From: Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force []

Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 1:56 PM

To: Jason Herring

Subject: Find it. Treat it. Beat it. November E-Perspectives



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        Issue 33/
November 2013







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Dear Jason, 

Welcome to
e-Perspectives, a monthly e-newsletter that highlights current and upcoming Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force events, accomplishments and programs, as well as national and international HIV/AIDS information.  Through e-Perspectives, we keep you posted on all that PATF does to improve the health and quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS in southwestern Pennsylvania. A sincere thank-you for your support and interest in PATF. 

Have questions or comments about
e-Perspectives? Please contact editor Jason Herring at    



Each year, PATF conducts more than 2,000 free and anonymous HIV tests, linking newly diagnosed individuals to the care and essential services needed to stay healthy, happy, and less likely to transmit the virus to others.


By finding new infections and re-engaging those infected who have been lost to care, PATF is helping bring down the rates of new infections. By finding and supporting those infected with HIV, we are preventing new infections and we can't continue this without your support.



Show your support by donating today
and help us





 (Pittsburgh)RED is a consortium of regional HIV/AIDS corporations and organizations charged by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl with raising awareness surrounding the disease and its effects on our region.


This is the 5th year that (Pittsburgh)RED has organized World AIDS Day events. Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force is proud to be a part of this initiative and encourages everyone to wear red or a red ribbon the week of December 1, 2013 to show support.


Visit for a list of events!




A Fresh Look at the Girl Talk Project


Meet Katie Houston, Girl Talk Project Coordinator. Houston was raised in Oakmont, PA and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh where she received a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Bachelors of Art in English Literature. Houston brings her passion for women's health to Girl Talk and is a welcome addition the PATF family.


"Girl Talk is an informal, fun way to talk to young girls about HIV/AIDS, STDs, and domestic violence.  We bring food and gifts for the girls who are participating," says Houston. "By creating a relaxed environment, girls are able to ask questions without feeling judged, are able to learn with their friends, and are provided with important information that is often overlooked in health education."


Girl Talk is unique because it focuses solely on girls ages-13-18 in our community who are are learning skills that will inform the rest of their lives. 


There are no boys allowed, allowing girls to feel free to openly discuss sexual health.  Often in schools there is a tendency to give more attention to male students, and it is so important to make sure girls are fully absorbing the information they need, in order to make sure they have the knowledge to stay safe and healthy. 


There are many great organizations in Pittsburgh for young girls and we are proud to add something unique to the mix. We are able to show young girls the difference between myth and truth surrounding STDs, high risk sexual behaviors, and domestic violence. Not only does misinformation further stigmatize those living with HIV/AIDS, it can put everyone at risk. 


We are proud and passionate about this program because we truly believe that girls need to understand what risky behaviors are in order to know how to keep themselves safe.  By teaching a girl how to protect herself, how to think about sexual health, she will be able to talk with confidence about these issues with her friends and better educate her peers.  She can empower herself by stopping the flow of misinformation. With this knowledge and support, she has the tools to grow up healthier and happier, creating a new generation of empowered women.


For more information, contact Katie Houston at or  412-345-0572.



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PATF: Training the Community in HIV Prevention Counseling


Participants in PATF's first Fundamentals of HIV Prevention Counseling training.


In service of our mission to find those infected with HIV, PATF is now offering Fundamentals of HIV Prevention Counseling in our East Liberty office. The training is part of an integrated training package developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure counselors are providing effective HIV prevention counseling. This course is the first stage in becoming certified. Once completed, individuals will attend training by OraSure to become certified in the use of their testing technology.


PATF staff members Alan Jones and Pamela Smith attended trainings in Harrisburg, PA to become certified by the Centers for Disease Control in HIV Tester Training. We are proud to bring this training into our agency for the first time.


"The counseling is, by far, the most important part of the testing process," says Jones. "Helping people get the test and understand their risk factors and healthier safer options lead to better decision-making on their parts whether they test positive or negative."


The agency's first training was held November 1 - 3, 2013 from 9 am until 5 pm each day. The training attracted 14 participants and was met with great reviews. Future training sessions will be held as needed and open to those in the Southwestern PA region who wish to become a certified HIV tester.


For more information contact Alan Jones at or 412-345-0577 or Pamela Smith at or





HIV in the News: 


New HIV Guidelines Address Broad Range of Medical Conditions


BRUSSELS - Updated guidelines from the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) are a roadmap for the assessment and treatment of people infected with HIV. They go beyond HIV, and address the prevention and management of comorbidities, the management of chronic infection with hepatitis viruses, and the treatment of opportunistic infections.


Read rest of story here


Could Concentrated HIV Epidemics Make AIDS Unbeatable?


LONDON (Reuters) Nov 04 - HIV epidemics are becoming more concentrated in marginalized groups such as sex workers, drug users and gay men, and could defy global attempts to combat AIDS if attitudes do not change, a U.N. expert said.



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