April 4, 2011
Here is a quick look at a few HIV/AIDS stories recently reported in the media:
Ohio Welcomes Routine HIV Testing, but Docs Need More Education (From The Columbus Dispatch)
Despite a 2009 law that made routine HIV testing easier and directions last fall from the Ohio State Health Department on how to implement the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's HIV testing recommendations, doctors in Ohio still need more guidance.
The old Ohio law required that doctors talk to their patients in advance about HIV testing, have the patients sign a separate consent form and then have a post-consultation whether the patients' results were negative or positive. Health advocates claimed that these actions stigmatized HIV testing and discouraged people from knowing their status. In 2009, the new law got rid of the separate consent forms, and the mandatory post-consultations for patients who test negative.
The goal has been to test for HIV in the same way as cholesterol and blood sugar. But changing doctors' perceptions has been difficult. Dr. Michael Para, an HIV expert at Ohio State University Medical Center, told the Columbus Dispatch, "We basically have to change physicians' ideas, and that happens slowly." Para also believes that counseling after a negative test result is still crucial, especially for those who have an increased risk for HIV, because this time serves as an opportunity to talk about prevention.
While routine testing will help people who have health insurance, what happens to those who only access care during emergency room visits or who don't have health insurance?
Controversial HIV-Positive Professor Speaks at Yale, Incites Protest From LGBT Groups (From Yale Daily News)
Last Friday, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students from Yale University protested an event at which controversial Christian minister Christopher Yuan was speaking. Yuan, an HIV-positive professor and minister who teaches about sexuality and HIV, has been accused of supporting the "ex-gay movement." Yuan has denied any involvement in that movement, but told the crowd at the event that gay sex is against the teachings of the Bible.
The Yale Daily News reported:
"It's not the love God is talking about -- it's the sex," Yuan said. "I'm just expressing a view that holds to the traditional teaching of the Bible and still respects people."
Yuan's mention of respect drew a strong reaction from audience members, who throughout the talk expressed their opposition to Yuan's ideas. While both Yuan and LGBTQ leaders at the talk said they wanted to create an atmosphere of mutual dialogue and respect, several individuals left throughout the course of the talk Friday, and many applauded when other audience members challenged Yuan's views.
"His comments show an apparent inequality between homosexuals and heterosexuals," said Katie Miller '12, who left West Point to attend Yale because of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and who attended the Friday event. "His conclusion is that all gays and lesbians should be celibate, which is extremely disrespectful."
UN Blames Condom Shortage in Kenya on High Rubber Costs (From Business Daily Africa)
The United Nations has finally admitted that the reason that there has been a delay in the delivery of condoms to Kenya for the past two months is not because of prolonged procedural issues -- it's because of the increased costs of what it takes to make condoms.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said it had to delay buying Kenya 35 million condoms because the manufacturer adjusted the price of its condoms in response to the rising global prices of oil and rubber. Previously, UNFPA paid three dollars for 144 condoms, but claims that now because of the higher costs, it is going to need more funding to be able to purchase and distribute condoms for free.
Kenya relies heavily on donated money to buy imported condoms. Last year, the World Bank loaned the country 12 million dollars to buy condoms.
Last year, there was talk of building a condom factory in Kenya; it has yet to happen.
Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.