Formal sex education is the decline in the United States, especially in rural areas.
“In the 2006 to 2010 surveys, 70 percent of girls and 61 percent of boys said they had received formal instruction about birth control, which dropped to 60 percent and 55 percent, respectively, in the 2011 to 2013 surveys.
Girls also reported less formal education on STDs, HIV and AIDS prevention, and saying no to sex over time. Both girls and boys reported more formal education in saying no to sex without instruction about birth control in the second survey wave, the researchers report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.”
State and local education policies dictate how and if schools will address sex education for school-age children.
Read more about the decline here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/formal-sex-education-is-on-the-decline-in-the-us_us_571105a9e4b0018f9cb9cbe1?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living
Today marks National Transgender HIV Testing Day!
“Transgender people, particularly transgender women, are disproportionately affected by HIV. A 2013 systematic review found that the estimated HIV prevalence (percentage of a population living with HIV) among transgender women was 22% in the United States.
Another analysis estimated that HIV prevalence among African American transgender women was as high as 56%. Because transgender people, especially transgender women, are at high risk for acquiring HIV, there is an urgent need to expand HIV testing — the critical first step along the continuum of care — and prevention and treatment initiatives to reach the transgender community.”
Expanding HIV testing, access to prevention measures like condoms and PrEP, and increased awareness can help transgender people get access to the care and support they need.
Read more here:
The FDA has approved a new HIV treatment medication called Descovy.
This medication contains a safer form of tenofovir (also found in Truvada).
This new medication is an updated form of Truvada, but it has not yet been approved for use as PrEP.
“Research into Descovy for use as PrEP is only in its earliest stages, and it is not clear at this time if the tablet would be as effective as Truvada at preventing acquisition of the virus among HIV-negative individuals.”
#EndAIDS #PrEP #TreatmentasPrevention
What does it mean to be “undetectable?”
Many people still don’t understand about HIV, the disease, the risks of infection, and HIV treatment.
Todd Flaherty created a web series about HIV called “Undetectable,” to explore and discuss what it’s like living with HIV and what being undetectable really means.
Flaherty had this to say, “HIV does not define a person.”
“When we strip away the labels we place on ourselves and others, we realize all humans want the same thing: to make a connection with one another and to feel like our short time on this earth matters.
Undetectable refers to a poz person’s viral load, yes, but it also literally means not able to be detected… invisible.
So most of all, I hope this series offers a new perspective on a community of people who, for too long, have been undetectable among us.”
View the web series at www.undetectabletheseries.com
On this day in 1990 (April 8th) Ryan White passed away from complications of AIDS.
Ryan White was only 18 years old when he died.
In his life and after his passing, Ryan became a symbol in the HIV/AIDS movement, a symbol of the AIDS epidemic that was obliterating the nation during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
“When the nation was still grappling with homophobia, unsubstantiated fears of how the virus was transmitted, and a great deal of prejudice towards a growing number of terribly sick individuals, Ryan White’s case became a national antidote.
During this period, Ryan served as an eloquent spokesman about AIDS to his classmates, journalists and, through the wide reach of television, the American public. He valiantly fought against a battalion of bigots who saw AIDS as some kind of divine retribution against gay men and intravenous drug users (two of the largest groups stricken with AIDS during this time).”
Upon his passing, President George H.W. Bush passed the Ryan White CARE Act in late summer 1990, which would bring care and treatment to people living with HIV.
Without this young boy’s strength, heroism, and activism, HIV care would not be where it is today.
We thank him, and remember him fondly.
#RyanWhite #EndAIDS #fightthestigma
Read more here:
Do you know your status? #knowyourstatus
“One way to mark the occasion is to get tested for HIV and thus help eradicate the stigma.
A focus on HIV for STD Awareness Month is appropriate since HIV, though preventable, is non-curable and debilitating. HIV testing is now possible with a simple oral swab — no needles required, and results are ready 20 minutes later. Further, the process is completely confidential, and self-test kits can be purchased in local pharmacies, over the counter, for testing at home.”
Stigma continues to surround education, risk reduction strategies, and routine testing for all STI’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections).
“The time to take action is now. All sexually active persons should get themselves tested frequently. If it must be just once a year, then let’s make April the month to get tested at the doctor’s office or for free at a local clinic found at gettested.cdc.gov.”
Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brandon-brown2/get-tested-for-sexually-t_b_9610600.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy from the White House focuses on these core goals:
GOAL 1: REDUCING NEW HIV INFECTIONS
Step 1.A: Intensify HIV prevention efforts in the communities where HIV is
most heavily concentrated
Step 1.B: Expand efforts to prevent HIV infection using a
combination of effective evidence-based approaches
Step 1.C: Educate all Americans with easily accessible, scientifically
accurate information about HIV risks, prevention, and transmission
GOAL 2: INCREASING ACCESS TO CARE AND IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES
FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV
Step 2.A: Establish seamless systems to link people to care immediately after
diagnosis, and support retention in care to achieve viral suppression that can maximize
the benefits of early treatment and reduce transmission risk
Step 2.B: Take deliberate steps to increase the capacity of systems as well as the number
and diversity of available providers of clinical care and related services for people living with HIV
Step 2.C: Support comprehensive, coordinated, patient-centered care for people
living with HIV, including addressing HIV-related co-occurring conditions and
challenges meeting basic needs, such as housing
GOAL 3: REDUCING HIV-RELATED DISPARITIES AND HEALTH INEQUITIES
Step 3.A: Reduce HIV-related disparities in communities at high risk for HIV infection
Step 3.B: Adopt structural approaches to reduce HIV infections and improve
health outcomes in high-risk communities
Step 3.C: Reduce stigma and eliminate discrimination associated with HIV status
GOAL 4: ACHIEVING A MORE COORDINATED NATIONAL RESPONSE TO THE HIV EPIDEMIC
Step 4.A: Increase the coordination of HIV programs across the Federal government
and between Federal agencies and State, territorial, Tribal, and local governments
Step 4.B: Develop improved mechanisms to monitor and report on progress
toward achieving national goals
ARE and other community organizations can help to achieve these goals in our community. Increased access to HIV testing, HIV care, support services, and education can help reduce the incidence of new HIV infections and help to dispel the stigma around HIV.
Read more here:
“Among women living with HIV in America, almost 9 in 10 have been diagnosed, but only 32% have the virus under control.”- amfAR
March 10th marks National Women’s & Girl’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day!
Women face unique challenges to HIV prevention and HIV care. Women account for approximately 50% of HIV diagnoses globally.
Women in developing countries have little access to HIV prevention tools like PrEP and condoms. Cultural norms in many countries do now allow prevention measures.
Women are often care-takers of children and family members, so accessing health care for themselves is not always on the forefront of their minds.
Learn more about women and HIV at https://www.facebook.com/cdchiv/videos/639009836238208/?fref=nf
Movin’ on up, to the West Side!
As of today, all ARE Staff, including Housing Services, Medical Case Management, and HIV Testing all are located at 124 West Piccadilly Street Winchester, VA 22601.
Throughout the month of February, Signet Screen Printing will be donating coats of all sizes to CAF (ARE’s Housing Program), C-CAP of Winchester, and Henry & Willam Evan’s Home for Children, Inc.
If you want to donate slightly used or new coats to Signet contact them at 540-665-9651.