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FDA Reduces Gay Blood Donation Ban to 1 Year After Sex, Critics Say It's Still Discriminatory

On May 12 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance stating that men who have sex with men should wait to donate blood until 12 months after their last sexual contact with another man. This is an improvement over the previous policy of lifetime deferral, but some advocates argue that the new regulations still discriminate against gay and bisexual men.

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May 19 is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Tuesday, May 19, marks the annual observation of National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, an occasion to increase awareness of HIV within these communities and stress the importance of testing, care, and treatment.

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BHIVA 2015: People Who Don't Reveal HIV Status Have as Good Health Outcomes as Those Who Do

A large survey of people attending HIV clinics in the UK has found that individuals who chose not to disclose their HIV status to other people were no more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety, to have difficulty adhering to antiretroviral therapy (AR), or to have worse HIV outcomes, according to research presented at the British HIV Association (BHIVA) annual meeting last month in Brighton. 

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May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, an annual opportunity to call attention to progress in vaccine science and the need for further research on both preventive vaccines that stop new HIV infections and therapeutic vaccines that help the immune system fight existing infection.

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BHIVA 2015: Undiagnosed HIV Infections Picked Up When Testing People with Other Medical Conditions

A Europe-wide project offering HIV tests to hospital patients with glandular fever symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, a low white blood cell count, a low platelet count, or pneumonia has found that over 3% of tested patients had previously undiagnosed HIV, according to a presentation at the British HIV Association (BHIVA) annual meeting last month in Brighton. This significantly exceeds the level of 0.1% HIV prevalence at which routine HIV testing interventions are considered to be cost-effective. 

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Study Suggests Truvada PrEP Should Start 1 Week Before and Continue 4 Weeks After Sex

An intensive pharmacokinetic study of tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) showed that blood and rectal drugs levels corresponding to high PrEP activity for men who have sex with men (MSM) are reached after about 1 week of daily dosing and appear to remain adequate for several days after the last pill, according to a report in the March 1 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. It is not known, however, whether this dosing schedule would work as well for women or other groups.

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BHIVA 2015: HIV+ Men on Antiretroviral Treatment Have Undetectable Rectal Viral Load

A small study assessing the infectiousness of HIV-positive gay men taking antiretroviral therapy has found that all study participants had an undetectable viral load in the rectum, according to a presentation at the British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference last week in Brighton. Men who had rectal gonhorrea or chlamydia did not have detectable virus either, suggesting that concerns about sexually transmitted infections raising the risk of HIV transmission may be unfounded when people are taking effective HIV treatment.

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