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Posts Tagged ‘AIDS

Southern U.S. Needs To Do More To Address HIV/AIDS Among Hispanics

“Demographers have noted that the South is one of the regions that have seen the most rapid influx of Latino workers,” Marisa Trevio, who writes the blog “Latina Lista,” writes in a USA Today opinion piece. She adds, “So with a steady influx of Latinos, and a growing number of them contracting HIV/AIDS, why aren’t states making inroads via aggressive public awareness campaigns in attacking this preventable and treatable disease?”

According to Trevio, a recent study from the Latino Commission on AIDS “found that HIV/AIDS cases are rising at alarming rates among the two million Latinos in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.” She adds, “Prevention education isn’t keeping pace.” Trevio writes that public awareness efforts likely are not having much effect among Hispanics because the “targets of these messages — which include legal and undocumented workers — don’t trust the messenger.” A report from Progressive States Network found that “every state identified by the study, with the exception of Alabama, has passed policies criminalizing undocumented immigration,” according to Trevio. “These laws intimidate people from seeking any assistance,” she writes, adding, “For example, South Carolina passed a series of laws that include establishing a hotline to report suspected nonresidents and making it a crime to transport or harbor undocumented immigrants.” The report found that as a “result of this anti-immigrant climate and the high rate of people without health insurance,” many HIV-positive Hispanics do not “seek medical attention until they are in its late stages,” Trevio writes.

However, some “states are trying to confront this crisis,” according to Trevio, who adds that North Carolina in October “conducted a bilingual campaign to encourage people to get tested. Even so, the report found that these states didn’t have enough bilingual professionals to address the crisis.” Trevio writes that the study “made several recommendations, all rooted in communication. Whether it’s utilizing more Spanish-language media to market prevention programs, training more people to speak Spanish, partnering with Latino organizations to replicate their successful programs or connecting with Hispanic religious and community leaders, it all comes down to opening lines of communication to a population that has been forced to stay in the shadows of society.” She concludes, “For their health and for the health of the country, these Latinos must come forward — and the sooner the better”

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December 19, 2008 at 4:43 pm

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Croatia: Raped Woman Learns Attacker Has AIDS

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December 17, 2008 at 4:27 pm

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Nigeria: Two Million Children Orphaned by AIDS/HIV

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December 17, 2008 at 4:25 pm

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$1.8m raised at amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS

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December 14, 2008 at 6:05 pm

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The Future of AIDS

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV. Three-fourths of patients are male. Roughly 70 percent of HIV positive individuals are 25 to 49. 25 percent are 50 and older.

 

Robert Gallo, M.D., HIV Director of the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, helped discover the AIDS virus in the 1980s. He also developed the blood test to detect the virus. Gallo says, scientists have come a long way in AIDS treatment. 15 to 20 years ago, patients with HIV/AIDS had few treatment options and most lived only five to ten years after diagnosis. Today, there are six different classes of drugs and more than 30 medications. Although there is still no cure, the current medications can help control reproduction of the HIV virus and slow progression of the disease. And Gallo says many HIV positive patients are living for decades after their diagnosis. He believes a vaccine to protect against AIDS may soon be available.

 

HIV Treatment Compliance

 

One of the most important factors in living with HIV is medication adherence. Missing a dose of medication, or not taking it correctly, can give the virus time to reproduce. In addition, the virus may gain strength, and start to resist the effects of the medication. Drug-resistant strains can be transmitted to others through risky behaviors, limiting treatment options for newly infected patients, as well. While doctors may be able to try a different treatment regimen, the virus may eventually become resistant to all therapies.

 

The JACQUES Initiative

 

The JACQUES Initiative was started by the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine to improve medication compliance among HIV positive patients. The goal of the program is to provide patients with whatever resources they need to stick with their treatment.

 

Derek Spencer, N.P., HIV Specialist with the Institute of Human Virology, says fear of HIV or the stigma associated with infection can influence treatment compliance, or keep some patients from seeking treatment. The JACQUES Initiative emphasizes HIV/AIDS education to dispel misconceptions, reinforce the serious nature of the disease and teach clients about the importance of taking their medication. Family members, friends and neighbors may be included in the educational program to provide support and assistance for the patient.

 

The JACQUES Initiative also provides clinical management and intensive treatment support. Patients can drop in at any time to have lab tests and exams to help monitor progression of the disease. In some cases, HIV patients may take their medication in front a clinician to ensure compliance (a program called direct observation therapy). Clients can also get medications for other conditions they may have, like high blood pressure or diabetes.

 

Spencer says in the first year of the program, roughly 70 percent of clients were experiencing treatment failure. Now, in a complete reversal, he says, 75 percent of patients are sticking to their treatment plans and continue to do well one year later.

 

The JACQUES Initiative also provides support to help clients succeed and thrive. In addition to advocating for early testing and prompt treatment, patients are given the opportunity to complete a GED, bachelor’s degree or other advanced education and training to improve all aspects of their lives. A few other hospitals around the country are now starting to adopt some of the JACQUES Initiative programs. For information about the JACQUES Initiative:

  • http://www.ihv.org/clinics/initiative.html 

    For general information about HIV or AIDS:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Written by kickingalion

    December 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    AIDS Conference Hit By Funding Worries

    An international conference on AIDS in Africa that ended Sunday was dominated by worries about funding amid a global financial crisis and marked the first time homosexuals took centre stage.

    “There were a lot of discussions of the fear (of reduced funding) but we also talked particularly about the possibility of innovative financing,” Souleymane Mboup, the Senegalese researcher who presided over the ICASA 2008 conference, said after the closing ceremony.

    He did not go into details about the new types of funding other than to say there were some local African funds now used for other things that could be directed for health care in general.

    Africa is the continent worst hit by the AIDS pandemic. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 22 million people living with HIV, the virus that can lead to full-blown AIDS. However, most of the funding for HIV/AIDS comes from outside of Africa.

    Mboup called for more research to prepare for a possible reduction in foreign aid.

    “These types of studies will help us to define priorities that will help us set up scenarios, that will help us make proposals if we have to make reductions where we could,” he said.

    Another big issue at this year’s conference was the fact that sexual minorities stepped into the spotlight.

    “This was the first time that we saw a MSM (man who has sex with men) speak at the closing ceremony,” Mboup said.

    Steave Nemande, a gay doctor from Cameroon praised the conference for the way it allowed gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people speak.

    “That is proof that the conference really did face the facts” as the title of the conference promised, Nemande said.

    He stressed that studies showed that men who have sex with men (MSM) are “five to 20 times” more affected by HIV/AIDS that the general population. So far only seven African countries specifically name MSM in their national programs to fight AIDS.

    “Gays in Africa are a reality,” he said.

    Written by kickingalion

    December 9, 2008 at 4:31 pm

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    Daily AIDS Reports

    Available at www.kaisernetwork.org.

    Written by kickingalion

    December 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm

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