News & Discussions

Precious Funding is Spent on This?

The headline reads "Many poor heterosexuals in US cities at-risk for HIV," referencing the results from a just-released CDC study.  Hasn't the connection between poverty and HIV already been well-established, going all the way back to the late 1990's and being the main reason people such as Jesse Helms and Henry Hyde started to find their comfort zone...

Is HIV-Testing Really on the Sequester Chopping Block?

The HIV-testing media blogosphere is rich with doom-and-gloom messages about HIV-testing being on the chopping block if the sequester comes to fruition.  Hampton Roads, VA is the latest. (It's worth reading the comments to note that there still remains a disturbing level of ignorance about HIV, including "AIDS serves a purpose, and should be allowed to run its course" and...

Lobbying with Blind Spots

I was talking with some folks this morning who are here in DC meeting with congressional offices to lobby for more funding. They participated in a training yesterday.  I asked them if, given all the noise about looming across the board cuts, their was even a mention of the idea of using self-administered rapid HIV-tests to help engage the community in a way that offsets some of the impact of the funding cuts.  "No" was the clear answer.

Here's where the waste of all this comes in:  this...

People still aren't talking about self-testing

It's been about 6 months since self-administered HIV-tests hit the shelves, and people still aren't talking about it.  We've had people from all over the world talk about an "AIDS-free generation"; there have been advocacy groups continuing the campaigns to end the pandemic, and keep the funding flowing.  I have been asking people who have been attending national and regional meetings to talk about funding, advocacy and action to stop the pandemic, and while there is...

Next Steps for a New Year

During the long and restful 3 weeks away from work, I had time to get some distance and perspective.  It seems that, as a society, we are too often racing and not taking enough time to disconnect, breathe, relax and, in the process, get a different view of things.  The past 3 weeks were exactly that.  Spent entirely in Costa Rica, a country of wealth and beauty but also crime and poverty, and very little visible presence of HIV, it's a reminder that for most of the world, just getting food on the table...

"Totally Worth It!"

While talking with a neighbor yesterday, we started discussing HIV-testing.  This neighbor is a well-off, middle-class gay man who works as a social worker in corporate settings as well as private practice.  He regularly gets tested for HIV.  When I mentioned that self-testing is now an option, and clarified to him that this is a rapid test (as opposed to the home-sample selection kits), and told him the price ($35-40), his immediate response was "That's totally worth it!"  

The...

HIV Self-Tests and HIV-testing Organizations: The Silence is Deafening

Know how many HIV/AIDS organizations that encourage testing are mentioning the fact that self-testing is now an option?  As far as I can see, none.  Not Whitman-Walker, not Greater Than AIDS, not AIDS Foundation of Chicago, not NYC's Gay Men's Health Center, not the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, not SF AIDS Foundation, not NAPWA.  All of these organizations' websites have information about testing options, but make no mention of self-testing.  Based...

Is a Pill the entire strategy?

I was struck by this campaign picture today.  It connects the importance of voting with making a statement about "ending AIDS."  Sadly, it seems the only political statement, based on the picture, is about funding for medication.  We need more significant and fundamental changes to the system, not just more money to the system, if we want to make a real difference.  Basically, what I see here is just a call to keep funding the status quo, just give it more money. 

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Lots of push for PrEP, but no mention of testing?

With big fanfare, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation launched a new website with lots of information about the pros of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), the highly-touted advancement in HIV-prevention that is essentially having people who are not HIV+ taking medication as prevention.  A look at this website has inconsistencies that can make one's head spin.  Rather than go through many of them, there is simply this:  There is a whole page...

Elevated Language, Direct Action

Two weeks ago, I took a class called "Overcoming Resistance to Change."  One of the many messages I took from the class is that change often fails because of language that, as the instructor put it, stays at "high elevation" but does not call...