In this week’s Closer to the Cure, we’ve found some interesting topics in HIV news including the new indie HIV video game, research for vocational workers with HIV, Bill Gates predictions for the AIDS epidemic and more.
New HIV Game Allows Players to Experience Life Before and After HIV Diagnosis
I’m Positive is the new video that allows players to follow the life of a young male before and after his HIV diagnosis. According to the trailer, players act as Timmy, who after a game of basketball receives a call from an ex-girlfriend who tells him he may have been exposed to HIV. Gamers are able to navigate his life by selecting different situational options.
The character’s journey is designed to educate players on HIV, including misconceptions surrounding the virus, testing, treatment, disclosure and consequences of not seeking treatment.
“We want to encourage people to get tested, reduce stigma, and increase knowledge about HIV”, states the game’s website.
The CDC will be conducting a study on the efficacy of the game in 2015.
Myrtle Hilliard Davis Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Event Announced with Special Guest Sheryl Lee Ralph
On February 7, 2015, Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Centers will be offering free testing and education at Harris Stowe State University in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Month. The event will acknowledge the most important strategy to reducing the rate of HIV infection, testing across the community.
Free and confidential testing will begin February 6th at all three Myrtle Hilliard Davis locations in St. Louis, MS from 10am-3pm and will run until February 7th from 11am-5pm. The community event will provide free health screenings, confidential HIV testing and performances by local artists.
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph will perform a self-written piece about women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and participate in a Q&A session.
Bill Gates Predicts AIDS Relief by 2030
The world’s richest man expects to see 2 advances that will eliminate most of the damage from AIDS by 2030.
“Improved treatment and the development of a vaccine to prevent new infections are the two miracles needed to help turn the tide”, he said at a forum. “We won’t see the end of AIDS but for malaria and AIDS, we’re seeing that the tools that let us do a 95 percent to 100 percent reduction, those tools will be invented during this 15-year period.”
Gates and his wife, who run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, predicted in their annual letter that because of advances in agriculture, banking and medicine, conditions for the world’s poorest people will improve between now and 2030 more than any other time in history.
Gates also noted the need for a less costly alternative to the lifetime treatment that is currently being used for infected people.
“What we need to get is some approach where you have such intense therapy that after, say, a year, you no longer need to be treating them,” Gates said.
Penn State Professor Shares HIV Research at White House
Penn State associate professor of counselor education Liza Conyers shared her expertise on HIV and workplace development at a special White House meeting on January 26th.
Conyer conducted a study that showed that those with HIV who used vocational rehabilitation had better outcomes related to National HIV/AIDS strategy. Vocational rehabilitation is a process that allows those with certain disabilities to thrive in the workplace.
Conyer presented her work with White House officials during a discussion to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The act, which is expected to go into effect in July, looks to “help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy,” according to its website.
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