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FDA Approves Abbott’s New HIV Test


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Abbott Laboratories’ new HIV test, which can detect HIV types 1 and 2, The Associated Press reports. While type 2 is mostly found in West Africa, type 1 is comprised of various HIV subgroups found primarily in both the United States and West Africa.

According to the article, the Abbott Prism HIV O Plus test runs on Abbott’s Prism system, which is an automated instrument typically used to screen blood for hepatitis. This new test will be used to test blood and organ donations for HIV.

AIDS Vaccine Trial Offers Hope


Researchers felt boosted by the results of an AIDS vaccine clinical trial released on Thursday, which showed for the first time that a small but significant portion of volunteers were protected against infection. 

Results of the AIDS vaccine trial, which involved more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, left scientists “delighted but puzzled,” according to The New York Times.

“The vaccine — a combination of two genetically engineered vaccines, neither of which had worked before in humans — protected too few people to be declared an unqualified success. And the researchers do not know why it worked,” reportedthe Times.

The vaccine, known as RV 144, proved 31.2% effective in the clinical trial. 

The trial’s backers include the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the United States Army, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and the patent-holders for the two parts of the vaccine, Sanofi-Pasteur and Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases.

We are always making progress…now let’s keep working on ending the concept of HIV/AIDS as a ‘gay disease.’

The DC Center Announces First HIV/AIDS Grant

All I can say is, YAY!!

From The D.C. Center HIV Working Group:fighthivindcsquare

The Board of Directors of the Metro DC Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Community Center (The DC Center) are pleased to announce their first HIV/AIDS grant.

The National HIV Vaccine Research and Education Initiative Grant is designed to create a supportive local environment for HIV vaccine research by educating key communities about this research in areas where HIV vaccine clinical trials are ongoing or planned. The DC Center is one of several organizations that will be funded under this grant.

David Mariner, Executive Director of the DC Center stated: “This grant provides a unique opportunity to educate the GLBT community about the importance of HIV Vaccine research. We’ll be coordinating activities of this grant closely with our HIV Working Group.”

The DC Center will continue to work with the local community advisory board for HIV Vaccine Research, the Capital Area Vaccine Effort, and the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH. This partnership first began when The DC Center organized an educational event on vaccine research on October 1st, 2007 at Dakota Cowgirl/Titan Bar. More recently, the groups collaborated on a community update on HIV prevention research, under the direction of The DC Center’s Crystal Meth Working Group, which was held at the HRC Equality Center on May 14th of this year.

NY State Sen Tom Duane: Amazing Floor Speech on HIV/AIDS Bill

This is an incredibly powerful video.  It is long, but try to find the time to watch it in its entirety…

From Gay Rights Watch:

At around 3 am last night, New York State Senator Tom Duane, who is gay and HIV-positive, delivered a mesmerizing, emotional 21-minute speech on the Senate floor at the end of a marathon session in favor of a bill preventing people living with HIV or AIDS and receiving public assistance from having to pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent.

The bill passed by a vote of 52 to 1. But not after Duane reminded people of the horrors of the early 80’s:

“Visiting friends in hospitals. We’d go in. We’d go in one night, in the morning they’d be dead. I’d bring them food. My family, bring them food. My friends bring someone food. But whoever was in bed would be dead before they could eat it. We’d leave it – maybe the nurses would take it home. No! They wouldn’t eat it! ‘Cause it’s contaminated. Contaminated! Wouldn’t touch it. Wouldn’t go into the room. Wearing masks. Gloves! Gowns! Someone gets sick in the afternoon. They’d be dead the next day. Dead! And that went on for months, and then years. Dead! Dead! You think if you got sick and your friends were dying that I would sit there and do nothing? No. But that’s what happened. That’s what happened. Every cold. Every virus. Every temperature. I thought I’d be dead, and so did so many people that I knew. Dead! You think you scare me? You think you can make be back off? Nothing scares me.”

Peter Staley writes of those living with HIV and AIDS: “There’s a Tom Duane lurking deep down in all of us, waiting to be heard.”

When he was elected in 1998, Duane became the first openly-gay and first openly HIV-positive member of the Senate.

Illinois Appoints Openly Gay HIV Positive Man

In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn named an openly gay and HIV positive man, Brent Adams, the Acting Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).  This makes Adams Illinois first openly HIV positive cabinet member.

Adams stated:

“I’m honored to play a role in promoting [Governor Quinn’s] vision of a state that strives to project and promote equality of life for all people, including persons living with HIV. I think it’s an encouraging step forward for all of us.”

Gay Illinois Flag