PKIDs News

Hand-picked news for the PKIDs community

NORTH CAROLINA: “AIDS Walk”

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Charlotte Observer     (05.12.10):: Jessica Milicevic

On May 1, some 2,000 participants helped raise $160,000 in the 14th annual RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network) AIDS Walk in uptown Charlotte. “The great thing about RAIN is that all the money we raised stays in Charlotte,” said RAIN’s Nathan Smith. The organization offers support to AIDS patients and their families. For more information, visit http://www.carolinarain.org, or telephone 704-372-7246.

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Written by pkids

May 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm

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CALIFORNIA:: “Six Exposed to TB; No Active Infection”

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Desert Sun (Palm Springs)     (05.06.10):: Michelle Mitchell, La Quinta Sun

TB testing at Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School in La Quinta, which was conducted after a person there was suspected of having the disease, so far has turned up no active TB infections. Six persons did have positive skin test results, said Barbara Cole, director of Disease Control for the Riverside County Department of Public Health. “Thus far with the results I have, I have no indication of any additional problems,” Cole said. Results from about half of the 256 people referred to testing, however, were still pending. She said persons with a positive skin test but a negative chest X-ray will be given antibiotics to prevent the dormant infection from developing.

Written by pkids

May 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm

CARIBBEAN: “US Expands Caribbean AIDS Program”

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Agence France Presse     (05.11.10)

Under an agreement signed Tuesday, 12 more Caribbean Community (Caricom) nations will be eligible to apply for assistance from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Previously, Guyana and Haiti were the only two Caricom countries targeted by PEPFAR. “The focus is on partnership and working with national governments and regional programs on ownership and support of national programs,” said Karen Williams, charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Georgetown, Guyana. The arrangement provides the 12 nations with $25 million annually, or up to $125 million over the next five years, for HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and counseling. The nations named in the new agreement are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados; the Bahamas; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Jamaica; Trinidad and Tobago; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Vincent; the Grenadines; and Suriname.

Written by pkids

May 12, 2010 at 11:06 pm

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VIRGINIA: “Youth Workshops Tackle Tough Topics”

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Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk)     (05.09.10):: Cherise M. Newsome

The youth advocacy group Teens With a Purpose will host a series of peer-led workshops in the coming weeks titled “I Am Hear.” The sessions employ entertainment, games, and music to explore the dangers of unsafe sex, dating violence, and unhealthy relationships. The program uses a CDC-designed curriculum, “Choose Respect.”

Deirdre Love, the group’s founder and director, said the goal is to reach out to adolescents as young as 11 to steer them away from dangerous behaviors. For older teens, the sessions include tips on making positive choices.

More than 100 people attended the recent “I Am Hear” program at Norview Community Center. A game similar to musical chairs, with the chairs representing sexual partners and diseases like herpes and HIV, helped teach about the risk of STDs. Teen facilitators explained the symptoms and how abstinence and healthy sexual behaviors can help prevent infection.

To teach about respect, a mock “American Idol” skit included judges who were overly cruel, and audience members laughed hysterically. “Let’s have a moment of truth,” said teen facilitator Rechea Wainfield. “Do you insult people purposefully?” The audience fell silent. “If you say yes, then you have been abusive,” he said. That message hit home with sixth-grader Tyrique Jenkins: “I learned that you have to give respect to get it.”

The next “I Am Hear” program will be held May 13 at the Huntersville Community Center, 830 Goff St. For more information, visit http://www.twpthemovement.org, or telephone 757-503-1608.

Written by pkids

May 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm

CALIFORNIA: “Cost-Cutting Loss of Fresno County AIDS Clinic OK’d”

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Fresno Bee     (05.11.10):: Brad Branan

By a 3-2 vote on Tuesday, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved cuts to the Department of Public Health’s budget, including shutting down the county’s only AIDS clinic by June 28. The cuts were made to offset DPH’s estimated $5 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1. State funding tied to vehicle license fees and sales tax has decreased, while Fresno County faces higher benefits costs.

The closure of the county’s Specialty Clinic will send residents needing care either to local AIDS specialists – two are located in the county – or to Community Medical Centers, said Dr. Edward Moreno, public health director.

The county will continue to offer HIV screening, but officials plan to discontinue testing for STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea – despite the fact that Fresno’s rates for the two diseases have long been among the state’s highest.

The county could end up paying more if it fails to prevent STDs, warned Patsy Montgomery of Planned Parenthood-Mar Monte.

“These cuts are just too close to the bone,” said Sup. Susan Anderson, who with Sup. Henry Perea opposed the cuts.

The DPH cuts will eliminate 47 positions, including 15 currently filled, also by June 28. Anderson suggested that cuts to DPH should be discussed next month when hearings are scheduled for the upcoming budget. Other programs might then be considered for cuts, she said, adding, “We’ve always done public health on the cheap.”

Moreno said he wanted the cuts effective sooner so the county could reap the savings as quickly as possible. Otherwise, even deeper slashing would be necessary, he said.

Written by pkids

May 12, 2010 at 11:03 pm

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UNITED STATES: “Utilizing the Internet to Test for Sexually Transmitted Infections: Results of a Survey and Accuracy Testing”

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Sexually Transmitted Infections Vol. 86; P. 112-116    (04.01.10):: Sherria L. Owens; Nick Arora; Nicole Quinn; Rosanna W. Peeling; King K. Holmes; Charlotte A. Gaydos

Acknowledging that searching the World Wide Web for information about sexually transmitted infections is common, the authors carried out the current study to determine which Internet sites offer STI testing and to obtain information about the services and their validity.

The researchers used Internet search engines to collect information from the sites about STI testing services, the types of tests offered, and their costs. Business functions regarding consent and return of results also were investigated. Attempts to contact the services were made by telephone, mail, e-mail, and “contact us” links. Team members ordered test kits from six commercial sites and one public health site. The test kits’ accuracy for detecting chlamydia and gonorrhea was evaluated.

Twenty-seven US and international Internet sites offering STI self-collection kits and services were identified. Tests were offered for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV, herpes, hepatitis, trichomonas, mycoplasma, and gardnerella.

“All attempts to administer the survey yielded unsatisfactory results,” the authors wrote. “After sending the survey by mail/e-mail to all the sites, four responded, two with the survey. Six Web sites appeared invalid based on non-deliverable e-mails and returned letters. The remainder did not respond.”

Seven test kits were ordered; results were obtained from five kits. Two Web sites that were sent mocked urine specimens never provided results. The two “do-it-yourself” test kits yielded false-negative results. Correct positive results were obtained from two mailed-in urine samples. Correct positive results were obtained from the public health site’s kit.

“The Internet STI testing sites were difficult to contact and demonstrated unwillingness to answer consumer-specific questions,” the authors concluded. “Test accuracy varied, with home tests having poor accuracy and mail-in specimens demonstrating high accuracy.”

Written by pkids

May 12, 2010 at 11:02 pm

SOUTH AFRICA: “South Africa, Changing Track on AIDS, Faces Challenges”

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Associated Press     (05.08.10):: Nastasya Tay

In April, President Jacob Zuma launched a new AIDS campaign whose objectives include testing 15 million people for HIV and distributing 1.5 billion condoms. However, financial and human resources may already be stretched too thin in the worst-hit KwaZulu-Natal province.

At an AIDS clinic in Ndulinde, 55 miles north of Durban, nurses said nothing has changed, since they still do not have enough time or staff capacity. Of its five employees, two are nurses and none is a physician. Currently, they are taking care of up to 300 patients a day.

At the King George V hospital, TB section head Dr. Iqbal Master said the campaign could help people access treatment earlier, so they could live longer lives. As the hospital is already struggling with staff and treatment shortages, however, Master wondered how it would cope with more patients.

Another huge challenge to prevention: Drinking, smoking and having sex are “in style” even among 12- and 13-year-olds, said one 16-year-old. The youth’s mother is HIV-positive but has not told the other children in an effort to shield them. “Here, if you have HIV, people laugh at you and think you’re going to die. And that you’ve done bad things,” the teenager said.

Written by pkids

May 12, 2010 at 11:01 pm

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