The CDC and HIV.gov Outlines New Information in the Battle to Fight AIDS/HIV in The United States

World AIDS Day 2019 #WAD2019

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end the HIV epidemic in the United States. Now is the time.

World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988. Each year, on December 1, organizations and individuals across the world work to bring attention to the continuing HIV epidemic, endeavoring to increase HIV awareness and knowledge, speak out against HIV stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America.

HIV in America

Collective efforts over many years at the local, state, and federal levels have successfully increased the proportion of people living with HIV who know their status and who are in care and receiving HIV treatment. In addition, our collective efforts have reduced new HIV infections to the lowest level ever. But, progress is slowing and new threats to our continued progress have emerged.

According to the latest available data, in 2017, 38,739 people received an HIV diagnosis in the United States. [1] That annual number of new diagnoses has remained essentially stable since 2013. Further, approximately 15% (or 1 in 7) of the estimated 1.1 million people with HIV in the U.S. don’t know they have it. These data make clear that not all people who need them are benefitting from the proven HIV prevention and treatment tools currently available. Specifically, certain populations and geographic areas continue to bear a disproportionate burden of HIV disease, requiring us to sharpen the focus of our collective prevention efforts on:

  • Gay and bisexual men who are the population most affected by HIV in all regions of the country. In 2017, gay and bisexual men accounted for 66% ( 25,748) of all HIV diagnoses and 82% of diagnoses among males. [2]
  • African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos who are disproportionately affected by HIV. African Americans account for only 13% of the population, but 43 % of HIV diagnoses in 2017. [3] Hispanics/Latinos account for only 18% of the population, but 26% of HIV diagnoses in 2017.
  • Southern states accounted for 52% of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in 2017. Southern states account for just 38% of the U.S. population, so HIV diagnoses are not evenly distributed regionally in the United States. Further, in the South the impact of HIV is greater than in any other region. The latest data tells us that 51% of annual HIV infections, 46% of persons with HIV, and 51% of undiagnosed HIV infections were found in the South.

Knowledge of HIV status is the entry point to linkage to receiving effective care and treatment for those who test positive, helping them to stay healthy and prevent new HIV infections. A person with HIV who takes HIV medicine daily as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed [having very low levels of HIV present in the body, known as a low viral load] can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.

Despite these outstanding benefits of HIV treatment, the latest data tells us that among all adults and adolescents with HIV in the U.S., only: [4]

  • 63% received some HIV medical care,
  • 49% were retained in continuous HIV care, and
  • 51% had achieved viral suppression (having a very low level of the virus as a result of treatment). [5]

Knowledge of HIV status is also an entry point to prevention services for those who test negative. Today’s highly effective HIV prevention tools include pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, a daily pill which reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. However, fewer than 10% of Americans who could benefit from PrEP have been prescribed it.

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Kiehl’s Since 1851 Embarks On Ninth Annual LifeRide For amfAR

Motorcycle Riding Influencers Ride Through Southern California to Raise Awareness and Funds to Help Find a Cure for AIDS

Kiehl’s Since 1851, the venerable New York-based purveyor of fine quality skin and hair care continues its long-standing commitment to supporting HIV/AIDS charities, with its enduring partnership with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the ninth annual charity motorcycle ride, Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR, Aug. 6-Aug. 10, 2018.

Conceived by the company’s history with motorcycles and its philanthropic heritage, the Ninth Annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR continues the brand’s commitment to supporting HIV/AIDS organizations and will heighten awareness and raise funds for amfAR’s quest to end HIV/AIDS.logo

This year, the charity ride blankets Southern California over 5 days and will rally with the public at 8 stores along the route, where the public is invited to meet the riders, learn more about amfAR, and contribute to the non-profit.

Chris Salgardo, Kiehl’s Brand Ambassador and Kevin Robert Frost, CEO, amfAR will ride from Los Angeles to San Diego, with Gilles Marini, actor, Days of Our Lives, tattoo artist Luke Wessman, top men’s style influencer, Blake Scott, and music

kiehls-since-1851-limited-edition-ultimate-strength-hand-salve.jpg

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Limited Edition Ultimate Strength Hand Salve: 100% of the purchase price from the sale of Kiehl’s Limited Edition Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, up to $25,000, will benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Available for $28.50 at all Kiehl’s retail stores, Kiehls.com and specialty store partners nationwide.

photographer Travis Shinn.

And, as these riders make their way through Southern California, this year supporters will be able to ride along with them, courtesy of CycleBar. The premium indoor cycling brand will be offering Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR classes in select CycleBar studios nationwide, and Kiehl’s will donate $30 per bike in one of these classes, as part of its overall donation to amfAR. (To sign up at a CycleBar studio near you, please visit http://www.cyclebar.com/kiehlsrideforaidsresearch.) Continue reading

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness Will Join SMIRNOFF™ Vodka at the 2018 NYC Pride March

In Honor of LGBTQ Pride month and Inclusivity for all, SMIRNOFF Vodka Pledges to Donate an Additional One Million Dollars to the Human Rights Campaign in Support of the LGBTQ Community

This Sunday, SMIRNOFF™ vodka continues its decades of support for the LGBTQ community by partnering with Queer Eye television personality, hairdresser, web series star and podcaster, Jonathan Van Ness, to bring love in all its forms to life at the NYC Pride March. From dancing in the streets with SMIRNOFF drag queens to self-love selfies to strutting alongside marchers up Fifth Avenue, Van Ness will join the brand at the 2018 Pride March to encourage people everywhere to show their support for equality and love of all kinds.

SMIRNOFF-Pride-Logo

Smirnoff logo

SMIRNOFF is all about inclusivity and democratizing fun times for everyone, which totally speaks to me as a member of the LGBTQ community,” said Van Ness. “I could not be more excited to join SMIRNOFF for this year’s New York City Pride March. It truly is the ultimate celebration of love and equality for all, and once you add SMIRNOFF into the mix it becomes one big, fabulous, inclusive party. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!

SMIRNOFF’s Pride March celebration is meant to showcase that Pride comes in all different flavors, shapes, and colors. To celebrate PRIDE loud and proud, SMIRNOFF will have a large presence in this Sunday’s New York City Pride March. The brand has proudly participated in the parade since 2013, but is prepared to make this the biggest year yet with an over-the-top float, that is bold and inspiring, just like the LGBTQ community, in celebration of love in all its forms and “Pride in Every Flavor.” In addition to Jonathan van Hess as its host, the brand will also host 200 marchers, electrifying special guests will be performing along the parade route to get the crowd excited and engaged. In addition to New York City, SMIRNOFF is excited to bring its celebration of “Pride in Every Flavor” to Pride Marches in San Francisco, Atlanta, San Diego and more.

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SMIRNOFF ‘Love Wins’ bottles

SMIRNOFF originally launched its “Love Wins” campaign in May 2017 with its limited-edition “Love Wins” bottle packaging for SMIRNOFF No. 21 vodka. Now, in 2018, the “Love Wins” bottles are back and are available nationwide for a limited time. Inside each bottle is the iconic SMIRNOFF No. 21 vodka, triple distilled and ten-times filtered, from the world’s most awarded name in vodka in the last ten years. As a brand that has supported the LGBTQ community for several decades, and was honored alongside DIAGEO with the prestigious 2018 Corporate Equality Award by the HRC this past February, SMIRNOFF is proud to continue to support love in all its forms.

SMIRNOFF’s redesigned 2018 “Love Wins” bottles feature the newly updated, special-edition bottle packaging, which highlights 34 real LGBTQ couples from across the United States. Each couple featured on the 2018 packaging submitted their photos through the brand’s website last year for a chance to be a part of the SMIRNOFF “Love Wins” campaign. Jessica & Whitney from Alabama, whose story began with a simple Facebook message, and Jeremy and Wutichai from Washington, D.C., who met while volunteering for the Peace Corps in Thailand, are just some of the real couples featured on the new bottles currently on shelves across the United States. Every SMIRNOFF “Love Wins” bottle is unique, with a different set of photographs that display real love and real people, along with its iridescent rainbow aesthetic and LGBTQ SMIRNOFF logo.

SMIRNOFF-From-Whipped-Cream

SMIRNOFF’s Ad Creative

In addition to the brand’s partnership with Van Ness, SMIRNOFF has also announced an increased commitment to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), with a pledge to donate $1 for every SMIRNOFF “Love Wins” bottle made to the HRC for a minimum of one million dollars over three years, starting in 2019. These funds will go towards supporting local HRC events to drive awareness of the fight for LGBTQ equality and help empower those who are leading that fight for equality in HRC’s 32 volunteer-led local steering committees in communities across the country. Continue reading

David Wojnarowicz Retrospective At The Whitney Explores The Enduring Resonance Of An Artist Who Merged The Personal And The Political

This summer, the most complete presentation to date of the work of artist, writer, and activist David Wojnarowicz will be on view in a full-scale retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art. David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night is the first major re-evaluation since 1999 of one of the most fervent and essential voices of his generation.

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David Wojnarowicz with Tom Warren, Self-Portrait of David Wojnarowicz, 1983–84. Acrylic and collaged paper on gelatin silver print, 60 × 40 in. (152.4 × 101.6 cm). Collection of Brooke Garber Neidich and Daniel Neidich, Photograph by Ron Amstutz. (The exhibition is organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, and David Kiehl, Curator Emeritus, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.)

Opening at the Whitney on July 13 and running through September 30, David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night features more than a hundred works by the artist and is organized by two Whitney curators, David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, and David Kiehl, Curator Emeritus. The exhibition, which will be installed in the Museum’s fifth floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries through September 30, draws upon the scholarly resources of the Fales Library and Special Collections (NYU), the repository of Wojnarowicz’s archive, and is also built on the foundation of the Whitney’s extensive holdings of Wojnarowicz’s work, including thirty works from the Museum’s collection. It will travel to the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, in May 2019, and to Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City, in November 2019.

Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked, “Since his death more than twenty-five years ago, David Wojnarowicz has become an almost mythic figure, haunting, inspiring, and calling to arms subsequent generations through his inseparable artistic and political examples. This retrospective will enable so many to confront for the first time, or anew, the groundbreaking multidisciplinary body of work on which his legacy actually stands.”

Beginning in the late 1970s, David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) created a body of work that spanned photography, painting, music, film, sculpture, writing, performance, and activism. Joining a lineage of iconoclasts, Wojnarowicz (pronounced Voyna-ROW-vich) saw the outsider as his true subject. His mature period began with a series of photographs and collages that honored—and placed himself among—consummate countercultural figures like Arthur Rimbaud, William Burroughs, and Jean Genet. Even as he became well-known in the East Village art scene for his mythological paintings, Wojnarowicz remained committed to writing personal essays. Queer and HIV-positive, Wojnarowicz became an impassioned advocate for people with AIDS at a time when an inconceivable number of friends, lovers, and strangers—disproportionately gay men—were dying from the disease and from government inaction.

After hitchhiking across the U.S. and living for several months in San Francisco, and then in Paris, David Wojnarowicz settled in New York in 1978 and soon after began to exhibit his work in East Village galleries. Largely self-taught, Wojnarowicz came to prominence in New York in the 1980s, a period marked by great creative energy and profound cultural changes. Intersecting movements—graffiti, new and no wave music, conceptual photography, performance, neo-expressionist painting—made New York a laboratory for innovation. Unlike many artists, Wojnarowicz refused a signature style, adopting a wide variety of techniques with an attitude of radical possibility. Distrustful of inherited structures, a feeling amplified by the resurgence of conservative politics, Wojnarowicz varied his repertoire to better infiltrate the culture.

His essay for the catalog accompanying the exhibition Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing (curated by Nan Goldin at Artists Space in 1989–90) came under fire for its vitriolic attack on politicians and leaders who were preventing AIDS treatment and awareness. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) threatened to defund the exhibition, and Wojnarowicz fought against this and for the first amendment rights of artists. Continue reading

Three Major AIDS Advocacy and Education Organizations Announces New Series of Financial Grants In The United States

 

In An Expanded Partnership, The Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, And The Aileen Getty Foundation Announce New Series Of Collaborative Grants Toward Ending AIDS In The Southern United States.

12 Organizations Across The Region Will Receive $625,000 In Support To Address The Epidemic Through Advocacy And Wide-Ranging Services

The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) announced an expanded series of grants aimed at ending the AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States—in particular, its disproportionate impact on young people and communities of color.

Elton John AIDS Foundation Logo

The Elton John AIDS Foundation logo

Sir Elton John created EJAF 25 years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through the generous support of far-sighted individuals, foundations, and corporations, the two foundations together have raised more than $400 million over the past quarter-century to challenge discrimination against people affected by the epidemic, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and

The Aileen Getty Foundation logo

The Aileen Getty Foundation logo

contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS.

This new effort—the fourth round of annual grants made jointly with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation —features an additional coalition partner, the Aileen Getty Foundation. Aileen Getty, a pioneering philanthropist whose generosity is motivated by her own experience living with HIV, brings to the partnership a passion for comprehensive, empathetic advocacy to address HIV/AIDS, addiction, mental health challenges, and homelessness.

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation logo

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation logo

Getty’s support expands the total financial heft of this partnership by a third to include four new grantees, delivering a total of $625,000 in resources to 12 organizations. The closely-aligned missions of EJAF, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, and the Aileen Getty Foundation make the collaboration a natural one and sharpen the partnership’s philanthropic focus on communities most in need. (Read a complete list of grant recipients and descriptions from the partnership.)

We’re thrilled to have the Aileen Getty Foundation join our existing partners at The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, making this one of the largest philanthropic partnerships addressing AIDS in the Southern United States,” said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. “By bringing particular focus on the needs and aspirations of young people and communities of color, and by delivering support to community-rooted organizations that have been engaging the epidemic for years, this partnership has incredible potential to reduce transmissions, improve quality of life, and speed the South’s progress toward an AIDS-free generation. Continue reading

Elton John AIDS Foundation Announces Bold New Funding Initiatives To Combat HIV Epidemics in the U.S. and in Eastern Europe/Central Asia

The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced new funding initiatives to increase advocacy and service delivery for people living with and at-risk for HIV and hepatitis C.

In the U.S., EJAF will be launching a new funding initiative to address HIV in Black gay men and transgender individuals, building on our years of experience and support in fighting AIDS in these communities. In Eastern Europe, EJAF will launch the Key Populations Fund for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA KP Fund), focused on prevention and treatment of HIV and hepatitis C for individuals most vulnerable to the HIV epidemic in the region: people who use drugs, sex workers, and gay and bisexual men in the region.

Elton John AIDS Foundation Logo

Elton John AIDS Foundation logo (PRNewsFoto/Elton John AIDS Foundation)

Although Black gay and bisexual men account for one in 500 people living in the U.S., they make up nearly one in four new HIV infections and one in six Americans living with HIV. One in four Black gay and bisexual men are already infected with HIV by the time they reach age 25, and one in two will become HIV-positive in their lifetimes. An estimated overall 21% of transgender individuals are infected with HIV in the U.S. and that number is approximately three times higher among Black transgender people.

Over the past three years, EJAF-US has invested more than $6.6 million in organizations working to change the course of the epidemic in Black communities of gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals. Through this new initiative, EJAF’s goal will be a more intensive focus to support community mobilization to develop programs and advocacy to:

  • Reduce new infection rates through support for innovative community-based programs to increase access to and use of HIV prevention and testing services.
  • Reduce AIDS-related illness and death through support for advocacy and community-based service delivery to improve engagement in health care and earlier access to HIV treatment and care.
  • Confront racism, homophobia, and transphobia as key drivers of HIV infection and disease.

The U.S. program will reach an anticipated 5,000 HIV-positive Black gay men and transgender individuals to learn about their HIV status and get linked to health care, social services, and treatment. Another estimated 10,000 will receive HIV prevention services including access to PrEP. Support for advocacy will seek increased coverage for PrEP through Medicaid and ADAP programs and expansion of state Medicaid programs to provide HIV treatment to thousands of Black gay men and transgender individuals across the U.S. One key aspect of this new initiative will be to engage leadership from Black gay and transgender communities to help set priorities and strategies for this funding and to support community mobilization through the funding process as well as through the grants themselves. This will be the largest private funding initiative specifically supporting Black gay and transgender communities in history.

The EECA KP Fund will address the needs of key populations in the region. Over three years, the Fund will reach an estimated 20,000 people with HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. Mirroring a current Fund that EJAF runs for LGBT populations in countries in Africa where homosexuality is criminalized, the EECA KP Fund will also include a Rapid Response element to address emergencies, including the physical safety of people living with HIV. The EECA Key Populations Fund will also develop “Lighthouse” grants that support HIV and hepatitis C care within the public health system.

Funding for the new initiatives will be supported by EJAF and include financial contributions from Gilead Sciences. Gilead will also provide a donation of hepatitis C products to the EECA Fund to help cure 5,000 patients – a critical contribution in a region where up to 97% of people living with HIV are co-infected with hepatitis C.

Our new funding initiative in the U.S. has the potential to substantially change the course of the HIV epidemic among Black gay men and transgender individuals by supporting the leadership and organizations within those communities,” said Scott Campbell, Executive Director of EJAF-US.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, over 1.5 million people are living with HIV. New HIV infections in the region have increased by over 50% since 2010. People who inject drugs, sex workers, and gay men make up over 96% of those infected. Over 75% of people living with HIV in EECA are not on treatment. Co-infections with hepatitis C are also widespread with an estimated 60 – 97% of people living with HIV who inject drugs co-infected with hepatitis C, depending on the country.

The HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, particularly in Russia and Ukraine, remains the fastest growing in the world,” said Anne Aslett, Executive Director of EJAF-UK. “As other donors have withdrawn from the region, EJAF remains committed to supporting people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, and sex workers throughout the region to improve their health and protect their human rights. The EECA KP Fund is the first initiative of its kind. It aims not only to save the lives of thousands of very vulnerable people but to introduce new ways of addressing and scaling up response to the region’s expanding epidemic.”

EJAF Founder Sir Elton John said. “These investments will make a measurable difference at a pivotal moment by connecting people most vulnerable to HIV to the care they need and the compassion they deserve.”

Art News: The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994

STEPHEN BARKER, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994”

Exhibition dates: September 14 – October 28, 2017

Daniel Cooney Fine Art (508-526 West 26th Street, Suite 9C, New York, NY 10001, 212 255 8158. dan@danielcooneyfineart.com. Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 6) is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of photographs, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994“, by renowned photographer Stephen Barker. The exhibit will showcase approximately 15 never before seen black and white photographic portraits of AIDS activists – in the studio and at home – taken by Barker during his time working within the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) 1991-1994, and Barker’s unique artist’s book Funeral March, which chronicles the carrying of Mark Fisher’s body in an open coffin from Judson Church, up Sixth Avenue, to the steps of the Republican National Committee on the eve of the presidential election in 1992.

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Barker became involved with ACT UP in the late 80s working primarily with the needle exchange program. The photographs were never intended as an encyclopedic project, but rather the portraits evolved organically out of Barker’s working relationships, friendships, and intimacies. The exhibition is especially timely during this 30th anniversary year of ACT UP when once again all underserved communities, including those living with HIV/AIDS, are threatened by our own government. It is a call to arms for activism and a reminder of the distance we have traveled and battles we have won.

Stephen Barker, 'Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,' 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

Stephen Barker, ‘Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,’ 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

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