Sexual Health news - HIV

Conference aims to define novel ways to increase HIV testing


On May 23 and 24, the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research will host a conference in San Francisco featuring local and national leaders in HIV policy in order to address the significant disparities that exist between demographics in rates of infection, as well as innovative ways to increase the rates of sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing and condom use among high-risk population.

Organizers said they chose San Francisco as a location for the meeting because of its comparatively high rates of HIV among minority populations.

Specifically, an estimated 33 percent of African American men who have sex with men (MSM) are believed to have HIV, and that rates of early diagnosis and access to treatment are inconsistent.

As such, attendees of the conference will look at the situation in San Francisco as a test case to identify solutions that get to the root of the problem, which can include poverty, a lack of access to care, low levels of education, social stigma and the stress of being a sexual minority.

"This important conference is designed to solidify the science of HIV disparities and effective interventions that are changing the standard of care by approaching disparities from all sides and using the Bay Area as 'ground zero' for what is working and what is not," said Veronica Miller, Ph.D., director of the forum. "Our goal is to take up the current challenges faced by academic centers and community organizations in the Bay Area to generate novel ways to address disparities in HIV at the state and national levels."

Organizers expect about 150 attendees, including scientists, clinicians, public health leaders and gay rights advocates.