HIV/AIDS News Digest: July 14, 2011
July 14, 2011
Here is a quick look at a few HIV/AIDS stories recently reported in the media:
David Munar, the president and chief executive of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, sounded off in an op-ed for the Huffington Post about the Obama administration reconciling the U.S. debt by negotiating Medicare funding. He writes about how scaling back on Medicare will deeply impact Americans who are living with HIV in this country.
Munar states that these cuts would render Obama's health care reform utterly meaningless for millions of low-income Americans whose reality will be "delayed doctor's visits, deferred treatment and eventually, costly emergency medical interventions." He writes:
Munar also discusses how these cuts would negatively impact the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and undermine the goals that the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy set forth one year ago.
Researchers from Columbia University in New York City found that heterosexual couples that consist of one or two intravenous drug users can reduce their HIV-risk behaviors with the help of couples counseling. This is the first study to test the efficacy of these interventions among HIV-negative straight couples.
Two hundred eighty-two drug-using couples were split up in three groups: couple-based risk-reduction counseling, individual risk-reduction counseling, and the control group that received general health information and screenings for chronic diseases. Most of the couples were approached off the streets and were low-income.
Aidsmap.com reported that researchers had found that couple-based counseling had a significant effect on rates of unprotected sex at month six (30 percent reduction) and month 12 (41 percent reduction).
The researchers concluded the following: "These findings draw attention to an effective intervention strategy that can be scaled up for drug-involved couples in harm reduction programs. A couple-based approach to primary prevention of HIV that addresses both drug and sexual risks and targets low income, urban, active drug users may help curb the HIV epidemic in the US and may have dissemination potential to address the global HIV epidemic."
A survey of more than 5,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) from around the world, which was conducted by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), shows that less than 50 percent of MSM have access to HIV prevention (condoms) and treatment services. The study also found that homophobia served as the strongest predictor of limited access to HIV prevention and treatment. In terms of access to treatment, knowledge and HIV prevention methods, the participants from the Middle East and Asia reported the lowest levels, while in terms of homophobia, participants from Africa reported the highest levels.
The MSMGF press release stated:
Other HIV/AIDS Articles in the Media
Risk of Heart Attack, Death in HIV Patients Predicted by Heart Ultrasound (From Medical News Today)
Antiretrovirals Can Negatively Impact Fertility (From The AIDS Beacon)
10 Cultural Icons That We Have Lost to AIDS (Slideshow from Flavorwire)
Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was provided by TheBody.
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