Monday, November 29, 2010

World reacts to new drug that helps prevent HIV/AIDS in healthy gay and bisexual men

Only days after Michel Sidibé, executive director of the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) praised Pope Benedict XVI for announcing "the use of condoms is justified when intended to reduce the risk of HIV infection," the agency also released information on a new drug that helps prevent healthy gay men from catching it through sex with an infected partner.

"The announcement will make cooperation easier with faith-based organizations, in the fight against HIV and AIDS," Michel Sidibé hold world reporters. "This is an important step forward." The Roman Catholic Church rejects condoms as a means of birth control and had for many years said they are not a means of preventing AIDS.

United Nations' AIDS-fighting agency (UNAIDS) has been an even bigger priority at the United Nations since the current executive director, Michel Sidibé is also an Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, reporting directly to the Deputy Secretary-General of the world organization.

Kentucky Slides Backward with HIV/AIDS Treatment and Prevention

Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV, and nearly half of them do not know it.

HIV has reached epidemic levels again in the Bluegrass Region of the Commonwealth, especially among the Latino and Black communities.

Kentucky Equality Federation fought hard for new funding for the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program, as well as HIV/AIDS prevention during the 2010 Kentucky Legislative Session.  

Though the legislation also carried the support of Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Tom Burch, as well as the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Group, AVOL, Lexington Gay Lesbian Service Organization (GLSO), House of Ruth, OUTsource at the University of Kentucky, and a wide variety of other organizations, the funding was axed by the Revenue and Appropriate Committee, particularly, the House Subcommittee on Human Resources during negations with Kentucky Equality Federation officers.  Why?  Senior citizen programs took priority because of the upcoming election as told to Kentucky Equality Federation negotiators. 

"We need to reinvigorate our response to preventing HIV among gay and bisexual men," Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said in a telephone interview with the media giant Reuters. "We can't allow HIV to continue its devastating toll among gay and bisexual men, and in particular, among young black men."

The "Breakthrough"

Scientists announced a "breakthrough" in the fight against AIDS for gay and bisexual men. A pill already used to treat HIV infection turns out to be a powerful weapon in protecting healthy gay men from catching the virus, a global study found.

Daily doses of Truvada cut the risk of infection by 44 percent when given with condoms, counseling and other prevention services. Men who took their pills most faithfully had even more protection, up to 73 percent.

Researchers had feared the pills might give a false sense of security and make men less likely to use condoms or to limit their partners, but the opposite happened — risky sex declined.

UNAIDS warns that condoms remain the first line of defense.

United Nations World AIDS Day is December 1st of each year.  

The results are "a major advance" that can help curb the epidemic in gay men, said Dr. Kevin Fenton, AIDS prevention chief at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But he warned they may not apply to people exposed to HIV through male-female sex, drug use or other ways. Studies in those groups are under way now.

Charles Karel Bouley, a blogger with the Huffington Post slammed the new drug however in his latest blog post, stating: "We need a cure for HIV and AIDS. We've always had a way to prevent it, it's called common sense and responsibility, though of course mistakes and accidents can happen. Condoms, while not easily accessible to everyone, are free at most clinics or Centers in the U.S., minimal at most drug stores and information is everywhere. If one day I turn up positive, I'll know why. It won't be because I didn't take a pill."

---> Posted by a volunteer Community Blogger of Kentucky Equality Federation. This is the official blog of Kentucky Equality Federation. Posts contained in this blog may not be the official position of Kentucky Equality Federation, its volunteer officers, directors, management, supported organizations, allies or coalitions, but rather the personal opinions or views of the volunteer Community Bloggers. The opinions or views expressed in the blog are protected by Section 1 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as non-slanderous free speech; blogs are personal views or opinions and not journalistic news sites.

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