Health: World AIDS Day is December 1st 2015

Although we are gathering this week with our family and friends to give thanks for all the good things we have in our lives, we cannot ever forget that HIV/AIDS is still among us. December 1 is World AIDS Day, an opportunity for people to work actively and collaboratively with partners around the world to raise awareness about HIV and help us move closer to the goal of an AIDS-free generation. This year’s theme, “The Time to Act Is Now,” calls us to act with urgency to implement the latest high-impact, evidence-based HIV prevention strategies.wad-2015-profile-post-img

An estimated 36.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. As a science-based public health and disease prevention agency, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides support that helps more than 60 countries strengthen their national HIV/AIDS programs and build sustainable public health systems. The CDC conducts these activities through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) , the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease.

Recent scientific breakthroughs now point the way to achieving an AIDS-free generation, a goal championed by President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address. CDC, through PEPFAR, is working to achieve that inspiring goal through proven science, smart investments, and shared responsibility with partner countries. Global efforts have resulted in approximately 13.5 million persons in low-income and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection in 2014, an increase from 2013. Globally, more than 15 million people are on ART.

New HIV infections have fallen 35 percent since 2000, with 66 percent of the 2 million new HIV infections occurring in sub-Saharan African countries, where women account for more than half the total number of those living with HIV.

The CDC’s global HIV/AIDS activities are grounded in science and are critical to saving lives and preventing new infections. Core activities focus on:

  • Providing proven combination prevention interventions, including prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, antiretroviral treatment, and voluntary medical male circumcision.
  • Reaching orphans and vulnerable children, as well as other neglected and hard-to-reach populations.
  • Building and enhancing health systems, including sustainable human resources for health (e.g., health care workers) and accurate, reliable laboratory systems.
  • CDC’s innovative programs are helping countries collect and use more detailed data to target HIV treatment services to where they are needed most and to reduce the cost of delivering services. These activities also support greater accountability and transparency in the use of U.S. government funds. CDC works with key partners such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria —to which the United States is the largest contributor—to ensure complementary programming for maximum impact of investments.LetsStopHIV-Together-Poster4

THE CDC HAS CONTRIBUTED TO SAVING MILLIONS OF LIVES THROUGH PEPFAR. Across the globe, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. The increased life expectancies of people in their most productive years have helped build more secure families and bolstered fragile nations devastated by the HIV epidemic. New pediatric HIV infections have dropped by 58 percent since 2000. Worldwide, 220,000 children became newly infected with HIV in 2014, down from 520,000 in 2000. This significant achievement is due largely to evidence-based programming to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Still, millions of people around the globe are waiting for access to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs.

The United States has made an unwavering commitment to work with partner governments and other stakeholders to turn the tide on HIV/AIDS. The goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation worldwide is a shared responsibility, with partner countries in the central role.

HIV in the United States

  • More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 8 (12.8%) are unaware of their infection.
  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly young black/African American MSM, are most seriously affected by HIV.
  • By race, blacks/African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV.lsht_banner_745x200

This year, the White House updated the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to 2020. On World AIDS Day, it will release a federal action plan to implement the strategy. The CDC supports the strategy’s vision of a nation where new HIV infections are rare. CDC’s HIV prevention efforts in the United States target the populations most at risk and include:

  • Providing funding and technical assistance for health departments.
  • Conducting surveillance and behavioral research.
  • Developing guidelines for HIV treatment, surveillance, and laboratory procedures.
  • Evaluating programs.
  • Conducting outreach and communication campaigns through the Act Against AIDS initiative, including the campaign Let’s Stop HIV Together, which fights stigma and seeks to ensure that all Americans know the facts about HIV. Let’s Stop HIV Together includes many personal stories about living with HIV.
  • Providing training in HIV prevention and

Also, The CDC, along with other agencies and organizations, will convene the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference, December 6-9, 2015. This conference will facilitate collaboration among scientists, health care providers, community workers, and others who are working to stop the spread of HIV in the United States.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1,218,400 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 156,300 (12.8%) who are unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. Still, the pace of new infections continues at far too high a level—particularly among certain groups.

HIV INCIDENCE (NEW INFECTIONS): The estimated incidence of HIV has remained stable overall in recent years, at about 50,000 new HIV infections per year. Within the overall estimates, however, some groups are affected more than others. MSM continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV infection, and among races/ethnicities, African Americans continue to be disproportionately affected.

HIV DIAGNOSES (NEW DIAGNOSES, REGARDLESS OF WHEN INFECTION OCCURRED OR STAGE OF DISEASE AT DIAGNOSIS): In 2013, an estimated 47,352 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States. In that same year, an estimated 26,688 people were diagnosed with AIDS. Overall, an estimated 1,194,039 people in the United States have been diagnosed with AIDS.

DEATHS: An estimated 13,712 people with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2012, and approximately 658,507 people in the United States with an AIDS diagnosis have died overall. The deaths of persons with an AIDS diagnosis can be due to any cause—that is, the death may or may not be related to AIDS.

THE NUMBERS BY RISK GROUPhiv-infections-graph-700x302

Source: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence among adults and adolescents in the United States, 2007–2010. HIV. Surveillance Supplemental Report 2012;17(4). Subpopulations representing 2% or less are not reflected in this chart. Abbreviations: MSM, men who have sex with men; IDU, injection drug user. *Subpopulations representing 2% or less are not reflected in this chart. Abbreviations: MSM, men who have sex with men; IDU, injection drug user.

GAY, BISEXUAL, AND OTHER MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN (MSM)**** OF ALL RACES AND ETHNICITIES REMAIN THE POPULATION MOST PROFOUNDLY AFFECTED BY HIV. In 2010, the estimated number of new HIV infections among MSM was 29,800, a significant 12% increase from the 26,700 new infections among MSM in 2008. Although MSM represent about 4% of the male population in the United States, in 2010, MSM accounted for 78% of new HIV infections among males and 63% of all new infections. MSM accounted for 54% of all people living with HIV infection in 2011, the most recent year these data are available.

In 2010, white MSM continued to account for the largest number of new HIV infections (11,200), by transmission category, followed closely by black MSM (10,600).

The estimated number of new HIV infections was greatest among MSM in the youngest age group. In 2010, the greatest number of new HIV infections (4,800) among MSM occurred in young black/African American MSM aged 13–24. Young black MSM accounted for 45% of new HIV infections among black MSM and 55% of new HIV infections among young MSM overall. Since the epidemic began, an estimated 311,087 MSM with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including an estimated 5,380 in 2012.LetsStopHIV-Together-Poster1

HETEROSEXUALS AND INJECTION DRUG USERS ALSO CONTINUE TO BE AFFECTED BY HIV. Since the epidemic began, almost 92,613 persons with AIDS that were infected through heterosexual sex, have died, including an estimated 4,550 in 2012.

New HIV infections among women are primarily attributed to heterosexual contact (84% in 2010) or injection drug use (16% in 2010). Women accounted for 20% of estimated new HIV infections in 2010 and 23% of those living with HIV infection in 2011. The 9,500 new infections among women in 2010 reflect a significant 21% decrease from the 12,000 new infections that occurred among this group in 2008. Continue reading

Holiday Travel: Get Away With A Longer Holiday Stay And Hit The Savings Jackpot With New Deal From Las Vegas Marriott

Hotel Near Las Vegas Convention Center Offers Discounts Up To 30% Based On The Number Of Room Nights Booked

Lady Luck has struck again at Las Vegas Marriott. With near-perfect weather year round, it’s easy to want to stay in Las Vegas for an extended period of time — especially around the holidays. Travelers visiting Sin City during this holiday season can hit the jackpot even before stepping into any casino on the Strip with a new package from the Marriott International‘s most central outpost in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Marriott

Las Vegas Marriott

The Las Vegas Marriott at 325 Convention Center Drive in Las Vegas, NV is near the Monorail Station, Las Vegas Strip, Cirque du Soleil and Pole Position Raceway. The hotel is 17 floors with 278 rooms, 6 meeting rooms with 3,426 square feet of total event space, a cafe, fitness center and outdoor pool.

The longer guests stay, the more they will save on deluxe accommodations when taking advantage of the Stay Longer in Vegas & Reno Package. Double down and save 20 percent when booking two nights, or up the ante and save 30 percent for three or more nights. Room rates are $97 to $295 per night with these exclusive savings, valid through Dec. 28, 2015 when using promotional code SPU upon making a reservation.

What to Expect at The Las Vegas Marriott

Step inside the elegant lobby and get ready for some fun. The hotel offers spacious rooms with living and sitting areas to give guests ample space to spread out in style. Pillow-top mattresses, featherbeds and custom duvets afford the jetlagged traveler an ideal place to get a restful night’s sleep, while marble bathrooms with Bath and Body Works bath amenities offer a luxurious space to prepare for a busy day in the city. Room service is readily available for guests who have had “a little too much fun the night before.” Lucky guests can rest easy knowing their casino winnings are safe inside complimentary safes provided in each room.

Before hitting the Strip, step inside the cheerful atmosphere of Cafe 325, offering a wide array of foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sure to satisfy even the most distinct of appetites. Enjoy fresh salads and sandwiches for lunch, plus burgers, pasta dishes and much more for dinner without ever leaving the hotel. The casual dress code and vast drink menu offers a relaxing place to gather with friends and family before exploring all Las Vegas has to offer.

At the end of a day, take a dip in the outdoor resort-style pool, or melt away stress in the whirlpool. Guests can maintain their physique at the fitness center with cardiovascular equipment and free weights.

Las Vegas Marriott also features 3,426 square feet of total event space in six rooms for holiday parties and end-of-the-year business meetings. Floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the city, a dedicated staff and custom event menus will all ensure a successful event.

To save big on accommodations and spend more on the fun, use promotional code SPU when booking online or calling 1-800-834-7236. For information, visit or call 1-702-650-2000.

Celebrate The 2015 Festive Season With Four Seasons Hotel New York

Four Seasons Brings Magic To Manhattan With A Holiday Tree Lighting, New Year’s Eve Soiree, And More

This holiday season, join in the festivities at Four Seasons Hotel New York for an unforgettable New York experience. From an indulgent Christmas Day Brunch to the New Year’s soiree of the year, guests can be certain that 2015 will end on a high note.FSH_1232_aspect16x9

ANNUAL HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY – WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015, 5:45 PM: Toast to the start of the holiday season at annual Four Seasons Hotel New York tree lighting ceremony. Guests will be welcomed with a complimentary glass of champagne (non-alcoholic beverages are also available), and festive holiday favorites performed by carolers will help set the mood. Following the tree lighting, guests will have ample time to make it to Rockefeller Center to experience the tree lighting firsthand or alternatively, can catch a live broadcast in TY Bar. The Garden restaurant will also feature an impressive six-foot (1.8 metre) gingerbread house, hand-crafted by Executive Pastry Chef Jasmina Bojic, which is not to be missed.

All guests attending are encouraged to bring a toy in support of Toys for Tots. Ty Warner will also be contributing to this year’s donation by giving 2,016 toys to the cause. US Marine Corps will be present that evening to accept donations from Four Seasons on behalf of Toys for Tots.

WEEKEND HOLIDAY BRUNCH – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2015 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 3, 2016, 12:00 NOON TO 2:30 PM: Get into the holiday spirit by indulging in an extravagant holiday brunch menu, offered every Saturday and Sunday. The Festivus Market selection include seasonal fare such as tartare of exotic winter fruits with pomegranate and lime yogurt veil, while classic brunch dishes have been given a holiday twist, such as gingerbread waffles with eggnog crème anglaise. Brunch includes a choice of Blood Orange Mimosa or a glass of prosecco, but guests can also indulge in special holiday cocktails including the TY Bar Toddy, made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, pressed apple cider, and cinnamon syrup; the Pomegranate Margarita, composed of Herradrura tequila, pomegranate cordial, and Peychaud’s bitters; or the Apricot and Honey Gimlet, featuring Brooklyn gin, apricot honey, syrup and lime.

CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2015, 12:30-2:00 PM: Celebrate Christmas Day at Four Seasons Hotel New York with an elegant three-course prix-fixe lunch, complete with live entertainment from a string trio hailing from The Juilliard School of Music. Appetisers include a warm chestnut bisque with vin jaune and black truffles for a lavish touch, or crisp maya prawns served with omelette crepe and piperade. For the main course, enjoy organic lamb rack with a toasted mushroom orzo and herb jus, or stuffed Vermont quails served with quinoa pilaf, swiss chard, and foie gras sauce. Finally, end brunch on a sweet note with luxurious holiday desserts, such as the individual Yule with chestnut cream and green apple gelee, or the sticky date pudding with caramel crunch ice cream. Pricing is USD 139 per person.

NEW YEAR’S EVE BOTTOMLESS BUBBLY SOIREE – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2015: Celebrate the last day of 2015, and ring in the start of the New Year at the annual New Year’s Eve soiree in TY Bar, with festivities beginning at 9:00 pm. Tickets cost USD 2,016 per couple and include one bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne; along with a decadent assortment of delicious canapés, petit fours and mignardises, such as peeky toe crab profiteroles with wasabi aioli, or foie gras sushi with fig mostarda. Guests can also imbibe on bottomless champagne at the ice bar installed at the mezzanine. Complete with live music, dancing, festive party favors and a live broadcast of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, the evening will culminate in a champagne toast at midnight to ring in the start of the New Year. A separate high-end caviar offering and elegant champagne and drink list will be available to order. With room pricing starting from USD 1,295, guests can end their night at Four Seasons Hotel New York, or can arrange round-trip chauffeur rides for the evening with their partnering car service.

NEW YEAR’S DAY BRUNCH – FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 2016, 12:00 NOON TO 2:30 PM: After a long night of celebrating, start the day right by indulging in The Garden’s New Year’s Day “Recovery” brunch menu. Star dishes such as rich brie stuffed french toast with holiday berry compote and holiday hanger steak with eggs any style, along with a build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar, will give guests the energy needed for the day ahead. Try out the housemade tomatillo cilantro juice for a green twist or sample the house cucumber-infused vodka for an alternative take on the classic Bloody Mary. If not a fan of Bloody Marys, no need to worry — all brunch entrees come with a choice of a Blood Orange Mimosa or a glass of Prosecco.

For reservation inquiries, call +1 844 760 6347, or book online.

Regal Entertainment Group Announces Cyber Monday Gift Card Offer

Regal Entertainment Group, one of the leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announces a special Cyber Monday offer will be available on Monday, November 30. For every $50 a Regal guest spends on eGift Cards, the purchaser will receive a $15 Concessions eGift Card for free. With a raft of (potential) blockbuster movies opening soon (Star Wars, anyone?), this is the ideal gift for all the movie fans in the family.

Regal Entertainment Group announces Cyber Monday eGift Card offer: Buy $50 in eGift Cards and receive a $15 ePromotional Concessions Card for free. Source: Regal Entertainment Group. (PRNewsFoto/Regal Entertainment Group)

Regal Entertainment Group announces Cyber Monday eGift Card offer: Buy $50 in eGift Cards and receive a $15 ePromotional Concessions Card for free. Source: Regal Entertainment Group. (PRNewsFoto/Regal Entertainment Group)

This buy $50 and get $15 free deal is for one day only. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, November 30, Regal fans can purchase eGift Cards online at Regal eGift Cards are a great holiday gift for anyone and are easily sent via email. The eGift Card can arrive instantly or be scheduled for a specific delivery date via email, so there are no shipping charges. Each eGift Card can be customized for your recipients by adding a custom email message, choosing your favorite design, or uploading your own photograph for a unique gift. Regal eGift Cards can be used at any Edwards, United Artists or Regal Cinemas across the country and they have no expiration date.

Regal Entertainment Group (PRNewsFoto/Regal Entertainment Group)

Regal Entertainment Group (PRNewsFoto/Regal Entertainment Group)

Regal also offers discount movie ticket programs for organizations, companies, groups and individuals who may benefit from buying movie tickets in large quantities.

Black Friday Steal from Josie Maran, Available Exclusively at Sephora and

With all the Black Friday Deals already available to you, I would like to also add Josie Maran’s Black Friday Deal launching this Friday for just $10. Josie Maran’s new Argan Pure Cleansing Collection consists of a duo of her best cleansing essentials. Suitable for even sensitive skin, the products are completely free from harmful ingredients, insuring they never irritate skin. Made with Josie’s 100% Pure Argan Oil, each one is specially formulated to hydrate while they cleanse, leaving your skin luxuriously soft and moisturized.BlackFriday2015

The Argan Pure Cleansing Collection includes:

Argan Cleansing Oil: This unique formula self-heats to deliver the best possible cleaning power. Rich and never greasy, the oil melts away makeup and impurities while providing intense hydration that leaves skin soft and velvety. To use, simply apply the oil even across your dry face, and then add water and massage into a rich milk. Rinse away for clean, purified skin.

Bear Naked Wipes: Remove makeup even when you’re on the go with these gentle yet powerful wipes. Made from a soothing blend of aloe vera, chamomile, and cucumber, the formula is enriched with Vitamin E to fortify skin with every use. Each wipe is biodegradable and completely free from synthetic fragrances or parabens, making it safe for even the most sensitive skin.

Clean skin doesn’t have to be dry. I designed these two purifiers to moisturize skin as they clean, leaving your skin soft, supple, and flawlessly hydrated.” – Josie Maran

The Argan Pure Cleansing Collection gift set, which premieres on Friday ay Sephora and online at, will be on sale for $10 (for one day only!) while supplies last. Happy Shopping!

The 2016 Awards Season Has Begun!: 31st Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

$75,000 In Grants To Be Awarded To Filmmakers

Carol” Leads With Six Nominations, Followed by “Spotlight” with Five and “Tangerine” with FourFi_Primary_Logo_RGB_POS

Spirit Awards To Be Broadcast Live Exclusively On IFC, Saturday, February 27, 2016 2:00 Pm Pt / 5:00 Pm ET

Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced nominations for the 2016 Spirit Awards this morning. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at W Hollywood, with actors John Boyega and Elizabeth Olsen presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Carol, Spotlight and Tangerine.Fi_SpiritAwards_Primary_Logo_RGB_POS

This year’s nominees are a testament to the strength, vitality and diversity of independent, artist-driven filmmaking,” said Welsh. “It’s an astonishingly strong group of films and performances this year and we look forward to celebrating them all at the Spirit Awards.”

Now in its 31st year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.

The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best International Film, Best Documentary and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award and the Truer Than Fiction Award.

Spotlight was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. The Altman Award was created in 2008 in honor of legendary director Robert Altman who was known for creating extraordinary ensemble casts.

Spotlight is a remarkable film that excels on every level, but the Nominating Committee thought it was especially deserving of the Robert Altman Award,” said Welsh. “The film is beautifully cast with every member of the ensemble working together to tell the story of the Boston Globe investigating allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church.FI_SA16_NomineeLaurel


Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Rooney Mara, Carol

Bel Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine


Christopher Abbott, James White

Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation

Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind

Jason Segel, The End of the Tour

Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea


Robin Bartlett, H.

Marin Ireland, Glass Chin

Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa

Cynthia Nixon, James White

Mya Taylor, Tangerine


Kevin Corrigan, Results

Paul Dano, Love & Mercy

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk

Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Anomalisa: Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts of No Nation: Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Carol: Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley

Spotlight: Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Tangerine: Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou

BEST FIRST FEATURE – Award given to the director and producer.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Director: Marielle Heller. Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

James White, Director: Josh Mond. Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schultz

Manos Sucias, Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka. Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes

Mediterranea, Director: Jonas Carpignano. Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias

Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao. Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded. Continue reading