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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Candace Y.A. Montague

D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner


Why People Probably Won't Get Tested on National HIV Testing Day
June 27, 2011

Today is National HIV Testing Day. It is a day set aside for AIDS Service Organizations to push the public to get tested for HIV. Release the stigma and get tested for a change. A campaign such as this one has a suitable amount of hype set around it. But hype eventually fades and reality will assuredly set back in. According to the CDC, only 39.5 percent of Americans over the age of 18 have ever been tested for HIV in their lives. That's a low number for a huge epidemic. The latest epidemiology report shows that DC has had a remarkable increase in the number of people tested from 42,000 in 2006 to 110,000 in 2010. However, getting people tested is no walk or festival in the park. There are four possible reasons why the number of people tested today alone will not hit record highs (although that is certainly the goal).

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Local Reaction to the DC Epidemiology Update
June 16, 2011

Mayor Gray and officials from the Department of Health released the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis (HAHSTA) Epidemiology 2010 Update yesterday at a press conference. The update showed gains in areas such as reducing new infections and increasing access to care. But in the area of reducing health disparities the solution has yet to be found. As in previous years, little progress has been made to slow down the epidemic among African-Americans and men who have sex with men. Local AIDS Service Organizations expressed mixed emotions regarding the report.

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START at Westminster Celebrates 3 Years of Service
June 10, 2011

An intimate group of friends and supporters gathered together in the sanctuary of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Southwest Wednesday evening to celebrate the START program. START (Syringe, Treatment, Advocacy, Resources and Training) is a harm reduction initiative that works to reduce HIV and Hepatitis infection in the city through needle exchange, counseling, referral services and condom distribution. It began as just a brainstorm from a small group of comrades talking around a kitchen table. Now it has bloomed into a full service program that has helped hundreds of citizens in the city get help and protection from HIV and Hepatitis A, B, and C. The reception was a reflection on START's achievements as well as a charge to the community at large.

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Study Finds That PReP Acceptance Depends on Cost Instead of Effectiveness
June 8, 2011

A study out of UCLA and Lima, Peru show that people are more willing to use Truvada, the anti-retroviral drug for HIV, if they can pay less money for it regardless of its effectiveness. The International Study of STD and AIDS published the results of the study last week. Using consumer marketing techniques, the study found that female sex workers, male-to-female transgender persons and men who have sex with men would be willing to take the pill if the cost to purchase it was low. The participants also said that they would be willing to take the pill if it were 100 percent effective and only required to be taken right before sex. The results from the scientific research published earlier this year showed that in order for the pill to be effective, participants would have to take it daily regardless of sexual activity and it only cuts the risk of infection by 44%.

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AIDS at 30: Views From the Community -- Mark Fischer
June 4, 2011

Today's guest commentator is Mark Fischer, Executive Committee Member of the Ryan White Planning Council for the DC Metropolitan Region. Mark has lived in Washington, DC since 1978, been HIV positive for more than 25 years and has been involved in HIV efforts since the beginning of the epidemic. He sees himself as a "human being, first and foremost ... all the rest, being male, White, gay, etc. are just accidents of birth for which I deserve neither privilege nor blame." As such, he is committed to meeting the needs of all people living or at risk of infection with HIV throughout DC and this region as well as elsewhere.

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5 Key Questions From the Live White House Discussion on HIV/AIDS
June 2, 2011

The White House hosted an open discussion about HIV/AIDS yesterday in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the publishing of a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that highlighted pneumocystis pneumonia found in five gay men in Los Angeles. This connection soon led to the discovery of HIV and subsequently AIDS in America. Suregeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, Jeff Crowley from the Office of National AIDS Policy, and Dr. Carl Dieffenbach from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH sat down for Open for Questions: 30 years of AIDS to take questions from Facebook and email about AIDS in America. Here are a few key questions posted from the public and excerpts of the answers that were provided.

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AIDSVu Debuts in DC
June 1, 2011

The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University has launched an interactive online map of AIDS in the US at a press conference yesterday at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Northwest. AIDSVu provides an exhaustive view of the prevalence of HIV around the country by state and county. For DC and New York, it has data by zip code. The website will provide the latest information about where the need for HIV prevention and treatment is most urgent. Jeffrey S. Crowley, MPH, Director, Office of National AIDS Policy, Patrick Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University and Jennifer Kates, MA, MPA, Director, HIV Policy, The Kaiser Family Foundation were in attendance for the debut.

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AIDS at 30: Views From the Community -- David Phillips
May 31, 2011

On June 5, 2011, the AIDS community will recognize 30 years since the publication of the report from the Centers for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report noting pneumocystis pneumonia found in a cluster of gay men in Los Angeles. Years later, we are now facing and fighting a virus that has claimed more than a million lives around the world. This week, I will highlight a few Washingtonians who have witnessed or experienced the devastation and lived to tell about it.

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Playboy Sex Survey Presents Interesting Results
May 25, 2011

Playboy has just published their sex survey for 2011 and from a sex education stand point its a good one. The questions varied from number of sex partners to how many people answer the phone during sex (16%). Some results were no surprise to this Examiner (men cheat more frequently than women -- I'm looking right at you Arnold). Other results were disappointing in the world of HIV prevention. Here are a few notable highlights and how they connect to prevention and education.

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What's So Special About Research? Dr. Carl Dieffenbach Answers
May 18, 2011

Today is National HIV Vaccine Awareness day. It is a day to recognize the thousands of volunteers who have given their time and bodies for research. It is also a day to spotlight how participation in trials is critical in the pursuit of a cure. Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, Director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, answered my questions (and questions from others) about clinical trials recruitment and the impact of the failure of FEM-PrEP.

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Candace Y.A. Montague

Candace Y.A. Montague

Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.

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