Invitation to Participate  by Francisco Ruiz

In less than a month, the world will come to the nation’s capital to discuss the latest scientific advances from around the world and to develop strategies for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The XIX International AIDS Conference  (AIDS 2012) returns to the United States. And numerous Latino/Hispanic partners are working to highlight key HIV/AIDS issues impacting Latino/Hispanic communities at the conference thanks to the work of the National Latino AIDS Action Network (NLAAN).  Read More



 July 27, 2012The Missing Block: the Legal Aspect of HIV Prevention by Ilan Cerna-Turoff

Each block is an area that needs to be addressed to stop the spread of HIV, and by addressing each block, we reach the diversity of drivers for HIV infection.  One area is missing from this slide.  Consistently, we fail to include a structural driver of HIV, the law. Criminalization laws are statutes that enact heavy policies for having sex and being HIV positive.  These laws widely vary by state and nation but most often, penalize people who know that they are positive and expose others to HIV…  Read More


 July 27, 2012Looking for Ella Baker at AIDS 2012 by Edgar Rivera Colón

I am looking for Ella Baker at AIDS 2012. Rather, since Ms. Baker passed away in 1986, I am looking for her spirit. She is an indispensable ancestor to all those in this country who strive for a better world. You may ask: “Edgar, who was this Ella Baker whose spirit you seek?” Until very recently, Ms. Baker, like the late Bayard Rustin, was one of the unheralded heroes of the Civil Rights Movement in this country. Ms. Baker grew up in the South raised by Black Church women…  Read More


 July 26, 2012PrEP and the controversy by Dino Mosquera

I know this is not going to be popular, call me crazy, but I think PrEP is a good option that deserves to be given a chance.  I got the opportunity to attend a presentation on Antiretrovirals (ART) Management in clinical practice — among them, the use of ART in PrEP (Pre-Exposure prophylaxis). Truvada, a drug manufactured by Gilead, has been approved on July 16th, 2012 as the first drug to prevent HIV infection. This medicine is to be used as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention…  Read More


 July 26, 2012¿Por que algunos no se infectan de HIV? by Leandro A. Mena

Ayer fui con entusiasmo a una sección en la conferencia titulada “Seronegativos Altamente Expuestos” (WEPDA01: Highly Exposed Seronegatives). En esta sección se presentaron varios estudios (la mayoría hechos en Africa) que incluyeron personas altamente expuestas al VIH y que a pesar del riesgo continuaron siendo VIH negativos,  incluso usando las pruebas mas sensibles que buscan por la presencia del virus mismo. Muchos científicos piensan que en el estudio de cómo el sistema inmune de estas personas pueden evitar la infección de VIH esta el secreto para el diseño de una vacuna efectiva.  Read More


 July 26, 2012 Prison and HIV/AIDS by Raquel Sapien

In prisons across the world, HIV/AIDS presents a major challenge. The prevalence of HIV is greater in prisons than in the general population. I vividly remember my personal experience of over five years in the prison system many years ago. At the time, it was a horrible experience. I was in the Texas prison system which is one of the worst prison systems in this country. The most difficult part of being in these prisons was that due to their locations the majority of prison guards were for lack of a better word “red necks”…  Read More


 July 26, 2012 A Story from Twenty Women by Edwin Espinel

Remember Maslowe’s theory of Motivation?  The basis of his theory is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs (e.g., physiological, safety, love, and esteem) need to be satisfied before higher needs can be addressed and a person is able to act unselfishly.  Basic physiological needs are essential for human survival. We have learned that if humans lack food, love, esteem, or safety, the human body simply cannot continue to function.  Read More


 July 26, 2012 Hep C, HIV, and More Questions than Answers by Antonio M. Martinez

Some people refer to Hepatitis C as the new HIV. This description of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and the comparison stems from a lot of the similarities of diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. Diagnosis of HCV like HIV is now offered in rapid test form. Monitoring of HCV is also done by monitoring the presence of virus in the blood. Treatment of HCV has historically been Peg-interferon and Ribavirin, but new treatments have supplemented this old regimen with protease inhibitors that inhibit HCV virus life cycle.  Read More


 July 26, 2012Young People Living With HIV Make Their Voices Heard by Marcos Martinez

The International AIDS Conference is providing a space for the voices of young people living with HIV to be heard, and, on Monday, some of these young leaders talked about the importance of developing their ability to help shape the agenda for prevention and care worldwide. The panel discussion was held in the Youth Pavilion of the AIDS2012 Global Village.  It’s estimated that worldwide there are 5 million young people infected with HIV, and the number is growing.   Read More


 July 26, 2012 Human Rights for People (who also happen to be sex workers) by Elicia Gonzales

We have made many advances in the fight to end HIV. We have new biomedical HIV prevention strategies, increased conversations on the eroticization of prevention, focus on finding a cure, the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy and increased testing options. Great.  But (there’s always a but – I like big buts and I cannot lie).  Oppressive laws and policies make INVISIBLE and CRIMINALIZE people who also happen to be sex workers. (FAIL!) We are still excluding some communities and individuals and forcing them to remain on the margins; sex workers, for example.  Read More


July 26, 2012Young People Worldwide Are Ready to Demand Solutions and an End to HIV/AIDS by Maria I. Rivera

Tuesday’s plenary session had to be one of the most hopeful set of presentations that I have heard in the realms of public health, the future course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and social justice movements in a long, long time.  Personally, coming from a state that seems to be slashing the public sector at every level, and considering the budget cuts to many vital HIV prevention programs in our cities across the country, optimism has not necessarily been easy to come by in a world where many are reeling from the global economic crisis. Read More


July 26, 2012PrEP: One great step forward…but we are not there yet. by Rosa Martinez-Colon

The first presentation by Martin Holt was based on the results of a survey conducted in Australia among gay men, the population primarily affected by HIV, and aimed to measure the attitudes to PrEP, medicine and HIV treatment. There were 1041 men participating in the survey, with 88.3% (919) being HIV negative, and 11.7% (122) being HIV positive Holt found that, “HIV-negative and HIV-positive gay men’s attitudes towards antiretroviral-based prevention had similar attitudes to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), but there was greater skepticism among HIV-negative men about “treatment as prevention.”  Read More

 July 26, 2012REAL Family Planning Requires Planning for Healthy Women by Maria I. Rivera

On Wednesday, I attended an interesting session on the intersection of HIV and other reproductive health outcomes among adolescents and young people. While most of the presenters focused on intervention successes in reducing sexual risk behaviors, one presentation stood out in its exploration of comprehensive family planning services among a youth population at risk for HIV infection.  HIV prevalence in Uganda stands at 6.9% of the population after 20 years of conflict during which 90% of residents faced internal displacement.  Read More


July 26, 2012Out of the Closet into the Clinic by Fernando Casados

Linkage to care for those newly diagnosed is crucial.  A recent one year study in Los Angeles conducted by AIDS Healthcare Foundation compares effectiveness of linkage to care at various testing venues. These were: a mobile testing program, ‘store front’ testing at “Out of the Closet“ thrift stores, a men’s wellness STD clinic and clients who were referred from another social service agency. Individuals who tetsed positive at a mobile unit had the lowest linkage at about half.  Read More


July 26, 2012Broadening the Scope of Treatment by Antonio Martinez

The HIV virus depends on cellular protein-protein interactions to infect human CD4 cells. Scientists have discovered that HIV relies on host proteins, referred to as cofactors, to complete the viral life cycle. These protein-protein interactions are not new insights, but it was only until recently that scientists could develop cost efficient compounds that could target these interactions. Len epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDG/p75) is a cellular cofactor of HIV-1 integrase that promotes viral integration by connecting the viral DNA to human DNA.  Read More


July 26, 2012HIV/AIDS Activists Take To The Streets Demanding Action by Marcos Martinez

On Tuesday, participants in the International AIDS Conference, along with community activists took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand the government do more to end the epidemic and restore human rights to marginalized communities.  Several government officials, most prominently Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, have attended AIDS 2012 with news of new government funding to help eliminate the waiting list for life-saving medications in the US and improve HIV/AIDS related services in Africa.  Read More


July 26, 2012 - HIV puts up resistance, but we keep fighting!¡HIV pone resistencia pero seguimos luchando! 

I have to say that these days have been so action packed – it feels like we have been here forever, but it has only been a few days!! I feel like I’m finally learning my way around this huge convention center. Every new corner I turn, I see another beautiful or thought provoking exhibit.  Read More

Hoy voy a escribir en español ya que queremos llegar a másde la población latina. Tengo que decir que estos días han estado tan llenos de acción – se siente como que hemos estado aquí desde siempre, pero sólo ha sido unos días! Siento que por fin estoy aprendiendo mi camino en torno a este enorme centro de convenciones. Read More