New Studies Show PrEP “Extraordinarily Effective” in HIV Prevention

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

The Human Rights Campaign is speaking out about early results of two new studies that show using Truvada for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is “proving extraordinarily effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV.”

Findings for the studies were released at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle. The first, called The PROUD Study, “assesses the effect the use of PrEP has on the frequency with which men have sex, how often they use condoms, and whether they contract other sexually-transmitted infections.” The other, called the IPERGAY Study “examines whether Truvada is still effective as a preventative when taken “on demand,” which is defined as taking the pill two to 24 hours before sexual intercourse and again after, as opposed to daily.” The results:

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Coming Soon to A Smart Phone Near You: HIV Testing?

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

Need STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing? In the future, there’ll be an app for that, or that’s the goal of Samuel Sia, a Columbia researcher who developed a $34 smart phone attachment that can test for HIV and syphilis. And guess what? The device worked almost as well as a $18,450 piece of testing equipment. Read more »

PHILANTHROPY FRIDAY: Kevin Burns Talks ActionAIDS and the Opening of the West Annex Clinic

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Kevin Burns tells us about ActionAIDS‘ first HIV primary care clinic, which opened earlier this month, and other ways the local nonprofit is making sure no one in Philadelphia has to face AIDS alone.

Ken Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS.

Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS.

Who are you? I’m Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS.

When was ActionAIDS founded? In 1986, at a time when governmental and philanthropic support for HIV/AIDS services was nearly non-existent. A group of 84 committed volunteers came together in Philadelphia and formed a community of care for their partners, family and friends with AIDS. ActionAIDS was the result, with a mission statement that read simply: “ActionAIDS believes that no one should face AIDS alone.”

What’s ActionAIDS’s shining moment, to date?: The opening of our West Annex Clinic earlier this month. After many months of planning, we’re excited to have launched our first HIV primary care clinic, in partnership with the Family Practice and Counseling Network. This clinical service will be coordinated closely with our medical case management services, also provided at the West Annex and focused on our clients at high-risk to be lost to care. Our medical case management services are highly effective in retaining clients in care, and the West Annex Clinic will increase our ability to do that. The initial effect of case management services is particularly dramatic: Average viral load drops 76 percent during the first six months.

One-sentence mission statement? ActionAIDS is committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies, including medical case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention, and volunteer services.

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PHOTOS: 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala Starring Out NFLer Wade Davis

Friday—after a heated game of dodgeball with local LGBT youth on Thursday—former NFL pro Wade Davis hit up Philadelphia FIGHT‘s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala to serve as keynote speaker. Davis, who came out publicly in 2012, is an advocate, writer and public speaker who addresses issues ranging from gender and race to equal rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. He serves as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization that works to end homophobia in professional sports.

Besides the star power, the gala was rife with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live jazz ensemble, and a silent auction, with proceeds benefitting FIGHT‘s Jonathan Lax Treatment Center, Y-HEP (Youth Health Empowerment Project) initiative, and the John Bell Health Center.

Freedom G Photography’s Tara Lessard was there to capture the event on digital film. Check out some of her shots below.



NFL Pro Wade Davis Takes On Philly FIGHT Youth In a Game of Dodge Ball

wade davis football

Openly gay former NFL player Wade Davis is coming to Philly tomorrow to speak at Philadelphia FIGHT’s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala, a fundraiser for the organization’s mission to destroy HIV in Philly and beyond. Before he takes that stage, though, he’s going to warm up with a quick game of dodge ball with some of FIGHT’s youth.

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PHOTOS: Disney Princes Pull a Nick Jonas for World AIDS Day

Disney Prince Wall  Hello Boys Awareness Campaign Advert Condom Against AIDS STOP HIV Art Artist aleXsandro Palombo Contemporary Iconic Disney Carachetrs Painting Illustration Web

Italian artist and activist aleXsandro Palombo has released this collection of images to commemorate and raise awareness on World AIDS Day. The gallery shows eight Disney princes grabbing their junk à la Nick Jonas and holding up a condom wrapper as a way to, as he tells Huffington Post,”represent the youth, beauty, love, the dream [and] the desire to live.” More from HuffPo:

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News From Philadelphia FIGHT: World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast on Monday, Y-HEP Staffer Named to POZ 100 List

Fight header

There’s a double dose of exciting news coming out of Philadelphia FIGHT, the comprehensive AIDS service organization that provides a variety of healthcare and educational services throughout our region.

To start, they’ll be hosting the World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast this Monday, December 1 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, located at 237 S. Broad Street. The ceremony, which features Bishop Ernest McNear, starts at 8 AM. Philadelphia FIGHT describes the event as follows:

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Out NFL Star Wade Davis to Speak at Philadelphia FIGHT’s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala

wade davis football

Here’s something to consider when you start making your holiday plans: Local nonprofit Philadelphia FIGHT is hosting the 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala fundraiser to raise money for its mission to fight HIV in Philly and beyond.

The evening will include a special guest appearance  and speech from Wade Davis, the former Washington Redskins player who came out publicly in 2012. These days Davis is an advocate, writer and public speaker who addresses issues ranging from gender and race to equal rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. He serves as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization that works to end homophobia in professional sports.

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Big Brother’s Evel Dick Reveals HIV-Positive Status

evel dickFans of Big Brother will undoubtedly remember Dick Donato (aka Evel Dick), who continues to be the long-running summertime reality show’s villain to out-villain. He took home the top prize, $500,000, on Season 8 of the show, and he returned for an all-stars comeback on Season 13. On that latter season, however, he decided to leave the show early on without much of an explanation.

This week he’s shedding light on the reason he left: It was revealed to him in the Diary Room, where houseguests give interviews throughout the course of the show, that he was HIV-positive.

“Producers told me that something was wrong with my blood test,” he says in an interview with People. “They had done two HIV tests. One had come back positive and the other had come back negative.”

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