December 1 is World AIDS Day. There are approximately 1,462 people estimated to be living in Maine with diagnosed HIV infection. In addition, Maine CDC estimates that about 388 people in Maine may be infected but unaware of their HIV status. Worldwide, more than 33 million people are estimated to be living with HIV. For more information on World AIDS Day: http://www.aids.gov/world-aids-day/ For more information on HIV/AIDS in Maine: www.mainepublichealth.gov/hivstdhep
Since mid-July, health care providers in Maine have diagnosed 19 cases of early syphilis, ages 19-56, in Cumberland, Penobscot, Waldo and York Counties. Eleven cases were primary syphilis, 5 cases were secondary syphilis, and 3 cases were early latent syphilis. All 19 cases were among men who have sex with men (MSM). Eight of the 19 individuals (42%) are known to be HIV positive. A total of 33 cases of early syphilis have been reported since the beginning of the calendar year. For more information, see this Health Alert: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=DHHS-HAN&id=152027&v=alert
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the results of an international clinical trial, co-sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that examined whether a pill containing two drugs used to treat HIV can also help prevent HIV infection – an approach called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. The trial found that daily oral use of Truvada ® provided an average of 44 percent additional protection to trial participants that included gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), as well as transgendered women who have sex with men. These participants also received a comprehensive package of prevention services that included monthly HIV testing, condom provision, counseling, and management of other sexually transmitted infections.
US CDC will fully review the trial data and publish interim guidance in the coming weeks in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, to be followed in several months by formal U.S. Public Health Service guidelines. The agency urges individuals and their doctors to await those guidelines before use. For more information, please refer to the PrEP fact sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/PrEPforHIVFactSheet.html
This blog has additional information from the White House.
Save the date for the sixth annual Comprehensive Sexuality Education Conference, which will be held April 7 at the Augusta Civic Center. It is sponsored by: Family Planning Association of Maine; Maine Department of Education, Maine CDC; New Beginnings; University of Maine at Farmington; and the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.