Ending AIDS, racism: world falling short

Rosa refuses to stand; AIDS continues

cdc-hiv-race
https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/racialethnic/africanamericans/index.html New HIV Diagnoses in the US and Dependent Areas, 2018

Back in July 2020, I came across this article. “Ending AIDS: World Will Fall Short of 2020 Targets.” It noted that the “COVID-19 pandemic [is] on track to blow HIV progress off course, experts say

“The 2020 targets set by UNAIDS to control global HIV infection will not be met with ‘COVID-19 risks blowing HIV progress way off course,’ officials reported.

“According to the 2020 Global AIDS Update, 1.7 million people worldwide were newly infected in 2019 with HIV.” The target for this year was 500,000 “for 2020, according to the report at the International AIDS Conference virtual meeting.”

But on this World AIDS Day, don’t blame it all on the pandemic. “Our progress towards ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 was already off track before the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Three score and five

Meanwhile, it’s been 65 years since Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat in Montgomery, AL. The problems with the perception of the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and ’60s are several. For one, it seems to have been oversimplified. Rosa sat, Martin spoke and justice was won.

The push for equality started much earlier and remains necessary to this day. Why it took George Floyd’s death for a bunch of people to figure that out I’m sure some sociologists are analyzing.

Surely, we know about the perils of jogging while black or sleeping while black.

But it’s the everyday things that I find troubling. This story of a racist Pennsylvania judge resigning right before his own misconduct trial was set to begin happened to be in my feed. There are far too many examples to note.

About three and a half years ago, there was this blog post by a local author called “Why so many blacks in ads?” Knowing vaguely the guy who wrote it – he’s thrilled that IMPOTUS is going – I think the query was naive but not malicious. But the responses were, for the most part, virulent. Over 300 comments, 10% in 2020. There is a lot of use of the N-word.

Interestingly, the complaints aren’t all from the US. “My father fought in wwll for white British people this is our country and feel we are getting pushed out by black people ..their are to many black people in adverts.” It’s so comforting that racism and bad grammar are international.

The point is…

We ain’t there yet. We still need to work to eradicate these scourges. And, as you can see in the graphic from 2018, there is a relationship between race (systemic racism?) and HIV. AIDS is defeatable. And racism… well, I’m not so sure, but we need to keep on trying.

2019: significant anniversary for HIV/AIDS

The virus is still very much around.

what is HIVBecause some folks seem to believe that HIV/AIDS is cured, some statistics:

In 2018 (the latest data available)…
37.9 million [32.7 million–44.0 million] people globally were living with HIV.
23.3 million [20.5 million–24.3 million] people were accessing antiretroviral therapy.
1.7 million [1.4 million–2.3 million] people became newly infected with HIV.
770 000 [570 000–1.1 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

In the United States, “approximately 1.1 million people… are living with HIV today. About 15 percent of them (1 in 7) are unaware they are infected. An estimated 38,700 Americans became newly infected with HIV in 2016.”

An article in US News notes that 2019 is a significant anniversary. “HIV and AIDS have been part of the world’s consciousness for 40 years now. In 1979 and 1980, doctors in Los Angeles and New York were suddenly reporting rare types of pneumonia, cancer, and other illnesses…

“Today, AIDS is fairly well controlled – in developed countries anyway. But the virus, which actually has been infecting humans since at least 1959, and perhaps since the late 1940s, according to the AIDS Institute, is still very much around.”

Why do nearly 1000 girls and young women contract HIV every day?

PrEP

A couple years back, there was a presentation at my church about Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP). It is “a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at very high risk of getting HIV to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day.

“The pill (brand name Truvada)” – which is advertised on American television – “contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine). [They are] used in combination with other medicines to treat the disease. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.”

Here’s what the US budget in fighting HIV/AIDS has looked like in the past decade or so.

I was happy to get to “know” Ruth, an HIV survivor, who is nursing others in Sierra Leone with the disease.

From April 2018 in the NYT magazine: Those we lost to the AIDS epidemic. Someone posted on Facebook recently six actors we lost prematurely. I DO remember two of the performers, Merritt Butrick and Tom Villard.

And Pedro Zamora died 25 years ago, hours after Real World San Francisco ended. Yes, I did watch that season.

The Library of Congress will house the archives of the famous AIDS quilt

July rambling #3: Everybody Knows

His affinity for intrigue often landed him in difficult situations, yet he always managed to extricate himself, usually leaving an innocent bystander as his victim.

From MAD via Vanity Fair

“I think I speak for a great number of Americans, in and out of government, when I say: One normal day. Is that too much to ask?” – Charles Pierce in Esquire, July 26, 2017

The Darkness and the Rot

This is the most clueless, incompetent, self-defeating and weakest, most chaotic, toxic, confusing administration in American history

A new interview reveals his ignorance to be surprisingly wide-ranging

The fact that we’re even talking about it is a measure of how far we’ve fallen

The NATIONAL REVIEW! Death of a Failing Salesman

Boy Scouts president has 85 billion reasons to excuse wildly inappropriate Jamboree speech; the Scouts apologize; cf President Obama Addresses 2010 Boy Scout Jamboree

An open letter from the father of a transgender soldier; BTW, Transgender Troops Fight for Israel, 17 Other Nations

Fatherly Advice to Eric and Don Jr.

Scaramouche – an unscrupulous and unreliable servant. His affinity for intrigue often landed him in difficult situations, yet he always managed to extricate himself, usually leaving an innocent bystander as his victim. Also – He was often beaten by Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice; The Mooch did his homework

“Nobody is standing on the rooftops begging for dirty water, dirty air, dirty soil, and those sorts of things.” – Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nevada) to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (start at 1:42:00)

Wilbur Ross’ fishing ruling could harm conservation

Take Me To Your Leader

Here are the women who saved healthcare

This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit

HIV epidemic fight needs black church

Poverty is like a monster, sucking the life out of you

A Death Row Convict’s Final Words Set Two Innocent Men Free

Sperm counts continue to plummet in Western nations

Risks of Harm from Spanking Confirmed by Analysis of Five Decades of Research

The Surprising Truth About The Silent Treatment

Walking Myrtle Ave, end to end (Albany, NY)

Please Stop Saying These Ridiculous Phrases. I’d add “game changer” as a phrase I’ve tired of

A Very Awkward Breakup

The value of theatrical talk-backs

June Foray, RIP, the premier female voice talent of her era

RIP Flo Steinberg, Marvel’s ‘Fabulous Flo’

The 10-game winning streak that ignited Red Sox Nation

8 Things I Hate About HGTV

These Are Not School Supplies…

Tony Chapek, an original magic act

Many people can’t tell when photos are fake

MUSIC

Dancing Queen – ABBA. The Wife and I saw Mamma Mia at Capital Rep this month and liked it WAY more than the Times Union reviewer. And QE2 allegedly said, “I always try to dance when this song comes on because I am the queen, and I like to dance.”

Everybody Knows – Stephen Stills and Judy Collins

Coverville 1178: Roger McGuinn and The Byrds Cover Story

Mahler Symphony No. 1

K-Chuck Radio: You really needed to edit THAT song?

Can’t Prog Rock Get Any Respect Around Here?

Die Young – Sylvan Esso

A crowd of 65,000 sings ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ while waiting for a Green Day concert

Ave Maria – Maria Callas

10 Best Guest Performances on Beatles Records

The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women. I have 50 of them

Spring 2017 HIV Home Test Giveaway

From the New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute

CAMPAIGN FAST FACTS:
· Free HIV Home Test Giveaway for all eligible participants
o Test technology: OraQuick® in-home HIV self-test (oral fluid)
§ For additional information related to the HIV in-home test click here.
· Campaign dates: May 24th through July 7, 2017
· All campaign messages and participant communication are available in English and Spanish
· NYSDOH will advertise on the NYSDOH Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr pages, on the Gay Ad Network, and via geosocial mobile apps (e.g., Grindr, Scruff).
· All New York State residents that meet the eligibility criteria are able to get a free test
o Eligibility is determined by self-reported characteristics of the following criteria:
§ Gay men, MSM, and transgender or other-gender people who have sex with men
§ 18 years and older
§ Never been diagnosed with HIV
§ Reside in NYS, excluding the 5 boroughs for the NYS giveaway
o If participants are determined to be ineligible they will be referred to the NYSDOH AI website where there will be additional resources and information related to HIV testing

· All eligible participants will be sent a follow-up survey via email
o The survey should take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete
o The survey asks about:
§ Experiences with the home HIV test
§ Sex life and other behaviors
§ Experiences with HIV prevention medicine (PrEP/PEP)
o All participants who complete the follow-up survey are eligible for an incentive
§ $20 Amazon e-gift card
§ One card per email address
§ Emailed out to participants at the end of the campaign with instructions on how to redeem

CONFIDENTIALITY is key to the HHTG team:
o Participation is voluntary
o Data collected will be strictly protected and kept confidential throughout the project period
o All identifying information, including the participant’s email address for receiving the electronic gift card, will be destroyed once the project comes to an end
o NYSDOH staff will not share identifying information with anyone
o By completing and submitting the online survey, participants are giving consent to participate in the evaluation survey and for the information provided to be used for evaluation purposes.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Meg Johnson- megan.johnson@health.ny.gov or Sue Flavin – susan.flavin@health.ny.gov or (518)473-8043 or email hhtg@health.ny.gov.

HIV treatment options

“From 2002 to 2012, expanded access to HIV treatment averted 4.2 million deaths globally and contributed to a 58% reduction in new HIV infections.”

hiv-treatments-2Back in January 2016, I helped organize a workshop at my church, “Ending the Epidemic in NYS: HIV/AIDS Treatment in 2015: What Congregations Need to Know!”

It was designed to, among other things, increase awareness of the Blueprint to Ending the Epidemic in NYS by 2020; and learn how HIV treatment, such as PEP and PrEP, have impacted HIV prevention and treatment efforts.

PEP is post-exposure prophylaxis, “taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV.”

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) “is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. A combination of two HIV medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine), sold under the name Truvada® (pronounced tru vá duh), is approved for daily use as PrEP to help prevent an HIV-negative person from getting HIV from a sexual or injection-drug-using partner who’s positive.”

Since then, I’ve been on the email list, seeing the progress of the NYS Department of Health’s effort. There is an Ending the Epidemic website in New York.

At the global AIDS conference in July 2016 in South Africa, it was noted that 15 million people have received “access to life-saving HIV treatment by 2015. Additionally, UNAIDS estimates that from 2002 to 2012, expanded access to HIV treatment averted 4.2 million deaths globally and contributed to a 58% reduction in new HIV infections. However…more than 60% of people living with HIV remain without antiretroviral therapy.”

I was interested to read in Wired recently, To Build A Viable HIV Vaccine, Start from the Molecule Up:

“Someday, vaccines might bat the [HIV] virus out of your system without you ever knowing you’d been exposed. If successful, such a vaccine would effectively cure AIDS. Someday, maybe. So scientists are working on it. Like yesterday: Researchers published results to a promising study on primates infected with SIV, a monkey version of HIV. The study, published in Nature, used a special drug to awaken the virus, which made it easier for their novel vaccine to detect and snuff it out.”

Here’s the 2015 HIV Surveillance Report. HIV/AIDS continues to be one of those issues that weighs on my heart.