News and Updates

Routine screening key to fighting Florida HIV epidemic

Jonathan Appelbaum, M.D., My View | Tallahassee Democrat

The recent HIV outbreak in Indiana demonstrates that an apathetic approach to HIV testing and treatment can have devastating consequences. Saturday is National HIV Testing Day, when our country recognizes the importance of testing. Fittingly, just a few days later, a new HIV-testing law will go into effect in Florida.

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Transgender Women Vulnerable to HIV

By Nadege Green | © Health News Florida
Florida’s transgender community, specifically trans women, are among the groups most at risk of contracting HIV. The series, HIV In Florida: The Rising Tide of Infection, explains that an estimated third of transgender women are HIV positive.

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The Face of HIV/AIDS: Then and Now

Tyler Curry, Huffington Post

Ever wonder what your life would be like if you were born at a different time? As a man living with HIV, it is something I think about often. This video is dedicated to the longterm survivors and the ones we lost in the fight.

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New Big Bend Cares Medical Facility Coming to Tallahassee

Big Bend Cares is soon to bring the latest in HIV/AIDS management and care to Tallahassee with the construction of a new, patient centered, medical home. The new facility will be located at South Monroe and Adams Streets and Magnolia Drive, across the street from Big Bend Cares’ current home.

The new facility will house a complete range of primary care services as well as infectious diseases, which means clients will be able to receive care at one location instead of having to travel to multiple locations in Tallahassee for different services. The medical center is designed by Tallahassee architecture firm BKJ. Big Bend Cares will present a virtual tour of the building for public view June 27 at the Artopia 2015 Auction.

HIV/AIDS Kills People in Florida More Than Anywhere Else

By Ray Downs, Broward Palm Beach New Times

The Centers for Disease Control released a map that shows where it rates of the “most distinctive” cause of death in each state – and Florida leads the nation in deaths from HIV.

The “most distinctive” cause of death in each state means where a particular cause of death is the highest. The CDC explains that many states’ most distinctive cause could be explained by factors unique to that state. For example, people in cold, northern states die of the flu more than others, and those in coal-mining states get lung diseases at a higher rate. But there’s no geographic or economic reason for why Florida has the most HIV deaths. Still, Florida is definitely high on the HIV list.

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UC Santa Cruz Professor Develops HIV Vaccine

Kara Guzman, Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ >> For 30 years, UC Santa Cruz professor and vaccine developer Phil Berman has been chasing a moving target — the insidious, ever-changing HIV virus — and now, finally, he thinks he has it cornered.

Berman’s lab has developed an experimental vaccine he believes will guard against HIV and AIDS. The model is expected to go to clinical trial within three years.

When Berman was a Genentech scientist in the 1990s, he invented the world’s first vaccine to show any success against HIV. When it was tested with another vaccine in a 2003 to 2009 large-scale trial involving 16,000 people in Thailand, the vaccine combination proved a 31 percent success rate.

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