AIDS

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island is marking World AIDS Day, Monday with an event at the Statehouse.  The goal is to raise awareness about progress made, and progress still needed.

Eighty-seven new cases of HIV have been reported this year. That’s up from the 74 cases reported in 2013, and 87 too many say doctors and activists.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Scan the headlines from around the country, and you might think the nation was under attack, that Ebola is stalking children in classrooms and on school buses, a stowaway on every flight, contaminating neighborhoods.

There’s no doubt of course that Ebola is a horrible, often deadly disease. Thousands of West Africans have been lost to it.

But fears about Ebola seem often unfounded, as they often did about AIDS.

Early AIDS fears
Consider the lead for this article by Judy Foreman in the Boston Globe, Sept. 1985:

Tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 27) is the 29th annual AIDS Walk for Life, which begins at 10 am at the statehouse. Organizers (AIDS Project RI) are offering free, rapid HIV tests on site.

The event happens against the backdrop of news this week of lower awareness among gay men of HIV screening and treatment recommendations.

From Kaiser Health News:

Miriam Hospital

The Miriam Hospital has received another multimillion dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to support HIV and AIDS research. The money will fund research into new treatments.

The Miriam is the state’s largest provider of HIV and AIDS care. The grant of $2.4 million dollars is a renewal that will help the institution continue its work as part of a multi-site aids research consortium, called the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Network. That group’s work helped pioneer a new way to keep pregnant mothers from transmitting HIV to their babies.

The Miriam Hospital has become one of the first in the country to offer a new drug regimen that helps prevent HIV in people who’ve never been exposed to it. But the therapy does carry some risk.

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