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OraQuick is the first FDA-approved in-home HIV test. (Photo: orasure.com)

This week an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend the approval of the first-ever rapid, over-the-counter, completely in-home HIV test. Though the FDA has approved other HIV test kits designed for at-home use in the past, those tests require a blood sample that must be sent in to a laboratory for development. The newly considered test kit — called the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test — simply requires a mouth swab and a 20-minute wait for results.

It’s estimated that approximately one-fifth of the 1.2 million HIV carriers in the United States are unaware of their infection, and advocates of OraQuick say the test would provide a new and powerful attack against the American HIV epidemic. But what are the ethical issues connected with in-home testing and do they outweigh the benefits? More.

Clergy Can Fight HIV On Faith-Friendly Terms

ScienceDaily (May 16, 2012) — In the United States, where blacks bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, black religious institutions could help turn the tide. In a new study in PLoS ONE based on dozens of interviews and focus groups with 38 of Philadelphia’s most influential black clergy, physicians and public health researchers find that traditional barriers to preaching about HIV prevention could give way to faith-friendly messages about getting tested and staying on treatment. 

The public health community has long struggled with how best to reduce HIV infection rates among black Americans, which is seven times that of whites. In a new paper in the journal PLoS ONE, a team of physicians and public health researchers report that African-American clergy say they are ready to join the fight against the disease by focusing on HIV testing, treatment, and social justice, a strategy that is compatible with religious teaching.

“We in public health have done a poor job of engaging African-American community leaders and particularly black clergy members in HIV prevention,” said Amy Nunn, lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. “There is a common misperception that African American churches are unwilling to address the AIDS epidemic. This paper highlights some of the historical barriers to effectively engaging African American clergy in HIV prevention and provides recommendations from clergy for how to move forward.”

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johnhearts:

Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the US is infected with HIV. In Massachusetts, 1 in 3 people who are diagnosed with HIV are also diagnosed with AIDS. 

We have the knowledge and tools to prevent new HIV infections and to help HIV+ folks stay healthy; but it takes resources. Funding for HIV prevention and care services continue to be cut at the state and federal levels. 

Your support can help the young man or woman who will be infected with HIV nine minutes from now get the care and services they need. It also helps fund testing and education services that keep countless other men and women from getting infected.  Donate to my AIDS Walk Boston campaign here.

THE NEW STD!!!!

It appears that there is a new STD that is killing men and its related to oral sex. The Human papillomavirus (HPV) was once believed to have no effect on men, but it’s now found to be harmful to men as well as well as women. In fact, giving someone unprotected oral sex or receiving it from them if they are infected can seriously jeopardize your health. A new study has found a rapid increase in the number of throat and neck cancers over the last 12 years, with thousands of new cases occurring every single year.

BlackDoctor.org discusses the issue in more detail, noting that throat, mouth and neck cancers were once caused by tobacco use. But although the use of tobacco has declined, the rates of certain cancers related to HPV have been on the rise. The rate of STD infection is even greater in the black community, where a lower marital rate has led to an increase in the number of sex partners. One researcher at a major university told YBW that he randomly tested 20 men in a barbershop and found that half of them were infected with Chlamydia without even knowing it.

According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, over 11,000 cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed this year, but the number has been declining. Women regularly get Pap Smears, but men are less likely to go to the doctor. As a result, the number of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer cases will rise to 8,700, with 7,400 of those cases in men. The disease then festers within the mouth and throat of the victim, causing cancerous sores to emerge for those who are undiagnosed.

BlackDoctor.org discusses the epidemic in more detail. Get tested

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