30 Apr 2016

Health : Confidential Partner Notification

Catégorie: Health
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I wanted to say “Hello” and introduce myself to The Community.

My name is Steve and I have worked in public health for almost 16 years.

I am a Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) in Raleigh, NC. Other states have DIS, and other states may refer to their DIS as CDS (Communicable Disease Specialists), PHAs (Public Health Advisors), or PHRs (Public Health Representatives). A running joke is that we are the “Sex Police.” I hope I can convince you that we are not.

When I applied for this job, I did not know that this job existed. I was not surprised, as I understood the need for the job. The job description mentioned educating people about STDs and drawing blood. I figured since my degree was in education and I had learned how to draw blood on dogs and cats (during my time as a veterinary technician) that I could do this job.

25 Apr 2016

Health : The Importance of PrEP Adherence

Catégorie: Health
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Truvada for PrEP provides 92%-99% reduction in HIV risk for HIV-negative individuals who take the pills every day as directed. If a daily dose is missed, the level of HIV protection may decrease. It only works if you take it. People who use PrEP correctly and consistently have higher levels of protection against HIV.

For people who take 7 PrEP pills per week, their estimated level of protection is 99%. When PrEP is not used daily, particularly if many doses are missed, it will be less able to protect you against an HIV infection.

There is not enough data available to provide specific timing guidance on non-daily use, so the FDA recommends PrEP be used daily to achieve the highest level of protection.

A few things to note:

-When starting PrEP, it takes at least seven days to reach high levels of protection against HIV.
-When stopping PrEP, individuals should continue using PrEP for four weeks after the last significant exposure.
-PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STI) or pregnancy. It is not a cure for HIV.[1]

 

Written by Randy aka FreeOCHIVtesting on A4A

HIV Counselling and Testing Coordinator

Aids Services Foundation orange County

 

23 Apr 2016

Health : April, STD Awareness Month

Catégorie: Health
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Did you know that April is national STD Awareness Month? There are lots of ways to celebrate – with condoms, lube, and an STD check of course! But before you break out the confetti and noise makers, you should know the facts about STDs among the gay, bisexual, and same-gender loving male community. Across the United States, there have been increases in syphilis and gonorrhea among men, especially men who have sex with men.

But don’t worry – there is good news! Many STDs are easily cured, often with a single dose of medication.

For most people, STDs have no noticeable symptoms. So if you are sexually active get checked every 3-6 months for STDs; don’t wait until you think something is wrong. Treatment for STDs is readily available and can prevent irreversible damage such as blindness, deafness, difficulty walking, and infertility. Getting screened (and treated if you need) is key to staying healthy. 

12 Apr 2016

Health : Could Antidepressants Reverse HIV-Related Cognitive Damage?

Catégorie: Health
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Although with the right treatment, people living with HIV can now live a long and healthy life, many still can experience complications that current antiretroviral medications don’t treat. Cognitive damage and chronic inflammation are common side effects that can result from HIV, particularly in people who have been living with the disease for a long time. However, researchers from John Hopkins University School of Medicine recently discovered that an existing anti-depression drug might be able to ameliorate these health concerns and improve the quality of life for those aging with HIV.

In a small, controlled study, antidepressant drug paroxetine boosted mental functions related to cognitive damage and suppressed inflammation for patients with HIV. The drug improved reaction time and decision-making and moderately suppressed inflammation in patients known to have HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

“Over a period of 20 years and after 10 clinical trials, this is the first time we have been able to clearly demonstrate benefit in a summary measure of cognitive performance for patients with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders,” said lead author Ned Sacktor, a neurology professor at Johns Hopkins University.

7 Apr 2016

Health : FDA Approves Descovy as New HIV Treatment

Catégorie: Health
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The FDA yesterday approved Gilead’s newest therapy for HIV-positive individuals aged 12 and older.  There is already buzz that this could be the new PrEP, though it has not yet been approved for use as a prophylaxis against HIV.

Read the press release below:

Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Descovy (emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg, F/TAF), a fixed-dose combination for the treatment of HIV. Descovy is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. Descovy is not indicated for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 in adults at high risk.

Descovy has a boxed warning in its product label regarding the risks of lactic acidosis/severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, and post treatment acute exacerbation of hepatitis B.