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In-Brief: September 8th, 2017

In Brief is NEAETC's news service covering the latest developments and educational resources about HIV, hepatitis, health disparities, and related topics. To subscribe, please click HERE.

A Message from NEAETC

Since 2011, NEAETC and the AIDS Action Committee have published the online HIV and Health Disparities Update, focusing on news and developments in HIV and viral hepatitis, with particular emphasis on health disparities by race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and identity, gender, income, and risk group.

NEAETC is now launching a new information resource – In Brief: HIV and Hepatitis News – that will replace the newsletter. As you'll see below, In Brief consists of concise summaries of the latest information about HIV, hepatitis, and health disparities organized by topic for easy review. Each item includes links to source materials and resources in case you want to explore particular news and developments in greater depth.

We'll also provide links to related information about NEAETC events and online resources to help build and maintain your expertise on all matters related to HIV, viral hepatitis, and related issues.

HIV and Aging

What Is “Successful Aging” for People Living with HIV?

When Canadian researchers asked a group of older persons living with HIV how they would define “successful aging,” their responses focused on six key themes: accepting limitations, staying positive, maintaining social support, taking responsibility, living a healthy lifestyle, and engaging in meaningful activities. Sources: AIDSmap article and study abstract from the International Journal of STD and AIDS.

If you’d like an in-depth review of the many issues of HIV and aging, please check out our upcoming 13th Annual National Conference on HIV/AIDS & Aging in Brookline, Massachusetts, on September 29.

Cancer and HIV

Cancers Have Accounted for About 10% of Deaths Among Persons Treated for HIV in the U.S. and Canada

Approximately 10% of deaths among persons living with HIV and treated with antiretroviral therapy between 1995 and 2009 were attributed to cancer – and that proportion has risen over time, according to a recent study in Clinical Infectious Diseases. A large fraction of these cancer deaths was associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lung cancer, and liver cancer. The study authors note that, “Deaths due to NADCs [non-AIDS-defining cancers] will likely grow in importance as AIDS mortality declines and people with HIV age.”

Care Guidelines

Updated HIV Care Guidelines for People Displaced by Disasters

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published updated Guidance for Non-HIV-Specialized Providers Caring for Persons with HIV Displaced by Disasters. The revised guidance includes recommendations based on the current standard of care for persons living with HIV, as well as specific guidance on management of HIV infection during pregnancy. In addition, the guidance now includes: 1) an intake form clinicians can use when evaluating patients with HIV; and 2) a list of temporary regimen substitutions for antiretroviral medications in case of supply shortages.

HIV Testing

Testing of Transgender Women and Men

CDC recently published a detailed analysis of recent HIV testing data for transgender women and men living in 27 states and Guam. According to the report, “transgender women and men self-reported a lower prevalence of HIV testing (both ever and in the past year) compared with gay and bisexual men whose gender identities match their sex assignments at birth (cisgender). Transgender women and men self-reported testing at levels similar to cisgender heterosexual men and women.” The CDC researchers concluded that transgender persons’ reported HIV testing levels “were inconsistent with their HIV risk profiles. Innovative, tailored approaches might be needed to reach transgender persons who are not being reached by existing HIV prevention strategies that focus on other key populations, such as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.”


WHO/UNAIDS Joint Statement Emphasizes Human Rights & Public Health Approach to Testing

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS have released a joint statement on HIV testing services that reinforces two key principles designed to ensure a human rights-based and public health approach to HIV testing. The statement says that HIV testing, no matter how it is delivered, must always respect personal choice and adhere to ethical and human rights principles. It also makes clear that WHO and UNAIDS do not recommend mandatory, compulsory, or coerced HIV testing of individuals on public health grounds.

Continuum of Care

Average Time in U.S. Between HIV Diagnosis and Linkage to Care Is About 3 Months

People living with HIV in the U.S. spend an average of 3.1 months after HIV diagnosis before being linked to care, according to a recent report in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Those linked to care wait an additional 3.7 months on average before getting their second set of lab results – an indication that they have become engaged in care. On average, persons engaged in care require nearly a year to achieve viral suppression on antiretroviral therapy (ART).


New and Revised Resources

Fact Sheets and Infographics from AIDSinfo

HHS’s AIDSinfo site has recently added the following updated fact sheets and new infographics to its library of educational materials:    

What Is an Opportunistic Infection? (fact sheet)

HIV and Hepatitis B (fact sheet) ·       

HIV and Hepatitis C (fact sheet)

HIV and Tuberculosis (fact sheet)

Pets and People with HIV (infographic)

Meet the HHS HIV/AIDS Medical Practice Guidelines (infographic)