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AIDS

Charles Sykes / AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Undetectable equals untransmittable. It's a short phrase that HIV researchers and prevention experts believe represents one of the biggest steps we've ever seen toward eradicating HIV.

The scientific consensus behind “U=U” means people living with HIV who respond to antiretroviral medication and achieve an "undetectable" status do not sexually transmit the virus.*  

Fulton County officials have unveiled dozens of new proposals as part of an “action plan” to ultimately end new transmissions of HIV and AIDS, including one that could butt up against a state law.

Federal health officials are lifting the nation's 32-year-old lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, but major restrictions will continue to limit who can donate.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday it will replace the blanket ban with a new policy barring donations from men who have had sex with a man in the previous year. While the one-year-ban has been criticized by activists it matches policies in other countries, including Australia, Japan and the U.K.

Walgreens Offering Free HIV Testing In Atlanta Branches

Jun 24, 2015
Shot of Walgreens sign
Mike Mozart / flickr.com/jeepersmedia

The battle against HIV and AIDS dates back more than 30 years. There is still no cure and no vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 1.2 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV infection as of 2011. Of that number, more than 160,000 people, or 14 percent, did not know they were infected.

Walgreens is offering free HIV testing at its stores starting on June 25-27. It’s the fifth year of Walgreens' HIV testing campaign.

Jacque Muther commissioned a T-shirt quilt to commemorate her nearly three-decade career in AIDS advocacy. It's now on display at Atlanta's Ponce de Leon Center, part of the Grady Infectious Disease Program.
Jim Burress / WABE

Jacque Muther has spent most of her career working to get low-income AIDS patients life-saving medications as part of the Grady Infectious Disease Program. 

In May, she'll retire. 

Over the years, Muther has amassed a sizable T-shirt collection from various nonprofits, events and people connected to the fight of HIV and AIDS. 

To preserve the memories (and clear out a few drawers), Muther commissioned master crafter Juanita Williams to turn the T-shirts into a quilt. 

The quilt is now on display at the Ponce de Leon Center in Midtown. 

Courtesy of AIDSvu.org

Atlanta is ranked No. 5* among U.S. cities when it comes to the rate of new diagnoses of HIV.

Experts say that's because routine HIV testing is not offered in the places where most people get their health care. By the time patients are diagnosed in Atlanta, almost one-third have advanced to clinical AIDS

AIDS quilt
Jim Burress / WABE

  

In June of 1987, a small group of people gathered in San Francisco, California. They feared history would soon forget their friends and loved ones who were quickly dying of AIDS.

Members of that group came up with a collective idea ─ make a quilt. Many now know it as the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. It has more than 48, 000 panels, and it is housed and cared for here in Atlanta. 

 Dr. Jose Diaz talks with WABE's Denis O'Hayer at AIDAtlanta in January 2015
Alison Guillory / WABE

Not that many years ago, an AIDS diagnosis was considered an automatic death sentence.  But over the years, improvements in drugs, transmission prevention, and therapies have allowed many patients to live as if their disease is a chronic illness ─ not curable yet, but manageable.

Jim Burress / WABE News

Pick 100 high schools across the state, and the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an average of one will include sex education targeted to LGBT youth.

Kaleb Anderson's is not one.  

Kaleb is a junior at Atlanta’s B.E.S.T Academy High School, an all-male, mostly African-American public high school in Southwest Atlanta.

AIDSvu.org

Plotting HIV infection rates is essential to targeting the epidemic, says Emory epidemiologist Dr. Patrick Sullivan.  He’s behind the newly-released AIDSvu map, which visualizes HIV/AIDS rates by ZIP code.

“The ways to help avert new HIV infections is to intensify our efforts in those communities that are most heavily impacted by HIV," says Sullivan.

Katie King / WABE

Twice a week, the rickety Winnebago operated by Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC) pulls up to one of the most troubled intersections in the Southeast. A line quickly forms. 

(To hear this documentary, click the "Listen" icon above. To view a verbatim transcript of this program, click here.) 

Courtesy of Dr. Helene Gayle and CARE

  On Tuesday, December 10, 2013, as the world's leaders gathered in South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela, the leader of an Atlanta-based world relief organization recalled her experiences with him.  Dr. Helene Gayle is the C.E.O. of CARE.  In a conversation with WABE's Denis O'Hayer, Dr. Gayle talked about how Mandela inspired major progress in addressing poverty, disease and inequality in his country.  She also remembered one of his major regrets, about an issue where he felt he acted too late.

Emory University

  Sunday, December 1, 2013 was World AIDS Day, although many people observed it on Monday, December 2.  2013 has seen some major progress, and some warning signs, in the ongoing fight against the killer disease.  WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Dr. Carlos del Rio, the Hubert Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, where he is also a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Emory School of Medicine.

AIDS Walk

Jun 26, 2013

Every year thousands of people take to city streets across the country in what have come to be known as AIDS walks. This is also the case in Atlanta. Typically during such walks people will follow a pre-determined rout of 5 or 10 kilometers. They'll walk - and sometimes run - as individuals, work groups, family members, supporters, church groups, colleges and schools and as friends.

Emory Commemorates World AIDS Day

Dec 1, 2012
Jim Burress / WABE News

Saturday, Dec. 1st  is World  AIDS Day

As it has for eight years, Hillel at Emory University organized one of the area’s largest remembrances of those who have passed from the disease. 

"Roger Gamma. Reggie Smith. Daniel.  Bobby Martin" recited an Emory student Friday, reading just a  handful of the more than 25-million names of those who have died of AIDS.  

Jim Burress / WABE News

Thirty years into the fight against HIV, and there’s still a glaring disparity among those who become infected.

Disproportionately, the virus affects gay men. Among that group, African-Americans are at even greater risk.

To overcome the disparity, society must address stigma toward all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said panelists speaking at the White House LGBT Conference on HIV/AIDS Thursday at the Morehouse School of Medicine. 

Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, and the U.S. still sees upwards of 50,000 newly- reported cases of HIV each year.

This week,  Atlanta takes center stage for groups organizing the fight against the epidemic.

The Southeast HIV/AIDS Summit runs through Saturday at the Holiday Inn Capital Conference Center in downtown Atlanta.

It brings together both new and seasoned AIDS advocates working at the grassroots level.