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Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report

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  • Kaisernetwork.org
    KAISER DAILY HIV/AIDS REPORT A service of kaisernetwork.org http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv ________________________________________ Friday,
    Message 1 of 275 , Nov 1, 2002
      KAISER DAILY HIV/AIDS REPORT
      A service of kaisernetwork.org
      http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv
      ________________________________________



      Friday, November 1, 2002

      PUBLIC HEALTH & EDUCATION
      ========================================
      1. Syphilis Infections in United States Rose in 2001 Following 11 Years of Decline; Large Increases Noted Among Men Who Have Sex With Men


      POLITICS AND POLICY
      ========================================
      2. Global AIDS Alliance, 34 Other Organizations Call for 'Swift Passage' of International AIDS Funding Authorization Bill

      3. Republican Lawmakers Call for USAID to Rescind Population Council Funds


      DRUG ACCESS
      ========================================
      4. Texas Health Department Proposes Tightening ADAP Eligibility Criteria; 4,200 Texans Could Lose AIDS Drug Coverage


      ACROSS THE NATION
      ========================================
      5. New Jersey to Pay for Testing of, Treatment for Prison Inmates With Hepatitis C


      GLOBAL CHALLENGES
      ========================================
      6. HIV/AIDS Remains 'Most Significant' International Demographic Concern, U.N. Report Says

      ****************************************


      PUBLIC HEALTH & EDUCATION

      1. Syphilis Infections in United States Rose in 2001 Following 11 Years of Decline; Large Increases Noted Among Men Who Have Sex With Men

      Access this story and related links online:
      http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=14361

      The number of new syphilis infections in the United States rose last year for the first time in 11 years, with large increases occurring among men who have sex with men, according to new CDC statistics released yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the statistics, which appear in today's issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, there were 6,103 new primary and secondary syphilis cases in 2001, a 2.1% rise from 2000. Health officials noted, however, that syphilis is declining among some populations disproportionately affected by the disease (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 11/1). Although the rate of syphilis among blacks was 15.7 times the rate among non-Hispanic whites in 2001, syphilis cases among blacks declined by 9.8% overall between 2000 and 2001, with cases among black women dropping 18.1% and cases among black men decreasing by 3.5%. However, the syphilis rate rose in all other ethnic groups. The syphilis rate among non-Hispanic whites increased 40%, compared to a 31% rise among Hispanics, a 66.7% increase among Asian-Pacific Islanders and a 75% increase among Native Americans/Alaska Natives. Syphilis rates overall were much higher among men than women; in 2001, men were twice as likely to be infected with the disease as women. Although syphilis infections decreased among women in nearly every ethnic group, increases among men were reported among all ethnic groups. The South had the highest rate of syphilis -- 56.2% of syphilis infections in the country in 2001 occurred in the region -- but the region's syphilis rate declined by 8.1% between 2000 and 2001 (MMWR, 11/1).

      Rate Higher Among MSM


      In an editorial note, the researchers note that syphilis is declining among blacks and in the South, a population and a region that traditionally has been disproportionately affected by the disease. Because national syphilis statistics do not include information regarding behavioral risk factors, the study does not include figures regarding how many of the cases occurred among men who have sex with men. But the researchers note that the rising number of cases among men reported in the study is consistent with reports from several cities noting an increase of the disease among men who have sex with men. "[T]he continuing decline in syphilis rates among women in conjunction with the increasing male-to-female ratio suggests that the syphilis rate probably is increasing among men who have sex with men and decreasing among heterosexual men," the authors state (Editorial Note, MMWR, 11/1). Health officials said that the rising incidence of syphilis is troubling for several reasons. The increase is a "setback" for the CDC's goal of eliminating syphilis in 90% of U.S. counties by 2005, but it also signals that many gay and bisexual men are no longer practicing safe sex, which could lead to an increase in HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (Gay Stolberg, New York Times, 11/1). "Awareness (of syphilis) is tremendous. But we don't have any evidence yet that there's been a change in sexual behavior in terms of unsafe sex practices," Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, director of sexually transmitted disease control at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said (Los Angeles Times, 11/1). Public health officials said that the "resurgence" of risky sexual behavior among men who have sex with men could be linked to "complacen[cy]" in a time when antiretroviral drugs have allowed HIV-positive people to live longer. Daniel Cohen, associate medical research director at Boston's Fenway Community Health Center, added that many gay and bisexual men are "weary" of safe-sex "lectures" and messages that have "bombarded" them for the past 20 years (Smith, Boston Globe, 11/1).

      Politicial Pressures


      Others have linked the trends to shifting political priorities. CDC officials say they have not received an increase in funding from Congress for STD prevention in recent years, and some AIDS advocates say that the Bush administration has "stymied some efforts to talk openly about sex and condom use among gay men," the Los Angeles Times reports. Dr. Jonathan Zenilman, an STD expert and infectious disease professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said, "I think the CDC is constrained about what they can do because of the political issues in dealing with gay men. The way to deal with this is to be ... open and frank about what the risks are and what you need to do to protect yourself" (Los Angeles Times, 11/1). Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, deputy director of the CDC's Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, said that curbing syphilis rates will also have to make more explicit the connections between syphilis, unsafe sex and HIV infection. "Our challenge is to underscore the connection between HIV and syphilis and renew the commitment [gay rights] groups brought in the early years of the HIV epidemic," he said (Yee, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 11/1).


      POLITICS AND POLICY

      2. Global AIDS Alliance, 34 Other Organizations Call for 'Swift Passage' of International AIDS Funding Authorization Bill

      Access this story and related links online:
      http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=14362

      The Global AIDS Alliance and 34 other national organizations have joined together to request that congressional leaders work toward "swift passage" of the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria Act of 2002, which would authorize "much greater expenditures" on AIDS worldwide, according to a GAA press release. Although the legislation provides no actual funds, proponents say if the bill is passed and signed into law it could be a "roadmap" and "reference point" for future funding. Versions of the bill have already passed in the Senate (S 2649 and S 2525) and the House (HR 2069), but attempts at conciliation have failed. "This legislation is the most far-reaching on global AIDS ever considered. Yet, time is running out. ... This disease is a killer of children, of families, and it's on the conscience of Congress should the clock run out on this bill," GAA Executive Director Dr. Paul Zietz wrote in a letter to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.). The American Nurses Association and the National Association of Social Workers, as well as other health care, religious, human rights and women's policy groups, signed the letter (GAA release, 10/30).

      3. Republican Lawmakers Call for USAID to Rescind Population Council Funds

      Access this story and related links online:
      http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=14363

      Ten Republican House members on Oct. 24 sent a letter to Andrew Natsios, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, requesting that $65 million awarded to the Population Council for HIV/AIDS prevention activities be rescinded and granted to an organization that "does not support or perform" abortion. The letter states that giving the grant money to the Population Council violates "the principle" behind the "Mexico City" policy, an executive order that bars federal funding from going to international groups that use their own funds to provide or promote abortion services. The Population Council, which holds the patent on the medical abortion pill mifepristone and which the lawmakers say is a "promoter [and] provider" of abortion, should not have access to taxpayer dollars to fund medical abortions, according to the letter. "If the Population Council was a foreign nongovernmental organization and was applying for population funding instead of HIV/AIDS funding, it would be ineligible under U.S. law," the letter states. "[G]iving $65 million to an organization that specializes in medical abortions is unconscionable," the letter says, adding that "the American public does not want to subsidize abortion" and "we do not want to send a mixed message to other countries by paying abortion providers to be our international aid surrogates."

      Questions About HIV/AIDS Prevention Activities


      The letter also requests that USAID provide a breakdown of the amount of its funds that are being used to "fund or promote" research or implementation of abstinence-only programs, as well as comprehensive sex education programs that include information on condoms and contraceptives. The letter states that lawmakers are "extremely disappointed" that the Population Council's Horizons HIV prevention program "focuses only on condom promotion" and does not recommend abstinence. Abstinence in the council's program is "completely ignored as an intervention to reduce HIV and STD [transmission] among youth," despite evidence that abstinence and delaying the onset of sexual activity have proven "highly successful" in reducing HIV rates in Uganda and Zambia, according to the letter. The letter was signed by Reps. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.), Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mark Souder (R-Ind.), Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), David Vitter (R-La.), John Sullivan (R-Okla.) and Todd Akin (R-Mo.) (Letter text, 10/24).


      DRUG ACCESS

      4. Texas Health Department Proposes Tightening ADAP Eligibility Criteria; 4,200 Texans Could Lose AIDS Drug Coverage

      Access this story and related links online:
      http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=14364

      Under a Texas Department of Health proposed regulation that would lower income eligibility limits under the Texas HIV Medication Program -- the state's official AIDS Drug Assistance Program -- approximately 4,200 Texans could lose coverage of their HIV/AIDS drugs, the Houston Chronicle reports. If the regulation, which is currently undergoing a 30-day public comment period, is approved by the board of health, some 1,700 people could lose coverage beginning in January, and another 2,500 people could lose coverage by July (Ross Hughes, Houston Chronicle, 11/1). Currently, the eligibility limit is 200% of the federal poverty level, or $17,720 for an individual. The proposed regulation would lower that limit to 140% of the federal poverty level, or $12,404 for an individual. In addition, the regulation would prohibit enrollees from deducting the cost of drugs from their incomes, which had allowed patients to "earn more and still qualify," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (Huff, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/31). Health officials say that the program faces an estimated $37 million shortfall over the next three years due to increasing demand for the drugs and an overall state budget deficit (Houston Chronicle, 11/1). Dr. Celine Hanson, bureau chief of HIV and STD prevention at the health department, said that the program's costs were increasing for several reasons. More people with HIV/AIDS are eligible, with a projected 11,500 enrolled in the program in 2002, compared to about 9,000 who were enrolled in 1999. In addition, the average cost per client has almost doubled since 1996 to about $9,500 annually, and with the advent of more effective but more expensive drugs, costs per client will continue to rise, Hanson said. The department's board is expected to consider the issue at a board meeting in January or February.

      Reaction


      AIDS advocates say they were "blindsided" by the proposed regulation, which was approved by the health department during an Oct. 18 board meeting (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/31). "When you knock those people off [the program], you know what happens to them? They die. That's wrong. Straight up wrong. It's a death sentence," state Rep. Garnet Coleman (D) said. But state health department spokesperson Doug McBride said, "From the standpoint of a state agency making these decisions, you take a beating on it from advocates. Something had to be done. You can't wait until you're out of money" (Houston Chronicle, 11/1). Hanson added, "Our concern is that we are proactive and keep the program solvent for clients and not allow the program to get into trouble. ... [W]e are trying to do the least harmful approach. The drive to do this is nothing more than fiscal." Pamela Donnelly, associate executive director at AIDS Outreach Center, which serves nine counties in the state, said, "I feel like they've put the cart before the horse. ... But let's see what we do get, and let's see then what corners we have to cut" (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/31).


      ACROSS THE NATION

      5. New Jersey to Pay for Testing of, Treatment for Prison Inmates With Hepatitis C

      Access this story and related links online:
      http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=14365

      New Jersey state officials on Wednesday announced that beginning today the state will pay for hepatitis C testing and treatment for prisoners who are infected with the virus, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Ralph Siegel, spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, said that the state, under a new agreement with prison medical provider Correctional Medical Services, would cover the cost of hepatitis C testing, medications and any additional staff needed to administer the program. Siegel said the exact cost of the hepatitis program is "unclear." Other states with similar programs have reported spending $15,000 to $25,000 per inmate on testing, monitoring and "expensive" drugs. New Jersey, which has identified 1,170 HCV-positive inmates and is facing "epidemic levels" of the virus, is currently the only one of the 10 most populous states that does not provide hepatitis C treatment to inmates (Fazlollah/Lin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/31). Last month a former New Jersey prison inmate filed a lawsuit charging the corrections department and CMS with medical malpractice for allegedly withholding treatment from HCV-positive inmates because of the cost (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/18).


      GLOBAL CHALLENGES

      6. HIV/AIDS Remains 'Most Significant' International Demographic Concern, U.N. Report Says

      Access this story and related links online:
      http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=14366

      Approximately 75% of developed countries view HIV/AIDS as the "most significant" international demographic concern, according to the United Nations Population Division report National Population Policies 2001, which was released yesterday in New York, Xinhua News Agency reports. According to the report, developed countries are also concered about low fertility and population aging. Developing countries noted that they face the continuing challenge of infant, child and maternal mortality. However, more than one half of countries in less developed regions were concerned with high rates of population growth, although three-quarters of all countries surveyed directly support programs that provide contraceptive access and about 60% of developing countries have policies aimed at lowering fertility rates (Xinhua News Agency, 10/31). Data from the report are available online.



      ________________________________________


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    • kaisernetwork
      KAISER DAILY HIV/AIDS REPORT A service of kaisernetwork.org http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv ________________________________________ Monday,
      Message 275 of 275 , Feb 9, 2004
        KAISER DAILY HIV/AIDS REPORT
        A service of kaisernetwork.org
        http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv
        ________________________________________


        Monday, February 9, 2004

        POLITICS AND POLICY
        ========================================
        1. Wilmington, Del., City Council Adopts Measure Supporting Bill
        That Would Create Pilot Needle-Exchange Program

        ACROSS THE NATION
        ========================================
        2. Illinois, New York Attorneys General Launch Investigations
        Into Abbott's Price Increase of AIDS Drug

        PUBLIC HEALTH & EDUCATION
        ========================================
        3. New York City Schools To Revise HIV/AIDS, Sex Education
        Curricula

        4. Newspapers Cover Local Events, AIDS Awareness Efforts on
        National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

        GLOBAL CHALLENGES
        ========================================
        5. Wealthy Nations Must Stop 'Decade of Financial Abstinence,'
        Increase International AIDS Spending, U.N. Envoy Lewis Says

        DRUG ACCESS
        ========================================
        6. Indiana University Program Receives $1.6M Federal Grant To
        Provide Treatment, Care to HIV-Positive Kenyans

        7. Los Angeles Times Examines Growing Concern Over Counterfeit
        Drugs, Including Some HIV/AIDS Medications

        HEALTH ON THE HILL FROM KAISERNETWORK.ORG AND CQ
        ========================================
        8. CQ's Schuler Discusses Bush FY 2005 Budget Proposal,
        Including AIDS Funding

        ****************************************

        POLITICS AND POLICY

        1. Wilmington, Del., City Council Adopts Measure Supporting Bill
        That Would Create Pilot Needle-Exchange Program

        Access this story and related links online:
        http://cme.kff.org/Key=1852.Cbg.C.D.6yRD1

        The Wilmington, Del., City Council on Thursday adopted 12-1 a
        resolution supporting a state Senate bill (SB 209) that would
        create a pilot needle-exchange program in Delaware, the
        Wilmington News Journal reports. The bill, which state Sen.
        Margaret Rose Henry (D) introduced last week in the General
        Assembly, would establish a five-year pilot program in which
        state health workers would distribute clean needles to drug
        users from a van in several locations throughout Wilmington.
        Henry has tried since the mid-1990s to pass a measure to allow a
        needle-exchange program, which would cost the state about
        $175,000 per year, according to the News Journal. Opponents of
        the program say that a needle-exchange program would condone
        drug use in the city, which they say already is a "hot spot" for
        injection drug use, the News Journal reports. Wilmington Police
        Chief Michael Szczerba said, "People say these programs get
        dirty needles off the street, but what it boils down to is
        putting clean needles into the hands of drug addicts so they can
        continue their illegal and dangerous activities." He added, "We
        need to strengthen, not weaken, drug laws. And we shouldn't send
        contradictory and harmful messages to our children." However,
        Wilmington Mayor James Baker (D) said that he supports a
        needle-exchange program because it would help the city reach its
        Health Wilmington 2010 goal of reducing HIV prevalence by 20%
        over the next six years. "We've got to do something," Baker
        said, adding, "We've got an epidemic on our hands, and so far
        just wringing our hands about it hasn't helped." The state
        Senate Health and Social Service Committee next will debate the
        bill (Taylor, Wilmington News Journal, 2/6).

        ACROSS THE NATION

        2. Illinois, New York Attorneys General Launch Investigations
        Into Abbott's Price Increase of AIDS Drug

        Access this story and related links online:
        http://cme.kff.org/Key=1852.Cbg.D.D.0nGgv

        Attorneys general for Illinois and New York have begun
        investigations into whether Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories
        violated antitrust laws when it increased by 400% the price of
        its antiretroviral drug Norvir, the Chicago Tribune reports
        (Japsen, Chicago Tribune, 2/8). In December, Abbott increased
        the wholesale price of Norvir -- which is known generically as
        ritonavir -- from $54 per month to $265 per month. Norvir is
        primarily used as a booster for other protease inhibitors, such
        as Bristol-Myers Squibb's Reyataz and Merck's Crixivan (Kaiser
        Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/30). On Friday, Illinois Attorney
        General Lisa Madigan (D) announced that her office has opened an
        investigation into whether the price increase of Norvir was
        designed to make antiretroviral drug combinations that use
        Norvir as a booster more expensive, steering patients toward
        Abbott's newer antiretroviral drug Kaletra. Kaletra, which does
        not need a booster for other protease inhibitors because it
        includes Norvir, costs about $18.78 per day, or $563.40 per
        month, and has a longer patent life, the Tribune reports.

        Reaction

        "Norvir is not like a hay fever medication that people take to
        lessen symptoms to be more comfortable," Madigan said, adding,
        "It is a drug they take to survive. This investigation is aimed
        at determining the real reason for the price increase and
        whether it violates Illinois law." Abbott officials said that
        the company "denies any wrongdoing" and will "vigorously defend
        its pricing" of Norvir because a price increase for the drug was
        "long overdue after years of being priced well below rivals,"
        the Tribune reports. "Many companies have known the value of
        Norvir to their drugs and priced their drugs at a premium
        despite this," Abbott spokesperson Melissa Brotz said. She
        added, "Competitors need to price their drugs based on their
        clinical value. Perhaps those concerned about the cost of
        therapy should look at the highest cost component of HIV
        regimens." Abbott officials also said that the company is
        "committed to ensuring that every patient has unrestricted
        access to" Norvir and has frozen the price of Norvir for
        government health insurers, community clinics and drug
        assistance programs. According to Illinois state prosecutors,
        about 40% of HIV-positive people who take Norvir are covered by
        private medical insurance and another 2% to 5% of people pay out
        of pocket. Madigan said, "Every consumer is affected by unfair
        or deceptive practices that drive up the cost of drugs." The
        investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D),
        which was confirmed by Abbott, also concerns whether the Norvir
        price increase was made in order to drive market share toward
        Kaletra. A spokesperson for Spitzer's office would not confirm
        or deny the investigation. However, officials for Abbott said
        that they were cooperating with and supplying information to the
        New York attorney general's antitrust bureau (Chicago Tribune,
        2/8).

        Editorial

        With its price increase of Norvir, Abbott is "playing by the
        rules, or lack of them," a Fresno Bee editorial states. To
        combat the "contemptible" price increase, consumers must "play
        just as tough in this market as" the drug companies, but that
        will "require the federal government to be more than a passive
        player in this game," the Bee contends. The editorial concludes
        that until President Bush changes his stance from what the drug
        industry wants, which is "to reduce the role of government in
        protecting the consumer," consumers will have to "pay up or go
        without" (Fresno Bee, 2/6).

        PUBLIC HEALTH & EDUCATION

        3. New York City Schools To Revise HIV/AIDS, Sex Education
        Curricula

        Access this story and related links online:
        http://cme.kff.org/Key=1852.Cbg.F.D.4N8w0

        New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (R) administration on
        Thursday announced that city schools will revise their
        "outdated" HIV/AIDS and sex education curricula and likely begin
        teaching the subjects to students earlier than eighth grade, the
        New York Post reports. New York City schools currently teach sex
        education in eighth and 11th grades, according to the Post
        (Campanile, New York Post, 2/6). Dr. Roger Platt, director of
        the Office of School Health, said that the city schools' sex
        education curriculum has not been updated for 20 years and the
        AIDS curriculum has not been updated in 10 years (Yan, Long
        Island Newsday, 2/6). According to Planned Parenthood of New
        York City, the sex education curriculum still lists the Today
        Sponge as a contraceptive option even though the product has not
        been available since 1994. In addition, the AIDS curriculum
        states that gay, white men account for the "overwhelming
        majority" of AIDS cases, despite the fact that blacks and
        Latinos account for 82% of new HIV/AIDS cases among teenagers,
        the Post reports.

        Reaction

        Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said that in addition to the
        "inadequate" curricula, there is a shortage of high school
        health teachers and they do not have time to attend the required
        30 hours of training to teach the subjects (New York Post, 2/6).
        "It's pretty hard to justify to people to invest 30 hours of
        their time to learn a 20-year-old curriculum," Platt said,
        according to Newsday (Long Island Newsday, 2/6). Platt said that
        the new HIV/AIDS curriculum and information on preventing
        pregnancy will be based on "sound advice" from health
        professionals and education experts, according to the Post (New
        York Post, 2/6). Education officials said that the health
        curriculum could be complete by the end of the year, but they
        have not yet set a timeline for the new HIV/AIDS curriculum,
        which is a "more complicated process" because public comment is
        required, Newsday reports.

        Health Education Mandates

        The state Education Department requires schools to give general
        health and age-appropriate HIV/AIDS instruction in every grade,
        but the requirement is being met "unevenly at best," according
        to Newsday (Long Island Newsday, 2/6). According to state
        Assembly member Scott Stringer (D), who wrote a report titled
        "Failing Grade: Health Education in New York City Schools," at
        least 75% of schools in the city violate government health
        education requirements, according to the New York Sun. Platt
        said that in 2002, almost 10,000 city women younger than 18
        became pregnant and 3,000 became mothers, according to the Sun.
        In addition, teens represented 114 new HIV cases in the city
        (Lucadamo, New York Sun, 2/6). Last month, the New York AIDS
        Coalition released a report stating that New York City schools
        have violated state mandates on HIV/AIDS education. The report,
        titled "A Call for Reform: Strengthening HIV/AIDS Education in
        New York City's Public Schools," found that the schools have
        failed to meet guidelines requiring students in sixth through
        12th grades to receive six HIV/AIDS lessons per year and
        guidelines requiring students in kindergarten through fifth
        grade to receive five AIDS-related lessons per year. The report
        recommends that the school system update its HIV/AIDS lessons,
        employ well-trained personnel to teach the lessons and improve
        oversight and evaluation procedures to better ensure compliance.
        "Examining the stipulations of the mandate one by one reveals
        that the school system is not in full compliance," the report
        said, adding, "These grave inadequacies exist in the face of
        increasing HIV infections among youth" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS
        Report, 1/9).

        4. Newspapers Cover Local Events, AIDS Awareness Efforts on
        National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

        Access this story and related links online:
        http://cme.kff.org/Key=1852.Cbg.G.D.4l0BD

        Saturday marked the fourth annual National Black HIV/AIDS
        Awareness Day, which is sponsored by the Community Capacity
        Building Coalition, a consortium of national minority-focused
        groups supported by CDC through the National Minority AIDS
        Initiative. The CCBC includes: Concerned Black Men, the Health
        Watch Information and Promotion Service, the Jackson State
        University-Mississippi Urban Research Center, the National Black
        Alcoholism and Addictions Council and the National Black
        Leadership Commission on AIDS (National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness
        Day Web site, 2/8). The goal of National Black HIV/AIDS
        Awareness Day is to urge African Americans to "get educated, get
        tested and get involved" with HIV/AIDS in black communities
        (NBHAAD release, 1/20). Although African Americans represent
        about 12% of the U.S. population, more than 50% of all AIDS
        cases diagnosed in 2002 were among African Americans. HHS
        Secretary Tommy Thompson in a statement said that National Black
        HIV/AIDS Awareness Day "serves as a springboard for action
        against the devastating effects HIV/AIDS continues to have on
        the African-American community" and "is an important opportunity
        to understand and educate people nationwide about mobilizing in
        the fight against HIV/AIDS." Thompson added, "Together, we can
        make a difference" (HHS release, 2/6).

        Newspaper Coverage

        Newspapers around the country covered events taking place in
        honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Links to some of
        the articles published appear below:

        * AP/Charlotte Observer, "Health workers take aim at AIDS: In
        N.C. towns, focus is on stemming disease among minorities"
        (Holmes, AP/Charlotte Observer, 2/8).

        * Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Groups share facts about
        blacks, AIDS" (Guthrie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/7).

        * Austin American-Statesman, "Offer of free HIV testing draws
        few takers" (Brulliard, Austin American-Statesman, 2/8).

        * Cincinnati Enquirer, "Volunteers warn African Americans about
        AIDS threat" (Leingang, Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/8).

        * Daytona Beach News-Journal, "Groups to promote AIDS awareness"
        (Weiss, Daytona Beach News-Journal, 2/6).

        * Houston Chronicle, "Pop group brings message on HIV's
        prevalence" (Lezon, Houston Chronicle, 2/7).

        * New Orleans Times-Picayune, "AIDS program geared to African
        Americans" (Kaplinsky, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 2/8).

        * Omaha World-Herald, "Advocates say AIDS takes toll on blacks"
        (Grace, Omaha World-Herald, 2/7).

        * South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "HIV group stresses dangers for
        blacks" (LaMendola, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2/7).

        Media Coverage

        The following broadcast programs reported on National Black
        HIV/AIDS Awareness Day:

        * CNN's "Live Sunday": The segment includes comments from former
        Surgeon General David Satcher (Whitfield, "Live Sunday," CNN,
        2/8). The complete transcript is available online.

        * CNN's "Saturday Night": The segment includes comments from
        Debra Fraser-Howze, president and CEO of the National Black
        Leadership Commission on AIDS; Zachary Jones, a bishop with the
        Unity Fellowship Church Movement; J.L. King, author of the book
        "No More Secrets, No More Lies"; and AIDS advocates Maria Davis
        and Michael Saunders (Udoji, "Saturday Night," CNN, 2/7). The
        complete transcript is available online.

        * NPR's "Tavis Smiley Show": The segment includes comments from
        Jacob Levenson, author of the book "The Secret Epidemic: The
        Story of AIDS and Black America," and Dr. Mindy Fullilove, a
        psychiatrist whose work is featured in the book (Smiley, "Tavis
        Smiley Show," NPR, 2/6). The complete segment is available
        online in RealPlayer.

        GLOBAL CHALLENGES

        5. Wealthy Nations Must Stop 'Decade of Financial Abstinence,'
        Increase International AIDS Spending, U.N. Envoy Lewis Says

        Access this story and related links online:
        http://cme.kff.org/Key=1852.Cbg.H.D.v6Fg

        U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis on
        Sunday at the opening of the 11th Conference on Retroviruses and
        Opportunistic Infections in San Francisco said that wealthy
        nations must contribute more money to the international fight
        against HIV/AIDS to make up for a "decade of financial
        abstinence," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. No country is
        "paying an adequate share" of money to finance the Global Fund
        to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Lewis said, adding that
        the fund needs $3.6 billion for 2005. The "fair share" for the
        United States would be $1.6 billion in 2005, Lewis said,
        according to the Chronicle (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle,
        2/9). However, President Bush in his proposed fiscal year 2005
        budget requests $200 million for the Global Fund. Congress
        appropriated $550 million for the fund in FY 2004 (Kaiser Daily
        HIV/AIDS Report, 1/29). Lewis said that although Bush has
        pledged $15 billion over five years to fight HIV/AIDS, most of
        the funding will go directly to programs in 12 African
        countries. However, programs such as the Global Fund are needed
        to address the epidemic in countries that are not included on
        the U.S. list, Lewis said. Lewis also highlighted the World
        Health Organization's goal of bringing antiretroviral drug
        treatment to three million people by 2005, calling it the
        "single most important and dramatic development that has
        happened in years" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/9). WHO's $5.5
        billion plan calls for training 100,000 health care workers,
        refocusing 10,000 clinics in developing countries to treat
        HIV/AIDS and using some common antiretroviral drug combinations.
        However, the plan does not provide the drugs or subsidize their
        cost (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/21). Lewis said that an
        additional $200 million in funding is needed from developed
        countries to "get [the program] under way" this year, according
        to the Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/9).

        DRUG ACCESS

        6. Indiana University Program Receives $1.6M Federal Grant To
        Provide Treatment, Care to HIV-Positive Kenyans

        Access this story and related links online:
        http://cme.kff.org/Key=1852.Cbg.J.D.LttJn

        A program established 14 years ago by Indiana University
        physicians to fight HIV/AIDS in Kenya has received a $1.6
        million grant from USAID that will allow the program to provide
        treatment to about 15,000 HIV-positive Kenyans, the
        AP/Indianapolis Star reports (AP/Indianapolis Star, 2/5). Sen.
        Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations
        Committee, made the announcement on Thursday (Indiana University
        School of Medicine release, 2/5). Over the past two years,
        doctors from the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Moi
        Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Moi University Faculty of
        Health Sciences have treated about 2,000 HIV-positive adults and
        children in Kenya through the Academic Model for the Prevention
        and Treatment for HIV/AIDS, or AMPATH program. Until now, the
        program has been financed largely by private donations, but the
        federal grant will allow a nearly eight-fold increase in the
        program's caseload, according to the AP/Star. With the new
        money, the doctors over the next five years plan to establish
        HIV prevention and treatment programs in two additional rural
        communities in Kenya. AMPATH Director Dr. Robert Einterz said
        that the "tireless efforts" of IU physicians and "years of
        support" from many private donors in Indiana have contributed to
        the success of the program. Since 1990, more than 600 IU
        students, residents and faculty members have worked in Kenya to
        care for HIV/AIDS patients, according to IU spokesperson Pamela
        Perry. The AMPATH program also operates a program that has
        trained more than 90 traditional birth attendants to care for
        HIV-positive pregnant women to help them reduce the risk of
        mother-to-child HIV transmission. In addition, the program
        provides AIDS education to community support groups and runs a
        10-acre farm to provide "high quality nutrition" to HIV-positive
        families, according to the AP/Star (AP/Indianapolis Star, 2/5).

        7. Los Angeles Times Examines Growing Concern Over Counterfeit
        Drugs, Including Some HIV/AIDS Medications

        Access this story and related links online:
        http://cme.kff.org/Key=1852.Cbg.K.D.GvG8X

        The Los Angeles Times on Monday examined the growing problem of
        counterfeit prescription drugs, including some medications used
        to treat people living with HIV/AIDS. Although the FDA says that
        the U.S. pharmaceutical supply is the "safest in the world,"
        recent seizures of counterfeit drugs raise concerns that
        consumers no longer can be certain that the drugs they receive
        are genuine and safe, the Times reports. One of the drugs
        counterfeiters have targeted is Serostim, which some
        HIV-positive people take to treat wasting, according to the
        Times. A 12-week course of Serostim costs approximately $21,000,
        and the labels and packaging needed to counterfeit the drug can
        be purchased over the Internet. In addition, officials in
        California in 2001 discovered a counterfeit shipment of the
        growth hormone Neupogen -- which is prescribed to some HIV/AIDS
        patients -- with drug bottles filled with salt water rather than
        medicine. Counterfeiting has increased with the emergence of
        more "unscrupulous" secondary drug wholesalers, according to the
        Times. Some HIV/AIDS clinics, which receive discounts on drugs,
        buy more drugs than they need and sell the remainder to
        wholesalers at a profit, according to the Times. With more
        secondary wholesalers in the market, it can be more difficult to
        trace the original source of drugs, the Times reports. To fight
        counterfeiting, Serostim's manufacturer, Swiss-based Serono, has
        stopped using wholesalers, authorizes only 100 pharmacies in the
        United States to sell the drug and tracks every shipment of the
        drug until it reaches a buyer, according to the Times (Jaret,
        Los Angeles Times, 2/9).

        HEALTH ON THE HILL FROM KAISERNETWORK.ORG AND CQ

        8. CQ's Schuler Discusses Bush FY 2005 Budget Proposal,
        Including AIDS Funding

        Access this story and related links online:
        http://cme.kff.org/Key=1852.Cbg.L.D.WCk2l

        Congressional Quarterly's Kate Schuler in this week's "Health
        on the Hill from kaisernetwork.org and CQ" discusses President
        Bush's fiscal year 2005 budget proposal released last week,
        including an increase in funding for international and domestic
        HIV/AIDS programs, which some critics say is "still not enough."
        The proposal includes $2.7 billion for international AIDS
        programs, which is an increase from FY 2004 spending but does
        not match the $3 billion authorized by Congress. According to
        Schuler, critics have said that the initiative is "moving too
        slowly," but Randall Tobias, head of the State Department's
        Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, said that the
        administration is "laying a foundation" for the program. Randall
        added that the full pledge of $15 billion over five years for
        the global AIDS initiative will be met. According to Schuler,
        Bush expects that by 2008 the initiative will have "prevented
        millions of new infections and treated and cared for millions"
        of HIV-positive people (Schuler, "Health on the Hill from
        kaisernetwork.org and CQ," 2/9).

        The report will be available online after noon on Monday.

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