The stigma associated with HIV is only partially to blame. More problematic is the difficulty of reaching the most vulnerable members of the U.S. population who are living with HIV but unaware of their status: racial and ethnic minorities, the poor and disenfranchised, and people who are homeless.
Our report demonstrates that since 2008, Chicago men who have sex with men (MSM) are testing for HIV more frequently, have greater knowledge of their own HIV status and have greater access to HIV antiretroviral therapies. Results are particularly strong and promising for young black MSM.
Beyond a discussion of cost savings and cost effectiveness, the real purpose behind World AIDS Day is saving human lives. The fight against HIV is far from over, but we can observe this World AIDS Day with optimism.
By combining funds, experience and infrastructure we can tackle and defeat some of the most deadly diseases in some of the most impoverished regions. We encourage others to join us, so we may all come together to save lives and promote healthy communities around the world.
Last year, we celebrated 30 years of progress in the fight against AIDS. This year, let's celebrate World AIDS Day by looking forward. We've challenged ourselves by setting an ambitious goal of an AIDS-free generation. Let's examine where we are on our way to that goal.
Female condoms are an opportunity to promote women's rights as much as they are an opportunity to fight HIV, because they can and they do generate important conversations within couples and communities about love, protection, trust and power.
The FDA has approved Truvada, an HIV treatment medication, to be taken by uninfected people to protect against HIV. For men who engage in unsafe sex with other men, is this just an excuse to continue to be irresponsible?
I asked a young friend if he had heard of Truvada, the drug recently approved by the FDA for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, against HIV. It's a pill to prevent HIV transmission. Like most people I know, he hadn't ever heard about PrEP. Sadly, I'm not surprised.
Recently I wrote a blog about how HIV prevention should move beyond handing people condoms. My story wasn't that straightforward, and as I reveal how I became infected with HIV, hopefully you'll see my reasoning.
What was captivating about the 2012 International AIDS Conference was the vision of an AIDS-free generation that was often invoked. We have the tools to get to "zero new HIV infections," though I am not convinced we have the collective commitment yet. And we definitely don't have the money.
I am not ashamed of my HIV-positive status, and I don't hide the fact that I have HIV, but I have never taken the time to write my personal viewpoint, mostly due to fear: fear of the response from the ignorant, or from people who are just hateful.
We can bring about the same kind of change for HIV. People living with HIV have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. HIV is a disease, and having it doesn't make us dirty, worthless or immoral. It simply means we have a virus.
Much of the rhetoric at this year's International AIDS Conference was about achieving an "AIDS-free generation," but if the United States is going to be part of that AIDS-free generation, we are going to need to refocus our attention on the domestic epidemic among gay men.
We, the LGBT community and our allies, will not stand for this anymore. Throngs of us will descend on Soldier Field on Sept. 30, lift our voices and walk our miles to save the lives of our brothers and sisters.
Violence and discrimination against transgender people of color is one of the many obstacles standing in the way of effective HIV prevention and treatment. When we end AIDS in America we can also end violence on the West Side of Chicago.