News & Discussions

FDA Committee Approves At-Home Testing

Finally.  The Food and Drug Administrations Blood Panel Advisory Committee (BPAC) recommended Orasure Technologies, Inc.'s application for over-the-counter sale of rapid HIV-tests.  This is a huge step.  Still to be known is when we will actually see these on the market and what the actual cost will be.

It was interesting to be a part of the panel and to see some familiar faces speaking....

HIV Self-Testing: Opportunities, Issues and Ethics

Last night, we co-hosted the first of two symposiums in Wheaton, IL about the prospect of the FDA approval of over-the-counter sale of rapid HIV-tests.  As with so many workshops, seminars and symposiums, the more they go not as planned, the more enriching they can be as they are influenced by the folks who show up.  Last night was no exception, and it helped to clarify, from the grassroots level, the opportunities as...

Questioning Old Myths

It is a pretty standard refrain among the HIV/AIDS industry that people need counseling when they are testing for HIV for both personal and for public health reasons ("risk-reduction".)  As a counselor, I see the benefits of counseling but I am also suspect of any blanket statements about what people need.  A study just being completed for publication seems to break through some of this armor as well.  Simply, the study shows that...

Criminalization of HIV-Transmission: Does it work?

On the surface, I know many people who think that the criminalization of HIV-transmission is a postive step.  A common sentiment has been "people need to be held accountable for their actions."  I don't disagree with this sentiment, but I have often thought that placing HIV-transmission in a "victim/perpetrator" narrative does not move us towards a more accountable society but, perhaps more in the opposite direction toward a more punishing, fearful and ignorant...

Left hand, meet Right hand

The CEO of NYC's Gay Men's Health Crisis has an article in Huffington Post this week highlighting the challenges that the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS continues to present in stopping the pandemic.  She talks about the stigma being embedded in complex issues such as homophobia, cultural and religious rules, poverty and sexism.  She calls for more complex webs of HIV/AIDS servcices (including GMHC).  

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HIV Rises, Corruption Continues, and they want more money?

Lost in the messages of doom and gloom if funding gets cut is the fact that the current approach is perhaps not up to the task of neither achieving the goal of no new transmissions nor providing adequate oversight of current funding use.  Consider these recent news stories:

People are more than numbers in a math equation

Earlier this week Harold Pollack, the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, pubished an article denouncing home-testing for HIV for low-risk people, and presents a series of math equations to show that, because the rapid oral swab tests with low-risk groups is neither effective nor wise.  He fully...

Study Raises Concerns About Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

This just-released study should raise serious alarms about the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) activists who have been the most vocal over the past year about demanding more funding for HIV/AIDS.  The gist of the study is this: in a controlled setting, PreP did not significantly reduce the rate of HIV-infenction in heterosexual women as compared to women taking a placebo pill.  One of the speculations is...

More Options = More Control

The trend for the past few decades has been to move the ability of people to diagnose conditions from doctor's offices to home.  Included in this trend has also been a trend to have people then go to their MD with requests for specific treatments.  Examples include:

  • WebMD
  • Home Pregnancy Tests
  • Home STD tests
  • Pharma ads that encourage people to "talk to your doctor" about specific treatments.  

There are some inherent...

Majority of Americans with HIV not in Care

According to a recently-released study, the majority of Americans with HIV are not in regular care.  One of the top concerns about self-testing is that people who find out they have HIV through self-testing will not get in to care.  Given the results of this study, however, it's clear that self-testing will not create this problem.  It...