HIV Among Youth in the U.S.: Protecting a Generation

November 27, 2012  •  1 comment • By Kevin Fenton, M.D., Ph.D., FFPH, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC, @CDC_DrFenton

Kevin Fenton CDC

Dr. Kevin Fenton

In the latest edition of Vital Signs, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today, we reported that one in four new HIV infections in the United States were among young people between the ages of 13 and 24. That is about 12,000 youth, or about 1,000 per month, were infected with HIV in 2010.

According to the Vital Signs edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the majority of those youth living with HIV are unaware they are infected. The percentage of youth tested for HIV overall was 12.9% among high school students and 34.5% among those aged 18–24 years; it was lower among males than females, and lower among whites and Hispanics/Latinos than blacks/African Americans. Youth who are not aware of their HIV infection are not getting the treatment they need to live longer, healthier lives, and can unknowingly pass the virus on to others.

Published in conjunction with the annual World AIDS Day observance, Vital Signs looked at many facets of the youth HIV epidemic, finding that:

  • Nearly 60% of new infections among youth occur in African Americans, about 20% in Hispanics/Latinos and about 20% in whites.
  • About 87% of young males got HIV through male-to-male sex, 6% from heterosexual sex, 2% from injection drug use, and about 5% from a combination of male-to-male sex and injection drug use.
  • About 86% of young females got HIV through heterosexual sex and 13% from injection drug use.
  • Among youth, more new infections occurred among African American males than among any other group by race/ethnicity and gender.
Risk Among Youth

Vital Signs also looked at the behaviors among youth that may put them at risk for HIV. Youth become at risk for acquiring HIV when they start having sex or injecting drugs. For both males and females, having sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol can increase risky behaviors that could lead to becoming infected with HIV. Young gay and bisexual males who have sex with older partners are at a greater risk for HIV infection because their older partners are more likely to be infected.  A number of factors contribute to the higher levels of HIV in youth and can vary by population. In some communities HIV prevalence is higher, which increases the likelihood that someone will be exposed to infection with each sexual encounter. Limited access to sexual health services, stigma, less condom use and more alcohol and drug use also are associated with increased HIV risk.

Mitigating the Risk

Vital Signs calls for age-appropriate HIV prevention education through parents, schools, and community and web-based programs. Additionally, this edition underscores the need for youth to be taught early about HIV prevention with information they can understand and use. This includes education about risks and skills to help delay sex and prevent HIV infection. Youth can reduce their risk of HIV infection by choosing to stop having sex. They can also limit their number of sex partners and use a condom every time they have sex.

Youth need to be tested and know where to get a confidential HIV test. Testing is the first step to getting medical care and treatment that can improve health, save lives, and prevent the spread of HIV.

Our Calling

It will take a concerted effort to provide our nation’s youth with the tools and resources they need to assess their own personal risk, to decrease risky behaviors, to get tested, and to protect themselves from HIV infection. This Vital Signs report on the HIV epidemic among youth serves as the wake up call for public health professionals, sexual health service providers, health care providers, and parents and families to provide those tools and resources. It is time to heed the call. On this World AIDS Day and every day, we should be working together for an AIDS-free generation.

Infected and unaware: HIV hitting America’s youth

Created on 27 November 2012 Written by Chicago Tribune Category: North America HIV News

More than half of young people in the United States infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are not aware of it, according to a new report by government health officials that zeroes in on one of the remaining hot spots of HIV infection in America.

Released on Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report found young people ages 13 to 24 account for 26 percent of all new HIV infections in the United States.

“The data are stark and worrying,” Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention at the CDC, said in a telephone interview.

In 2010, 72 percent of the estimated 12,000 new HIV infections in young people occurred in young men who have sex with men, and nearly half of new infections were among young, black males.

“We are particularly concerned about what is happening with HIV among young black and bisexual men,” Fenton said.

“They account for 39 percent of all new infections among youth and more than half of new infections among young men who have sex with men.”

Fenton said the proportion of young people infected with HIV has remained relatively stable during the last few years, but infection rates appear to be increasing in these populations.

And because many of the newly infected gay or bisexual males are just beginning to explore their sexuality, stigma and homophobia are making HIV testing and treatment far more challenging

Kidney Trouble Signal Twice as Common in US Adolescents With HIV

Kidney Trouble Signal Twice as Common in US Adolescents With HIV

Created on 28 November 2012 Written by International AIDS Society Category: North America HIV News

Proteinuria proved twice as common in a study of 304 HIV-positive US adolescents than in the general population. Both proteinuria and elevated cystatin C, another marker of kidney dysfunction, were associated low CD4 counts.

Kidney dysfunction affects about 30% of HIV-positive people in the United States and independently predicts death. In the general population, proteinuria and elevated cystatin C are used as markers of kidney disease. Because prevalence of these markers in HIV-positive adolescents remains poorly understood, researchers undertook this study.

The analysis included 304 HIV-positive adolescents in the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) cohort, an observational study of youngsters in 13 US cities. The investigators defined proteinuria as a urine protein-to-creatinine ratio of 200 mg/g or greater. They defined elevated cystatin C as a level at or above the 75th percentile for the study group.

The REACH team found that 19.1% of adolescents had proteinuria and 23.7% had elevated cystatin C. A CD4 count below 200 cells/µL was significantly associated with greater proteinuria in both linear and logistic regression models. A CD4 count below 500 cells/µL was significantly associated with greater serum cystatin C in linear models and with elevated cystatin C in logistic regresssion models.

Proteinuria in these HIV-positive adolescents was about 2-fold more common than in healthy US adolescents.

The REACH investigators call for further studies “investigating early markers of kidney disease and the association with immune status and inflammation in HIV-infected adolescents.”

Counting Down to World AIDS Day 2012!

November 17, 2012
 Choices strives to improve community services through volunteerism. This is why starting November 1, we have been posting relevant HIV/AIDS news and information every day on our Facebook and Twitter in anticipation for World AIDS Day 2012!

The theme for this year is “Getting to Zero: Zero HIV infections, and Zero discriminations. Help us in spreading the word about World AIDS Day and we would love to hear your feedback and comments.

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We have been providing HIV/AIDS services throughout the north state since 1993, offering several programs that will help serve individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families. These programs are:

1) AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP): This program allows for eligible individuals to obtain their HIV/AIDS medications at no cost.

2) HIV Care Prgram (HCP): This program provides support for critical HIV/AIDS services. Services under this program include:

  • Medical Case Management
  • Case Management
  • Emergency Financial Assistance
  • Medical Transportation

3) HIV/AIDS Housing Assistance: The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The goal of the HOPWA Program is to assist clients in maintaining housing stability and to improve their access to health care and supportive services.

4) HIV/AIDS Food Closet: Food items are made available to people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. This food is available thanks to a FEMA grant and community donations.

We are also partnered with Stonewall Alliance Center which provides free HIV testing and counseling!

It is also important for us at Caring Choices to honor our volunteers who keep this nonprofit alive and thriving! Here is a guest blogspot from one of our volunteers:

I chose to work for Caring Choices because the various programs that are offered here are ones thatreally are important and are in some forms lacking outside of Caring Choices. As a Marketing and Promotions Intern at Caring Choices, it is my job to build public interest and knowledge of CaringChoices and to keep the public up to speed on a daily basis. HIV and AIDS patients are being driven to counseling and medical appointments, and the recent news story about our Food Bank has brought us more people interested in receiving the food we have to offer.

What does Obamacare mean for HIV/AIDS patients

by Mercenda Senecharles Queens Ledger
Nov 14, 2012

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or what many may call the “Obamacare,” is met to ensure the best quality healthcare for all Americans, regardless of age, sex, and gender or health status. The Affordable Care Act will also address the problem of insurers denying coverage to children living with HIV/AIDS.
Insurance companies will no longer be able to impose lifetime caps on benefits. These changes will begin to improve access to coverage for people living with HIV/AIDS. It is a known fact that people living with HIV and AIDS have in the past, and even in recent history, received less than adequate healthcare.
An estimated one-third of Americans diagnosed with HIV aren’t receiving any kind of treatment. One reason, and probably the hardest to overcome, is simply that they are unable to afford it.
The ACA will encourage states to expand Medicaid provisions, but the federal government cannot require these states to comply. States such as Texas have already said bluntly that they will not cooperate with these Medicaid provisions or rules.
Is the Affordable Care Act destined to be a failure for those living with HIV/AIDS, since several states are unwilling to comply with federal provisions? Should states have the option to decline or not comply with these various implications or provisions?
We are already failing to close the gaps among those who do not have adequate healthcare due to overall lack of support among government officials and policy makers. Many would agree that the
federal government should have the authority to mandate such ACA guidelines for all states to follow.
Medicaid is the biggest provider of coverage for people living with HIV, according to the Kaiser Foundation. Medicaid programs make up about half of the federal spending on HIV. The individuals who cannot receive coverage through Medicaid will have to depend on the Ryan White Act, which provides funding to about a half-million people with HIV/AIDS each year.
The Affordable Care Act calls for new investments in community health teams to manage chronic disease. The new law also recognizes the value of patient-centered medical homes as an effective way to strengthen the quality of care, especially for people with complex chronic conditions.
Healthcare issues should be of major concern in this country. The ACA will set us on the necessary path to become a society less involved in the benefits of “I” and more in the idea of “we.” This nation is known as an innovator, and with the Affordable Care Act we can continue this trend and further impress the ideas of equality of care for all citizens.

Read more: Greenpoint Star – What does Obamacare mean for HIV AIDS patients

‘Keep the Promise’ in the South

Keep the Promise Atlanta Header

                                     ‘Keep the Promise’ in the South

                      Keep the Promise Atlanta March
                               ‘Keep the Promise’ March and Rally”
Hundreds of advocates and community leaders participated in the “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” March and Rally this last Saturday in Centennial Park. The event was the second in a series calling on officials to commit to stopping AIDS, and featured a performance by celebrated gospel singer James Fortune. Joining him on stage was actor and rapper Tray Chaney of HBO’s “The Wire,” with a new song about accepting others and putting an end to bullying, Other local advocates and leaders who participated included Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA, 4th district) and Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church. R&B singer Monica and Ebony Steele of the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” served as hosts.
Created by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the “Keep the Promise” campaign brings together like-minded supporters to advocate for testing and treatment all over the world in the communities that need it most. The Atlanta event will highlight the crucial health care, funding, and policy needs in the hard-hit Southern U.S.—now the nation’s epicenter of HIV/AIDS.
This second “Keep the Promise” march followed the inaugural “Keep the Promise” March on Washington in July of this year, when a coalition of 1,432 organizations from 103 countries came together before the XIX International AIDS Conference to call for more global HIV/AIDS funding. The Atlanta march will serve as a clarion call to better address HIV/AIDS in the South, through funding, health care reform, prevention and care in rural areas, and affordable housing for people living with HIV/AIDS. Each Southern state will be represented at the rally by a flag and a flagbearer sharing a fact or personal story about the impact of HIV/AIDS in that state. The next “Keep the Promise” march will be in New York City on World AIDS Day (December 1).
“Atlanta is an ideal place to send the message that this country’s struggle against AIDS isn’t over,” said Terri Ford, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy and the lead organizer of the march. “The South has the highest rate of new HIV infections and the highest rate of deaths due to AIDS in the country: people aren’t finding out their HIV status due to stigma around testing; they are paying exorbitant prices for drugs they need to survive. That’s simply unacceptable. We need to follow through on our commitment to providing access to prevention and treatment to everyone, everywhere.”
“Atlanta is an ideal place to send the message that this country’s struggle against AIDS isn’t over,” said Terri Ford, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy
                                                     Keep the Promise Atlanta Youtube
                                                                      ‘Keep the Promise’ March and Rally”Click to watch the YouTube Video.
“This rally sends a message to national, state, and local officials to ‘Keep the Promise’ to create an AIDS free generation. In order to get to zero new infections, there must be mobilized efforts like this one to demand access to treatment and medication; create safe environments for HIV positive people to disclose their status; and funding to ensure equity in HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for all people living with HIV, particularly people of color, who represent nearly half of all NEW infections,” said Leisha McKinley-Beach, Director of Technical Assistance and Stakeholder Engagement the Black AIDS Institute. “The question is no longer can we end the AIDS epidemic, but will we end the AIDS epidemic?”
This march sought to bring attention to the need for testing and care in underserved areas. While the federal government has recently delivered funds to eliminate waiting lists for the state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, HIV/AIDS care providers are still dealing with the fallout of that denied access.
As part of the rally, a procession of community representatives carrying state flags from each of the twelve southern states participating in the March took place at the Rally at Freight Depot. The states represented include: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia ,Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
“This march, was just three days before the elections, and served as a great opportunity for advocates and organizations to remind their representatives that we’re watching them on AIDS funding and care,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Prevention and treatment aren’t optional. They can’t be cut or rolled back. Elected officials need to show that they understand the urgency of the need here, or voters will hold them accountable.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation is among those providing HIV/AIDS care and prevention services in the greater Atlanta area, at the Magic Johnson Healthcare Center in Lithonia that opened earlier this year. The center includes men’s wellness and prevention services, and an adjoining AHF Pharmacy. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay.
More information about the “Keep the Promise” effort can be found at www.keepthepromise2012.org and by following the group on Facebook and on Twitter @AIDSMarch2012.
Keep the Promise Atlanta Marcher

To view the Flcker abum, click here.

PMBSGN @ MIRC Support Group Meeting 11/20 – 6pm

UPCOMING EVENT

Positive Mind & Body Support Group Network

 

&

 

Midway Immunology & Research Center (MIRC)

 

Cordially invites you to an

Evening

Amongst Friends

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

 

Topic: Depression, Anxiety & HIV

 

Sponsor by – Bristol-Myers Squibb -Lisa Costin

Patient & Community Affairs Manager

 

6:00 – 6:30pm – Dinner

6:30pm – 7:30pm – Presentation

7:45pm – Break

8:00pm – 8:30pm – Rap up!

 

                        

 

Location

 

Midway Immunology & Research Center (MIRC)

356 East Midway Road

Fort Pierce, FL  34982

772-464-9746

For additional details regarding this meeting you may also contact:

Positive Mind & Body Support Group Network

“A Positive Life is a Sound Mind & Body

 

 (772) 563-2503 – (772)453-1067

www.positivemindbody.wordpress.com

Project Response – 772-464-0420