From: Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force []

Sent: Friday, September 27, 2013 2:19 PM

To: Jason Herring

Subject: Healing Weekend



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        Issue 31/
September 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    



PATF Presents the 21st Anniversary of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Healing Weekend



PATF presents the 21st Anniversary of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Healing Weekend Sept 6-8, 2013. The annual event is a retreat designed to offer a weekend of support, friendship, education, and fun for HIV positive individuals and those that love them.


The inspirational weekend includes workshops by local individuals and organizations designed to share experiences in a supportive environment. The Healing Weekend brings the community together to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and support individuals in living fuller, more productive lives.


The event is co-chaired by Diane Byas and PATF Executive Director Charles Christen.



PATF Partners with Pitt



Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force has partnered with Student Health Services at the University of Pittsburgh to provide free safer sex products and information to students.  The products, including condoms and information on sexually transmitted disease prevention and testing, will be distributed by request through student organizations.

Nationwide, over 1,000 13-24-year-olds become infected with HIV per month, making this group one of the fasting rising rates of infection. Over 60 percent of these young people do not know that they are infected and are therefore more likely to infect others.  

PATF has made great strides in reaching at risk youth through its M2M and Girl Talk programs and will greatly increase that reach with this new partnership.  The partnership began August 26th and will include an on-campus free HIV testing event in November along with ongoing condom distribution.   



PATF To Attend the U.S. Conference on AIDS 


Staffers Aaron Arnold and John Easter will represent PATF at the U.S. Conference on AIDS on Sept 8-11, 2013, in New Orleans. The conference, the largest AIDS-related gathering in the US, brings together thousands of workers from the front line of the battle to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic to strengthen the community-based response to the epidemic through education, training, and collaboration.


Easter will represent PATF's M2M program that reaches out to men who have sex with men with safe sex and drug and alcohol counseling. The highly successful program is one of the cornerstones of PATF's prevention efforts in the region.


Arnold will attend as a part of PATF's Lost to Care initiative which seeks out HIV positive individuals not in care and helps them get back on medications, making them healthier and less likely to infect others. Arnold has one of the highest success rates in the state of Pennsylvania for bringing HIV positive people back in to care.



HIV in the News: 


Facebook peer groups may be useful for HIV education


Sept 3, 2013 NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Groups on the popular networking site Facebook may help educate men about HIV prevention and testing, a new study suggests.


Researchers found that specially-created Facebook social media groups helped encourage men who have sex with men to reach out for information about testing themselves at home for HIV.



Read rest of story here


It is essential to treat pediatric AIDS in the elimination agenda



Scott Kellerman and colleagues argue that the scope of the current HIV elimination agenda must be broadened in order to ensure access to care and treatment for all children living with HIV.


In 2011, despite the global initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 330,000 new pediatric infections were added worldwide to the existing pool of 3.4 million children living with the virus.



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