Posts Tagged ‘Women

22
Feb
10

Follow Rae Lewis-Thornton

If you are on Twitter, it is a must that you follow Rae Lewis-Thorton.  She is beautiful, vivacious, HIV-positive and does not mind sharing her experience and wisdom with all of us. 

Check her out here:

http://twitter.com/raelt

Here is her bio from her website:

Emmy Award Winning AIDS Activist, Rae Lewis-Thornton was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 23. She rose to national acclaim when she told her compelling life story on the cover of Essence magazine. Despite living with HIV/AIDS for over 20 years, she travels the country using her life as an example that AIDS is a non-discriminatory disease. Her anticipated autobiography, Unprotected- A Memoir, will be release in 2009 by Hyperion Publishers.   

Rae Lewis-Thornton, Inc was founded by Rae Lewis-Thornton to focus on AIDS education.  Primarily destroying myths and stereotypes surrounding who can, and how one becomes infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) know to cause AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).  Through lectures, she focuses on: 

Prevention of HIV

Understanding HIV

Promoting Early Testing and Detection of HIV

Living with HIV/AIDS

Advertisements
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

Sororities effort spotlights need for more HIV testing in the black community

 7:00AMHIV.jpgJerry Campbell / Special to the GazetteTesting doesn’t hurt: Ondraya Dixon, left, of Zeta Phi Beta sorority, and Danielle Royster, center, of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, volunteer to be tested publicly for HIV on Friday to encourage Kalamazoo residents and especially African-Americans to get tested. Jan de la Torre, a prevention specialist with the Community Aids Resource and Education Services center, right, hands alcohol swabs to the women.

 KALAMAZOO — The Community Aids Resource and Education Services center in Kalamazoo held a symbolic public HIV testing event Friday afternoon to encourage residents, especially those in the black community, to get tested.

The event was held in association with the graduate chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. Participating were members of various historically African-American college-based sisterhoods.

Ondraya Dixon, 34, a member of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority, and Danielle Royster, 39, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, tried to show how easy getting tested is.
 
“I think when they see people they know at church and people they see at the grocery store getting tested, some of the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS testing in the black community will start to disappear,” said Zenda Thompson, president of the alumni chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho.

Dixon said she jumped at the opportunity to participate after being shocked by statistics that showed the lack of testing in the black community.

“When I first saw the numbers about the black community, they were staggering,” Dixon said. “People seem to have a fear of knowing. They just want to live life to the fullest, when they can be impacted even if they’re being careful.”

Blacks make up only 13 percent of the population nationally but account for 49 percent of HIV/Aids cases. In Kalamazoo the discrepancy is even wider — blacks make up 14 percent of the population and account for 59 percent of HIV/AIDS cases.

Thompson, and Jon Delatorre, HIV/AIDS specialist for CARES cochaired the event.

“I met Jon last summer through our  Write A story Love Safe program,” Thompson said. “Jon said he wished he had us as a contact during last year’s black awareness campaign. It’s tough to reach that demographic when you don’t have anyone representing it.”

Delatorre and Thompson, with each other’s help have worked together with the sororities to produce a number of Youtube videos. The one-minute videos are aimed at educating the disproportionately affected black community about HIV/AIDS.
 
“This is the year we finally decided to make a big push in social media,” Delatorre said. “We’re hoping to reach more people through more outlets than before.”

Thompson agrees, but stresses the earlier someone is educated about the effects of HIV/AIDS and the measures of prevention that are available, the better the results will be.

“When people ask me what will work best I always bring it back to the children,” Thompson said. “Even if it is only my own two that I talk to, they will talk to others. And they will talk to more.”

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.

07
Jan
10

HIV-Infected Postmenopausal Women at High Risk for Bone Fractures

“As HIV-infected individuals live longer with potent antiretroviral therapy (ART), metabolic complications such as low bone density and osteoporosis are increasingly recognized,” said Michael Yin, MD of Columbia University Medical Center in New York and lead author of the study. “Although numbers of HIV-infected postmenopausal women are increasing and postmenopausal women are at highest risk for osteoporotic fractures, few studies have evaluated skeletal status in this group. We hypothesized that postmenopausal women might be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of HIV infection or ART on the skeleton and our results indicate that this may indeed be the case.”

To test their hypothesis, Yin and his colleagues initiated a longitudinal study to assess bone health in 92 HIV-positive and 95 HIV-negative postmenopausal women. Bone mineral density of the lumbar spine, femoral neck and hip as well as body composition were measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Researchers found that HIV-positive postmenopausal women had lower bone mineral density at both the spine and hip than HIV-negative postmenopausal women.

“HIV infection was independently associated with lower bone mineral density after adjusting for body mass index (BMI) and traditional osteoporosis risk factors,” said Yin. “While the reason for HIV-associated bone loss remains unclear, it may be related to increased levels of cytokines (proteins produced by cells that aid communication between cells), direct effects of antiretrovirals on bone cells or hormonal/nutritional deficiencies that are common in HIV.”

“Estrogen protects against the effect of cytokines on bone resorption,” said Yin. “Therefore, as HIV-positive women become estrogen deficient during menopause, they may be at higher risk for accelerated bone loss and fracture.”

Other researchers working on the study include Don McMahon, Chiyuan Zhang, Aimee Shu, Ronald Staron, Ivelisse Colon, Jay Dobkin, Scott Hammer and Elizabeth Shane of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, N.Y.; David Ferris of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in N.Y.; and Jeffrey Laurence of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, N.Y.

The article, “Low bone mass and high bone turnover in postmenopausal HIV-infected women,” will appear in the February 2010 issue of JCEM.

18
Dec
09

HIV/AIDS: The incurable epidemic

FOR nearly 30 years scientists have been trying to break the back of the AIDS epidemic. Two recent studies show just how difficult and how distant that goal is.

Researchers announced Monday that their trial of a microbicide to prevent the transmission of HIV to women failed. The trial involved 9,385 women from South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania over four years. The gel, known as PRO 20000, worked well in the lab and as part of a small trial in February. Unfortunately, it bombed in the large-scale trial. While 4 percent of those who were given a placebo tested HIV-positive, 4.1 percent of those given the microbicide tested positive.

The failure comes on the heels of the disappointment over what was believed to be a breakthrough in the development of an AIDS vaccine. In September, there was great excitement over a study funded by the National Institutes of Health whose preliminary results suggested a trial vaccine reduced the chances of HIV infection. After more than two decades of failure, a clinical trial had shown a measure of protection against HIV infection for the first time. But secondary analyses of the data published in October tempered the initial enthusiasm. The vaccine trial involved more than 16,000 people in Thailand. Over a six-year period, half received a combination of two previously failed vaccines. The other half received a placebo. In the three years after their shots, 51 participants who got the vaccine became HIV-positive, while 74 who got the placebo contracted the disease. This suggested that the risk of HIV infection was reduced by 31 percent.

Several concerns about that study existed. For instance, the vaccine was tailored to combat a strain of HIV common in Southeast Asia. So its impact on strains prevalent in Europe, North America and Africa is unknown. And there was the possibility that the success was a fluke. When only those who received all six doses on schedule are taken into account, scientists found that the vaccine reduced the risk of infection by 26.2 percent. But there was a 16 percent possibility that the results were due to chance; that percentage shouldn’t go above 5.

ad_icon

Still, there’s hope that information garnered from the experiment will be useful in developing a vaccine that works. “This is the first time that any vaccine trial in humans of an HIV vaccine has shown any positive effect, very modest thought it was,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told us. “In my mind, this does not constitute this vaccine as an ‘effective’ vaccine since the effect was so modest . However, it does now form the basis for trying to dissect out any ‘correlates’ of protection that we might identify and then try to optimize or maximize them in the development of future HIV vaccines.”

One thing that caught our attention is this: Of the more than 16,000 people in the vaccine trial, only 125, or 0.7 percent, became HIV positive. All participants were counseled on how to protect themselves from HIV and were given condoms. (Those who contracted the disease will receive free anti-retroviral treatment for life.) While scientists continue searching for a vaccine or a cure, prevention remains paramount.

 




Follow Danny on Twitter!!

Prevention Education Stats

  • 5,168 hits