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.
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.
Sunlenca (lenacapavir), a long-acting injectable medication recently approved for treatment-experienced people with multidrug-resistant HIV, also works well for people starting antiretroviral therapy for the first time.
Results from the CALIBRATE trial showed that around 90% of study participants who used Sunlenca—either as daily pills or injections every six months—in combination with other antiretrovirals achieved an undetectable viral load.
Gilead Sciences’ Sunlenca (formerly GS-6207), the first approved HIV capsid inhibitor, disrupts the cone-shaped shell that surrounds the viral genetic material and essential enzymes. Laboratory studies showed that it interferes with multiple steps of the HIV life cycle. Because it works differently than existing antiretrovirals, it remains active against HIV that has developed resistance to other drugs. Sunlenca has a long half-life in the body, allowing it to be administered just once every six months.
[…] An analysis of national 2017 data found that 45% of people living with HIV report some form of disability—and that mobility disabilities were the most common. Fully one in four people reported them. And that’s among all adults living with HIV. At middle age, men with HIV walked more slowly, and continued to decline faster, than their HIV-negative peers.
By their 50s, Black men living with HIV were nearly three times likelier than white folks with the virus to have a mobility disability. These racial disparities were seen only in people living with HIV, not among the HIV-negative population. And the proportion of people with mobility disabilities rose significantly as people reached 65 or older. For women living with HIV, mobility was lower than it was for men with the virus.
Slow walking, limited movement and difficulty standing from a sitting position are three of the criteria required for a diagnosis of frailty, a condition of aging that can make it harder for people to recover from episodic illnesses. The good news is that mobility aids can keep people moving, which is associated with better overall health as one ages.
This plan guides all activities related to HIV prevention and care in Pennsylvania. Feedback will help the Division of HIV Disease most effectively plan for the ongoing needs of all people served in Pennsylvania.
Individuals with HIV who began taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the early stages of infection achieved a lengthy period of HIV suppression without ART after receiving two broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies (bNAbs), according to a small study published today in the journal Nature . The findings suggest that combination bNAb therapy might offer a future alternative to daily ART for people living with HIV. […]
The purpose of the study was to see if treatment with the bNAbs could suppress HIV in the absence of ART. None of the seven participants who received the bNAb treatment had to restart ART before 28 weeks post-infusion compared to six of the seven participants who received placebo.
A woman with HIV who received a cord blood stem cell transplant to treat acute myeloid leukemia has had no detectable levels of HIV for 14 months despite cessation of antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to a presentation at today’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).
This is the third known case of HIV remission in an individual who received a stem cell transplant. The research was conducted by the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trial Network (IMPAACT) P1107 observational study led by Yvonne Bryson, M.D., of the University of California Los Angeles, and Deborah Persaud, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. The IMPAACT network is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The IMPAACT P1107 study began in 2015 and was a U.S.-based observational study designed to describe the outcomes of up to 25 participants living with HIV who underwent a transplant with CCR5Δ32/Δ32 cord blood stem cells for treatment of cancer, hematopoietic disease, or other underlying disease. As a result of the genetic mutation CCR5Δ32/Δ32, missing cells lack CCR5 co-receptors, which is what HIV uses to infect cells. By killing off the cancerous immune cells via chemotherapy and then transplanting stem cells with the CCR5 genetic mutation, scientists theorize that people with HIV then develop an HIV-resistant immune system.