The Numbers for the 12 states

Number of people on the ADAP waiting list, 9,066

New York City’s AIDS Memorial Park Campaign Gains Momentum


The AIDS Memorial Park Coalition is dedicated to “the recognition and preservation of the ongoing history of the AIDS crisis through the creation of a memorial park to honor New York City’s 100,000+ men, women and children who have died from AIDS, and to commemorate and celebrate the efforts of the caregivers and activists who responded heroically to the crisis,” and on December 14 announced the support of several influential leaders from entertainment, business, and politics.
Fashion designer Kenneth Cole, Academy Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, and Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, have joined the jury for the coalition’s design competition. Also joining the jury are actress and author Julianne Moore; Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon; designer Jonathan Adler; Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-at-Large, Barneys New York; John Cameron Mitchell, writer, actor, and director; and director Todd Stephens. Stephens will direct a video series of personal reflections on the AIDS crisis, featuring coalition board members and jurors.

“As a longtime supporter of those living with HIV/AIDS, I support the coalition’s efforts to create AIDS Memorial Park in New York City. It’s time for us to preserve this historically significant location with a living memorial that connects current and future generations. Also, as a downtown resident and as a mother, I believe the park will be an inspirational, educational, and green public oasis—something we all need more of in the city,” said Sarandon.

The AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition is accepting entries through midnight on January 21, 2012 via the Architizer website at here. Winners of the competition will be announced on February 1, 2012, with one winner receiving $5,000 and one runner-up receiving $2,000. The coalition aims for completion of the park by World AIDS Day on December 1, 2014.

To enter the competition or learn more, visit the website above. For more information about AIDS Memorial Park, visit The coalition is on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Petition to Milton Hershey School

 As reported in the E-News of December 12, an HIV-positive boy has been denied entrance to the Milton Hershey school based on his HIV status. Kevin Maloney, known for his past petitions on HIV issues, has started another petition, as well as providing a list of Hershey products to boycott. You can read his commentary and view the list here. CNN’s Anderson Cooper kept the story in the news on his AC360 show—to view a clip of the story that aired on AC360, click here. In Kevin’s words, “I cannot believe the ignorance surrounding this story, and why the parents of these children of the school are not in support of this boy?!? Have we really fallen back 20 + years on AIDS education and awareness? I am mad and saddened. “I can only hope the community of Hershey, PA, surrounding communities, the students, and the parents of the school take a stand by rising up to HIV, and dismantle the ignorance that lies deep within this school’s administration.” To write a letter, send an e-mail, and/or call the school and the Hershey Company, a list of contact information is below.

Milton Hershey School: PH: (717) 520-2000 E-mail: Admissions 1-800-322-3248 Fax: (717) 520-2117 E-mail: Hershey Company SIGN THE PETITION

Activists launch New Survey

Activists launch new survey, ask people with HIV to take 10 minutes to help speed HIV cure research

Please forward to others who would like to participate

San Francisco, CA-A coalition of HIV advocacy groups are calling on all people with HIV to take 10 minutes to complete a survey they hope will help speed the pace of HIV cure research.

At issue are the kinds of risks that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow in early phase clinical studies of promising treatments to either eradicate HIV from the body or to help the immune system better control the virus without the need for antiretroviral drugs.

“There are complex considerations in the FDA’s regulation of early studies that might carry certain health risks, especially if those studies are designed more to move the science forward than to achieve an immediate cure in the individual,” said David Evans, director of research advocacy for Project Inform in San Francisco.

“We believe that soliciting the opinions of people with HIV regarding the potential risks involved will help inform discussions regarding the design of these trials, and shed light on the extent to which individuals are willing to assume some risk even if the study would only help people further down the road,” Evans continued.

Evans, in partnership with Nelson Vergel, director of the Program for Wellness in Houston, and Richard Jefferys from the Treatment Action Group in New York City, devised the survey to help measure the willingness of people with HIV to participate in research for more altruistic reasons and to gauge the factors that are most strongly associated with a person’s willingness.

The activists are hoping that the results of the survey may lead to more openness toward community input on the part of the branch of the FDA that will be responsible for reviewing many cure-oriented treatments, called the Center for Biologics and Evaluation Research (CBER).

“Several researchers are designing studies right now that will soon ask people to take some risks to learn more about new approaches to cure HIV. It is important for the HIV community to let them and the FDA know what it is willing to do to advance a cure of an illness that kills more than 2 million people per year”, said Vergel.

Vergel and his colleagues are hoping that people with HIV and their service providers will spread word widely about the survey. The larger the number of people who take it, and the greater the diversity of the survey-takers, the more legitimacy the survey results will have. The group intends to make the results of the survey public before the launch of the 2012 International AIDS Conference that will take place in July in Washington, DC.

This update is so important for everyone who are infected/affected form HIV/AIDS.  We need to take the time to complete this survey & 2012 International AIDS Conference that will take place in July in Washington, DC.

Majority of Americans with HIV Are Not Getting Optimal Care

In a November 29 article in the Washington Post, it was reported that only slightly more than a quarter of HIV-positive Americans are getting the kind of medical care that maximizes their life expectancy, according to a new estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The goal of HIV treatment is to suppress the virus until it is no longer detectable in the bloodstream. Only 28% of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States have their viral load controlled to that optimal degree, according to epidemiologists at the CDC.

 “It is time to act even more aggressively,” said Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of the CDC’s Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention. Having such a small fraction of people adequately treated “is not acceptable from a public health, humanitarian, or economic perspective,” he said.

Several years ago, the CDC endorsed universal HIV testing of Americans. With new research showing that treated people are unlikely to transmit the virus to others, the agency is campaigning for physicians and health departments to make sure that people who are found to be HIV-positive get into treatment. For those who enter and stay in care, approximately 77% achieve undetectable viral loads. However, the CDC reports that as many as 50% of those who enter care, end up dropping out.

While high rates of attrition from treatment can be common due to reluctance to take pills, drug side effects, inconvenience, expense, and denial, studies have shown that 32% of Latinos, 21% of blacks and 16% of whites are uninsured, potentially creating an obstacle to HIV treatment. This is not likely to improve with the current political climate and proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

NYC Health Officials Recommend AIDS Drugs for Any Person with HIV


Health officials in New York City are recommending that any resident living with HIV be offered AIDS drugs as soon as the virus is diagnosed, an aggressive move that has been shown to prolong life and stem the spread of the disease, according to an Associated Press report on on December 1. San Francisco is the only other city known to have made such a recommendation, in 2010.

New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said recent studies have shown that the benefits of early treatment, combined with education and testing, appear to be a promising strategy for countering the epidemic.

City health officials said the new recommendation could initially help about 3,000 people get on medications. About 66,000 New Yorkers living with HIV that the Health Department tracks are being effectively treated with AIDS drugs, they said. But they said it was difficult to estimate how many people would eventually need the medications.

Some doctors agree with the Department of Health that it is time to update the guidelines for initiating AIDS drug treatment.

Dr. Joel Gallant of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and vice chair of the HIV Medicine Association also agrees with the New York recommendation for offering early treatment. He recommends early treatment for his own patients.

“Nobody I know who is an HIV expert feels that it’s a bad idea to treat HIV at high CD4 counts from a medical or scientific standpoint,” Gallant said. “If there are objections, they’d usually be based on cost or feasibility.”

Cost questions are important because brand-name drugs can retail for $1,200 to $1,600 per month. City health officials said they anticipate that the cost for expanding the use of AIDS drugs would be covered by private insurance or by the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). The officials said they expect the benefits over the long term would far outweigh the initial costs because there would be fewer hospitalizations and new HIV cases.

Dr. Moupali Das, the director of research at the San Francisco Department of Health HIV Prevention Section, said its surveillance data indicated that physicians were treating their HIV patients early even before the city recommended doing so. She said they are currently analyzing what has happened since the recommendations went into effect. But, anecdotally, she said that there has been a change among patients seeking treatment. “It’s changed the dialogue and empowered our patient population,” she said.

“What we’re doing here is we’re making a really clear and unequivocal statement that we think this is good for the health of the patient, good for the health of the entire population, good for the response to the epidemic,” Farley said


World AIDS Day 2011 – Reducing the Stigma

This was our World AIDS Day 2011 Event.

We are pleased to share our photos that were taken at

our event. 

We thank

Indian River County Health Dept.


 Indian River County HIV/AIDS Awareness Network

For allowing us to be apart & coordinate this event.

From all of us at

Positive Mind & Body Support Group Network

 Have a Wonderful Christmas & Healthy New Year.

 Leanne & Eric

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