I love that they’re different sizes…
Join the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA). NAPWA is doing amazing work advocating for people HIV infected- and affected. It’s important that they have people from rural areas in their membership, so if you are HIV+ and live in Montana (or other rural areas) I would encourage you to join. From their mission statement:
Founded as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 1983, NAPWA advocates for the lives and dignity of all people living with HIV/AIDS, especially the more than a million Americans who live with it today. We want the epidemic to end, and we want life to be better for people with HIV until it does.
They are offering- for the first time ever- a free one year membership. To join me as a NAPWA member, click here: http://www.napwa.org/freemembership
- ADAP Watch 7.19.12 (dgsmith.org)
- ‘Take The Test, Take Control’ On National HIV Testing Day (huffingtonpost.com)
- More antivirals would stem HIV spread (bigpondnews.com)
From Betsy McKay of the Wall Street Journal comes this from the recently concluded International AIDS Conference in Washington DC:
More than half of the people diagnosed with the HIV virus in the U.S. aren’t getting treatment for their infection, the U.S government said (Friday).
African-Americans and younger people are least likely to be receiving regular treatment, meaning that programs to keep them under a doctor’s care aren’t working or aren’t plentiful enough, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While 81% of those African Americans estimated to be infected are diagnosed, only 29% get ongoing care, and just 21% are “virally suppressed,” or have their virus controlled by a regular regimen of antiretroviral, or ARV, drugs. Among Americans ages 25 to 34, 72% of those infected are diagnosed, but 28% get care and a mere 15% are virally suppressed.
Overall, an estimated 1.1 million Americans are infected with HIV. Only 46% of those who are diagnosed with HIV get regular treatment, while a quarter of all those estimated to be infected are virally suppressed.
“We’ve got to do better,” says Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
The data were released at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.
The challenge is to find ways to make HIV testing more widespread, and then make it easier to link those who are diagnosed directly into care — and to make sure they stay there, says Mermin. “I want to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” he says.
And therein lies the challenge. The easy choice is sometimes pretending the choices don’t even exist….
- 1 in 4 Americans with HIV have infection under control (cbc.ca)
- 75 percent of U.S. HIV patients lack effective care (vitals.nbcnews.com)
- Only 1 in 4 Americans Have Their HIV Under Control (gabrielcatalano.com)
- “All Adult HIV Patients Should Be Offered Antiretroviral Therapy” (dgsmith.org)
Some good news out of Alaska:
Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell has filed a new regulation that governs changes to driver’s licenses and will allow transgender individuals to correct the gender marker on their licenses without undergoing major surgery. The regulation takes effect August 11. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alaska had challenged the surgery requirement as a violation of an individual’s right to privacy.
“We appreciate the work of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Lt. Governor’s office in crafting a regulation that recognizes the important and legitimate needs of transgender Alaskans,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska. “All Alaskans must be able to obtain a driver’s license that accurately reflects their gender and avoids disclosure of sensitive personal information unrelated to their ability to safely drive a motor vehicle. The government should never needlessly intrude into mandating specific medical procedures.”
The ACLU filed its challenge on behalf of a transgender woman, K.L., whose United States passport and work documents all identify her as female. After initially securing a change to the gender on her driver’s license, she was told that her new license would be revoked unless she submitted proof of having surgery.
“I am humbled and grateful for this decision,” said K.L. “It is my prayer that this victory will make a difference in the lives of transgender people.”
Many transgender persons are treated for a condition called gender dysphoria. Although the American Psychiatric Association agrees that surgery is medically necessary treatment for some, it is not required for everyone with the condition. Treatment for gender dysphoria varies from individual to individual, and many can be effectively treated without surgery.
Additionally, such surgery is beyond the means of many people and is potentially dangerous for some individuals. The State Department no longer requires transgender people to have surgery before it will correct the gender marker on passports, and a growing number of states have stopped requiring surgery for changing the gender marker on a driver’s license.
“The previous requirement had nothing to do with accepted medical standards and demonstrated a callous lack of understanding of what it means to be transgender,” said John Knight, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “The government should not be in the business of dictating anyone’s medical care, especially when it comes to requiring surgery that may not be available, desired, or medically necessary.”
More information on this case can be found at: www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/kl-v-state-alaska-department-administration-division-motor-vehicles
The Administration has pledged new money to end the waiting lists, but they will linger for some time. Making sure that everyone who needs ART drugs can get them is an obvious first step towards ending this country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, but when the waiting lists are gone, we’ll have to move on to the hard work of changing attitudes towards people with HIV and ensuring access to health care for all Americans, not just those living with HIV.
It was grimly entertaining, explaining to Conference delegates from Canada and Germany what ADAP is and why we have waiting lists, when it’s so obviously better public health policy and so obviously more fiscally prudent to treat everyone with HIV who wants treatment. After she got past her initial disbelief, a German delegate gently suggested that there are better ways to handle this sort of thing. We wouldn’t need ADAPs, let alone have ADAP waiting lists, if we had a rationally designed national health care system.
Here are the latest numbers from our friends at NASTAD:
- ADAP Watch (dgsmith.org)
- Montana ADAP Waiting List: Tuesday: 0, Wednesday: 1 (dgsmith.org)
- Keeping Up with AIDS 2012: Conference continues in the convention center, in the streets and in the spotlight (metroweekly.com)
- More than 2 million people are incarcerated in jails and prisons in the United States.
- People who are incarcerated are at increased risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV.
- The correctional setting is often the first place incarcerated men and women are diagnosed with HIV and provided treatment.
People who are incarcerated are at increased risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV and other infections. Correctional health, public health, and community-based organizations need to improve HIV prevention and care for incarcerated populations through 1) routine HIV screening and voluntary HIV testing within prisons and jails and 2) other effective prevention strategies, including those that address inmates’ transition back into the community. Correctional institutions can be important partners in preventing and treating HIV to protect and improve inmate and community health.
- Infographic: Ending The Drug War Will Help End AIDS (dgsmith.org)
- HIV Rising in Gay Men in Urban US (abcnews.go.com)
- We Can’t End AIDS Until We End the Drug War (alternet.org)
- AIDS conference calls for removal of HIV-related travel restrictions (ghanabusinessnews.com)
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