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"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released updated HIV treatment guidelines that remove Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine) from the priority list of first-line antiretrovirals. Both Atripla and Norvir (ritonavir)–boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) plus Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) have been downgraded from “recommended” regimens for treatment-naive people with HIV to an “alternative” category."
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"April is the annual STD Awareness Month, a campaign to raise awareness about sexually transmitted diseases and encourage everyone to “Know the Facts and GYT: Get Yourself Tested.” It’s a joint effort from the Kaiser Family Foundation, MTV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and others.

Coincidentally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this month that Medicare will now cover an annual HIV test for all people ages 15 to 65 regardless of their risk. Those who are younger or older but may be at increased risk may also get an HIV screening."
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"Positive Women’s Network-USA released a set of five recommendations for the next National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). According to a PWN-USA press release, the five items will help ensure better care for women living with the virus, particularly women of color and transgender women.

The recommendations are aimed at the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), which is working on an update of the NHAS."
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"Aetna, along with its Coventry plans, will reduce patient cost-sharing for most HIV meds by moving them out of the most expensive tiers of its insurance plans, Bloomberg reports.

People with Aetna insurance who used to pay upwards of $1,000 per month in out-of-pocket costs may now pay closer to $5 to $100 after deductibles are met.

The changes to the co-pays will take effect June 1, according to an AIDS Institute press release, and they will cover all HIV meds except an injectable fusion inhibitor."
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"Full dislosure- I'm a big mark for the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. They fund grants worldwide to provide young people with the tools and resources necessary to implement HIV prevention plans in their communities. You can learn more about them here.

The Staying Alive Foundation's continued existence is dependent on public funding, and this past weekend, along with their partners at The Goss-Michael Foundation, they raised over $2 million at the annual RE:DEFINE fundraiser in Dallas. Georgia Arnold, executive director, shared some photos on her Instagram account (which I cobbled together below!)... enjoy!"
Click link to see the images from the event!
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"In a whistleblower lawsuit filed this week, three former managers of AIDS Healthcare Foundation allege that AHF is guilty of illegal patient-referral kickbacks and that the scheme has defrauded federal health care programs such as Medicaid of at least $20 million a year since 2010.

According to press release by the law firm, the three plaintiffs—Jack Carrel, Mauricio Ferrer and Shawn Loftis—filed the claim April 3 in Florida under both state and federal false claims acts. All three were managers at AHF and say they lost their jobs after they told their bosses about the company’s illegal activity."
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Have them in circles
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"Gilead Sciences has filed for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a new version of the dual-combination HIV antiretroviral (ARV) Truvada that is less toxic to the bones and kidneys. The tablet, which will receive a new name, is intended for use in combination with other ARVs to treat HIV in adults and youths age 12 or older.

Truvada, which is taken by an estimated 84 percent of Americans on ARV treatment, is made up of two components: Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, or TDF) and Emtriva (emtricitabine). The new take on the tablet replaces TDF with an updated version of that drug, known as tenofovir alafenamide fumarate, or TAF."
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"ViiV Healthcare has launched a program called Positive Action aimed at lowering HIV’s impact on men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people around the world, according to a ViiV press release.

Specifically, Positive Action will support community-led interventions that fight discrimination and stigma based on sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status. ViiV will invest close to $3 million in the program per year; the first phase of the program covers two years."
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"AIDSWatch is an annual advocacy event in which HIV-positive people and their allies meet with members of Congress in Washington, DC, to educate them and advocate for relevant issues. It is presented by the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in partnership with AIDS United, the Treatment Access Expansion Project and the US People Living With HIV Caucus."
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"The 10th annual Visual AIDS Vanguard Awards (VAVA Voom) recognize the contributions of individuals who, through their work, talent and dedication, strengthen our communities and reinforce the mission of Visual AIDS. This year Visual AIDS is proud to honor Luna Luis Ortiz, Julie Ault and Jim Hodges.

Since the late 1980s, Jim Hodges has created a broad range of work exploring themes of fragility, temporality, love and death, longing and loss and the formation of queer identity in the aftermath of the AIDS crisis, utilizing a highly original and poetic vocabulary."
Carlos Marques da Cruz discusses working with 2015 VAVA Honoree Jim Hodges.
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"The AIDS Healthcare Foundation scandal has taken a downright creepy turn.

Only one day after a stunning whistleblower lawsuit against AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) was made public, the embattled organization withdrew funding from an upcoming HIV advocacy event because one of the plaintiffs is involved in its planning, according to records obtained by My Fabulous Disease. The apparent strong-arm tactic has reached beyond whistleblower Jack Carrel and has had a "real impact" on the State-wide advocacy event, according to organizers."
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"I was infected with HIV around 3 a.m. on 21 August 2005. In the village quaintly known as Iowa City. And by a guy named "Matt" (more about him in a bit). I know these three things beyond a degree of reasonable doubt. Am I lucky, am I glad, to be in possession of this knowledge--the when, the who, the where--or unlucky, unhappy, to have it?



Neither, I think: I don't feel lucky or unlucky, sad or glad. It's a complicated and touchy subject. It's not a theoretical matter of epistemological apathy. Nor is it some casual triple-shrug of practical indifference. But many friends and acquaintances simply will not not not believe me when I say that, on balance, I could live pretty easily without this knowledge. What can I say to counter their doubt? Make some kind of all-vanquishing aphoristic retort? So... "Ignorance may not always be Bliss, but Knowledge is not always Power either." More loud cries of disbelief--and derision! I don't think I'm going to win this one."
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Have them in circles
426 people
Cindy Pivacic's profile photo
Gregory Shelton's profile photo
Understanding HIV Testing's profile photo
Abdul-Aliy Muhammad's profile photo
kevin odiongan's profile photo
Viktor Ceads's profile photo
Ali Yumuşakdaş's profile photo
Dev Fox's profile photo
MadCo H's profile photo
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