PrEP may be tested against coronavirus if HIV meds shown to work

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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With the coronavirus claiming thousands of lives across the globe, medical experts are throwing any and all medications they can against the disease , including drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS that — if effective in clinic trials — may turn attention toward Truvada, commonly used as PrEP for HIV prevention.

One medical expert told the Washington Blade if the early promising results for the HIV drug Remdesivir hold out in clinical trials, the drug Truvada — the more standard medication against HIV/AIDS — could also work against the coronavirus.

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‘The Walking Dead’ actor says he has coronavirus symptoms but hospital can’t test him

By : Jeremy Williams
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Openly gay actor Daniel Newman, best known from the AMC series “The Walking Dead,” took to social media March 20 to address his medical status after fans saw him at the hospital.

“Thanks for all the concern,” Newman wrote on Instagram along with a photo of him in an emergency room. “So here’s what happened. Yes, I was just in Australia with Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and thousands of people from around the world for Mardi Gras Pride. I was exposed to some sick people and I started developing symptoms and then back in the states I was notified someone in our group tested positive for #Covid19. I spent all day calling every urgent care and hospital no one had tests! Finally I found one emergency room that told me my symptoms match and to come in immediately.”

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Coronavirus risk not significantly greater for those with ‘well controlled’ HIV

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The risk of people with HIV who are receiving standard of care treatment to control their HIV is not significantly greater than the general public for contracting or becoming seriously ill from the Coronavirus, according to the Chief Medical Officer at D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Health.

Dr. Sarah Henn told the Washington Blade March 6 that reports coming from China and other parts of the U.S. where the Coronavirus outbreak has begun to take hold show those at highest risk for illness from the virus are people with other chronic illnesses and elderly people, many of whom have an underlying medical condition.

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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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