CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update 06/20/2013

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HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB News - CDC Prevention News Update
CDCNPIN Prevention Newsletter 6/20/2013
National News

WATCH: Juanes Takes on HIV Awareness for the Young Latino Community

International News

In Ghana Sex Workers Coach Peers About HIV/AIDS Prevention

AIDS Kills 200 Prisoners in Mozambican Jails in 2012–Report

Medical News

HIV Prevention for Female Sex Workers Dramatically Reduces Sexually Transmitted Infections in India

Local and Community News

More Patients Test Positive for Hepatitis in North Charleston Clinic Investigation

AIDS Community Resources Becomes Health-Home Agency

News Briefs

Gwinnett Medical Center: Patients, Employees Exposed to Active Case of Tuberculosis

Health Board to Offer Free HIV Tests

UConn Health to Provide Free HIV Screenings

National News
National News WATCH: Juanes Takes on HIV Awareness for the Young Latino Community

UNITED STATES :: HIV/AIDS
Latina (06.19.2013) :: By Priscilla Rodriguez

CDC reported that Latinos comprised 21 percent of new HIV infections in the United States and had an HIV infection rate three times higher than US whites. To address the disparity, Latino pop star Juanes produced a Spanish-language public service announcement (PSA), co-sponsored by the HIV/AIDS nonprofit organization Lifebeat, CDC, and MTV.

Developed for National HIV Testing Day, the PSA reviewed HIV incidence and prevalence and urged viewers to have an HIV test; the message also emphasized that rapid testing produced results in 20 minutes. More than 1 million Americans have HIV, and more than 1,000 new HIV infections occur each month among people ages 13–24. Guillermo Chacon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS, stressed the role celebrities like Juanes play in increasing HIV prevention awareness.
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International News
International News In Ghana Sex Workers Coach Peers About HIV/AIDS Prevention

GHANA :: HIV/AIDS
Joy Online (Ghana) (06.17.2013) :: By Amba Mpoke-Bigg

Ghana’s National AIDS Commission reported that innovative peer counseling programs delivered by groups like the West Africa Program to Combat AIDS and STI (WAPCAS) helped to lower HIV incidence among Ghana’s sex workers from 37.8 percent in 2006 to 11.2 percent in 2012. Overall HIV prevalence in Ghana is 1.5 percent. WAPCAS services—prevention, counseling, free HIV testing, and referrals to care—target sex workers, HIV-infected individuals, men who have sex with men (MSM), and injection drug users. WAPCAS’s chief goals included raising awareness of HIV and sexually transmitted infections and “teaching people how to avoid them.”

Sex work and gay sex are illegal in Ghana, which makes MSM and sex workers vulnerable, since they have no legal recourse to abuse and exploitation. WAPCAS educators believed outreach had been successful because peer educators had the target audience’s interests at heart. As a result, sex workers had a better understanding and more confidence in practicing safer sex with male or female condoms.

Working with MSM and lesbians is more complicated because of social stigma and Ghana’s religious and cultural norms. HIV prevalence among MSM is 25 percent. According to Nii Akwei Addo, head of Ghana’s National AIDS Control Programme, anti-HIV groups had to strike a balance that helped MSM practice safer sex without encouraging MSM sex. The Ghana Centre for Popular Education and Human Rights has conducted successful MSM peer educator programs and reported that increased access to antiretroviral therapy, HIV testing, counseling, and referrals helped to lower HIV deaths among MSM within the last four years.

Other vulnerable populations comprised sex workers’ non-paying partners such as spouses and former clients. Additionally, some MSM might take heterosexual partners to conceal their sexual preference, which puts those partners at risk. Akwei Addo confirmed the importance of taking services to these vulnerable populations and encouraging safer sex.
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  AIDS Kills 200 Prisoners in Mozambican Jails in 2012–Report

MOZAMBIQUE :: HIV/AIDS
StarAfrica (06.19.2013)

The Mozambique, Africa, state-run daily newspaper “Noticias” reported on June 19 that approximately 208 inmates died of AIDS while incarcerated in the country’s jails, based on information from Samo Goncalves, director of penal control in the Ministry of Justice. Goncalves noted that the deaths occurred even though the prison service has 15 health units throughout the country staffed by 24 medical professionals, including doctors, medical technicians, nurses, and psychiatrists. He also said the prison service guaranteed inmates antiretroviral treatment and monitoring by doctors. The current prison population is a little more than 15,800, with a ratio of one guard to 15 prisoners.
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Medical News
Medical News HIV Prevention for Female Sex Workers Dramatically Reduces Sexually Transmitted Infections in India

INDIA :: HIV/AIDS
Medical Daily (06.16.2013) :: By Nsikan Akpan

A study by Dr. Prabhat Jha, a public health professor at the University of Toronto, and colleagues showed that HIV prevention programs for female sex workers in southern India resulted in a reduction in incidence of HIV as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The study examined the impact of more than 868 prevention programs for female sex workers from 1995 to 2008. The programs provided sex workers with lubricated condoms and STI treatment. The country’s National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) sponsored and carried out many of the programs, but nongovernmental organizations also provided funding in some areas.

The researchers estimated that programs reached approximately 500,000 sex workers, most of whom lived in the four southern and western states: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. Only 30 percent of the population lives in these states, but they account for 60 percent of the country’s HIV patients.

Researchers reviewed data on STI trends in pregnant women ages 15–24, regardless of their status as sex workers. The results showed that HIV levels fell by 40 percent in young pregnant women between 2003 and 2008. Jha and colleagues also found that syphilis rates fell by 70 percent in pregnant women during the same period. The researchers reviewed financial data to determine spending on programs. India’s NACO spent approximately $420 million since 1999 on prevention programs for sex workers and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $250 million since 2004. However, results showed no correlation between funding and disease rates. Researchers concluded that programs did not have to be expensive to be effective.

The full report, “Female Sex Work Interventions and Changes in HIV and Syphilis Infection Risks from 2003 to 2008 in India: A Repeated Cross-Sectional Study, was published in the journal BMJ Open (2013; 3:e002724 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002724).

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Local and Community News
Local and Community News More Patients Test Positive for Hepatitis in North Charleston Clinic Investigation

SOUTH CAROLINA :: HIV/AIDS,Viral Hepatitis
Charleston Regional Business Journal (S.C.) (06.19.2013)

A dozen patients of North Charleston, S.C.’s Tri-County Spinal Care Center have tested positive for hepatitis B. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) could not verify the date when these persons became infected. On May 17, DHEC informed Tri-County that three patients had tested positive for hepatitis B after receiving injections at the clinic. DHEC ordered Tri-County to halt all invasive procedures and contacted the patients who received injections on specific days in 2013. Later in May, DHEC expanded the investigation to include all patients who received injections since 2011, and requested those patients be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

DHEC contacted more than 500 patients who had received a spinal or joint injection or other types of injection from Tri-County since September 2011. DHEC examined the clinic’s injection practices and infection control procedures and discovered the clinic’s practices had not changed since the clinic began providing injections.

After DHEC publicized their expanded investigation, Tri-County issued a news release emphasizing their continuing cooperation with investigators. In the news release, Cameron Wills, a chiropractic physician at the clinic, declared, “We have always used sterile, single-use supplies for injections. We do not reuse syringes or needles.” The release also stated that a biomedical equipment technician had inspected the clinic’s sterilization equipment, noting that the equipment had safety features that produced error codes in the event of an unsuccessful sterilization.
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  AIDS Community Resources Becomes Health-Home Agency

NEW YORK :: HIV/AIDS
Watertown Daily Times (New York) (06.19.2013) :: By Rebecca Madden

AIDS Community Resources (ACR) of Syracuse, N.Y., has become a health home. According to Michael E. Crinnin, executive director of the nonprofit, ACR is part of a new model the state adopted for people on Medicaid living with chronic disease, as part of a Medicaid redesign. As a health home agency, the organization will help promote clients’ health and aim to prevent clients’ use of hospital and emergency care. The health-home model considers all the situations that might contribute to a person’s health, including poverty, inadequate housing, and transportation. ACR offers case management, treatment adherence, HIV testing, transportation, housing, youth development and other services. The change also means that the agency will serve clients with other chronic diseases as well as those with HIV/AIDS. The agency’s name will be changed to Access, Care, and Resources for Health (ACR Health) to reflect the increased breadth of its responsibilities.

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News Briefs
News Briefs Gwinnett Medical Center: Patients, Employees Exposed to Active Case of Tuberculosis

GEORGIA :: TB
CBSAtlanta.com (06.18.2013) :: By Jennifer Banks

This week, Gwinnett Medical Center, located in Gwinnett County, Ga., warned 133 patients and some employees they might have been exposed to an active case of TB at the hospital between February 1 and May 10 of this year. The medical center sent a letter to patients, encouraging them to be screened for free at the county health department. According to Alan Bier, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for the medical center, the risk of contracting the disease from casual exposure is low but testing is still important.

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  Health Board to Offer Free HIV Tests

GEORGIA :: HIV/AIDS
Clayton News Daily (06.18.2013) :: By Curt Yeomans

The Clayton County, Ga., Board of Health will commemorate June 27’s National HIV Testing Day with four days of free HIV testing for county residents older than the age of 13. Individuals will receive results in 20 minutes and will be able to obtain information and support from health educators after their testing. The board will administer tests June 24–26 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and June 27 from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m. at its offices, located at 1117 Battle Creek Road, Jonesboro, Ga. National HIV Testing Day was established in 1995 to emphasize the reasons why individuals should be tested for HIV and to encourage testing. CDC estimates that nearly 1.2 million Americans are HIV-positive and nearly one in five of those infected are unaware they have the virus.
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  UConn Health to Provide Free HIV Screenings

CONNECTICUT :: HIV/AIDS
The Hartford Guardian (06.18.2013)

The Pediatric and Youth HIV Program, a partnership between the University of Connecticut Health Center and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, will collaborate with the Hartford Youth HIV Identification and Linkage (HYHIL) Consortia to co-sponsor an outreach event offering free HIV screenings. The event will take place on National HIV Testing Day, June 27, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., at 2550 Main Street in Hartford, Conn. The outreach effort will encourage people, especially adolescents, to “Take the Test, Take Control” to learn their HIV status and be connected to medical care. HYHIL collaborated with the Hartford Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, Latino Community Services, AIDS of CT, and other community agencies to offer the voluntary HIV screenings.
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The CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention provides the above information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, other sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. The above summaries were prepared without conducting any additional research or investigation into the facts and statements made in the articles being summarized, and therefore readers are expressly cautioned against relying on the validity or invalidity of any statements made in these summaries. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted above for full texts of the articles.

The Prevention News Update electronic mailing list is maintained by the National Prevention Information Network (NPIN), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. Regular postings include the Prevention News Update, select articles from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report series, and announcements about new NPIN products and services.