Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Input Needed On New Hepatitis B Recomendations

Created in 1984, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) is an independent
group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. It works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, or preventive medications.

Recently, the USPSTF issued draft recommendations on hepatitis B (HBV) screening for non-pregnant adolescents and adults.  Presently, only pregnant women have an HBV screening recommendation from the USPSTF at an “A” grade.  The USPSTF issued a draft “B” grade for HBV screening of populations most vulnerable to HBV infection, defined as:

Born Between 1945 and 1965?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

From CPR: Number of HIV infections down dramatically in Denver

"According to new numbers from Denver Public Health, the number of people newly diagnosed with HIV in Denver is the lowest it has been since the epidemic began. In fact, since a spike in the number of cases in 2005, that number has dropped by half..."

Read the full report and listen to CPR's interview with Dr. Mark Thrun, Director of HIV Prevention at Denver Public Health here

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Syringe Access Programs are Good Public Health

by Andrés Guerrero

It can seem a bit counter-intuitive, right? Some people think, “If you give people needles you are encouraging them to shoot up.” But the truth of the matter is that some people will inject drugs no matter what- that’s why it’s called an addiction. If they use syringes that are dirty, they can put themselves at risk of things like HIV and viral hepatitis. They also can unknowingly pass these infections to others like their friends, families and spouses.  The scientific evidence has consistently shown that syringe access programs (formerly called syringe exchange programs) provide a much needed link to the drug using community so they can access services such as HIV and hepatitis testing, healthcare referrals, educational information and drug treatment, while at the same  time they do NOT increase drug use.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Denver Overdose Photo Exhibition at the Capitol through 2/21

Photo by Matt Slaby in collaboration with the Harm Reduction
Action Center. Exhibit on display at the Denver Capitol through 2/21.
By Lisa Raville
Executive Director of the Harm Reduction Action Center

-- Featured in Mother Jones. --

There is a fatal overdose every day and a half in Denver County. This is sad not only because we are losing our sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters – it is truly tragic because most overdoses are preventable with basic adjustments to how public health is administered.

The Harm Reduction Action Center invites you to stop by our upcoming photographic exhibition that illustrates the human toll of those affected by overdoses in Denver.  The exhibition will run for two weeks from February 10 - Friday, February 21, 2014 in the Rotunda on the second floor of the Capitol. The images were created by nationally recognized photographer, Matt Slaby, in conjunction with our programs and put a human face on an issue veiled in stigma and stereotype.  We invite you to learn more about how our public health strategies work to keep Denver safe and healthy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

National Condom Month: Let's Make Condoms Work For Us

By Ben Hammett, Communication Specialist

February is National Condom Month in the U.S. Like one of our Linkage to Care coordinators, Ceasar Montoya, explained regarding National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, as public health professionals it is not enough to only be aware of these national days or months. We must use them as opportunities to advocate each others’ efforts and to find ways to make those efforts more effective. Over the coming months our STI/HIV Prevention Program will find ways to improve our condom distribution program.


Friday, February 7, 2014

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Is About Action

By Ceasar Montoya

National Black AIDS Awareness Day is today, February 7th.  Are you aware of this date? It’s the same every year.  Similar to other AIDS awareness days, it is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and a leadership committee. The day is set aside to promote HIV awareness in communities across the U.S. So what does promoting awareness really mean, and why is it so important?  National Black AIDS Awareness Day provides opportunities for HIV testing, knowledge sharing, and spreading awareness about the disease in community friendly environments. According to the National Black AIDS Awareness Day website, the day is focused on getting educated, getting tested, getting involved and getting treated.