22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) underway in Amsterdam

From HIV.gov

As the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) got underway in Amsterdam, HIV.gov began their coverage of HIV research advances and other conference highlights with an interview of Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. Dr. Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH.

Interview of Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. According to its organizers, each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programs that ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic.

The theme of AIDS 2018 is “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges,” drawing attention to the need of rights-based approaches to more effectively reach key populations. AIDS 2018 aims to promote human rights based and evidence-informed HIV responses that are tailored to the needs of particularly vulnerable communities – including people living with HIV, displaced populations, men who have sex with men, people in prisons and other closed settings, people who use drugs, sex workers, transgender people, women and girls and young people – and collaborate in fighting the disease beyond country borders.




Interactive online map illustrating the prevalence of HIV in the United States

map2AIDSVu 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.

Marking a scientific milestone in the HIV epidemic

From 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.

“We Were Here” revisits 1980’s AIDS crisis to inform younger generation

From Salon.com:

The director of a new documentary says younger generations need to be familiar with the horrors of the early ’80s

The AIDS epidemic hit San Francisco’s gay community in the early ’80s like a mysterious plague, killing thousands before anyone knew exactly what it was. It wasn’t that long ago, but the fear and devastation of those days may have been swept aside in the  rushes for the cure and activism that’s followed, even as AIDS remains a worldwide pandemic.

That the horror of those days has been forgotten — or never learned — by younger generations inspired David Weissman’s “We Were Here,” an effective and moving documentary that revisits the harrowing era through the eyes of a handful of people who lived through it. Three decades later, they’re still trying to make sense of what happened.

Read an interview with the film’s creator, David Weissman on Salon.com.

You can see a preiview of the film at the film’s official Website, wewereherefilm.com and on PBS.org/independentlens.

Panel says boys should also get HPV vaccine

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal panel on Tuesday recommended that  all preteen children – not just girls – get a vaccine that prevents a common  sexually transmitted disease, in a move that public health experts hope will  lead to widespread immunity to the virus and, eventually, cut rates of certain  types of cancer.

The controversial vaccine against the human papilloma virus, or HPV, has been  recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls since 2006, when studies showed that  girls and young women who were immunized had lower rates of cervical cancer.  Several types of HPV can cause cancers in the cervix, anus, head and neck.

But similar guidelines for boys lagged until recent studies showed that the  vaccine prevents genital warts in boys and young men and reduces rates of anal  cancer, especially in men who have sex with men.

The new recommendations, which will likely be formalized by the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention by early next year, were based in large part on  that data. But a critical reason for including boys in the recommendations is to  protect girls from becoming infected with HPV, doctors and public health  officials said.

Read the full article at SFgate.com .