Why Aren’t HIV Infection Rates Dropping Now That We Have PrEP? Health

Why Aren’t HIV Infection Rates Dropping Now That We Have PrEP?

Written by Matt Keeley on October 04, 2017
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Even though HIV testing has gotten so much better — as has prevention, with the introduction of PrEP — infection rates have stayed the same. Researchers think it might be due to those who haven’t been diagnosed yet keeping these rates from declining. That and more in this look at new HIV and AIDS news:

  • Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accepted the 2016 Founder’s Award from the Elton John AIDS Foundation in recognition of his continued contributions to the global effort to end HIV/AIDS and his ongoing vocal support for LGBT human rights. 
  • UK researchers are attempting to identify why the incidence of HIV among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men has remained unchanged despite better HIV testing and increased treatment. Using 13 years of behavioral data collected from nearly 12,000 men, researchers determined that people with recently acquired undiagnosed HIV are a primary factor keeping new HIV incidence from declining.
  • At the HIV Research and Prevention 2016 conference, researchers presented data showing that to achieve a moderate reduction of new HIV infections, the percentage of HIV-infected gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men with suppressed viral loads must be “significantly increased”. The UNAIDS call for “90-90-90” remains a powerful target to this effort. 
  • In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City will provide 12,000 rapid HIV tests to high-risk people, including gay men and other men who have sex with men, trans people, drug users, and sex workers.
  • Journalist Brian Moylan reflected on the increasingly difficult conversation men have negotiating safer sex when PrEP is involved: “In less than a generation, condoms have gone from an imperative, socially policed by the gay community at-large, to a punch line for some.”
  • Tanzania’s Health Minister reiterated earlier sentiments from the Justice Minister announcing that the government has suspended community-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs for gay health because of reports that NGOs were “promoting and normalizing same-sex relationships”. 
  • UK’s Prince Harry continued his HIV advocacy work visiting the London sexual health charity NAZ. During the event, several admitted they got tested only after seeing Prince Harry get tested live this summer. 
  • The UK Court of Appeal upheld a decision by the High Court which ruled that NHS England can pay for PrEP to stop the spread of HIV. The NHS had argued that it is only responsible for treating those already infected and that local councils are responsible for preventing new infections. 
  • The Belize Youth and Education Minister retracted his threat to rescind an award given to HIV and LGBT activist BDF Lieutenant Derrin Jael Castillo. Castillo had posted on Facebook that she was “the first honored for her work with LGBT”—Minister Faber clarified that she was awarded for HIV work and not work with LGBT community.
  • A new U.S. CDC study of HIV-positive gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men found that only 11% were screened for anal cancer, despite the high rates of anal cancer in this population. Researchers hope more study will lead to the development of appropriate screening guidelines.

Equal Eyes, UNAIDS, logo, news, rainbow, LGBT, LGBTQIAA, LGBTQ, queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgenderUnicorn Booty brings attentions to global issues of significance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Our partnership with Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, is part of that effort. To learn more, visit their site at Equal-Eyes.org

This coverage promotes sexual and gender equality while highlighting issues of health, violence, culture, and legal and human rights. Equal Eyes provides advocates and allies a common frame of reference for the realities of global LGBTI communities. Through followup reporting and disseminating this coverage, our effort is to ensure we have a representation of the global stories that matter most or may have under-reporting.

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