Body Positive News

HIV Transmission and prevention

01May17
HIV transmission has reached a new record high of 244 cases in New Zealand in 2016. This follows a consistent upward trend that has been happening since 2011. Most of the cases 159 or 65% were amongst men who have sex with men with the majority 98 or 61.6% of these infections taking place within New Zealand. Amongst the Heterosexual population there were 42 new diagnoses with 11 of these infections being local.

For people not diagnosed and infected locally they may have been living with HIV for a period of time and have been engaged in care elsewhere and have just returned to New Zealand (from Australia or the UK for example) and their diagnosis is defined as “new” to New Zealand. We will always have these types of new diagnosis as people are allowed to migrate to NZ while living with HIV – which is a good thing. Read More...

Body Positive is extending their Peer Navigation Programme to provide local support to people living with HIV throughout New Zealand

PeerNavigation_400
No one understands the reality of living with HIV better than someone who experiences it every day. Peer Navigators - specially trained members of the community who are living with HIV - support others who are learning to cope with the daily challenges of living with HIV. Read More...

Undetectable equals Uninfectious (U=U)

25Jan17
Body Positive is celebrating the most significant development in the HIV world since the advent of effective combination therapy 20 years ago – people living with HIV who maintain undetectable viral loads through adherence to treatment can confidently declare to their sexual partners “I’m not infectious!”  Read More...

Pharmac funds new HIV drug in New Zealand - Dolutegravir (Tivicay)

Dolutegravir (Tivicay)
Body Positive is thankful to Pharmac for adding Dolutegravir (Tivicay) to its list of Anti-Retroviral for the treatment of HIV effective November 1st 2016. Dolutegravir is a relatively new drug which was approved by Medsafe in 2014. Read More...

No new HIV infections seen in San Francisco's Strut PrEP programme

Study with 1200 clients on PrEP and no HIV infections to date
A community-based sexual health clinic in San Francisco has offered nurse-led pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services to more than 1200 clients and has seen no HIV infections to date, according to a presentation last month at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa. Read More...

Efavirenz appears to be associated with elevated suicide risk in START trial

efavirenz had an increased risk of suicidal and self-injuring behaviour
Participants in the START treatment-timing trial who took antiretroviral regimens containing efavirenz had an increased risk of suicidal and self-injuring behaviour than those not using efavirenz, though the number of events was small and the effect was mainly seen among people with a prior psychiatric diagnosis, according to research presented at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last month in Durban, South Africa. Read More...

Still no transmissions seen from people with an undetectable viral load in PARTNER study

PARTNER Study - still zero transmissions
Odds of seeing a transmission now even lower, but more data still needed on gay men, say researchers

The PARTNER study, which two years ago created headlines by establishing that the chance of an HIV-positive person with an undetectable viral load transmitting their virus was very low and quite possibly zero, released new data at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) that further refined this estimate. Read More...

$38 Million to Pharmac

06May16
Body Positive applauds the recent injection of much needed funds into Pharmac to improve access to medications. New Zealand has fallen behind international standards in relation to the care of HIV and these additional funds provide an opportunity to move back to a world class health system and provide people with modern choices in the treatment of HIV. Read More...

New Health Navigator at Body Positive - Sally Cartwright

23Feb16
Body Positive is delighted to welcome Sally Cartwright to the team in the new position of Health Navigator. This is a new project that was made possible through seed funding from the NZAF and ongoing funding from the ViiV Positive Action fund in the UK.

Sally will work with members of the community who are living with and at risk of HIV to identify their needs and aspirations, and then link and co-ordinate access to health care and other support services. Sally is a reliable and stable resource and contact for clients as they move through the health system and access support services. Sally’s role is especially important in assisting people through their initial HIV diagnosis.
Read More...

Nominations now open for next PLDI Workshop Weekend

19Jan16_1
We are calling for nominations for the next Who Am I As A Leader? workshop for 18-20 March 2016 to be held in Queensland, Australia.

What is PLDI?
The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) Australia offers people living with HIV an opportunity to identify and develop their leadership and resilience skills.
Read More...

Personalised app responds to unique health needs of HIV-affected groups

19Jan16
A global team of medical researchers from NZ and the UK are developing a transformative health app to help support positive health changes in people living with HIV.

Between January and September 2016, researchers will recruit PLHIV to participate in an online survey. User feedback pooled from the survey will help the research team understand key issues faced by PLHIV so they can be integrated into the final app design. There’s no obligation, but all interested parties affected by HIV who wish to contribute to the app design can register at www.mpowr.life/project Read More...

World Health Organisation's new guideline on antiretrovirals

01Oct15
Body Positive applauds the World Health Organisation's (WHO) early release of their new guideline on antiretrovirals. Anyone infected with HIV should begin antiretroviral treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible, WHO announced Wednesday. With its 'treat-all' recommendation, WHO removes all limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV; all populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment. Read More...

Singapore lifts ban on HIV-positive visitors

11Sep15
Singapore has lifted its two-decade-long ban on HIV-infected people entering the country, but will limit their stay to a maximum of three months.

The health ministry said on Monday that the ban was lifted on 1 April, “given the current context with more than 5,000 Singapore residents living with HIV and the availability of effective treatment for the disease”. The three-month restriction is apparently aimed at preventing long-term residence by foreigners, such as those looking to work in the island-nation or to accompany a child studying here. “The policy on the repatriation and permanent blacklisting of HIV-positive foreigners was recommended in the late 1980s when the disease was new, fatal and no effective treatment was available,” said a ministry spokesman. Read More...

Third of people with HIV who use drugs intentionally miss doses of HIV treatment when planning to use drugs

25Aug15
Beliefs about possible toxic interactions between antiretroviral therapy (ART) and illicit drugs are causing large numbers of people living with HIV who use drugs to intentionally miss doses of their HIV treatment when planning drug use, US investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

The prospective study involved 530 people reporting current drug use in Atlanta. All were taking ART and approximately a third reported missing treatment doses because of beliefs about potential interactions with drugs and alcohol. This planned non-adherence was associated with sub-optimal compliance to treatment and poor control of viral load. Read More...

Auckland Health Alert - Syphilis

22Jun15
An important message to men who have sex with men in the Auckland Area

Body Positive has received an update from the Auckland Sexual Health Service that there is a serious increase in syphilis among men who have sex with men in the Auckland Area.

Half of syphilis cases show no symptoms and can only be detected through testing. If you are sexually active it is important that you ensure your GP conducts testing for syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections to ensure you receive appropriate treatment. Body Positive provides Rapid Testing for Syphilis throughout the week at BP House in Auckland and also hosts a free Sexual Health Clinic on Tuesday afternoons. Read More...

Latest NZ figures show a rise in annual HIV diagnoses

04June15
The latest figures for HIV in NZ shows the highest number of diagnoses for Gay and Bi-men since the HIV epidemic began. There has been a consistent increase over the past 3 years. In addition there is a marked increase in the number of recent local infections over previous years which may indicate an increase in recent transmission. While this shows that people are testing earlier and are taking control of their health it raises concerns over the increasing number of people now living with HIV. With more people being diagnosed with HIV and people now living longer through improved clinical care we now have 2900 people living with HIV in NZ at the end of 2014. Read More...

Depression strongly associated with risky sex in UK gay men

03Jun15_1
HIV-negative gay men who have several symptoms of depression are more likely to report sex without a condom, according to a study presented to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) conference in Glasgow.

Several past studies have shown that poor mental health is frequently experienced by gay men. Some American studies have found an association between depression and risky sex, or depression and seroconversion to HIV, but there has been little data on the issue in HIV-negative gay men in the UK. Read More...

START trial finds that early treatment improves outcomes for people with HIV

03Jun15
Starting at a CD4 count over 500 cells/mm3 is safer than waiting till 350 cells/mm3.

A major international randomised clinical trial has found that people living with HIV have a considerably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illnesses if they start taking antiretroviral treatment (ART) sooner, when their CD4 cell count is above 500 cells/mm3, instead of waiting until their CD4 cell count drops below 350 cells/mm3. Read More...

US guidelines shift to integrase-based combinations for first-line treatment: Atripla relegated due to side effects

20May15_1
The latest update of the leading US treatment guidelines, produced by a panel from the Department of Health and Human Sciences (DHHS) was published online on 9 April 2015.

These comprehensive, evidence-based guidelines now run to almost 300 pages including over 30 tables previous. This is the first update since May 2014. Read More...

HIV positive workers take less than a week off

20May15
The majority of people living with HIV take less than four days off work a year but still find it hard to get protection, research has shown.

The study by medical financial advisers Unusual Risks showed that 89 per cent of HIV positive people took less than a week in sick leave a year.

Meanwhile, 74 per cent said they had taken less than the national average of four days. Read More...