International

U.S. poised to normalize HIV testing

published: March, 24, 2013 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // CATIE, Newly Diagnosed, Health, Sexual Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, International , Population Specific

CATIE reports there is a consenus in the States that expansion and normalization of HIV testing in medical settings “is an important step forward in helping to reduce the spread of this virus and bring people into care.” But where does Canada stand?

U.S. poised to normalize HIV testing

This article by Sean Hosein first appeared on the CATIE website here  Une version française est disponible ici.  In Canada and in most other high-income countries the cost of HIV treatment is subsidized for permanent residents and citizens. Such treatment, commonly called ART or HAART, helps to stabilize the immune system and reduces the amount of HIV in the blood and genital fluids. ART’s power is so profound that an HIV-positive young adult who initiates therapy and takes his/her medi

Robert's walk with AIDS (Part 15): There's a witch on my back

published: March, 22, 2013 Categories // Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Population Specific

This is the conclusion to the series of blog posts by Gary Nelson chronicling life with his partner, Robert, who died of AIDS March 21, 2002.

After Charlie's death there was still some talk of the crows in the side yard coming and going. Tootie also complained about waking up in the middle of the night "with a witch on my back that scared the pee out of me." She was convinced that it was Charlie's spirit caught between the two worlds. No stranger to anxiety myself, I wondered if, in the near future, I was going to end up with one of those witches on my back, as well. By summer the crows left to parts unknown. From the beginning of

Needle exchanges in prison settings

published: March, 20, 2013 Categories // Health, International , Legal, Opinion Pieces

Roy Kilpatrick wrote “Defusing Scotland’s HIV prison timebomb” but the need for a harm reduction approach to the practice of sharing needles inside prison walls could be argued applies way outside Scotland’s borders.

Exactly twenty years ago, in the first three months of 1993, more than thirty men in care of Her Majesty’s Prison Glenochil (Scotland) (below, right) were on heroin, sharing needles and syringes. During a prison-wide HIV testing campaign, it came to light that 12 of the men had become HIV positive as a result.  Today, twenty years on, HIV treatment has radically improved the health and longevity of people living with the virus. For anyone receiving an HIV diagnosis in the early 1990s, howe

Foreign fling

published: March, 18, 2013 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Dating, Gay Men, International , Travel, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Brian Finch

Brian Finch reports in from Israel on someone he’s met. “Nothing serious like planning a long distance relationship. I’m pretty sure as much fun as it is, the expiry date will be the moment I board the plane.”

Foreign fling

I’m writing this as I’m desalinating from spending the day at the Dead Sea. For years I’ve hear of this wondrous place where one’s body becomes a floatation device. At first when I arrived I thought I’d get a friend’s cousin in Tel Aviv to be my guide. As it turns out I’m having a Tel Aviv fling over the course of this month. Nothing serious, like planning a long distance relationship. I’m pretty sure as much fun as it is, the expiry date will be the moment I board the plane.

Grappling with the HIV treatment cascade

published: March, 16, 2013 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // As Prevention , Health, Research, International , Treatment, Revolving Door, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces

It’s important to know how well we are reaching people with HIV, in particular how many are currently virally suppressed. But aidsmap.com asks, are we underestimating the proportion of virally-suppressed patients?

Grappling with the HIV treatment cascade

This article by Gus Cairns previously appeared on aidsmap.com here.  PositiveLite.com says why this article is important. This article is particularly important for those of us following the notion of treatment as prevention and in particular the concept of the “HIV treatment cascade” that CATIE’s James Wilton described here. An important part of watching the treatment cascade at work is the need to follow – even encourage – the passage of people with HIV through the continuum whic

Warning: Gay Catholic priest

published: March, 15, 2013 Categories // Activism, Gay Men, International , Population Specific

Chistopher Banks and the priest who nursed gay men with AIDS, but felt forced to leave the priesthood because of his own sexual orientation.

Michael Bancroft is a gay man and a former Catholic priest.  After leaving the priesthood, it took Father Michael Bancroft six months to return to church because he could no longer be, as he puts it, “the holy man standing up front in church clothes who was struggling” with his homosexuality. Trying to slip quietly in to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland, particularly when you’d been a high-profile priest there, is a bit like attempting to sneak into the bank wearing a Nasty Pig jo

Why do porn actors kill themselves?

published: March, 12, 2013 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Gay Men, International , Revolving Door, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality

An essay by the well known writer, gay porn star, and lecturer Conner Habib who asks "why do porn actors kill themselves? And who is responsible?"

Why do porn actors kill themselves?

This article first appeared on ConnerHabib’sBlog here. Republished with permission. You can follow Conner on twitter at @ConnerHabib Why do porn actors kill themselves?  Who is responsible? Whenever a porn star – especially a gay porn star – commits suicide, theories show up, and people act very, very certain about them.  Arpad Miklos, who was as much as a porn “star” as anyone can be in a time when we are hyper-saturated with porn, killed himself on February 3rd, 2013, at the a

A road test for HIV prevention science

published: March, 11, 2013 Categories // Research, Health, Sexual Health, International , Opinion Pieces

The Atlanta CROI 2013 conference has produced big news. Roy Kilpatrck has followed this conference from his laptop in the comfort of my Edinburgh living room. Here he summarizes the latest in HIV prevention that came out of the conference,

The Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections (CROI) focusses mainly on biological sciences. What can we learn about prevention?  Nothing is more likely to whip the media into a frenzy over HIV than the word ‘cure’. Over these past few days, reports from a conference in Atlanta of the ‘cure’ of a baby from HIV fuelled numerous media headlines. Since the initial reports, it has become obvious why the ‘cure’ was qualified by the ambiguous ‘functional’, and why i

Case report of a 'functional' HIV cure in a child

published: March, 10, 2013 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Current Affairs, Research, Health, International , Revolving Door, Treatment, Living with HIV, Guest Authors

Aidsmap.com reports HIV persists in child's body, but no signs of new virus production after 12 months off treatment

Case report of a 'functional' HIV cure in a child

This story by Keith Alcorn first appeared on aidsmap.com here.  PositiveLite.com says: Since this report was released earlier this month there has been much skepticism/caution in the press as to the significance, or even reality, of this "functional cure", such as this analysis in the Huffington Post or this one in The Guardian. Researchers in the United States say that they have identified a case of a 'functional' HIV cure in a child infected with HIV who began antiretroviral treatment wi

HIV and Gay Media: The Vanishing Virus

published: March, 07, 2013 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Activism, Social Media, Current Affairs, Health, International , Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

What happened to HIV news coverage. Mark S King asks are the gay media just reflecting our apathy, or should they be advocates for visibility and education about HIV?

HIV and Gay Media: The Vanishing Virus

The turning point could be traced to August of 1998. It was the month that, for the first time in well over a decade, the Bay Area Reporter did not have a single AIDS obituary submitted for publication. The promise of protease inhibitor medications had been realized, and it felt for many that our long community nightmare was coming to a close.  The milestone in the life of San Francisco’s LGBT newspaper was celebrated around the country and became a media story unto itself. “AIDS Deaths

The Living and the Dead: Part 2

published: March, 06, 2013 Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Health, International , Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Hospitalized Senior writer Ed Wolf remembers what it was like in the AIDS wards all those years ago.

I can see the sky through the narrow window; it’s morning. I’m half asleep when the nurse comes into the room. I watch her go to the board that hangs on the wall in front of me. She erases the name ‘Rose’ and writes ‘Leah.’ She’s young and friendly and very energetic. She says, “Good morning,” takes my blood pressure, asks me if I’m hungry, says breakfast is on its way and that my doctor will be here soon. She asks, on a scale from 1 to 10, what my pain level is. My knee is

My first results

published: March, 04, 2013 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Gay Men, Health, International , Revolving Door, Treatment, Living with HIV, Guest Authors, Population Specific

The numbers are in! Last time we checked in with Positively Me he had just started treatment. Six weeks later his viral load is…….well, read on.

My first results

If you have read my previous blogs (see "related articies" below) you will know that I started taking meds on January 4, 2013 and you’ll know my reasons for this.  Just to recap my CD4 was 457 then and my viral load was 16,000. For almost four years being diagnosed and not on meds I was pretty pleased with those numbers.  I’ve normally had a pretty stable CD4 count. Taking my meds has had its ups and downs, especially with my symptoms. I have an alarm in my phone which goes off at 8pm

PrEP wars: debating pre-exposure prophylaxis in the gay community

published: March, 03, 2013 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // As Prevention , Gay Men, Health, Sexual Health, International , Revolving Door, Treatment, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

From aidsmap.com. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was approved in the US in July, following trials showing its efficacy in preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it remains a controversial addition to the HIV prevention options available to gay men

PrEP wars: debating pre-exposure prophylaxis in the gay community

This article by Gus Cairns first appeared on aidsmap.com here.   Last World AIDS Day, 1 December 2012, Online Buddies (OLB) Inc. (the company behind Manhunt.net, one of the most popular gay online dating sites in the US, and its affiliated health education site Manhunt Cares) sent out a bulk email to its members informing them of its World AIDS Day campaign to increase awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis – PrEP. PrEP means HIV-negative people taking antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to stop t

AIDS is over (if you want it) or how i learned to stop worrying and love the BB

published: March, 02, 2013 Categories // As Prevention , Health, Research, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Josh Kruger responds to new evidence that confirms that adhering to antiretroviral therapy reduces the risk of transmission to negligible (zero?) levels in heterosexual couples.

PositiveLite.com, Canada’s most comprehensive HIV/AIDS related website, reports that a study of hundreds of sero-discordant couples, that is those with one HIV- and one HIV+ partner, resulted in a startling conclusion:  when adhering to antiretroviral therapy, the HIV+ posed no risk whatsoever of transmitting HIV to their negative partners.  In fact, the study “did not find a single example of transmission from a partner who was on antiretroviral therapy” out of 254 sexually active mix

HIV Testing - Part One

published: February, 28, 2013 Categories // Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, Sexual Health, International , Treatment, Opinion Pieces

New writer, Scotland’s Roy Kilpatrick on why testing has become an even more integral part of HIV prevention than ever, how we tailor testing strategies, why they sometimes fall short and what we must do next.

HIV Testing - Part One

Testing has become one of the most prominent of HIV messages. Its centrality to HIV prevention is strengthened by all the benefits of treatment, and the earlier the better.  To reduce current levels of late and very late diagnosis currently recorded, early recognition and detection are essential.  The rationale for promotion of testing cannot be flawed. Testing for HIV is integral to tackling HIV at both population and at individual levels. A key question, however, touches upon balance in

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