Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which — in their view — remains woefully underused.

Marketed in the United States as Truvada, and sometimes available abroad in generic versions, the pill has been shown to reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent if taken daily. Yet worldwide, only about a dozen countries have aggressive, government-backed programs to promote the pill. In the U.S., there are problems related to Truvada’s high cost, lingering skepticism among some doctors and low usage rates among black gays and bisexuals who have the highest rates of HIV infection.

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Watermark’s Top headlines of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
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2017 was a roller coaster of a year. Our highs were marked with great achievements and big celebrations, and our lows were filled with the passing of great LGBTQ leaders and fear-filled headlines we thought we would never read.

Below we look back on the top 5 LGBTQ headlines out of Central Florida, Tampa Bay, from the state of Florida and across the nation, and the world.

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PrEP usage low in young gays CDC finds

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Less than 4 percent of young adult men who have sex with men in the U.S. are on PrEP according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data was taken from an anonymous online survey of 2,347 black, white and Hispanic men ages 18-24 who’d had anal sex but were not HIV-positive, Reuters reports.

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Florida Health to offer PrEP for free at all county health departments by end of 2018

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tallahassee, Fla. | As part of their strategic efforts to eliminate the spread of HIV in the state, the Florida Department of Health announced Dec. 1 that they are currently working to make Truvada, the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis medication commonly known as PrEP, available at no cost at all of the 67 county health departments by the end of 2018.

PrEP is a once-daily pill that can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV in HIV-negative individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking PrEP daily reduces the risk of getting HIV by more than 90 percent.

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Stories from gay and straight women in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and the nation during the AIDS epidemic

By : Greg Stemm
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It was the late 1980s. All across America, including right here in Central and West Central Florida, gay and straight women were suddenly finding that their gay male friends and relatives were dying from a tragic and perplexing new disease.

From our vantage point in 2017, AIDS has become a chronically manageable disease instead of a death sentence and PREP has dramatically reduced the likelihood of transmissions. It can be hard to remember just how dire a time it was.

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METRO Health, Wellness & Community celebrates 25 years

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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ST. PETERSBURG – Twenty-five years ago, the beginning of what is now METRO Health, Wellness & Community began in the upstairs 16-foot by 12-foot space of King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church with the mission to help those affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS in the early days of the disease’s discovery.

“I’ve been here, it’ll be 24 years,” recalls CEO Lorraine Langlois. “It’s so gratifying to see some really good people moving up and taking hold; I’m very pleased about that. My role now is really kind of mentoring and making sure the ship’s going where we need it to be.”

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Report: PrEP fails gay Canadian who contracts HIV

By : Staff Reports from the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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NEW YORK — Doctors report that a gay Canadian man contracted HIV even though he had been taking daily medication to ward off infection, HealthDay News reports.

Based on a genetic analysis of the virus, it was determined that the 43-year-old Toronto resident was infected with a strain of HIV that had become resistant to the anti-HIV drug Truvada, said report author Dr. David Knox. He is a doctor with the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic in Toronto, HealthDay reports in an article that ran in U.S. News & World Report.

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World AIDS Day reminds of what was and what can never be again

By : Billy Manes
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Thom Bland, 54, sits across the table from me at a downtown eatery. His signature shovel beard and glasses speak very much to the currency of fashion – we’re all dialing our time machines backward these days – but his cadence is certainly rooted in the trauma that brought him here. There are tears.

“I knew Patient Zero,” he only half-jokes. Bland is HIV-positive and, though his numbers may read “undetectable,” he’s fallen into the gray area – even the blackest of holes – that has picked off his friends and much of his history indiscriminately. He once woke up from anesthesia while having his lungs scrubbed for Kaposi Sarcoma. He has seen the worst. Bland was diagnosed in 1991.

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New PrEP test in Orlando seeks to make LGBTQ life easier, safer

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – It wasn’t long ago that the notion of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP – effectively a preventative medicine involving known HIV/AIDS treatment Truvada – was a pipe dream in terms of prevention. But it’s working. In 2012, following approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, immunology doctors in Orlando started doing research.

“PrEP was approved for use in 2012,” Dr. Edwin DeJesus of the Orlando Immunology Clinic says. “Within six months, we started to do some work here.”

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Britain approves funding for HIV-prevention drug

By : Wire Report
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London (AP) – Britain’s state-funded health service is responsible for paying for an HIV-prevention drug that has been called a “game changer” in the fight against AIDS, a court ruled August 2.

The health service said it would appeal, which means the drug – which advocates say can prevent infection in people at high risk of contracting HIV- is still some way from becoming widely available in Britain.

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BEDROOM ACCESSORIES PARTY

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Attention Gay men!!!! We’ve all heard of the wonderful “tupperware” parties our female friends get to attend…. well now its our turn!!!

Come out for a great night of meeting new poeple and learning about accessories for the bedroom! (AKA Intimate Adult Novelties, or for those who like to get to the point, SEX TOYS) Corey Connolly, of CoreyConnolly.com, will walk us through some of his top selling items and help answer any questions you may have on items that can spice up any bedroom!!! Products will be available for sale to all attendies!

Free Food and Door Gift for anyone who attends! Come Join us for some good ol’ adult fun! Let’s talk about PrEP and hotter Safe Sex Techniques!!!!!!

Partners in prevention: HIV prevention drugs available in more Central Florida locations

By : Jamie Hyman
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Central Floridians interested in HIV prevention medications now have several options.

Planned Parenthood announced at the end of 2015 that they offer both PrEP and PEP (pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis) at local clinics.

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