This month, the US Public Health Service released (PDF) the first comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which outlines the criteria for determining a person’s HIV risk and indications for PrEP use. (PrEP FAQ) The CDC states, "When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently." The FDA's approved drug — Truvada — that was previously approved for H.I.V. treatment in 2004, is now approved it for prevention of HIV transmission. (Truvada previously) [more inside]
[Eleven] days ago, The New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog published an essay by Michael Specter titled “What Young Gay Men Don’t Know About Aids,” in which Specter points to the increase of “unprotected anal intercourse among gay men,” claims that “the rates of HIV infection will surely follow,” and then identifies the cause of this shift as the ignorance of my generation, who weren’t around to see the AIDS epidemic for themselves. The piece is a call to arms of sort, stating the need for increased public funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, and concludes by quoting Larry Kramer’s famous 1983 warning, “1,112 and Counting.” It’s a familiar argument—one that, in my lifetime, I have heard repeated ad nauseam and, I fear, largely misses what AIDS means to me and many other young gay men.
BuzzFeed and ProPublica report: How An HIV-Positive Man Was Sent To Prison For Having Sex — With A Condom [more inside]
According to Senior Harvard AIDS Prevention Researcher Dr. Edward Green, condoms not only are not helping to prevent the AIDS crisis, but are actually making the problem worse.
What if we could rid the world of AIDS? The notion might sound like fantasy: HIV infection has no cure and no vaccine, after all. Yet there is a way to completely wipe it out - at least in theory. What's more, it would take only existing medical technology to do the job.[more inside]
"[S]ave more lives" is what George Bush pledged to do in a speech today about the AIDS epidemic. With more people living with AIDS in the world than ever before, is the US's problematic stance of promoting an ABC policy and other controversial policies working? Or is it an appropriate response to a culturally touchy topic that some oddball health officials in African nations are still coming to grips with?
Starting with this year's State of the Union address, President Bush began a plan to increase aid to Africa, and at the center of that plan is funding to prevent the spread of AIDS and HIV that has reached epidemic proportions on the continent. Critics however, have noted that aid to clinics comes with strings attached. Abstinence is preached first and foremost and condoms are mentioned only as a last resort. This reporter flat out says the policy to curtail the funding and use of condoms in Africa is killing millions.
The value of disobedience. [note: nytimes] "Ignoring the reactionary policies of the Vatican, some local priests and nuns quietly do what they can to save parishioners from AIDS." So: when and why do people choose to quietly disobey, rather than leave and promote change from outside their social institutions...or vice versa? Should dissenters just leave, or stay and fight? Anecdotes from Republicans and NRA members are especially welcome ;-)
Vatican declares fresh Death all around. It seems the Vatican is telling people in countries with high AIDS infection not to use condoms, because the virus is small enough to pass through the porous latex. The World Health Organization believes condoms do reduce the risk of AIDS transmission. To which the Vatican's Cardinal Trujillo replied: "They are wrong about that... this is an easily recognisable fact."
White House Wages Stealth War on Condoms The government is waging a covert war on condoms. Fact sheets on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the transmission of the AIDS virus have disappeared from government sites. Right wing activists have been appointed to the the presidential AIDS panel. Government audits of AIDS activist groups who protest these policies have begun. So, apparently only evil-doers have sex outside of marriage, and they deserve to die horrible deaths.
There goes Colin Powell, pissing off the far right again. This time the Family Research Council and folks like Gary Bauer demand to know how dare he go on MTV and, in response to a teen's question about AIDS, tell kids to USE CONDOMS! (And for that matter, what is the secretary of state doing appearing on that smut-filled network in the first place, and what kinds of parents allow their children to listen to satanic rock music and hip-hop, and how dare insolent children raise filthy questions with government officials about SEX?!)
soup sex for you!. President Daniel arap Moi has urged Kenyans to abstain from sex for at least two years to try to curb the spread of HIV. The government announced plans on Wednesday to import 300 million condoms to fight AIDS.
Catholic Church offered solution to AIDS crisis? Though I certainly lean more left than right, I have The National Review in print an online for many years to get some balance in my media intake. I must say, they have run numerous articles online of late that I felt were well-reasoned, fair and insighful. This, however, is crap. "Many have tut-tutted the Church for opposing condoms even as an AIDS prevention tool. Some have even called the Church complicit in AIDS deaths. But, as it has turned out, condoms aren't a very good AIDS-prevention tool after all. [emphasis mine] " So now condoms are not useful for preventing AIDS. Did we miss something?
"I don't imagine I'll be able to get it up again" A controversial five-story high condom banner is blown off the side of a South African civic center by gale-force winds.