National Latino AIDS Awareness Day – October 15

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“The impact of HIV on Hispanics/Latinos is not directly related to race or ethnicity, but rather to harsh realities and challenges faced by some communities, including lower awareness of HIV status, poverty, access to care, stigma, migration, acculturation (the process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group) and homophobia.”

October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). This year’s theme is “Hispanics United to End AIDS.” Latinos are encouraged to support HIV testing and HIV prevention education, which can save lives.

The HIV epidemic continues to seriously affect Hispanic/Latino communities. Consider this:

  • Hispanics/Latinos represent approximately 16% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 20% of new HIV infections in 2009, the most recent year these data were available.
  • Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 19% of people living with HIV infection in 2009.
  • Since the epidemic began, almost 18,000 Hispanics/Latinos with AIDS have died in the…

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Illinois AIDS Care Providers Advise Waiting to Sign up for Obamacare

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From Medill Reports: Chicago

People with HIV and AIDS advised to wait to sign up for Obamacare

by I. Christina Cala

AIDS care providers in Illinois such as the AIDS Foundation of Chicago are urging people to wait to enroll in the insurance plans offered through the Affordable Care Act.

Details about care and medications covered in different plans need to be clarified before people enroll, according to Ryan Singleton Communication Coordinator for the AFC.

“Oct. 1 is a great day when people aren’t discriminated against because of a preexisting health condition, but celebrate by waiting,” said Singleton.

Private insurance plans often denied coverage to those with preexisting conditions such as HIV and AIDS.

An estimated 36,000 people have been diagnosed and are living with HIV or AIDS in Illinois, according to HIV Care Connect. Roughly half of those are currently uninsured and only about 40 percent of people living…

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Government Shutdown Impacts HIV/AIDS Programs

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“Key programs for people with HIV/AIDS are among the programs affected by the government shutdown. According to a shutdown plan from the Department of Health & Human Services, the cut off of federal funds means a loss of oversight for Ryan White AIDS Grants, a freeze in new medical research at the National Institutes of Health and no more updates for treatment and prevention recommendations for HIV at the Centers for Disease Control.”

The federal government shutdown is impacting certain services related to HIV/AIDS programs and LGBT federal employees are among hundreds of thousands furloughed on Tuesday.

The shutdown began at midnight on Tuesday after Congress failed to pass a budget that would continue funding the federal government after the start of fiscal year 2014.

The Republican-controlled House passed several resolutions that would continue to fund the government, but would also repeal portions of health care reform or delay its implementation. The Democratic-controlled…

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Insertable Ring Could Prevent HIV in Women

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Scientists from Northwestern University have developed a new intravaginal ring that they say could help prevent women from being infected with HIV.

The device is easily inserted and remains in place for 28 days, delivering a measured amount of the anti-retroviral tenofovir directly to the site of transmission.

HIV affects an estimated 34 million people around the world. In 2011, 2.5 million people were newly diagnosed, and in sub-Saharan Africa, women make up 60% of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Preventative drugs do exist, but many have proved ineffective, especially in developing countries where financial and cultural barriers interrupt their use.

Previous studies have shown that antiviral drugs can prevent HIV infection, but existing delivery methods often fall short: pills need to be taken daily and in high doses, while vaginal gels have to be applied before each sex act, making them inconvenient.

You can read the rest of…

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