The 2023 US Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA)Exit Disclaimer opened in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, Sept. 6 with thousands of participants from all segments of the HIV community. HIV.gov’s conference coverage began with a conversation about the upcoming programming and this year’s theme: “A Love Letter to Black Women.”
Organized by NMAC, USCHA features institutes, workshops, and posters addressing issues in biomedical HIV prevention, aging, service delivery, and telehealth, prioritizing the issues of people with HIV and the next steps in ending the epidemic.
A new CDC report shows HIV has declined stedily from 2017 to 2021 in the U.S. Men still account for the majority of cases (81%) and male-to-male sexual contact is still the most previlent means of transmitting the virus. Find out more on the CDC’s website. To find local HIV testing, you can search by zip code at https://gettested.cdc.gov/.
National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is observed each year on June 27 to highlight the importance of HIV testing. This year, we’re going beyond the test to emphasize the steps everyone can take once they know their HIV status. The NHTD theme for 2023 is “Take the Test & Take the Next Step.” This theme emphasizes that knowing your HIV status helps you choose options to stay healthy.
HIV testing, including self-testing, is the pathway to engaging people in care to keep them healthy, regardless of their test result. People who receive a negative test result can take advantage of HIV prevention tools such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), condoms, and other sexual health services such as vaccines and testing for sexually transmitted infections. People who receive a positive test result can rapidly start HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) to stay healthy.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and a critical first line of defense for the immune system. When that defense is broken—from cuts and sores—your body is vulnerable to infections. Skin, hair and nail problems can be a sign that you have a health concern in another part of your body.
Studies show that more than half of people living with HIV experience skin conditions in their lifetime. Not all of these will require urgent care, but when in doubt talk to your health provider.
All states have begun the process to redetermine eligibility for all Medicaid enrollees, including those with HIV. While it is still early in the unwinding process, early reports indicate that hundreds of thousands of individuals have lost their Medicaid coverage, many of them for procedural reasons. A recent poll by Kaiser Family Foundation found that 65% of Medicaid beneficiaries were not aware that states could now remove people from Medicaid programs. This shows that we must take an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensuring those with Medicaid coverage are aware of the actions needed to ensure continuity of coverage or how to find additional coverage if disqualified.
Watch the video below to be reminded of key messages and action steps to avoid gaps in coverage.
May 19th marks National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NAPIHAAD, also referred to as APIMay19), an important occasion for raising awareness and promoting action against HIV/AIDS within Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities. NAPIHAAD serves as a powerful reminder of the unique challenges faced by these communities and the need for comprehensive support and initiatives to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The San Francisco Community Health Center, formerly Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, previously led the awareness day and continues to be heavily involved in NAPIHAAD, which is a vital opportunity to inform API communities about this preventable disease. Stigma and discrimination can often prevent folks from seeking care and support when learning about their sexual health status. That’s why the need for culturally competent providers who are experienced in engaging with diverse API populations is urgent.
For more information about National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, go to CDC.gov.
Knowing your HIV status is the first step in fighting HIV. Right now, anyone who resides in Pennsylvania can get a free HIV self-test kit from www.getmyHIVtest.com. If you live outside Pennsylvania go to https://gettested.cdc.gov and search by zip code to find local testing clinics. Most are free.
Watch HIV.gov’s latest FYI video with Harold J. Phillips, MRP, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). In the video, Mr. Phillips discusses what you should know about the critical role community health centers continue to play in ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S.
Community health centers have been partners in addressing the HIV epidemic since the beginning and have been providing HIV care and treatment services to individuals with HIV for many years. Now, due to increased funding since the launch of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative, the role of community health centers has expanded, whereby they are now able to provide additional services, such as access to HIV testing, PrEP and PEP, and linkage to care and treatment. For example, a federal partner, the Bureau of Primary Health Care at the Health Resources and Services Administration has funded over 300 health centers to increase access to HIV prevention services, including testing and PrEP. “[Community] health centers […], given their role in providing primary care services, are also able to provide an array of comprehensive medical services that address things like high blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease, and other coexisting conditions that impact people living with HIV,” said Mr. Phillips.
We need your input in helping to create HIV prevention and care services outside Philadelphia.
What is the most important HIV service in your region? What services are your community and organizations providing?
Join us on Wednesday, May 17th to learn more about HIV planning in Pennsylvania. The HIV Planning Group (HPG) is comprised of community members, health professionals, and stakeholders from across the Commonwealth, and they want to hear from you about your experiences and services provided in the collar counties around Philadelphia.
FREE dinner is provided if you RSVP! Local public transportation reimbursement available!
Specific discussions and events will occur throughout the afternoon with the community about what HPG does and how they plan to improve the HIV Care Continuum and lives in PA and the region. The finalized agenda will be added to the event page upon approval.
You can participate in the meeting by joining us at the The Alloy King of Prussia – Double Tree by Hilton or join us remotely on your computer or phone on Microsoft Teams at https://bit.ly/HPGMayTownHall.
Keep in mind: this town hall is specifically for the collar counties of Philadelphia. All members of the community are encouraged to attend, but specific events and discussions at the town hall will have to do with the counties surrounding Philadelphia.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health is looking for an HIV Intervention and Planning Lead Specialist to work within the HIV Planning and Care Project.
Qualified candidates will possess significant experience conducting HIV prevention interventions and planning activities with specific, at-risk populations. Required research skills and experience include qualitative data collection and reporting. History of writing for publication preferred. An extensive knowledge base in HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, and/or in working with communities experiencing higher rates of STIs, is required. Master’s Degree or commensurate/relevant experience is also required. Public health degree or social science education/experience strongly preferred.