HIVE in the Media
Despite the threat of a nationwide blood shortage because of the pandemic, many gay and bisexual men are still being turned away when they volunteer to give blood, even if they meet federal donor criteria.
Recently, the New York Times published a feature about the racial and generational divide in the reproductive health and justice movements. The article focused on the ways in which Black and Brown women and non-binary people are excluded from prevailing narratives around the fight to protect Roe, while ignoring the very urgent and intersecting issues that affect their lives. I was one of the women interviewed and, after the piece was published, I found that much of the backlash was defensive; many people painted me and the young women of color interviewed as out of touch with the feminist movement, instead of embracing the opportunity in intersectional approaches.
Some Gen Z and millennial women said they viewed abortion rights as important but less urgent than other social justice causes. Others said racial disparities in reproductive health must be a focus.
Violence against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants has surged in response to COVID-19. Anti-Chinese rhetoric and racist misinformation spews from the top leaders of the U.S. as Asian communities are vilified as scapegoats for Trump’s “Chinese virus.” Racial health inequities, leading to disproportionate deaths in communities of color, intensify with each passing day. All of this is occurring amid a backdrop of pre-existing structurally racist policies fueling and deepening public health crises, including the state-sanctioned police violence which continues to terrorize and Black lives every day, with the recent examples being the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.
More than 500 doctors, researchers and public health specialists are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to eliminate constraints on blood donations by gay and bisexual men, saying the agency did not go far enough when it relaxed its restrictions earlier this month.
Working remotely when your kids are home from school ain’t exactly a cakewalk. Whether you’re in school, or have a desk job, there’s work to be done and if you have one kid or many, it can feel batsh*t crazy trying to get anything done with them in the house.
In an effort to protect patients and staff from exposure to COVID-19, and to conserve critical equipment and supplies, the U.S. Surgeon General and American College of Surgeons have recommended restrictions or eliminations on “elective” surgeries.
But abortion rights advocates fear this declaration may adversely impact abortion access.
While hospitals and urgent care centers across the country brace themselves for an onslaught of patients seeking testing or treatment for the novel coronavirus, another segment of the health care field is preparing to continue as normal operations as possible.
Recent data reveals that San Francisco refers Black and Latino families to Child Protective Services (CPS) custody at a higher rate than Caucasian families. In the city of San Francisco, there are 208 allegations of child maltreatment per 1,000 children—with many referrals originating at Zuckerberg San Francisco General (SFGH). SFGH is the largest safety-net hospital in the area and about 1,000 babies are born there every year. Currently, there is no protocol in place within the hospital to provide guidance to clinicians or social workers around involving CPS in a patient’s case. Furthermore, there is no mechanism for departmental oversight of referrals to CPS and many patients perceive bias and racism to be at play in their CPS referrals.
In October, estimated GFR (eGFR) reporting was modified by the laboratory at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Whereas previously eGFR was reported as two separate values i.e. “if African American” or “if non African American,” these two values are now reported as a range with the clinical note: “Patients with more muscle mass and better nutritional status are more likely to be on the higher end of this range.” This change was made in an effort to reduce medical errors and improve health equity at our hospital and affiliated clinics.
Participants in a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) trial comparing TDF/FTC (Truvada) with a look-alike dummy pill aimed to take two pills 2 to 24 hours before sex, one pill 24 hours after the first two pills, and one pill 24 hours after the third pill.
Dr. Monica Hahn co-authored a piece called “Special Considerations: The Care of Women and Gender Variant Patients Living with HIV” in the October 2018 issue of HIV Specialist Magazine.
In honor of Father’s Day, we sat down with Shannon Weber, M.S.W., executive director of HIVE and Guy Vandenberg, M.S.W., RN, with the Positive Reproduction Options for Men (PRO Men) project of HIVE and Ward 86 in San Francisco.
Although men who have sex with other men are still most susceptible to HIV in the U.S., women nonetheless made up 19 percent of new diagnoses in 2016. Black women specifically are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for 61 percent of women living with the disease and 19 percent of new diagnoses, while making up only about 7 percent of the population.
The Chancellor Award for Public Service in the staff category was awarded to Shannon Weber, who has worked steadfastly on HIV prevention, care and treatment projects.
The prescription of HIV-prevention pills has lagged, and negative biases towards patients could help explain why.
It’s good news for HIV-affected couples and those who treat them: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is, at long last, truly up-to-date on its HIV-affected conception guidance.
Family planning clinics provide key access points for many women to learn about and obtain PrEP. By incorporating PrEP services into family planning care, family planning providers have the opportunity to meet women’s expectations, ensure women are aware of and offered comprehensive HIV prevention options, and reverse emerging disparities in PrEP access.
Caroline Watson, who serves as the social justice and communications coordinator for UCSF’s HIVE clinic and program, was honored as a 2018 recipient of the Heroes & Hearts Award during an event at AT&T Park.
The 2018 heroes are Karen Aguilar, Lead Patient Navigator of Gender Health SF at San Francisco Department of Public Health, and Caroline Watson, Social Justice and Communications Coordinator at ZSFG’s HIVE.
In a Rare Series of Candid Conversations, Three Women of Color Open Up About Their Decisions to Take PrEP, the Challenges They Faced Along the Way, and the Impact Their Stories are Having in Their Communities.
Today, for people living with HIV, treatment of the virus that causes AIDS with antiretroviral therapy allows individuals to live longer, healthier and fuller lives. Among mixed status, or serodifferent, couples – where one partner has HIV and the other does not – suppression of the virus also prevents transmission.
In fact, a recent CDC report published this month notes that three multinational studies following about 3,000 sexually active mixed status couples over many years – where the partner living with HIV was virologically suppressed by ART, and condoms weren’t used – found no cases of transmission of the virus to the partner who didn’t have HIV.
HIVE intern Gaby Sandor blogs about her experiences in the summer of 2017.
HIV-affected couples and individuals who desire children should be offered options for safer conception.
Research demonstrates that “condomless sex” does not necessarily indicate “unprotected sex”: sustained use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to achieve a suppressed viral load in partners living with HIV, known as treatment as prevention (TasP), is associated with zero or near-zero risk of sexual HIV transmission.
Confused by the CDC’s new MMWR? You are not alone. Experts say Treatment as Prevention (TasP), PrEP, and sperm washing are each safe stand-alone safer conception options. Thank you to AAHIVM for promoting science-based reproductive options! #HIVLoveWins #UequalsU
Expert: Long-Awaited CDC HIV Report on Conception Options for Serodiscordant Couples Is Disappointing and Confusing
We’re in the middle of a revolution in our efforts to fight HIV. However, you wouldn’t know it from a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that advises providers about conception when one partner is living with HIV.
Male involvement in reproductive health, defined as conversations between male/female couples regarding pregnancy desires or specific reproductive health interventions, is associated with women’s increased contraceptive use, male partner HIV testing, and condom use.
“Nobody thinks they’re at risk for HIV regardless of what they’re doing, and then you have these layers of shame,” Weber tells Teen Vogue. “So it has to be integrated into a wellness package.”
Many know that digital tools have become indispensable for connecting with many audiences—but we also know that what’s available in the digital realm is always changing. So how do you know what tools are best for your purpose? And how do you plan for your organization’s digital future when the pace of change is so rapid? Recently, we asked colleagues what advice they would give for developing a digital media strategy.
For Caroline Watson, it’s that fear and misinformation that’s spurring her ride. Caroline, who works at a nonprofit that focuses on advancing reproductive and sexual wellness for people with HIV, is riding for her friend, Ryan, who recently began taking medication to treat the illness.
Is pericoital or peri-insemination pre-exposure prophylaxis effective human immunodeficiency prevention for vaginal exposures?
In fact, there has never been a case reported of penile-vaginal HIV transmission in the setting of an undetectable viral load. Therefore, in these studies, HIV prevention was due to treatment as prevention and not subtherapeutically dosed PrEP.
Amidst fear, and with limited medical information about HIV, in 1988 California passed laws criminalizing the behavior of people living with HIV. These HIV criminalization laws have been counterproductive for individuals and public health – creating deep mistrust of public health systems.
HIVE’s Shannon Weber on 10 Percent TV with David Perry, discussing what’s changed in HIV care since the height of the epidemic, and how San Francisco is leading the way. #GettingToZeroSF #HIVLoveWins #TenPercent
Reporter Chloe Lessard of U.C. Berkeley speaks with some Bay Area women who also use PrEP.
HIVE Director Shannon Weber featured in Dutch glossy magazine hello gorgeous!
After initial persecution against those taking Truvada to prevent HIV infection, there’s been a positive shift in attitude toward the drug
Diggs became celibate about four years ago shortly after learning she had an undetectable viral load. She knows that because her load is suppressed the risk of transmission is negligible. But the ignorance and stigma she faces is not worth investing in dead-end hook ups when she wants a relationship, she said.
The HIV justice movement has radical roots. Advocacy, activism and sexual rights birthed this movement that was once about how larger structural systems affect people’s lives and sometimes, lead to their death. Today, on the other hand, transphobia, misogyny, racism and anti-blackness are well and alive within the world of HIV treatment and prevention. This has resulted in marginalized communities (African Americans, Latinos, trans women, cis and trans men who have sex with men/MSM) experiencing high rates of HIV.
Straight or gay, aspiring parents who have HIV in the mix have numerous options for conceiving a child without transmitting the virus.
BETA wanted to distill some of these important findings by asking some prominent San Francisco Bay Area HIV experts to give us their take on the International AIDS Conference. We asked, “What did you find interesting? What did you find exciting? And, what did you learn?”
While stuck in Washington DC traffic, a highly respected HIV researcher and a cab driver have time to chat. Both are Black women. Both are painfully aware of HIV.
PrEP is a disruptive innovation in the HIV prevention dialogue, introducing choice and the possibility for shared decision-making. We have the opportunity to develop a prevention approach responsive to women’s reproductive and sexual preferences and values across a lifetime. Let’s take advantage of it.
One in four U.S. women have experienced gender based violence. Among women living with HIV, one in two has experienced intimate partner violence, and more than 60% have been sexually abused – 5 times the rate of the general female population.
In 1983 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ban on sperm donation from “any men who have had sex with another man in the preceding five years” to prevent HIV transmission to a surrogate or gestational carrier.
More and more, individuals are learning about the potential impact of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). As awareness grows, so does the number of individuals seeking providers with whom they can discuss this highly effective HIV-prevention tool.
Three existing initiatives, New York State’s End AIDS NY 2020, Washington State’s End AIDS Washington, and the City of San Francisco’s Getting to Zero SF, gathered in conversation to discuss similarities and differences in their approaches as well as spark dialogue with other jurisdictions contemplating their own initiatives. Here is some of what was discovered.
“PrEP is something revolutionary for everyone, but essential for gay and bisexual youth; so many [young people] are exposed to STIs and HIV simply due to lack of information about PrEP. ‘A pill a day will keep HIV away’, I like to tell my friends.”
The report focuses on what Black communities need to know about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and other new biomedical HIV prevention tools.
The focus group conversations gripped me. I could not sleep at night, wrestling with the stories of trauma, shame and guilt the men shared. As the stories rattled me and the focus group participants, a new narrative began to unfold: reclaiming an old story of HIV to creating a new horizon of possibility and hope.
The babies’ father, Aiden*, is HIV positive (a fact that remains unknown to most of the couple’s loved ones), but with medication, Zoey was able to remain virus-free and successfully conceive and deliver two perfectly healthy babies with Aiden.