A Quick Look at Strategies Helping Us End the Epidemic

Can you explain how we’re going to end the HIV epidemic in 4 minutes? In this short (roughly 4 minute) video Philip A. Chan explores the preventive strategies helping us tackle HIV and the possibility of ending the epidemic. 

(Click here to see video if it doesn’t appear in your browser.)

Antiviral medications work in a couple different ways. Some keep HIV out of immune cells, and others work to stop the virus itself from replicating. When HIV is effectively treated with antiretrovirals, many people living with HIV can lead healthy lives. Another advantage of antiretroviral treatment is that people’s viral levels become undetectable and they do not transmit HIV to others. In people living with HIV, antiretroviral medications can dramatically reduce HIV transmission. This is called “Treatment as Prevention.” Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, also uses antiretroviral medication preventatively in people who don’t have HIV.

One of Achieving Together’s focus areas is to promote the continuum of HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Medical advances, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and other antiretroviral medications, change the way we think about HIV prevention and treatment. The continuum of prevention, care, and treatment starts with awareness and continues with testing and systems of care that are in place to promote these interventions. We aspire to integrate the prevention and care continuum through a status neutral lens, meaning care should happen regardless of status.

Equal Housing Access Saves Trans Lives

Addressing the real-world environments that people live in and working together to create supportive, stable and stigma-free communities in which people can achieve their health and wellness goals is how we will end the HIV epidemic in Texas.

This post was originally published on safeaustin.org on July 12, 2019, and is being re-posted with permission.  This post was written to address proposed rules changes by Department of Housing and Urban Development made public in May of 2019.  More information about those rule changes can be found at the end of the blog.

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National Condom Week

February 14 is just around the corner and you know what that means… National Condom Day! That’s right, Valentine’s Day is also National Condom Day and the beginning of National Condom Week (February 14-21). We’d like to use the occasion as an opportunity to remind you of the importance and effectiveness of condom use. Consistent and correct use of latex condoms is highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV.

National Condom Day and Week aims to raise awareness of the following key messages:

  • Condom use – Use condoms or dams to help prevent HIV and other sexually transmissible infections (STIs). Condoms also help prevent pregnancy.
  • Consent – Communicate with your partner/s and check in regularly. Consent is essential.
  • Pleasure. Condoms come in a multitude of shapes, colors, textures and sizes. Have fun with them.
  • Testing – Testing for HIV and STIs is easy and important. Let people know where they can be tested.

Organizations across Texas will be distributing condoms on National Condom Day. Does your organization distribute condoms? If so, consider:

  • Keeping condoms in a location that is visible and openly accessible to clients such as on a counter; in an open container, or in a clear plastic, or glass container.
  • Advertising to promote distribution and usage of condoms using signs and posters, print materials, and your web site. Use the hashtag #condomday2020 on social media.

Texas Wears Condoms  and AIDS Services of Austin’s Condom Distribution Network ship free condoms to Texans year-round.

One of the Achieving Together Plan’s focus areas is to promote the continuum of HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Condoms can be used in coordination with PrEP as a reliable tool to prevent the transmission of HIV.

Want to learn more?

To celebrate National Condom Week, we’ve compiled some of our favorite condom ads and campaigns. Enjoy!

Photo source.

Redemption after 25 Years of Chemsex and Injecting Meth

I want to share the fact that something that was such a negative and shaming and destructive force in my life, has been turned around into something that’s sweet and helpful. I want to share just how desperately alone and isolated people who inject drugs are and how we’re stigmatized even amongst drug culture.

David Duffield
Continue reading “Redemption after 25 Years of Chemsex and Injecting Meth”