Drug officials in California launched an $11 million campaign on Thursday to dissuade gay men from using methamphetamine, otherwise known as crystal, because of its connection to unsafe sex and the transmission of HIV.
Gay rights activists are hoping to use a global AIDS relief bill supported by the Bush administration to repeal a 15-year-old law restricting travel to the United States by HIV-positive people. Activists oppose the near-ban as discriminatory since HIV is the only medical condition singled out in the Immigration and Nationality Act for inadmissibility. Under a 1993 amendment to that law, foreigners with the virus can obtain visas to come to the United States only under limited circumstances and if they get a waiver from the Department of Homeland Security.
Canada’s two blood collection agencies decided Thursday to uphold a lifelong ban on donations from gay men, despite complaints from two of Montreal’s leading experts on HIV and AIDS, The Gazette of Montreal reported Friday. Héma-Quebéc and Canadian Blood Services said they will uphold their current policies, even though they admitted lifting the ban -- while maintaining certain restrictions -- would not result in contamination of the blood supply. After commissioning a report from McLaughlin Centre for Population Health on effects of lifting the ban, Canadian Blood Services officials said they hadn’t been entirely convinced of the ban’s uselessness.
If you have an unorthodox, unproven idea that can prevent HIV infection or help protect against infectious diseases, one of the richest men in the world wants to hear from you. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has set aside $100 million to encourage innovation in global health research, offering grants to those with innovative ideas on four topics: tuberculosis, HIV, infectious diseases, and drug resistance. The foundation's new Grand Challenges Explorations program plans to give $100,000 each to about 60 projects in the first round of what is expected to be a five-year program.
An outbreak of hepatitis C at a clinic in Nevada might represent ''the tip of an iceberg'' of safety problems at clinics around the country, says the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A protein found in some people's DNA can shield them from viral attacks such as HIV, a North American research team has discovered.
The Santa Clara, Calif., County board of supervisors voted Tuesday to oppose the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on blood donations from gay men and called for federal lobbyists to concentrate on overturning the ban, according to a story in The [San Jose] Mercury News. Board members said they made the symbolic decision, proposed by gay supervisor Ken Yeager, because blood banks can screen for HIV infection more effectively now than when the ban was imposed, in 1983. The supervisors did not vote to ban blood drives on county property, to avoid depleting area hospitals of blood supplies, but they said they might revisit the idea in the future.
Google Inc. won't sell ads to support a new Internet service that stores personal medical information, CEO Eric Schmidt said Thursday in the search giant's first detailed comments about a venture that has raised privacy concerns.
The New York City Department of Health is reporting a 60% increase in the number of syphilis cases in 2007 over the previous year in 2006, with much of that growth occurring in gay and bisexual men, according to an article in the Gay City News. "Whichever way you choose to spotlight it or put your magnifying glass on it, syphilis is increasing in New York City," Dr. Susan Blank, assistant health commissioner, told GCN.
A committee in the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to more than triple spending for a U.S. global AIDS program that has proven to be one of the Bush administration's most successful and popular foreign policy initiatives. The Foreign Affairs Committee's voice vote on the plan to approve spending of an average $10 billion annually over the next five years came hours after lawmakers and the White House reached a compromise on some of the policy issues, including spending amounts on abstinence programs, that had held up action on the legislation.