HIV prevention

AJ Mast for Side Effects Public Media

When Ronson Rowley was a teen, he said he used to sneak into a nightclub called the Ten Bar. “It was the only black gay club here in Indianapolis,” he recalled. One night he ran into his uncle.

“He looked me dead in the face,” he recalled. “And [he] said what are you doing here? I said, the same thing you’re doing here.”


“The vagina is cleaner than your mouth,” declared Sharon Hillier, addressing a group of journalists at the HIV Research for Prevention conference in Cape Town last fall. The audience squirmed, gasped and giggled.

The professor of obstetrics-gynecology and reproductive services at the University of Pittsburgh is known for her unabashed statements: She introduces herself as a vaginal ecologist and calls the vagina a “beautiful ecosystem.”

There's an inconspicuous metal box mounted on the wall of the gym at San Francisco County Jail No. 4.

When Kate Monico Klein turns a knob, the machine releases a condom in a small cardboard packet. Machines like this one — dispensing free condoms — are installed in all of the county's male jails.

"We set [the machine] off to the side, so that people would have a minor amount of privacy," explains Monico Klein, director of HIV services for Jail Health, a division of the county's health department.

In an effort to combat stigma that has arisen around a treatment that prevents HIV, a San Francisco elected official announced publicly Wednesday that he is taking the medicine.

City Supervisor Scott Wiener said he is taking Truvada, a drug that dramatically reduces the risk of HIV infection. He appears to be the first public official to make such an announcement.

Wiener wrote about his experience for The Huffington Post:

In order to slow the spread of HIV, certain people who do not have the virus but are at risk should take medicine to prevent becoming infected. That's the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, just recently, the World Health Organization.

The preventive treatment is known as PrEP, for pre-exposure prophylaxis.

AIDS researchers and policymakers from around the globe are gathering in Melbourne, Australia, for a major international conference that starts this Monday. They'll be mourning dozens of colleagues who died in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

New Guidelines For Gay Men: A Daily Anti-HIV Pill

Jul 12, 2014

The World Health Organization has thrown its weight behind a controversial strategy for curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS: Today the organization strongly recommended that men who have sex with men consider taking a daily pill that prevents infection with the virus.

WHO guidelines are not binding, but can carry considerable sway with governments, which draw on the organization's expertise to determine their national health priorities.

Health Officials Push HIV Prevention Pills

Jul 12, 2014

The World Health Organization has announced a sweeping new guideline, recommending that all men who have sex with mean take antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a similar recommendation in May. For more on these announcements, Melissa Block speaks with reporter Richard Knox.