News & Discussions

AIDS Inc. vs. AIDS Inc.

So, I missed all the hooplah around the Global AIDS Conference that was held in DC last month.  While I am sure there was lots of great networking, and good information-sharing, I have not sensed any earth-breaking transformation in the way business gets done.  Upon returning to DC and getting off the train at Union Station, I did see many posters and messages raising awareness to HIV/AIDS and messages of "Keep the Promise" or demands to not cut funding - the usual messages that basically point fingers...

Truvada, Prevention and Risk-Reduction

The Washington Post article this morning had the headline "FDA appproves first drug to prevent HIV infection."  This blatant overstating of the truth about what the FDA is approving is telling on many levels.  The article itself contradicts the headline, when it says "when combined with 'safer sex' practices such as condom use,...

How many conferences are too many?

I recently attended a part of a conference here in DC on HIV Prevention Trials.  While there, I was asked whether I would be going to the US Conference on AIDS in Las Vegas in September (the answer is "no").  Earlier in May, there were meetings in suburban Maryland hosted by the FDA looking at blood products includind rapid HIV-tests for sale.  Later this month, the world gathers for the International AIDS Conference here in DC.  In September the Microbicide Summit in Australia, then...

How many conferences are too many?

I recently attended a part of a conference here in DC on HIV Prevention Trials.  While there, I was asked whether I would be going to the US Conference on AIDS in Las Vegas in September (the answer is "no").  Earlier in May, there were meetings in suburban Maryland hosted by the FDA looking at blood products includind rapid HIV-tests for sale.  Later this month, the world gathers for the International AIDS Conference here in DC.  In September the Microbicide Summit in Australia, then...

FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Sale of Rapid Tests!

The official word came today that Orasure has been given the green light to sell rapid HIV-tests over-the-counter.  The final question now is what the pricing will be on these tests.  From anecdotal conversations, it seems like $20 could be a tipping point: people seem more willing to pay $20 or less to use this test, but anything over that is going to have a harder sell for groups like...

Shameful Fear-Mongering

(NOTE: After this appeared, it has become known that the quotes in the organization newsletter cited below about oppositon to home-based testing are not the views of the organization, but of an uncited/unacknowledged writer.  The fact that it was not stated that these were not the view of the organization but not giving any indication that they were the opinions of someone else can certainly be misleading at the least.)

In Illinois, HIV/AIDS organizations are facing huge cuts because of a 42% cut in funding....

Assessing HIV Education

For the past few weeks at William Penn House, we have had two juniors from a local charter school doing a three week fellowship as a school requirement.  This has provided me with an opportunity to integrate HIV into some of the conversations to get a glimpse of how HIV-education is received and perceived in the schools.  Given that DC has some of the highest rates of HIV in the country, the school these students pulls from some of the highest-incidence communities in the city and these are teenagers - always the...

Lamenting funding cuts while ignoring HIV self-testing

In Illinois last week, the legislature approved a budget that slashes HIV/AIDS funding by 42%.  Somewhat typically, from the advocacy world, there is the sentiment that these cuts could easily be avoided if only the legislature would close tax loopholes and look to raise revenues in other arenas.  We are living in times when governments don't have the stomach to do this to help meet the needs of healthcare and education, so can HIV/...

"Targeting creates Stereotypes"

When public health messages about diseases and conditions get translated through the media, are we more or less informed?  Researchers at University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communication are looking at this.  While their research is on-going, their hypotheses are fairly clear that in our information-drenched short-attention society, the quick...

The Approval is Coming: It's time to change the conversation

The news last week that the FDA panel recommended approval of over-the-counter sale of HIV-tests has been perhaps the biggest news buzz in the HIV/AIDS world.  Around the world, there have been wide-ranging responses (such as Israel media stating that Israel will probably not move towards self-testing, but Uganda is more likely to).  Here in the...