Every week we have a “newsletter” which gets emailed to CARES staff and board members. Its purpose is to highlight recent HIV-related news from the United States as well as other countries. A short informational teaser lets everyone know what each news item is about and a link is included at the end for those who have an interest in reading the story in its entirety. We pull information from various news, government and health-related websites, as well as personal blogs. From time to time we include links to webinars that might be useful in the work that we do.
Here is this week’s update:
HIV Risk Doubles For Gay Men With Rectal STIs
A study conducted by the New York City Department of Health and the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that gay men with rectal STIs (sexually transmitted infections) may be more than twice as likely to contract HIV.
The study followed 276 HIV-negative men who had rectal Chlamydia, rectal gonorrhea or both. They were matched with a control group of 276 HIV-negative men who did not have Chlamydia or gonorrhea. Both groups had about 69% report inconsistent or no condom use.
During a total of 464 person-years of follow-up, 11% of men with a rectal STI at baseline were diagnosed with HIV, an annual HIV incidence rate of 11%. HIV incidence was especially high among some groups with rectal STIs. The investigators therefore calculated that men with rectal STIs were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with HIV during follow-up.
FDA Approves New HIV Rapid Test
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first rapid HIV test that simultaneously detects HIV-1 p24 antigen as well as antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human serum, plasma, and venous or fingerstick whole blood specimens.
The test can be used by trained professionals in outreach settings to identify HIV-infected individuals who might not be able to be tested in traditional health care settings.
“This test helps diagnose HIV infection at an earlier time in outreach settings, allowing individuals to seek medical care sooner,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Earlier diagnosis may also help to reduce additional HIV transmission.”
Android App Lets Users Donate Power To Aid HIV Research
A new app for Android lets you donate your smartphone and tablet’s unused computing power for scientific research. It only works when your device is connected to Wi-Fi, is near full-charge and plugged in, so it won’t eat up your data plan or drain the battery. You can donate while you sleep!
When combined with the surplus power of thousands of other “donated” phones, the network of devices make up a quasi-supercomputer available for use by scientists.
One of the projects that makes use of the smartphone network is called FightAIDS@Home, where scientists are searching for new drugs to treat the HIV virus. It is run by the Olson Laboratory and The Scripps Research Institute and is powered by IBM’s World Community Grid.
Click the link to learn more: http://smartsphone.net/fight-aids-with-your-smartphone-cnnmoney/