Study is halted as HIV vaccine fails test in South Africa

By : Wire Report
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The latest attempt at an HIV vaccine has failed, as researchers announced Feb. 3 they have stopped giving the experimental shots in a major study.

The study had enrolled more than 5,400 people since 2016 in South Africa, a country with one of the world’s highest HIV rates. Last month, monitors checked how the study was going and found 129 HIV infections had occurred among the vaccine recipients compared with 123 among those given a dummy shot, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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Local trainers share tips to keep you on track with your 2020 health goals

By : Jeremy Williams
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If you are looking to make some changes in your life now that we’re in 2020, you are not alone. Making a New Year resolution is as American as apple pie, baseball or any other U.S.A. cliché you can think of. In fact, according to a YouGov survey, nearly seven out of 10 people make some sort of New Year resolution for themselves as they say goodbye to the past year and look ahead to becoming a more focused and determined person.

Each year, the list of the most popular resolutions include spending less money, quitting smoking, getting more sleep and spending more time with family. However, the resolution that tops every list and survey is losing weight.

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Maryland-based gene therapy company claims it can eliminate HIV from people with disease

By : Jeremy Williams
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American Gene Technologies (AGT), a gene and cell therapeutics company based out of Rockville, Maryland, has filed an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new therapy which the company claims can eliminate HIV from people infected with the disease.

The treatment, which the company calls AGT103-T, is “a single-dose, lentiviral vector-based gene therapy” that is “a genetically-modified cell product made from a person’s own cells.”

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Two Spirit Health becomes 26 Health

By : Jeremy Williams
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26 Health’s logo

ORLANDO | Two Spirit Health Services announced its new name, logo and branding during a reveal event at 1010 West in downtown Orlando Oct. 24.

The nonprofit healthcare organization will now be known as 26 Health with the tagline “Care for every letter.” The new name is a reference to the 26 letters of the alphabet and a symbol to show that all letters within the LGBTQ+ community are welcome at the healthcare facility.

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Recipes for a couple delicious Halloween treats

By : Barbara Leach & Rick Claggett
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Halloween Sugar Cookies

From Central Florida judicial candidate Barbara Leach

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HIV-prevention drugs PrEP, PEP made available in California without prescription

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Single pills (brand name Truvada) containing two antiretroviral drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxyl fumarate. Truvada is used for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a strategy in which healthy people routinely take antiretrovirals to reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV. (Photo from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), via Flickr)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) | Pharmacists in California will be able to dispense HIV prevention pills to patients without a doctor’s prescription after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Oct. 7 that supporters say will greatly reduce the spread of infection.

Advocates of Senate Bill 159 say California is the first state to authorize pre-exposure prophylaxis, also called PrEP, and post-exposure prophylaxis, known as PEP, without prescriptions. California is already considered a leader in AIDS prevention, they say.

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French conservatives protest bill allowing IVF for lesbians

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: An in vitro fertilization laboratory. (From Wikimedia Commons)

PARIS (AP) | Conservative activists marched through Paris Oct. 6 to protest a French bill that would give lesbian couples and single women access to in vitro fertilization and related procedures.

Traditional Catholic groups and far-right activists who held mass demonstrations against France’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2013 organized the protest, arguing that it deprives children of the right to a father.

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Anti-gay attitudes blamed for high HIV rates in Hong Kong

By : Staff Reports From THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Hong Kong. (Photo by Diliff; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

HONG KONG | HIV diagnosis rates in Hong Kong have climbed over the past decade, unlike in other places in the world where there has been a consistent decline in the numbers of new HIV cases, the South China Morning Post reports.

Between 2010-2016, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses in Hong Kong increased by nearly 80%, to a total of 692 new cases in 2016. By contrast, between 2010 and 2017, the annual rate of new HIV diagnoses declined by 14% in Asia and the Pacific as a whole, the Post reports.

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HHS says ‘conscience rule’ won’t impair HIV work—but others disagree

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A top health official within the Department of Health & Human Services insists a “conscience rule” recently instituted by the Trump administration will have no impact on its HIV work, although LGBT groups are disputing that assessment.

Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir made the remarks in testimony on July 8 before the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, which was restaffed this year by President TrumpA transcript of the testimony was obtained Wednesday by the Washington Blade.

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Gays down, straights up in latest Aussie HIV figures

By : Staff Reports from The washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: (Scanning electromicrograph by NIAID via Flickr)

KENSINGTON, Australia | HIV infection rates for gay men in Australia are down sharply — 30% in five years, HIV Plus Mag reports, citing the Kirby Institute’s 2018 HIV Surveillance Report.

“It’s the lowest number we’ve seen in 18 years,” said Rebecca Guy, head professor of the institute’s Surveillance, Evaluation and Research program, in a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. Guy attributed the drop to the increase of PrEP use, regular testing and treatment efforts. PrEP is highly effective at making HIV transmission nearly impossible.

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University of Kansas expands transgender student health care

By : wire report
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) |  The University of Kansas is expanding care for transgender students at its health center so students no longer have to leave campus to seek hormone therapy.

Transgender students will now be able to start and continue hormone therapy through the university’s student health center, Watkins Health Services, the Kansas City Star reported.

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Weeks after 2030 HIV pledge, report shows US headway stalled

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Three weeks after President Donald Trump announced a campaign to end the U.S. HIV epidemic by 2030, new government data show that progress against the disease stalled recently.

After declining for several years, the estimated number of new HIV infections held about steady from 2013 to 2016, the latest available data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Feb. 27.

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