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Join the Conversation . . . Until There’s A Cure
Posted in AIDS Awareness, HIV Awareness, HIV/AIDS
Tagged AIDS Bracelet, AIDS Ribbon, AIDS vaccine, child, cure, daughter, girls, hiv prevention, mother, pregnancy, Safe sex, Sexually transmitted disease, south africa, stigma, until there's a cure, women
1 for $15
3 for $40
Our Orphan Bracelets are handcrafted by South African women living with HIV/AIDS using (lead free) copper, brass and aluminum wire. All proceeds go towards helping mothers and children in South Africa whose lives have been severely impacted by HIV/AIDS. Your purchase provides employment to the mothers, and nourishment and care to the HIV/AIDS orphans in South Africa
Be Part of the Solution
… Until There’s A Cure
Posted in AIDS Awareness, AIDS Bracelet, HIV Awareness, HIV/AIDS
Tagged aids, AIDS Bracelet, Conditions and Diseases, Health, hiv, Immune Deficiency, Immune Disorders, orphans, Sexually transmitted disease, south africa
This story, appearing in the New York Times, discusses the encouraging developments in US teens‘ sexual behavior, but highlights an important, and disturbing trend: while teens are delaying sex and increasing their condom use over a 17-year period, the rate of HIV and other STDs is increasing in the past few years. The article states that while teens are having less sex, having it later, and using condoms more often, there is still
…a 34 percent increase in H.I.V. and AIDS cases diagnosed among teenagers 15 to 19 from 2003 to 2006.
This increase underscores the need for more comprehensive education in terms of the risks of STDs, particularly HIV/AIDS.
To read the full study, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for August 1st.
This article was originally posted on May 12 at http://www.TheEconomist.com by G.C.
TEN years ago, at the inflection point in attitudes to the AIDS epidemic when both drugs and money to deal with it were rapidly becoming available in serious quantities, there was an acrimonious debate between medical experts and activists about what to do with those drugs and that money. Some (mainly the medical experts) wanted to concentrate on breaking the chain of transmission by stopping new infections. Others (mainly infected activists) wanted to concentrate on treating those already harboring HIV. Neither, oddly, considered that the same approach might be used to do both.
But it can. That is the conclusion of a study that has just been stopped, because its results are so decisive that it was considered immoral to keep on denying treatment to those in the control arm, who were acting as a benchmark against which the approach could be judged.
The trial in question, organized by an international body called the HIV Prevention Trials Network, and paid for by America’s National Institutes of Health, asked whether treating an infected individual with drugs that suppress his level of HIV also stops him passing the virus on. It turns out that it does. HPTN 052, as the trial is known, recruited 1,763 established couples (97% heterosexual, 3% male homosexual) in which one partner but not the other was infected. The couples came from 13 places in Africa, Asia and North and South America. The crucial point was that the infected individual in the couple was not ill enough to qualify for treatment under existing guidelines for drug use. Those guidelines are in place partly to avoid inflicting unnecessary side-effects on patients and partly to reduce the risk of drug-resistant strains of the virus developing.
Half of the volunteer couples were treated according to the existing guidelines, with the infected partner being offered drug treatment only if his or her condition (as measured by the level of a particular immune-system cell in the bloodstream) dropped below a critical threshold, or if he or she developed actual symptoms of AIDS. In the other half, the infected partner was put straight onto drugs. All couples were also counseled in transmission-avoidance and were given free condoms and treatment for other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as regular medical check-ups.
The study began in April 2005. Since then, 28 people have transmitted the virus to their partners. Of those, 27 were in the control group and only one in the experimental arm of the trial. Drugs, in other words, do stop transmission as well as saving lives. You can have your cake and eat it.
This is a decisive result, and a triumph both for the study’s organizers, and for Julio Montaner of the University of British Columbia, who pioneered this approach and has been pushing for its implementation for years. AIDS is by no means beaten, but now it may be on the run.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Africa, aids, aids study, hiv, HIV Prevention Trials Network, hiv trials, National Institutes of Health, Sexually transmitted disease, South America, the bracelet, the economist, University of British Columbia, until there's a cure
Until There’s A Cure plans to enable longer, healthier and more productive lives for HIV-positive girls and boys, ages 26 and younger, in the San Francisco Bay Area by funding testing, medical treatment and peer advocacy services.
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Half of all HIV infections in the U.S. occur in youth under age 25. Each hour in the U.S., two youth become infected with HIV. From receiving an HIV diagnosis, to disclosing ones status, understanding medical reports and dealing with the idea of death … adolescents not only require access to medical treatment, they need guidance to overcome these social and developmental challenges that come along with an HIV diagnosis. San Francisco is one of the regions most affected by HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
This project will provide medical treatment, counseling, drop-in emergency, and/or temporary and permanent housing services to 3,400 HIV-positive or at-risk youth in the San Francisco Bay Area who are battling the emotional and physical challenges of being HIV positive or at-risk.
We’ve battled hysteria, ignorance & complacency! Great advances have been made in treatment & care to improve life quality for persons with HIV/AIDS. There is a cure for AIDS. We’re just not there yet.
- Nora Hanna, Executive Director, Until There’s A Cure
By Hana Kajimura
I watch the Oscars for the dresses, the upsets, and the comedy (for better or for worse). This year I scanned the telecast, hoping for a speech that might move me in some way. Three hours and 24 acceptance speeches later, I found myself disappointed (though Ms. Portman’s nearly brought me to tears).
But in the past eight decades of Oscar history, there have certainly been some memorable speeches. And even more memorable when the winner is transformed by his or her role and moved to action. In 1993, Tom Hanks won Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia, as a lawyer who is fired because of his HIV positive status. His speech served to remember a classmate and a high school drama teacher.
“I know that my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels. We know their names. They number a thousand for each one of the red ribbons that we wear here tonight.”
In many ways, actors like Tom Hanks have given widespread recognition to people and issues whose names were only whispered. After all, it was the Academy that gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1939, when civil rights issues were unpopular. Though not often enough, Hollywood has given voice to the issue of HIV/AIDS when it hasn’t been a popular or even accepted conversation to be had. I invite you to watch and remember some of my favorite stories, fictional and factual, told through film: Longtime Companion (1989), Philadelphia (1993), and Rent (2005).
Still today, actors lend their voices to the cause of Until There’s A Cure, and for that we are so grateful. Film has the unique power to create collective memories and living histories through sound and picture—one that must continue to be harnessed to retell the stories of AIDS heroes.
By race/ethnicity, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the United States. While making up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for more than 49 percent of AIDS cases and 46 percent of people living with a diagnosis of an HIV infection. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34 and the second leading cause of death for Black men ages 35 to 44.
Despite much research, there still is not a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. All Americans, especially communities of color need to learn more about HIV vaccine research in order to make an HIV vaccine a reality.
There are many ways you can take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS:
- Get tested for HIV
- Practice safe methods to prevent HIV
- Decide not to engage in high risk behaviors
- Talk about HIV prevention with family, friends and colleagues
- Provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS
- Wear The Bracelet to contribute to funding for HIV/AIDS prevention education, care services and vaccine development
to purchase your bracelet today so that you can wear it proudly on February 7 in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
By Hana Kajimura
Today, on National Freedom Day, we remember the moment when President Lincoln signed the 13th amendment into law, promising freedom from slavery and involuntary servitude. We remember the moment in 1865 when a nation was able to look beyond difference and move together to right one of our country’s greatest wrongs. Today we commemorate all those, past and present, recognized and unrecognized, who dedicate their courage, perseverance, and strength to the pursuit of freedom.
In the realm of HIV/AIDS, many still feel trapped by stigma. Cultural norms and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS prevent many who are HIV positive from telling their status or their story. Stigma discourages even more of us from getting tested and treated. Today is a day to spread the message of freedom, on both a national and individual level. Please take a moment to celebrate your own freedom, and give hope to those who are not free to be themselves. We can all share our own dreams of freedom.
By Hana Kajimura
The subject line of the email read: “FACT: SF has the 2nd highest number of reported AIDS cases in the nation.” It advertised a panel on Stanford’s Campus called “The Realities of HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area,” which featured representatives from Bay Positives, a support organization for young people, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, a low-cost legal service provider, and Maitri, a 24-hour care facility. We heard from young people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and professionals in the Bay Area who strive to support and care for them. The panel was so powerful that I want to communicate their message to all of you!
Some take away points:
- Some people think of HIV/AIDS as a death sentence, while others see it as a chronic manageable illness. In reality, it is somewhere in between
- It takes more than a pill to keep someone with HIV healthy.
- It’s hard for people to accept their status and seek health care.
- Disclosure is hard, especially when you’re still trying to start relationships.
- Stigma still exists.
Why youth are so important:
- Young people by nature are adventurous, free spirited and have raging hormones, which puts them at greater risk.
- We feel safe among our peers and don’t think about how far the sexual web extends.
- Trust and love can sometimes get in the way of protecting ourselves.
What we need to do now:
- We need to be better equipped to support and provide care for people with HIV/AIDS. Finding out your HIV status needs to come with benefits, not just stigma.
- We need to demystify sex. How are we supposed to talk to kids in public schools about sexually transmitted infections, when we can’t talk freely about sex? Most of us have never had the opportunity to talk about sex openly in a healthy way.
- We must empower people to talk in a public way about their HIV status. How should we create a safe and open space in which to do so?
- Don’t judge. It can happen to any one of us.
- Be supportive. No one should have to feel alone.
- Most importantly, know the facts. Learn what HIV is and how it affects the body. Learn about stigma, trends, and correct misconceptions.
“I don’t want people going away tonight thinking you can’t be affected by it in any way whatsoever,” one of the speakers said. He said that by coming to the panel, we made a choice, and our actions from tonight on say something about who we are. Similarly, the fact that you are reading this blog says something about who you are and what you stand for. You are electing to make a difference and get involved. Whether that means educating yourself or your peers, speaking up, or getting down to work—we have to be the change agents.