What does this PDF file mean?
It means that the institutional infrastructure is now in place nationwide to confirm closure regarding HIV. The three core pillars of HIV prevention are now publicly accepted and encouraged:
BEHAVIOR: FREEDOM OF CHOICE to pick and choose sex partners.
Therefore, current HIV related discussions are making aware this short four word sentence:
HIV HAS BEEN STOPPED.
Highlights from the 2006 NYSDOH pdf...
"Serosorting among HIV positive persons may be an effective strategy for preventing additional HIV infections. Information on serosorting, covering both the benefits and the potential risks (e.g.utional , reinfection, STDs), should be developed for both providers and target populations. This information should be specific for HIV positive and HIV negative individuals, since serosorting among negative individuals has different and more significant risks."
(Report on Gay Men's / MSM Forum, Prescription For Change, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) AIDS Institute, December 5 & 6, 2006, page 19, Intervention Recommendations continued.)
Highlights of interest:
Page 4, Executive Summary: "Spurred by frustration at our diminished impact and the staggering epidemiological facts, the AIDS Institute (AI) of the New York State Department of Health has dedicated attention, time, effort, and funding to attempt to reverse the increasing trend of new infections among gay men/MSM, particularly men of color."
Page 5; Background: Why was the forum held?: "In planning the Forum, it was suggested that there was a need to further identify what are perceived to be the most important health and wellness issues facing gay men and other MSM in New York State."
Page 6; "The Forum was designed to provide an environment for key stakeholders – community members, funders, policy makers, people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA), venue owners/operators, and others, to engage in in-depth discussions about the key issues impacting gay men/MSM and to provide recommendations..."
Page 7; The Forum: " During the group sessions, participants had opportunities for in-depth discussion on the
identified topics and were asked to identify additional concerns and to make suggestions and develop recommendations to address the issues that were raised."
Page 12; Policy Recommendations: "The DOH should take a more proactive role in assuring that culturally and
language appropriate services for gay men/MSM are available in hospitals, health care clinics, and community based organizations."
Page 13; Stigma: "Stigma and social isolation continue as facts of life for gay men/MSM, posing significant barriers
to their access to and acceptance of HIV/AIDS prevention and care, as well as emotional support.
Stigma contributes to gay men's vulnerability, not only to HIV infection, but also to other threats to their health and well-being. It prevents many gay men from seeking HIV counseling and testing; it prevents many HIV-infected gay men from seeking healthcare services and treatment for their HIV infection; it prevents some HIV-infected gay men from disclosing their status to their sex and drug using partners; and it prevents others from addressing unresolved psychological
issues including substance abuse, multiple loss and grief, and sexual violence. Simply put, stigma kills."
Page 15; HIV Testing:" In spite of the increased availability of HIV counseling and testing as well as the ability through
rapid testing to obtain test results quickly, many gay men/MSM have never been tested or have not been tested recently. Among certain individuals, the practice of serosorting is becoming part of sexual risk taking behavior; thus it has become even more important for individuals to know their HIV serostatus."
Page 18: Intervention Recommendations: "Defining an activity or practice as risky in absolute terms should be avoided. An individual may be engaging in risky behavior and may even have some knowledge about the risks they are taking. Efforts to develop risk reduction strategies must take this into account and address individuals at the stage they
are at to help them further reduce risk – in other words, using a harm reduction approach."
Page 19: " Serosorting among HIV positive persons may be an effective strategy for preventing additional HIV infections. Information on serosorting, covering both the benefits and the potential risks (e.g., reinfection, STDs), should be developed for both providers and target populations. This information should be specific for HIV positive and HIV negative individuals, since serosorting among negative individuals has different and more significant risks."
Page 25:; Since The Forum: " A free condom distribution program, primarily targeting upstate New York, has been developed by the AIDS Institute which will allow agencies to order condoms through the DOH website. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has implemented a similar program in New York City."
" The Division of HIV Prevention is working on a Sexual Risk Reduction Initiative to address sexual risk reduction interventions in a more holistic manner and using a harm reduction approach."
"Quarterly meeting have been held with LGBT coordinators from AIDS Institute funded programs outside of New York City, addressing more collaborative approaches to care and prevention activities."
Page 27; What's Next? " We will publish the report and post it on the New York State Department of Health website so that it is widely accessible. Additionally, we will share this report with colleagues and partners of national organizations and coalitions with whom the AI regularly interacts and communicates, and will widely disseminate the report in the communities we serve. Each stakeholder should use this report in their continuing work with the target populations".
Page 30; #5 Generational Issues for Prevention and Cure: " Sero-sorting—implications for prevention."
For more detailed information regarding this report, questions, comments or concerns, please contact Humberto Cruz, Executive Deputy Director, AIDS Institute; Dan O'Connell Director, Division of HIV Prevention AIDS Institute or Peter Laqueur, Division of HIV Health Care, AIDS Institute. Tell them Robert Brandon Sandor says "Hello" and that I thank them for allowing me to be their featured speaker for their 90 minute video meeting at their New York City office. I still have my Powerpoint Presentation for their review.
RELATED LINKS OF INTEREST:
To learn more about the three forms of Serosorting - click here.