HIV/AIDS

More than 115,000 people in Florida live with HIV, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more than 12 percent of all the cases in the United States. In 2018 alone, Florida reported 4,906 new HIV diagnoses, a 3% increase from 2017.

If you live in South Florida, here's a list of local resources available to get information and access to resources. 

Lets Talk About It

Latinos Salud.org

IDEA exchange 

Hope & Help

Every day, as many as 500 babies in sub-Saharan Africa are born with HIV. Standard practice in many of these countries is to give them treatment if they test positive, but not for weeks or even months after they're born. The concern is that newborns can't tolerate the powerful drugs.

Mitchell Zachs / AP

Stigma, poverty, immigration issues and access to care are among the main causes to blame for Florida’s high rates of HIV and AIDS.

About 57 Tons Of Smokable Medical Marijuana Ordered For Florida Patients In A Span Of 6 Months

Nov 21, 2019
Emily MICHOT / Miami Herald

More than 1.82 million ounces of smokable medical marijuana were ordered for 128,040 patients over a six-month period, a new state report shows. That translates to 113,922 pounds, or 57 tons, of flower marijuana.

The report, compiled on behalf of the state Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine, shows that 44 percent of 291,865 patients certified to use medical marijuana as of Sept. 30 are smoking it.

Provided to the Miami Herald

Federal health officials visited Miami this week to learn more about why HIV infection rates are higher in South Florida and Puerto Rico than most of the rest of the country and what they can do to change that.

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez  visited Leon County’s Health Department Tuesday to bring awareness to HIV testing and treatment efforts. Nuñez  spoke about HIV in Hispanic and latino communities on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day.

Ben Ryan / Courtesy

South Florida has among the highest number of new HIV cases in the country. A 2016 report from the CDC found Miami had 46 cases per 100,000 people and Ft. Lauderdale had 47 – that’s nearly double what is seen in New York City and Los Angeles.  A new investigation by the Guardian found that millions of dollars in federal funds for HIV prevention and treatment were turned away by the state of Florida while Rick Scott was governor.

There's been a lot of excitement lately that the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR could offer a new way to treat health problems ranging from cancer to blindness.

But there hasn't been much direct scientific evidence in actual patients about whether it might work or would be safe — until now.

Chinese scientists have published the first report in a scientific journal of an attempt to use CRISPR-edited cells in a patient--a 27-year-old man who is HIV-positive.

Seth Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer, and Austin Athman / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

South Florida researchers believe they're one step closer to developing a more effective vaccine against HIV, after overcoming a virus that infects monkeys.

Nicknamed the "Death Star," SIVmac239 is a particularly resilient immunodeficiency virus that features the same obstacles that have vexed HIV vaccine researchers over the years: the outer layers around the viruses mutate quickly. It's like the immune system is trying to track a shapeshifter—a defense against the viruses works, and then it doesn't.

Sammy Mack / WLRN News

The University of Miami is leading a national study of aging people with HIV. Researchers will explore the impacts of non-infectious conditions, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, on both women and men with HIV.

Sammy Mack / WLRN News

Florida counties can now authorize needle exchanges, after a bill aimed at reducing HIV and hepatitis C was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.

In high-income countries like the U.S., the standard of care for people infected with HIV is to provide antiretroviral pills when the virus is found, even when there are no symptoms of AIDS. The strategy staves off the disease and has a second — big — benefit. It has been shown to prevent the spread of HIV in sexual encounters. It's called "treatment as prevention" (TasP in medical jargon), or "test and treat."

Susan Stocker / Sun Sentinel

The science exists to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is challenging Floridians to do their part and make it happen, reports the Sun Sentinel.

“Bringing the AIDS epidemic to an end is no longer aspirational ... It is doable,” Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, told an international audience of more than 500 people in Miami Beach on Monday. “We have the tools to bring this to an end.”

When the first HIV drug, AZT, came to market in 1987, it cost $10,000 a year.

That price makes Peter Staley laugh today. "It sounds quaint and cheap now, but $10,000 a year at that time was the highest price ever set for any drug in history," he says.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

The state legislative session is over and the fate of a bill that would allow the expansion of needle exchanges throughout Florida is now up to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Infectious Disease Elimination Programs bill creates a legal mechanism for counties to authorize programs that swap clean syringes for dirty ones. Needle exchanges have been shown to reduce the spread of blood borne infections—like HIV and hepatitis C—among injection drug users.

The bill passed 111-3 in the Florida House and unanimously in the Florida Senate.

A Promising Anti-HIV Drug Poses A Dilemma

Apr 19, 2019

If you live in a wealthy country, you have choices about your medical care.

Let's say you're a young woman who is HIV-positive and find out there's a new treatment that's much better for your long-term health. But there's a potential problem: If you get pregnant, the drug could cause a serious birth defect in your baby.

Pages