From:                              Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force []

Sent:                               Thursday, August 07, 2014 1:32 PM

To:                                   Jason Herring

Subject:                          See what's new...and who! (plus a #TBT)



PATF logo 2 color




        Issue 41/
August 2014







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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. 

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



PATF offers new STD testing service to the community




According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, southwestern Pennsylvania has the second highest rate of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections in the state, with Allegheny County accounting for the most sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases in the region. Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force (PATF) now offers free Chlamydia and Gonorrhea testing along with its established HIV testing program.


People may be infected with an STD and not show any symptoms, resulting in many of these cases going undetected and untreated, leading to rising rates of infection. Men and women who are sexually active, especially young people ages 15 to 24, are at risk for contracting these infections. The only way to know that you do not have an STD is to get tested.


"It is incredibly important for people to get tested," said PATF Executive Director Charles Christen, "because even if you don't show symptoms, you are still capable of spreading the disease to others and, if left untreated, STDs can lead to major health issues including death."


Free STD testing will be available at the PATF offices in East Liberty at 5913 Penn Avenue six days a week as well as at all of its off-site testing locations. Test results can be available as quickly as 24 hours after a urine sample is submitted. Visit for a full schedule of testing locations, days, and hours.




PATF welcomes new staff  



John Catone, Director of Development


Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force recently hired John Catone as Director of Development, effective July 16, 2014. Catone will lead the agency in developing and implementing its annual fundraising plans through donor and corporate relations as well as expanding grant opportunities.


An Oakmont resident, Catone was born and raised in Swissvale, PA and brings with him an extensive background in fund development and public relations with non-profit and government entities as well as an intense enthusiasm for the work that PATF does in the community.


"I am very passionate about the mission of PATF", said Catone. "Having seen firsthand how HIV/AIDS can affect the patient as well as their family and loved ones, so I am driven to raise friends as well as funds to support the good work of PATF."


Catone is a graduate of Edinboro University with a bachelor's degree in library science/education. He most recently served as the Director of Development for Clarion University Foundation while providing consulting services to non-profit organizations for more than 20 years.



Veronica O. Fernandez, Receptionist


Originally from Equatorial Guinea, Veronica O. Fernandez, PATF's new receptionist, has lived in Pittsburgh for seven years.


Fernandez earned a Bachelors degree in marketing and business management from La Roche College and is currently pursuing an MBA at DeVry University. Her passion lies in public administration and social services and she has an impressive resume of volunteer service prior to coming to PATF. She also fills her time helping an organization that takes care of orphans back in Equatorial Guinea.


Randi Lowe, Food Pantry Coordinator


PATF's new food pantry coordinator, Randi Lowe, was born and raised in western Michigan and has lived in Pittsburgh for 24 years.


Lowe earned her degree in human services and journalism from Grand Valley State University and has worked many years in social services.






How is this for a "throw back Thursday"? Taken in 2006, this PATF staff portrait features two of our longest tenured staff members: Alan Jones and Pamela Smith!


Back to front, left to right: Bruce Harris, Richard Smith, Gloria Townsend, David Brunner, Chris Solomon, Daphne Parker, Alan Jones, Pamela Smith, Edye Lloyd, Lisa Dukes.




HIV in the News: 


The black HIV epidemic: A public health mystery-and love story-from Atlanta's gay community 



ATLANTA - In the early 2000s, a young researcher at the Centers for Disease Control named Greg Millett set out to solve an epidemiological mystery. Nobody could explain why black Americans, particularly black gay men, had such high rates of HIV infection compared to the rest of the population. How were they putting themselves in so much danger? What were they doing differently from everyone else?


Read rest of story here 


New CDC HIV Testing Recommendations Offer Faster Diagnosis



The new approach "capitalizes on the latest technology to improve diagnosis of acute infection, the earliest stage of HIV infection when people are most likely to transmit the virus," Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a statement.

Adopting the new recommendations will lead to HIV diagnosis as much as 3 to 4 weeks sooner than the previous testing approach, the CDC says.



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