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F.D.A. Easing Ban on Gays, to Let Some Give Blood

The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, a major stride toward ending what many had seen as a national policy of discrimination. However, the agency will continue to ban men who have had sex with a man in the last year, saying the barrier is necessary to keep the blood supply safe, a move that frustrated rights groups that were pushing for the ban to be removed entirely.

Published
24 December 2014
From
New York Times
Heterosexuals at High Risk for HIV Don't Test Enough

Heterosexuals engage in sex that puts them at risk for HIV, but do not get tested at high enough rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its most recent National HIV Behavior Surveillance System (NHBS) report about high-risk heterosexuals, which focuses on data collected from individuals in a series of major metropolitan areas.

Published
23 December 2014
From
Aidsmeds
Re-Thinking Risk Compensation: A Conversation with Kim Koester

"When we fixate on risk compensation, which assumes that PrEP replaces or substitutes prior protective behaviors it undermines or marginalizes a far more pervasive reality and that is that men are gravitating towards PrEP as an additive element. Men are seeking additional reassurance and protection from HIV. From the perspective of men who see themselves as adopting safer ways of having sex, in terms of HIV prevention, the notion of risk compensation is offensive and confusing."

Published
19 December 2014
From
BETA blog
CDC researchers publish estimate of effectiveness of condom use in anal sex

A paper this month in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes finally makes publicly available a study - originally reported by Aidsmap nearly two years ago

Published
19 December 2014
By
Gus Cairns
Four Laws That Are Devastating Public Health in Uganda

In the past year Uganda has passed four laws which defy public health principles and show blatant disregard for dignity and human rights. These laws target individuals who are already marginalized by society and most in need of health services and support: people who sell sex to make ends meet for their families; LGBTI people living in fear of community violence; people hiding their HIV medication from their own families; and people struggling to manage drug dependence and other illnesses. Perhaps most harmful of all, parts of Ugandan society are interpreting these laws to justify violence and exclusion.

Published
17 December 2014
From
Open Society Foundation
Looking for a Link Between Sexual Identity and Alcohol Use

A common perception held among researchers and lay-people alike is that alcohol plays a larger role in the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals than for people who identify as heterosexual. But to say that a larger percentage of LGB individuals drink more often, more heavily, and with greater negative consequences may be oversimplifying the facts.

Published
17 December 2014
From
BETA
Occasional heroin use may worsen HIV infection

Occasional heroin use by HIV-positive patients may be particularly harmful to the immune system and worsens HIV disease, compared to persistent or no heroin use, an international team of researchers reports.

Published
17 December 2014
From
Science Daily
Ukraine’s capital is facing an explosive TB epidemic

Kiev may be facing an unprecedented tuberculosis crisis. This is according to Larissa Kanarovskaya, the Head of the Kiev City Union of health workers. On December 1, 2014, at a press conference (a video in Russian can be seen here), she announced that on the average, 100 people die every day in Ukraine’s capital, of which one case is from active tuberculosis.

Published
17 December 2014
From
TB Europe Coalition
New HIV diagnoses in MSM in high-income countries

The UK and Australia have experienced recent all-time highs in new HIV diagnoses in MSM, however in Canada and New Zealand, diagnoses are stable. Tony Kirby reports.

Published
15 December 2014
From
The Lancet Infectious Diseases (requires free registration)
Condom rebrand vital to curb new HIV infections among Malawi’s youth

Condoms have become increasingly unpopular among young people in Malawi, contributing to high HIV transmission rates. In response, PSI have developed a new brand of condoms in a variety of colours and flavours.

Published
15 December 2014
From
Key Correspondents
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