Posts Tagged ‘STD

21
Feb
10

HIV Poses a Community Risk for Blacks

WE MUST DO BETTER!!!!

Experts Say HIV Rates Are So High That Simply Curbing Risky Behavior Won’t Help

By CRYSTAL PHEND
MedPage TodayStaff Writer

Feb. 19, 2010— 

SAN FRANCISCO — HIV prevalence is so great among African Americans that even those who avoid risky behaviors are at high risk, according to findings reported at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. 

Dr. Kimberly Smith, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, warned that focusing on drug use, homosexual behavior and multiple partners actually undermines efforts to counteract the dramatic disparities faced by blacks in regards to HIV prevalence and mortality. 

This is particularly true for heterosexuals, she told attendees of the conference. 

“The prevalence has come to a point now where&there’s basically no room for error,” she said at a press conference. This requires a shift in perspective for policy and prevention efforts, Smith said. 

“If we start to focus on this as a community challenge rather than focusing on individual risks, then that may move us in the right direction,” she said at a press conference. 

Black people account for only 12 percent of the U.S. population, but make up half of HIV cases in the country. 

Whereas the overall rate of HIV prevalence in America is under 1 percent, Smith called attention to a New England Journal of Medicine article published earlier this week that documented the rate in several U.S. cities with large black populations as comparable to and sometimes worse than the rate reported in sub-Saharan Africa. 

For example, the HIV rate is 3 percent in the largely black Washington D.C. population (over 6 percent among black men there) and reaches nearly 14 percent in men who have sex with men in New York City compared with a general-population prevalence of 7.8 percent in Kenya and 16.9 percent in South Africa. 

Stigmatizing groups with risky behaviors leaves the majority unaware of their risk, Smith noted. 

“Part of our challenge is that a lot of the black community has not perceived itself to be at risk based upon the evolution of how we understood risk of HIV in the United States,” she said at the press conference. 

The narrow initial perception as a “gay, white disease” persisted into the mid-90s, she said. 

By the time high-profile black HIV cases like that of Earvin “Magic” Johnson stirred awareness about risk, Smith said at the plenary session, “the horse was out of the barn, the cat was out of the bag, and HIV was running rampant in black community.” 

HIV mortality for African Americans shows the same dramatic gap as HIV rates compared with other race and ethnic groups in the U.S., with an eight-fold excess mortality risk for black men and 20-fold increased risk for black women. 

Many factors contribute to this, including late diagnosis, the fact that up to 20 percent of black HIV-infected persons never see an HIV provider for at least five years after diagnosis, poorer access to care and poorer response and adherence to treatment once initiated, Smith noted. 

Dr. Kevin Fenton agreed that social contexts drive these disparities. Fenton spoke about barriers to HIV prevention at a separate session at the conference. 

Only 16 percent of people living with HIV have private insurance and 62 percent are unemployed explained Fenton, who is director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. 

“While we’ve made great strides in developing prevention interventions and targeting individual risk behavior, the bottom line is that behavioral change programs are not enough to get ahead of the curve,” Fenton said at a press conference. 

Without confronting the root causes, little will change, he cautioned. 

21
Feb
10

Would you wear this? Bertini’s Condom Couture

What do dresses, condoms, AIDS and charity have in common? A talented 35-year-old Brazilian artist (once Greenpeace activist) named Adriana Bertini. In an attempt to raise AIDS awareness and inspired by HIV-positive children she met while volunteering at an AIDS prevention group (GAPA), she has designed -over the span of ten years- dresses, skirts and suits made entirely of quality test rejected condoms.

What’s her message? “Condoms must be basic like a pair of jeans and so necessary like a great love”.
How is this environmentally friendly? Well, other than raising AIDS awareness, which is a pretty big thing, the condoms that are used to make the clothing are rejected condoms, which would otherwise be thrown into the trash or incinerated. Incineration would produce a huge amount of sulfur and trash obviously ends up in the landfills. But thanks to her partnership with preservative companies and her love for life, Bertini is able to express her talent and make a healthy and much needed ecological impact, all at the same time.

 

Cool Details


The maximum amount of condoms Adriana Bertini has used on a gown thus far are around 80 thousand. That’s a lot of condoms! What was the gown she made? It was a wedding dress. Can you picture the bride wearing this? Bertini has also made around 200 sculptures, 80 pictures and 160 figurines.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your fashion point of view, these bright colorful dresses and clothing items are not meant to be worn (except by the models), but to be seen. If you are interested, her artwork can be seen at the exhibition, “Dress Up Against AIDS: Condom Couture,” now until March 11, 2007 at UCLA’s Fowler Museum in LA. For more information visit the Fowler Museum website.

What Does The Future Hold?

Bertini doesn’t plan to stop at clothing. She has 3 big ideas in the works. For starters she plans to begin a male collection of clothing, called “Medieval Art- Garments as body protection”. She has already created a male bust series, sculptured with condoms.

She also wants to create a house, called “Venus’ House” which, not surprisingly, would have furniture and people made out of condoms, but would also contain an educational archive on sex, its history and the data/statistics on sexually transmitted diseases. Her purpose: to endorses easier and more comfortable communication about sex within families and people as a whole.

Her third project, “Fashion Show Stars” is, in a way, a form of celebrity endorsement where she hopes to some day have famous people wear her artwork and say “I use it, don’t you?” If you’re famous and interested let her know. I’m sure she’d love it.

To see more of her creative green work, go to her website.

With that said and done, remember: when you protect the earth don’t forget about yourself. You are, after all, a part of it.

Gloria Campos-Hensley
Featured Blogger
http://inventorspot.com/gloriacampos

27
Jan
10

HIV cases soar among Filipino yuppies, call center workers

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine General Hospital on Wednesday said the number of Filipinos infected with HIV rose dramatically in the past 10 months and now includes young urban professionals such as call center agents.

Doctors at the PGH Infectious Disease Treatment Complex said the number of human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) cases in the hospital rose to 100 in the past 10 months.

Records from the Department of Health showed that the number of HIV cases rose to 709 last year, compared to 528 in 2008.

Dr. Edsel Savana of the PGH Infectious Disease Treatment Complex said 80 HIV cases were recorded for November alone.

“The spread of AIDS in the country is already an epidemic. We should be on the lookout because AIDS spreads fast,” he said.

Savana said most of those who contract HIV are sex workers, gays and drug addicts.

Dr. Katerina Leyritana, however, said hospitals have also recorded HIV cases among young urban professionals such as call center agents.

She said majority of the recent HIV cases tend to be younger, mostly from ages 15-29, who are well educated.

Some of those infected said they got the illness after engaging in casual or group sex, which they discovered through social networking sites on the Internet.

“There are a lot of sites right now that can organize orgies quickly. A lot of young people believe in casual sex,” she said.

If current trends hold, the health department said HIV patients in the country could balloon to 20,000 cases by 2020.

The PGH said it will conduct a massive information drive to warn people about the possible dangers of unsafe sex. With a report from Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News.

27
Jan
10

7% of Sub-Saharan’s old people living with HIV

SENIOR Citizens Association of Zambia National Co-ordinator Rosemary Sishimba has said seven per cent of the older people in Sub-Saharan African countries are living with HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Officiating at media breakfast organised by Helpage International on Wednesday, Sishimba said it was sad that the media had not prioritised coverage of the elderly in society.

“Little is known about the vital role of older persons in social development, in the context of the HIVand AIDS pandemic a disease that has ravaged African countries socially and economically,” Sishimba said.

She said the evidence suggests that the older persons had taken the burdensome role of caring for the children as a result of HIV and AIDS in sustaining families,usually with scanty resources.

“We carried out regional consultative meetings on HIVand AIDS for the older people in eight African countries and we found out that in Kenya 72,550 older people were living with the pandemic,” she said. “As at now we have not yet established the per centage rate for Zambia as we are still carrying out the survey,” Sishimba said.

She said it was important for the government and cooperating partners to ensure that the older people in society were sensitised on the social norms of condom use.

“The problem that the older people are facing right now is that they think HIV and AIDS is a disease that can only be contracted by the young in society,” she said. “The existing preventive education message targets younger people, leaving out or programme that would be relevant to older people,”

Sishimba said the media should play an active role in reporting and sensitizing the aged in society about the pandemic.

“The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) need to collaborate with media to sensitize the public and government about the need and circumstances of older people in general and older care givers. It is however very unfortunate that the media houses hardly have interest in reporting on issues concerning the older people in society,” Sishimba said.

She said if the Sub-Saharan countries were to win the fight against HIV and AIDS more concerted efforts was an important aspect.

29
Dec
09

California AIDS Group Seeks Law to Require Condoms in Adult Films

The California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has filed a petition to amend state regulations to explicitly require condom use in the Los Angeles adult film industry, which has an ongoing sexually transmitted infection (STI) epidemic.

AHF’s petition calls on the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) to clarify protection for adult film industry workers and to include a condom requirement to the “bloodborne pathogens” regulations.

“We are taking this action on behalf of the thousands of workers who are needlessly exposed to [STIs] during the production of adult films in California. We look forward to Cal/OSHA’s swift action on this issue,” said Michael Weinstein, AHF’s president.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH), transmission of STIs is 10 times more likely to occur among adult film workers than the general population.

Between 2003 and 2007, LADPH documented 2,013 chlamydia cases and 965 gonorrhea cases among adult film workers. There have been at least 25 industry-related HIV cases since 2004.

29
Dec
09

United States Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby traveled to Malawi recently to meet with senior officials of the government of Malawi, members of the international donor community, and representatives of Malawi’s civil society to discus joint efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other health challenges.

Ambassador Goosby visited programs jointly supported by the Global Fund, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Government of Malawi and other cooperating partners.

U.S. Ambassador to Malawi Peter Bodde and Malawi’s Minister of Health Professor Moses Chirambo joined Ambassador Goosby in Lilongwe on December 15 at a ceremony inaugurating the HIV Department of Malawi’s Ministry of Health, which was built with funding from the United States government.

The new 960 square meter office complex, built at a cost of over $1 million, is a state-of-the-art building that will support prevention, care, and treatment for HIV/AIDS. It represents the growing partnership between the 2 nations in fighting HIV/AIDS.

Ambassador Goosby noted that HIV/AIDS remains a high priority for the U.S. government. “We have increased funding, and we will continue to support this program and expand it in prevention, care and treatment,” he said.

Ambassador Goosby said he was impressed by the Malawi government’s commitment at the district and national levels to fight the AIDS epidemic. “The Malawian government has shown strong leadership in responding to the AIDS epidemic,” said Ambassador Goosby. “It has created the National AIDS Commission. It has created a number of groups that are in advisory as well as implementation and oversight roles within the Ministry of Health that engage with civil society, patients affected with HIV, as well as the faith based community.”

PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have supported countries in placing more than 3.7 million people on antiretroviral treatment and delivered prevention interventions to millions more globally. Malawi has received support for the prevention, care and treatment of HIV and AIDS and for health systems strengthening initiatives. The government of Malawi and its partners, including PEPFAR and the Global Fund, provide life-saving antiretroviral therapy to over 170,000 Malawians, and have delivered counseling and testing for HIV to over 300,000 pregnant Malawian women.

The U.S. is committed to working with Malawi, other nations and international partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

28
Dec
09

Open Wide: Dentists Now Offer Quick HIV Tests

“Don’t forget to floss” may soon be followed by “and don’t forget to wear a condom,” as dentists and clinics have started to administer state-of-the-art saliva tests that can detect HIV in minutes.

“The surprise factor is you are offering this,” said Dr. Catrise Austin, who has tested some 100 patients for HIV at VIP Smiles, her New York City clinic, since July.

“The topic of HIV can be uncomfortable for some, so we decided we would talk about it with patients in a matter-of-fact way, the way we talk about cavities and gum disease.”

To test for the AIDS-causing virus, all Austin needs to do is swipe a patient’s upper and lower gums with a $15 OraQuick Advance kit.

Within 20 minutes, the swab will change colors to indicate a positive or negative result — just like a home pregnancy test.

Nationwide, a handful of public health agencies, including in New York City, are trying to bring HIV testing to the dental chair.

Approximately one in 10 Americans visit a dentist but not a physician each year, and about a quarter of HIV-infected people don’t even know their status, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The city is funding dental HIV testing programs at Metropolitan Hospital, Harlem Hospital and Jacobi Medical Center, as well as small community dental clinics.




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