

Check out the campaign ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

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SF Supervisor Scott Wiener Comes Out of the PrEP Closet: 'Each Morning, I Take a Pill Called Truvada'

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener decided to "come out of the PrEP closet" this week in order to educate the public and destigmatize 'pre-exposure prophylaxis', an HIV prevention strategy that reduces the risk of infection by the use of antiretroviral drugs. In a piece published Wednesday in the Huffington Post, Wiener says that he takes Truvada, the pharmaceutical produced by Gilead, daily.

WienerWrites Wiener:

I recently decided to be public about my use of PrEP in order to raise awareness about this relatively new tool for preventing HIV. It's important to encourage people at risk for HIV to talk to their medical providers about all the tools and methods available for preventing infection, including PrEP, and to choose the methods that are best for them.

As an elected official, disclosing this personal health decision was a hard but necessary choice. After all these years, we still see enormous stigma, shame, and judgment around HIV, and around sexuality in general. That is precisely why I decided to be public about my choice: to contribute to a larger dialogue about our community's health. I have the honor of representing a district that includes the Castro -- ground zero for the HIV epidemic. I represent a community that has been profoundly impacted by HIV, with a large number of HIV-positive people -- nearly one in four gay men in San Francisco is HIV-positive -- and an even larger number of people at risk of becoming positive. As an elected official in this role, I have an obligation to do everything in my power to support those living with HIV, increase public awareness about effective HIV prevention, and reduce stigma and shame.

Wiener notes that, like many in his generation, "I came of age associating sex with illness and death" yet he is bewildered by the fact that many young men and many he have known to be negative for decades still seroconvert.

"None of this is preordained. People don't need to continue to get infected, and we know that PrEP has the potential to help stop the epidemic in its tracks by ending new HIV infections," Wiener writes.

TruvadaWiener is introducing a resolution in San Francisco today hoping to begin a process that will allow PrEP to become more available, reports Josh Barro in the NYT:

On Thursday, the board will hold a hearing about increasing that number. David Campos, a supervisor who like Mr. Wiener is openly gay, will introduce a resolution directing the city’s health department to develop a plan by December that “addresses the educational and affordability issues” around Truvada. In particular, he and Mr. Wiener are focused on bringing down costs for people who would like to be on PrEP but can’t afford it.

PrEP is widely covered by health insurers, including Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid. Medi-Cal covers PrEP’s entire cost and many high-quality private plans cover most costs. Mr. Wiener pays just a $15 monthly co-payment under his city-provided health plan. But health plans with high deductibles may leave patients “covered” yet unable to afford their share of the cost of Truvada, whose list price is over $1,000 per month. The price is also forbidding for the uninsured; federally funded programs provide free medication to H.I.V.-positive people without insurance, but they do not cover PrEP.

Wiener told Barro: “A much larger segment of gay men should be taking a close look at PrEP...I hope that my being public about my use of PrEP can help people take a second look at it.”


Cameroon's Anti-gay Laws Often Invoked Based On Stereotypes and Trickery Rather Than 'Sexual Relations'

Michel-TogueAnti-gay legislation in Cameroon is meant to punish "sexual relations with a person of the same sex" and can result in prison sentences up to five years in length. One attorney, Michel Togue (right), is speaking out against the injustice not only of the law itself, but also the shoddy, treacherous ways in which it is reinforced. According to Togue, article 347 of the Cameroon penal code is more often than not invoked based on stereotyping and entrapment.

Think Progress reports:

Togue told ThinkProgress that of the dozens of such cases he has represented, very few people were actually caught in the act of actually having sex. Once an accusation of homosexuality is made, police make arrests based solely on how individuals present themselves. For example, if a man is found to be cross-dressing, that could be used as proof that he is gay in court. If somebody has a job that doesn’t fit their gender, like a male hairdresser, that too could be used against them. A judge convicted one of Togue’s clients for feminine mannerisms and for drinking Bailey’s Irish Cream, which he felt only a woman would drink...

Cameroon2One of the most high-profile cases was that of Jean-Claude Roger Mbede (left), who texted a picture of himself holding a sign that read, “I’m very much in love w/u” to another man. The recipient reported the image to the police as “sexual harassment,” then invited Mbede over to his home, where the police were waiting to arrest him. Mbede was sentenced to three years in prison. “If Roger was sentenced as a homosexual,” Togue asked, “with whom did he have sex?” Mbede was provisionally released on medical grounds in 2012 and went into hiding; he died earlier this year after he could no longer afford hospital treatment for a hernia.

While the widespread misuse of the penal code is disturbing, the reinforcement of anti-gay laws by the Catholic church is spreading a message of hate further than it would otherwise reach. in 2013, bishops from around the country issued a statement reading: "homosexuality opposes humanity and destroys it." The cultural ramifications of such fear-mongering are incredibly dangerous.

This stigma is also having a negative impact on health care in the country, particularly when it comes to HIV outreach. “They can’t go to the hospital for the treatment or even for a test because they’re afraid,” Togue explained. He knows of at least one case where an individual admitted to a nurse that he’d had same-sex relations and she called the police on him.

CameroonTogue remains hopeful, however, and believes that the work of LGBT organizations in Cameroon could positively impact the cultural milieu surrounding homosexual identity.

Togue hopes that local organizations in Cameroon will help people learn that “a homosexual is our friend, is our brother, is our sister, is part of our family — is not a stranger, not someone coming from outside.”

Image of Togue via Global Rights.


San Diego Man Accused of Knowingly Spreading HIV Ordered to Stay Off Dating Websites

Guerra

Thomas Guerra, the 29-year-old San Diego man accused of knowingly exposing an ex-boyfriend and potentially dozens of other men to HIV has been ordered by a judge to no longer use Internet dating sites, including the site where he met victims. 

The Los Angeles Times reports:

A criminal complaint against Thomas Miguel Guerra lists one alleged victim. But officials from the city attorney's office said the investigation is continuing and more victims may be added.

Guerra has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

Superior Court Judge Dan Link rejected a request from the city attorney's office to increase bail for Guerra, now living in Imperial Beach.

But Link approved a request from the prosecutor to order Guerra to stay away from Internet dating sites as a condition of remaining free on bond.

Guerra, who is also known as Ashton Chavez, currently faces a maximum of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, his alleged victim is hopeful that additional text message records could prompt prosecutors to upgrade the case to a felony, punishable with up to eight years in prison.


Robyn, Hot Chip, and Sufjan Stevens Turn in Gorgeous Covers of Arthur Russell Classics: LISTEN

Robyn

A tribute to the late composer, cellist, and all-around musical genius Arthur Russell, mostly known for his successes in underground dance and disco, is set to be released on October 21. Russell died of AIDS-related causes in 1992 after a career which included collaborations with Talking Heads, Philip Glass, Allen Ginsberg, and Bootsy Collins.

Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell features contributions from Hot Chip, Cults, Scissor Sisters, Sufjan Stevens, Phosphorescent, José González, and Blood Orange, among others. The release is the latest from the Red Hot organization which dedicates itself to fighting AIDS through pop culture.

Swedish pop/dance princess Robyn offers an upbeat cover of "Tell You (Today)". Check it out after the jump, along with equally gorgeous covers of "A Little Lost" by Sufjan Stevens and "Go Bang" by Hot Chip.

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via vogue)

Continue reading "Robyn, Hot Chip, and Sufjan Stevens Turn in Gorgeous Covers of Arthur Russell Classics: LISTEN" »


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