All posts filed under: Transmission

Misinformation on HIV transmission from Mirror, MEN, and GMP

Both the Mirror and the Manchester Evening News have published outrageously misinformed reports regarding a charity worker facing an anxious New Year as she waits for tests results to find out if she has contracted the disease after being assaulted on Tuesday night. —Manchester Evening News The two stories have similar headlines: Charity worker spat at by HIV-positive homeless man vows to carry on volunteering and Charity worker waits for test results after HIV-positive homeless man spat in her face However, I am sure the journalists involved (Beth Abbit and John Kelly) will simply say that they were reporting the story as told to them. However, I am equally sure that they would be aiming to abide by the code of conduct of the NUJ (regardless of whether they are members of not). This code of conduct states that A journalist: At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed. Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair. Does her/his …

“My HIV. Our Problem.”

Andrew Keates has made this documentary about living with HIV. I don’t know him personally, but a friend does. He asks himself questions that he has been asked before and then answers them. Who gave you HIV? Don’t you just pop a pill a day and everything’s fine? How’s your love life? He tells the story of living with HIV, being undetectable, and falling in love. Much of the story that he tells is similar to my own. I am so glad that he has made the video. Now, please go and watch it, and share it with your friends. But, most importantly of all, if you do not know your HIV status, go and get a test. It is the only way of knowing. And when you know you can get treatment.

36% increase in HIV diagnoses over last five years in Northern Ireland

The figures recently released by Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency show some worrying figures. I sincerely hope that the Health Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, and the Health Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly take them to heart and work to make them better. The figures show that in the ten years since 2004, Northern Ireland has had a 47% increase in new HIV diagnoses compared with a UK reduction of 20%. In the last five years, Northern Ireland has the greatest increase of new HIV diagnoses among the four countries of the UK at 36%, compared with the overall reduction of 8%. It seems that England and Scotland are doing very well in reducing HIV diagnoses. Both Wales and Northern Ireland need to work on what they are doing. I am sure that The Rainbow Project and Positive Life will have ideas on how to promote better sexual health. Hopefully the PHA’s own public information campaign launched earlier this year, ‘Choose to protect yourself – always use a condom’, which encourages people to take steps …

LibDem calls for PrEP via UK NHS on #WAD2015

On World AIDS Day the Liberal Democrat spokesman for Health, Norman Lamb called for the HIV-preventative drug Truvada or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis to be made available via the UK’s National Health Service. With more than 6,000 more people becoming infected with HIV in Britian in 2013, he says that it is clear that efforts to combat the virus are not working. Norman Lamb MP said: “It beggars belief that there is a drug which has been shown to be effective in preventing infection with the virus, but which has still not been made available on the NHS. We need to stop brushing the issue under the carpet and start to take HIV prevention seriously. “I am urging the NHS to take urgent action to halt the spread of HIV by making PrEP available to people considered to be at high risk of catching the virus, without further delay. This could have an enormous impact on the lives of countless numbers of people in high-risk groups, and will turn out far cheaper than our current strategy of …

HIV in the restaurant—what would you do?

Picture the scene, you are sitting in a restaurant, enjoying a meal either on your own or with friends. You are wearing a ribbon supporting some charity or another, it is noticed by your waiter, it is not one he recognises and he asks about it. You tell him what it is, and why it is important to you. It is as simple as that. The scene above is one that I have experienced on many occasions. The ribbons or pins in question have been wide and varied: from a purple Scout badge to a red ribbon for HIV–AIDS awareness. It is unsurprising that it is with the latter that I want you to think a bit more. Picture another scene, you are sitting in a restaurant or in another social setting, enjoying your evening, either on your own or with friends. You overhear a conversation between two customers and a waiter. The waiter has just asked about the red ribbon that one of the customers is wearing, he has just said that it is …

Is this true: “Circumcision prevents HIV/AIDS”?

David Ferguson writes on Raw Story that Circumcision reduces HIV risk by changing penis ‘biome’, says study.  Before I even read this story I was not convinced, I would be interested if anyone has any further information. Another article I found online, written by Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D. – More Circumcision Myths You May Believe: Hygiene and STDs – says: Three studies in Africa several years ago that claimed that circumcision prevented AIDS and that circumcision was as effective as a 60% effective vaccine (Auvert 2005, 2006). These studies had many flaws, including that they were stopped before all the results came in.  There have also been several studies that show that circumcision does not prevent HIV (Connolly 2008). There are many issues at play in the spread of STDs which make it very hard to generalize results from one population to another.

Guest blog: HIV Contraction Risk Higher in Female Drug Users

Gay males are often cruelly stigmatised in the media’s portrayal of HIV, and it is a common misconception that the disease is more likely to be transmitted between men. In reality, both men and women are at risk of contracting the disease and injective drugs continue to pose a risk to those that use them. Arguably, the media tends to associate HIV more with men, but the truth is that globally the number of women suffering from HIV equalled that of men more than a decade ago. In the UK, that figure is slightly less; three in ten HIV sufferers are female. HIV presents a huge risk to women; a study released this week has concluded that female drug users are more likely to contract HIV than their male counterparts. The research, conducted by the University of California, the University of San Diego and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria, found that female injection drug users had a higher risk of contracting HIV than men, and that this should act …