When the dust settled after two horrifically intense years of managing her mother’s care, caregivers, and finances, Faye Levow
was determined to create a comprehensive resource so that no one would ever again be lost in the whirlwind of dealing with unprepared, aging parents. Her upcoming book, OMG! My Parents Are Getting OLD!
is the successful result of Faye's determination.
OMG! My Parents Are Getting OLD! is a resource book for families forced to deal with the mountain of information and red tape that faces them. With over 44 million family caregivers caring for aging family members in our society today, it’s a given that there is a tremendous need for such a resource. The practical yet priceless information in this book will make the transition easier and less complicated for both seniors and younger family members.
Levow emphasizes the importance of being prepared for the time when one’s faculties are no longer as sharp and one’s body requires more care and assistance. “The worst of everything that happens is because people are not prepared. They have been in denial and that hurts everyone,” she says.
Full of 20/20 hindsight for family members and parents, this book has the most comprehensive resource section (fully indexed) of any book in its category, with readable chapters containing expertise from over fifty professionals who work with seniors on a daily basis in everything from finance, probate, senior living, insurance, veterans benefits, dementia, medical care, locating caregivers, hospice, funerals, and much more. Levow shares dramatic, true stories of caregivers, theft, finances, and family gone awry from more than seventy family caregivers who have actually ‘been there and done it.’
For more information visit: www.OMGMyParentsAreGettingOld.com
Source: press release
Decision from ACLU Lawsuit Paves Way for HIV Prisoners to Have Access to Services, Classes and Training Available to Other Prisoners
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A federal judge today ordered Alabama to stop segregating prisoners living with HIV, ruling that the practice violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
U.S. District Court Judge Myron H. Thompson
ruled in a class-action lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union
on behalf of all Alabama prisoners with HIV that the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) discriminates against the prisoners by housing them separately from all other prisoners and categorically denies them equal access to prison rehabilitative programs.
The court ruled the ADA prohibits blanket disability-based exclusions and mandates that prisoners with disabilities must be housed in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individuals. Exceptions may be made only on an individualized, case-by-case basis if the specific situation warrants different treatment.
Thompson said in his decision: “It is evident that, while the ADOC’s categorical segregation policy has been an unnecessary tool for preventing the transmission of HIV, it has been an effective one for humiliating and isolating prisoners living with the disease.”
“Today’s decision is historic,” said Margaret Winter
, associate director of the ACLU National Prison Project and lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “It spells an end to a segregation policy that has inflicted needless misery on Alabama prisoners with HIV and their families.”
The court issued a permanent injunction ordering Alabama to abandon its discriminatory practices, including its categorical exclusion of prisoners with HIV from work-release jobs in the food industry, from assignment to faith-based honor dorms, and from a host of other rehabilitative, educational, trade skills and vocational programs.
“Ending a policy that treated human beings like cattle to be tagged and herded is a tremendous victory for human rights,” said Olivia Turner, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, which participated in the lawsuit.
The court found that HIV-positive prisoners with serious mental health needs and substance abuse problems were wrongfully excluded even from critically important treatment programs.
The court’s decision also bans Alabama’s policy of requiring all male prisoners with HIV to always wear white armbands to alert others of their status, which Winter characterized as “a latter-day yellow star.”
The suit, Henderson et al. v. Thomas et al.
, was filed last year. There are approximately 240 male and 10 female prisoners living with HIV in the Alabama prison system.
During a month-long trial that began Sept. 17 in Montgomery, the ACLU argued that Alabama’s HIV policy is not based on legitimate interests in safety and is unnecessary to prevent the transmission of HIV.
Experts testified that the risk of transmitting HIV is virtually nonexistent for patients properly treated with modern HIV medications. And in surprise testimony, ADOC's associate commissioner in charge of security admitted on cross-examination that he no longer believes the HIV-segregation policy is justified.
“Alabama’s policies regarding prisoners living with HIV are relics from an era of hysteria,” said Amanda Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU AIDS Project. “We look forward to seeing the Department of Corrections fully implement Judge Thompson’s decision and end its discriminatory practices.”
For more information visit: www.aclu.org/hiv-aids-prisoners-rights/henderson-et-al-v-thomas-et-al
Source: Fenway Press Release
According to the United State Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, young people between the ages of 13 and 24 represent more than a quarter of new HIV infections each year (26 percent) and most of these youth living with HIV (60 percent) are unaware they are infected. The most-affected young people are young gay and bisexual men and African Americans.
This information was released in a Vital Signs report
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 27. The analysis looks at the latest data on HIV infections, testing, and risk behaviors among young people and was published in advance of World AIDS Day, December 1, 2012.What are the most important results the study shows?Many people get infected with HIV as a teen or young adultNew HIV infections in youth in 2010
Most youth are not getting tested for HIV
- About 1 in 4 (26%) of all new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24 years. About 4 in 5 of these infections occur in males.
- Nearly 60% of new infections occur in African Americans youth, about 20% in Latinos, and about 20% in whites.
- Over half (54%) of new infections among young gay and bisexual males are in African Americans.
- About 87% of young males got HIV from male to male sex, 6% from heterosexual sex, 2% from injection drug use and about 5% from a combination of male-to-male sex and injection drug use.
- About 86% of young females got HIV through heterosexual sex and 13% from injection drug use.
- More new infections occurred among young African American males than in any other group of youth by race/ethnicity and sex.
To read more go to www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/HIVAmongYouth/index.htmlFenway Health has several programs working to address HIV infection in young people and our staff is available for expert commentary:
- About 60% of youth with HIV do not know they are infected and so don’t receive treatment, putting them at risk for sickness and early death. These youth can also unknowingly pass HIV to others.
- Young men are far more likely than young women to have HIV and are also less likely to get tested.
- African American youth are more likely to get tested for HIV than youth of other races or ethnicities.
- Youth who report being at risk for HIV are the ones to get tested, but still many youth at risk have never been tested.
- Fenway’s Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center specializes in caring for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless or living on the streets; struggling with substance use or abuse; sex workers; or living with HIV/AIDS. Ralph Vetter, MD, Medical Director of the Borum, and other staff are available for interview.
- The Fenway Institute is a part of the Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) whose mission is to conduct HIV/AIDS intervention research, both independently and in collaboration with existing research networks. Kenneth Mayer, MD, Fenway’s Medical Research Director and Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute, and other ATN study staff are available for interview. Three of Fenway’s ATN projects are of particular interest:
- Project PrEPare: An open label demonstration project and Phase II safety study of pre-exposure prophylaxis use among 18 – 24 year-old men who have sex with men in the United States. All participants will receive daily Truvada with a behavioral intervention called Many Men Many Voices. This study is expected to start enrolling in December, 2012.
- SMILE Linkage-to-Care Program: HIV-related Linkage to Care and Engagement in Care. The goal of SMILE is to ensure that all HIV-positive youth, ages 12 – 24, are linked to HIV medical care.
- Connect to Protect (C2P): Building a Community-Based Infrastructure for HIV Prevention. The national mission of C2P is to reduce HIV/AIDS rates among adolescents and young adults through collaborative efforts of communities and health researchers. The mission of C2P Boston is to identify, develop, and catalyze prevention strategies that will reduce HIV infection rates among young men who have sex with men and transgender-identified young people. Our goal is to ultimately reduce HIV incidence and prevalence among youth and young adults in Boston, ages 12 – 24, through community mobilization and structural change.
For more than forty years, Fenway Health
has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute
at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center
cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless or living on the streets; struggling with substance use or abuse; sex workers; or living with HIV/AIDS.
‘Care is Available in Every State,’ says Former Physician Dixie Swanson
With all the talk about health-care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, it seems few people know coverage is available in every state as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
, says Dr. Dixie Swanson
, a former television health reporter and physician, and a lupus patient.
“People can apply for the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, which will not deny you coverage because you have asthma, diabetes or some other condition, and will not charge you more simply because of it,” says Swanson, the author of “The Accidental President Trilogy. In Washington D.C. and 23 states – including Florida, Massachusetts and Texas – it’s run by the federal government. Twenty-seven states run their own PCIP program.”
Policies vary from state to state and premiums may vary, but coverage can cost less than $200 a month. But a shockingly low number of people know about the coverage, Swanson says. As of July 31, there were 82,000 people enrolled. Maine had only 42 enrollees; California had the most, 11,118.
“Getting and keeping health insurance is Job One for many patients with chronic illness. This is a real step forward," Swanson says.Here are some important things to know about PCIP:
- You are eligible for PCIP coverage ONLY if you have been without insurance coverage for the past six months. If you have coverage – even if it does not cover your condition – you are not eligible, and if you’re in a state high-risk pool, you’re not eligible.
- Rules vary depending on who administers the plan. In states with the federally administered program, you must submit one of the following with your application: 1) An insurance company’s letter denying you coverage from within the past 12 months, 2) An offer of insurance with a rider disallowing your condition, provided you didn’t accept a policy, 3) If you’re under 19 or you live in Vermont or Massachusetts, a letter from a doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner stating your condition, and 4) If you’re under 19 or you live in Vermont or Massachusetts, an offer of insurance that you didn’t accept because the premium was too high (provided it’s at least double the cost of a standard option PCIP premium),
- In states with the federally administered program, if you’re application is accepted, you’ll receive a letter within two to three weeks. If you submitted your application and all documentation before the 15th of the month, your coverage can start by the 1st of the following month (i.e. by Oct. 15, coverage starts Nov. 1). If you apply after the 15th, it will start by the first of the month after that (i.e. Dec. 1).
- PCIP is designed to be temporary. The Affordable Health Care Act calls for private insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions beginning in 2014, at which time PCIP will not be necessary. (If Obama does not win re-election, it’s possible PCIP will be disbanded under Mitt Romney.
About Dixie Swanson
- To find out more, visit the plan’s official website visit www.pcip.gov.
Dixie Swanson was a pediatrician for 10 years and the Family Health Reporter for NBC’s Houston affiliate. She also spent time working for a Washington lobbyist with access to the White House. Dixie is the author of “The Accidental President Trilogy – a Political Fable for Our Time
.” Visit www.dixieswanson.com
.Source: Press Release
National Print Campaign News and Experts.
When a leading tire company partners with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®
to find a cure, the results are meaningful. That’s why the Omni United
team designed the Ring of Hope
as a signature limited edition tire to complement the already robust Radar Tire
As a result of this commitment, Omni United designed a special tire with a pink ring in it. The Ring of Hope tire is a key aspect of the campaign. This limited edition tire features a pink sidewall to highlight the importance of breast cancer awareness and prevention. The Ring of Hope tire will be available for purchase starting October 1st thru October 31st, 2012
. Omni United enrolled over 1,200 tire retailers in pursuit of reaching their goal of $1,000,000 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®
Omni United will donate $1.00 per four Radar Tires sold, with a committed minimum annual donation of $250,000 to help support the BCRF mission of achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime.
Additionally, Omni United is launching a zip code based search feature on its website, which allows consumers to identify the participating retailers in their local area. “Omni United is delighted to support BCRF in the fight against breast cancer. This is only possible thanks to the on-going support and dedication from our retailer and distribution partners who make our tires available to the public. We are honored to be business partners with companies of this caliber, and we are grateful for their contributions to the Mobilizing Hope campaign,” said G.S Sareen, CEO and President of Omni United
The BCRF Omni United partnership promotes key goals of both organizations. “It was always the vision of Evelyn Lauder, BCRF founder, to extend the message of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® both internationally and into traditionally male oriented industries. Our partnership with Omni United accomplishes both of these goals. We are very grateful to be aligned with Omni United,” said Myra J. Biblowit, BCRF President
. “The funds raised through the 2011 Mobilizing Hope campaign are deeply appreciated and will fully fund one BCRF research grant this October. Omni United’s continued involvement is a testament to their commitment and values.”
"The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is truly grateful to Omni United for this very generous donation," said Myra J. Biblowit, BCRF President
. "The funds raised in 2011 by the amazing Radar Mobilizing Hope program will fully fund one BCRF research project, bringing us all closer to living in a world without breast cancer. This is an amazing partnership and we are thrilled that Omni United will continue to support BCRF.”
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, as an independent not-for- profit organization committed to funding scientific research to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime.
In October 2012, BCRF will award $40 million to 197 scientists across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and China. With 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF directed towards breast cancer research
and awareness programs, BCRF remains one of the most fiscally responsible charities in the country.
For more information about BCRF visit www.bcrfcure.org
, and for a list of participating retailers visit www.radartires.com.
LAS VEGAS, NV – More than 130,000 people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Universal Health Services, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest hospital management companies in the United States, to enforce new federal regulations granting visitation and medical decision-making rights to same-sex couples.Terri-Ann Simonelli
launched her campaign on Change.org
after being denied the right to make medical decisions for her legal domestic partner of six years, Brittney Leon
, while visiting Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas
-- a hospital which is owned and operated by Universal Health Services.
“One of the worst days of my life was the day my partner of six years, Brittney, checked into the hospital with complications in her pregnancy,” said Simonelli, who launched her campaign on Change.org. “As her legal domestic partner in the state of Nevada, I was there to support her, and was prepared to make any necessary medical decisions if she suffered unforeseen problems. Instead, we were told that I didn’t have that right, despite a new federal regulation that protects hospital rights for same-sex couples.”
“In a moment when we were already under severe stress, the discrimination we faced left us feeling helpless,” said Simonelli. “I launched my campaign on Change.org to help others become better aware of their rights, and to ensure that no couple has to face what we went through -- ever again.”
Universal Health Services is a Fortune 500 company based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, which owns and operates acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, and ambulatory surgery centers in 37 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each new signature on Terri-Ann Simonelli’s petition is sent via email to James M. Caponi, the Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer of Universal Health Services.
“Terri-Ann and Brittney know that they have a powerful story to tell and believe that they have a unique responsibility to tell it,” said Mark Anthony Dingbaum, Senior Campaigner at Change.org. “More than 130,000 people have joined their campaign in a matter of days, and the couple plans to keep up the pressure until Universal Health Services confirms that the new federal regulations are being enforced.”
In early 2010, President Obama
issued a memorandum urging the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the visitation and medical decision-making rights of same-sex couples in hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. On September 7, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, updated its rules to reflect the President’s request.
Press release & photo courtesy of www.Change.org • in the photo Terri-Ann Simonelli
and Brittney Leon
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With a big increasing in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
), and in syphilis cases that have been documented across the country among gay and bisexual men, you might be interested in finding out that men who have sex with men accounted for 63% of primary and secondary syphilis cases in the United States. Gay often are diagnosed with other bacterial STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea infections.
Gay and bisexual men can be infected with HPV
, the most common STD in the USA, which cause genital and anal warts, and can lead to the development of anal and oral cancer. Gay men are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men while HIV-positive men are even more likely to develop anal cancer.
For many years people didn't dare talking about sex or STD's as an on going conversations around the dinner table or among friends or family. Talking about sex was a big tabu and not is a natural part of life,and not a comfortable subject to approach your friends with.
But with the liberation of 50 shades of gray, the approach to the “big talk” should be easier and less embarrassing today. So how do we start a conversation, and should we wait and hope for the best when it happens?
The best advice is to make sex an ongoing conversation with everyone, especially with youngsters. This is one “mystery” we don’t want to solve alone. Here are some facts, figures, and few simple guidelines to help all of us get through with it.
- Everyone must be able to talk, and more importantly to listen! We must keep the channels of communication open and try to be understanding. This will make this confusing situation easier on all of us.
- Many people will never ask any question about sex, so it’s important to encourage the conversation and talk about the values of sex, and about the outside influences which make things go way easier.
- By sharing our own feelings and values, we can make people to think, and then to open up to share their feelings …while we give them an open ear and listen closely.
- We should balance our approach with positive information. Talk about sex in a natural and healthy way, and make sure to address the value of good sex as the core to any loving relationships and intimacy, and how wonderful it can be in anyone's life.
Now that all of that is behind us, how do we talk or bring the use of protection into the conversation?
The best way is to talk about the facts – and nothing but the facts. So here are some facts that might be of help to all.
- According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that sex education encourages sexual experimentation or increased activity. On the contrary … if any effects of sex education were observed, almost without exception, it is the postponement of sexual intercourse and/or effective use of contraceptives.
More facts on STD's and STI's
- When used consistently and correctly, a latex condom is the most effective barrier contraceptive available today. However, condom failure is often due to improper use. To help solve this problem, LifeStyles has introduced the new SKYN Condom with unique packaging that ensures proper use, for an easy-on correct fit.
- The fact is, sex education provides everyone with correct information so they can make informed decisions. And, while abstinence is a sure way to prevent STDs, LifeStyles Brand SKYN latex condom is the best protection when having sex
- One out of 4 women and one out of 5 men have no knowledge about their sexual partners’ history.
- Two-thirds of 1,000 women age 18 to 60 knew nothing or very little about STIs (other than HIV/AIDS) in 1995.
- The highest at-risk groups are adolescents, gays, African American and Hispanic women.
- There are over 15,000,000 new cases of STI's a year.
- Over 70,000 Americans have a viral STI–like genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, or Hepatitis B.
- Individuals under 25 have two-thirds of the STI cases in the U.S.
- 1 out of 4 teens will contract an STI.
Rates of curable STI cases in the U.S. are the highest in the developed world.
- There are 150 STI cases per 100,000 in the U.S. versus 3 cases per 100,000 in Sweden.
- Over 70,000 Americans have viral STI–like genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, or hepatitis B.
- Viral STIs such as HPV, herpes, and hepatitis B are lifelong infections.
- Many people experience no noticeable symptoms initially, but can still pass on the infection.
- Women are up to 5 times more likely to become infected and suffer more serious consequences.
Over 20,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
- 62% of those cases reported before 1996 have died (319,000 Americans).
- Women now represent 30% of new HIV/AIDS cases reported.
- 75% of the cases are from heterosexual sex.
- 3 out of 5 Americans with HIV were infected as teens.
- HIV infection rates are 10 times higher when STIs are not treated properly.
Sexual habits reinforce the need to use condoms.
- Age of sexual maturity is decreasing; age of marriage is increasing.
- More sex, more partners, more risk.
- 46% of teens (14-18) have had intercourse.
- 50% breakup rate means reentering the dating scene to deal with new health challenges
For more information visit www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/STD.htm
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IAPAC Releases Consensus Statement on TasP and PrEP Implementation at AIDS 2012 “Let us allow hope to guide the way, but action to ensure millions of new HIV infections are averted,” says José M. Zuniga President of IAPAC.
WASHINGTON, DC – The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care
(IAPAC) announced its full embrace of two biobehavioral HIV prevention interventions
– treatment as prevention (TasP)
and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
– around which there has been emerging science, and called for immediate integration of these interventions into the existing HIV armamentarium as a means of significantly impacting HIV incidence worldwide. The announcement was made during a press conference at AIDS 2012
during which two key opinion leaders in the field of TasP and PrEP unveiled a Consensus Statement entitled, “Controlling the HIV Epidemic with Antiretrovirals.”
The Consensus Statement, which was developed by an international Advisory Committee that analyzed and synthesized TasP and PrEP data presented and discussed at an IAPAC evidence summit held last month in London, identifies key challenges and opportunities to the integration of the interventions in resourced and resource-limited countries. The Consensus Statement is available in PDF format at www.iapac.org
Integration must be guided by implementation science, said Kenneth Mayer, MD
, Visiting Professor of Medicine at Harvard University in Boston; Medical Research Director at the Fenway Institute in Boston; and Chair of the IAPAC TasP/PrEP Advisory Committee.
“The way forward needs to be met with very careful implementation science studies, so called demonstration projects, around the world so that we know how best to roll out these interventions for key populations in different settings. This will not be a one-size-fits-all scenario,” explained Mayer.
Julio Montaner, MD, Director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, Canada; and a Member of the IAPAC TasP/PrEP Advisory Committee, argued that with efficacy concerns allayed by the emerging evidence, wide-scale implementation of interventions such as TasP should be viewed as a global health priority.
“In view of the evidence that we [have in hand], the return on investment [if biomedical prevention is implemented] has now been increased so dramatically that we can no longer afford not to implement this approach. It is not a matter of whether we want to or whether we can, it is a matter of a responsibility to do so,” Montaner said.IAPAC President José M. Zuniga, PhD, MPH
, added that where fear may have driven an accelerated pace to scale up access to a new treatment intervention – highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) – in the mid-1990s, hope that is justified by robust evidence must drive the world to move forward with TasP, and where appropriate PrEP, implementation without delay.
“We stand a solid chance of further bending the HIV incidence and AIDS-related mortality curves in a way only imagined years ago and, perhaps – as many have advocated – of welcoming an AIDS-free generation within our lifetimes. Let us allow hope to guide the way, but action to ensure millions of new HIV infections are averted,” Zuniga said.
The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) represents more than 17,000 physicians and allied health care professionals in over 100 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of prevention, care, treatment, and support services provided to men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. Visit www.iapac.org for more information about IAPAC and its global activities.
by Chad S. Johnson, Co-Founder, World AIDS Institute
Timothy Ray Brown (The Berlin Patient) Reacts To Breaking News That Two More Men Hopefully Cured Of AIDS
Washington, D.C. – With breaking news out of the 19th International AIDS Conference that two men at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston may have been cured of HIV through bone marrow transplants, Timothy Brown – The Berlin Patient – today reacted by releasing the following statement:
“Words cannot begin to express my joy that two other men may have been cured of HIV. This reinforces my determination and belief that we must fulfill my Foundation’s central mission of investing in cutting-edge therapies and treatments to advance AIDS cure research. As I have said many times before, I want everyone to be cured of this disease. We can only hope that this case and today’s development represents the beginning of the end of this plague.“
Timothy Brown was meeting with Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, his hometown Congresswoman, when the breakthrough was announced. Earlier this week, Timothy Brown, the only person to be cured of HIV, announced the establishment of The Timothy Ray Brown Foundation with the World AIDS Institute. As the only Foundation created with the sole mission of finding a cure that leads to the end of AIDS, its central tenant is to secure funding and support cutting-edge therapies.