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/.
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.
Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Knowing your status is the best way to protect your health…and residents of Pennsylvania can get a free in-home HIV test kit from our website www.getmyHIVtest.com. Tests come in the mail, in an unmarked package and you get the results in 20 minutes!
The theme for NWGHAAD 2023 is: Prevention and Testing at Every Age. Care and Treatment at Every Stage.The Office Of Women’s Health (OWH) continues this theme to reemphasize the need to further prevention efforts and ensure equity in HIV care and treatment. It also reinforces the first 3 goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), that focus on the prevention of new HIV infections, improving HIV-related health outcomes of people living with HIV, and reducing HIV-related disparities. NWGHAAD focuses efforts on three of the target populations outlined in the NHAS; Black women, transgender women, and youth aged 13-24 years.
Research published in AIDS and Behavior show that parents in an intervention group with gay or bisexual sons can employ effective communication tactics, specifically about condoms and HIV, and other parenting behaviors to help keep their children healthy.
The study is the first to show evidence of positive effects in a randomized controlled trial with the parents of gay or bisexual sons, according to the authors. They added that these results are important because approximately 80% of all HIV infections among teens are from the gay and bisexual population. There were very few previous public health interventions seeking to lower the HIV risk among this group, according to the study.
“By focusing on the parents, this study shows we might be able to reduce HIV risk among gay and bisexual male youth,” said David Huebner, professor of Prevention and Community Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, in a press release. “Parents represent an untapped yet promising resource in preventing HIV infection and improving sexual health among this underserved population.”
Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Wolf (D) just signed a new law that makes it a felony to pass on a communicable disease when they “should have known” that they had it, the HIV Justice Network reported.
Opponents of the law worry it will be used to punish people with HIV or other STDs who unknowingly transmit it to sexual partners. Such HIV criminalization laws have disproportionately been used to target Black men and other men of color.
The law, known as HB 103, punishes people with up to 7 years in prison and $15,000 in fines for “expelling” saliva, blood, or another bodily fluid onto a police officer.
“As a person living with HIV who was born and raised in Pennsylvania, the passing of HB 103 serves as a reminder that as we get closer to ending the HIV epidemic, we have a long way to go to end HIV stigma and the criminalization of people living with HIV,” said Louie Ortiz-Fonseca, Director of LGBTQ Health & Rights with Advocates for Youth.
[…] 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.
[…] The proportion of older people living with HIV has been increasing, and 55% of people included in this survey were over age 50. People ages 40 to 49 accounted for 19% of respondents, those ages 30 to 39 for 18% and those ages 18 to 29 for 8%.
This report confirms that HIV disproportionately affects Black and Latino Americans, underlining the importance of targeted care and outreach for these groups. In this analysis, 42% of people with diagnosed HIV were Black, 29% were white, 24% were Latino and 6% were another race or ethnicity. When accounting for their share of the total population, Black Americans are 3.4 times more likely, and Latinos are 1.3 times more likely, to be diagnosed with HIV.
People with diagnosed HIV were more likely than the population at large to face socioeconomic challenges that can make it more difficult to maintain good health, including poverty, unemployment and homelessness.