At the recent 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Dr. Ron Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health for Infectious Diseases, spoke with Dr. Jonathan Mermin, Director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. They discussed some of the significant findings from the conference including advances related to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the growing discussions of an AIDS-free generation. Watch their conversation below.
At the 9th Annual 2012 National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and other Health Disparities (AAMSM), AIDS.gov spoke with Kalyani Sanchez, On-site Supervisor at the David Geffen Testing Center at Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) of New York City about a social networking outreach program it has piloted called the Leaders in Networking and Knowledge (L.I.N.K.) Project.
The program uses social applications such as Facebook, instant messaging, Facetime, Skype, and more to promote and encourage HIV testing. The L.I.N.K. project also provides clients with the resources they need to extend the reach of HIV information to their social networks.
“It’s community taking care of community, getting individuals to get their friends, family, sexual partners, drug-using partners tested, and identifying those individuals that are newly diagnosed and linking them to care,” said Sanchez.
Not only is the project using social networks to deliver the message of getting tested, but it is using mobile testing sites to remove some of the barriers to HIV testing. “We know that there’s a stigma surrounding testing centers,” said Sanchez, “so what we do is bring testing to them in places like parties or even video game challenges…It’s just making testing part of the norm.”
During the pilot of the program, they tested over 900 young MSM — many of whom did not know their status beforehand. To learn more about the L.I.N.K. project view the interview with Mr. Sanchez below.
30 Years of HIV/AIDS in the US
Looking back at 30 years of AIDS and much has changed here in the United States and in the world regarding our understanding of HIV and how it affects every single one of us. The way we share information and communicate with each other has changed over the years and this article from Miguel Gomez, the director of AIDS.gov discusses that change and how that can effect the future. Read the article from the AIDS.gov director. Watch the video below which highlights 30 years of HIV in the United States.
Gay and bisexual black men of all ages are disproportionately affected. A 2005 study in 5 major cities found as many as 46% of African American men who have sex with men were HIV positive. Despite advances in HIV testing and treatment, HIV and AIDS still pose a major threat to African American men who have sex with other men, inject drugs with dirty needles, or neglect to get tested. In the US, African Americans at risk NEED TO KNOW if they are HIV-positive to benefit from life-saving therapies and avoid infecting others.