Using Our Competencies and Compassion to Defeat HIV

Elena Thomas Faulkner, JSI, shares how this year’s USCA challenges us to move forward in the fight against HIV “with new hope and energy” and why we must remember that we can’t eliminate HIV without continuing to address the stigma and challenges that have nothing to do with the exciting emerging science of HIV treatment. The focus on the most vulnerable, and the competencies, compassion, and advocacy that have brought us this far in the fight are just as important as we move toward a future in which HIV is defeated.

Integration in Rome: NUMAT’s take on the 6th International AIDS Conference

Andrew Alyao Ocero is the Director of Clinical Services on JSI’s Northern Uganda Malaria AIDS and Tuberculosis (NUMAT) Program. In this blog, Dr. Ocero calls Rome a theatrical backdrop to the IAS 2011 conference’s grand three day performance, where findings of landmark clinical trials were put on show, studies were debated, and challenges and innovations were hashed out. He and fellow participating NUMAT staff noted the clear message that implementation science needs to become part and parcel of strategies aimed at strengthening health service delivery, took away a greater appreciation of the ways stronger referral mechanisms and more comprehensive MCH and FP services can attract more HIV clients to use services, and were given pause by two papers presented at the conference which put a caveat on assumptions about service integration as a panacea for improved HIV care.

The Nexus of HIV Prevention and Care

Arguing, bantering, and…throwing paper balls at each other?! Read more from Juli Powers about one HIV care strategy session at the 2011 National HIV Prevention Conference, and why things are different this year.

HIV Prevention: A New Beginning?

Stewart Landers writes from the 2011 National HIV Prevention Conference, “It feels a bit ironic to be blogging for the first time from the National HIV Prevention Conference on the same day that the Boston Globe publicized the drastic budget cuts that the Massachusetts HIV/AIDS Office has made to its very successful HIV prevention programs. At the same time, the notion of “a new beginning” for HIV prevention, despite the new austerity, has been very much at the heart of the opening day of this meeting.”

Youth, Mobile, and Health at Sex::Tech 2011

Mobile health is a hot topic. Youth want to access health information quickly and easily, especially when it comes to HIV. This could be anything from learning what HIV is, to answering a question about how it’s transmitted, to finding an HIV testing site nearby. And youth can (and do!) do this with cell phones. Mindy Nichamin at JSI writes about AIDS.gov’s participation in two recent conferences: Sex::Tech and Mobile Health 2011.

Coffee, Popcorn, Soup and HIV: Reducing vulnerability to malnutrition and food insecurity among households affected by HIV in Ethiopia

It is 11:00 a.m. at the antiretroviral therapy (ART) unit of Gandhi Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Women have been arriving slowly over the last two hours for their monthly coffee ceremony discussion. The reception area is transformed—condoms and pamphlets swept off the table to make way for a colorful tablecloth and a bowl of flowers. Popcorn is popping, coffee brewing, and the aromas of coffee, popcorn, and incense mingle in the air. Smiles appear on the women’s faces as they enter the room and rekindle their monthly friendships.

At Last

It is deceptively simple: a glossy white cover with gold letters, the seal of the President, and some words on paper. This is the first time in nearly three decades that the United States, one of the leaders in HIV, has a national strategy to address the epidemic. On this day, take a moment to celebrate this profound achievement. Read the strategy. We are all reflected in it. We all have a place.

Putting Children First in Zimbabwe

More than a symbolic action, really listening to children about their needs helps shape decision-making in support of orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe. Susan Kajura, director of the Children First program there shares some small scale actions yielding big positive results.

WASHing Up: Making Health Care Facilities Safer for People Living with HIV

This is a special blog on HIV and water written for Blog Action Day 2010. People living with HIV (PLWH) have compromised immunity, which means that they are highly susceptible to waterborne infections. Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene can spread diseases that cause such life-threatening symptoms as diarrhea, which can be especially lethal to PLWH. The good news is that, even in the most remote locations, individuals and health care facilities can take simple measures to prevent infections.

Many Hands: How to Reach HIV Positive Youth

In my community, youth are still unable to access youth-friendly HIV services. I believe communities like mine can empower HIV-positive youth who choose to be open about their HIV status by providing self-esteem training; supporting them to establish youth-centered positive prevention clubs; educating them on condom use, then making protection supplies available; and finally by linking them to existing youth centers and youth organizations to access reproductive health and HIV services.