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April 07, 2011

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Studying and Promoting LGBT Health

By Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director

LGBT Report

Last week, the Institute of Medicine Exit Disclaimer (IOM) released an important new report about the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The 276-page report, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding, is the result of an 18-month study by a panel of experts commissioned by the IOM at the request of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH asked the panel to evaluate current knowledge of the health status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations; to identify research gaps and opportunities; and to outline a research agenda to help NIH focus its research in this area. The report provides a thorough compilation of what is known about the health of each of these groups at different stages of life and outlines an agenda for the research and data collection necessary to form a fuller understanding. The report addresses the continuing disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS in this population.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, thanked the IOM for the report, observing, “This report is an important step in identifying research gaps and opportunities, as part of an overall effort to understand and address the health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We look forward to continuing our work to address these needs and reduce LGBT health disparities.”

View the report, read a brief about it, or listen to audio from the report release online Exit Disclaimer.

For more information on LGBT health issues, consult these resources:

February 15, 2011

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Agency Operational Plans and the President’s FY 2012 Budget Highlight Our Continued Efforts to Implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

By Jeffrey S. Crowley, M.P.H., Director, Office of National AIDS Policy (Cross-posted from the Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

One of the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy was to refocus existing efforts and deliver better results to the American people within current funding levels, as well as make the case for new investments. The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) is excited to share some of the progress the Obama Administration has made over the last few months.

Last July, when we released the Strategy, the President issued a Presidential Memorandum that directed six lead agencies (Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs) to submit agency operational plans for implementing the Strategy. He also directed the Department of Defense, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of State to provide recommendations for implementing the Strategy.

ONAP is pleased to release the plans developed by the agencies, as well as an overview report that we produced to demonstrate the synergies achieved by having all of the lead agencies work toward shared goals. The ONAP Overview Report and the individual plans themselves can all be accessed at www.AIDS.gov.

Continue reading "Agency Operational Plans and the President’s FY 2012 Budget Highlight Our Continued Efforts to Implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy" »

January 14, 2011

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Stigma - 30 Years Into the Epidemic

By Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID

Our colleague Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will appear tonight on "Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS," Exit Disclaimer an hour-long special on Anderson Cooper 360° at 9pm ET on CNN.

The program will focus on the role stigma continues to play in the spread of HIV, and prevention and treatment issues.

Stigma is a critical issue addressed by The National HIV/AIDS Strategy as stated in the Strategy's vision statement -- "The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination."  

 Read the Strategy here (PDF).

November 23, 2010

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NIH-Funded Study Finds Daily Dose of Antiretroviral Drug Reduces Risk of HIV

By Jeffrey S. Crowley, Director, Office of National AIDS Policy (Cross-posted from the Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

Today, the New England Journal of Medicine published research findings from the iPrEx study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation testing the efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The study is a major step forward in our ability to prevent new HIV infections. The study found that a daily dose of an oral antiretroviral drug taken by HIV-negative gay and bisexual men and transgender women reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 43.8 percent. The data showed even higher levels of protection from infection, up to 73 percent, among those participants who adhered most closely to the daily drug regimen.

Continue reading "NIH-Funded Study Finds Daily Dose of Antiretroviral Drug Reduces Risk of HIV" »

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President Obama Welcomes New HIV Prevention Research Results

Cross-posted from The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Institutes of Health announced findings on recent HIV prevention research.  The study finds that a daily dose of an oral antiretroviral drug taken by HIV-negative gay and bisexual men reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 43.8 percent, and had even higher rates of effectiveness, up to 73 percent, among those participants who adhered most closely to the daily drug regimen.

“I am encouraged by this announcement of groundbreaking research on HIV prevention. While more work is needed, these kinds of studies could mark the beginning of a new era in HIV prevention. As this research continues, the importance of using proven HIV prevention methods cannot be overstated,” said President Obama.

One of the President’s top HIV/AIDS policy priorities was the development and implementation of a National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), which was released in July 2010. As underlined in the NHAS, no HIV prevention method is 100 percent effective, and a combination of approaches including, among other steps, consistent condom use, will be necessary to prevent HIV infection.  Nevertheless, the research results announced this past summer of an effective microbicide and today’s results fall directly in line with priority recommendations in the NHAS.  Moreover, today’s study suggests that antiretroviral medication may serve as one more valuable tool as we seek to develop the best combinations of effective approaches to prevent HIV infecti

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