Friday, June 26, 2009

Testing, Testing How 'Bout You? June 27 is National HIV Testing Day Kids!


David S. Novak, Senior Public Health Strategist, atOnline Buddies, Inc., the parent company of MANHUNT, has announced that MANHUNT will promote an innovative HIV testing campaign during this year’s National HIV Testing Day. On June 27, nearly 1.5 million MANHUNT members will be educated about five easy ways to get tested for HIV.

“It’s estimated that at least 25% of persons in the U.S. who are living with HIV don’t know their status. Recentresearch* suggests that 85% of men who have never tested for HIV report they are HIV-negative online,” said Novak. Novak said this campaign, which highlights National HIV Testing Day activities and new corporate partner, follows the success of February’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and 2008 World AIDS Day promotions.

“We need to think differently about how we encourage men to test for HIV and other STDs. In the old days HIV testing was about fear, stigma and death. Today, HIV testing should be natural, normal and about life. MANHUNT has made huge strides in HIV/STD education and prevention and now provides access to low-cost confidential testing online. Our company is proud to participate in their innovative work and to offer private online testing for HIV and seven common STDs to MANHUNT members at a discount,” said Tracey Powell, CEO of

MANHUNT is the first website to allow health outreach organizations to interact with members and offer a series of online HIV prevention videos aimed at encouraging members to verbally disclose and/or test for HIV. Through a partnership with Dr. Mary Ann Chiasson, Vice President at Public Health Solutions, MANHUNT approved a study allowing members to validate an online video intervention entitled “HIV Big Deal.” Dr. Chiasson supports broad-based targeted messages to members reminding them to get tested. “MANHUNT's promotion of HIV/STD prevention strategies demonstrates its continued industry leadership. This campaign again places this company ahead of all others,” said Dr. Chiasson. On World AIDS Day 2008, MANHUNT teamed up with Public Health Solutions, New York University and In the Life Media to promote the “HIV Big Deal” video series through a multi-media campaign on MANHUNT. Mr. Novak will present results of this campaign later this month at the International Society of STD Research Conference in London, England and at the National HIV Prevention Conference and the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta, GA in August.

“In the past five years, MANHUNT has worked closely with public health departments to facilitate sexually transmitted infection prevention,” said Adam Segel, MANHUNT’s CEO. “Creating new partnerships to inform our members about new ways to access testing, specifically, at-home, in-lab and online-based testing - along with traditional testing strategies, helps our members learn more about available options,” said Segel. Dr. Keith Horvath, from the University of Minnesota agrees. “The first step to diminish the impact of HIV in our communities is for men and women to be tested for HIV and, for those who test positive, to get into appropriate care so they can live long and healthy lives. Studies consistently show that the vast majority of persons who test HIV-positive take active measures to reduce sexual risk for themselves and their partners.”

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*Horvath, Oakes, & Rosser, July 2008 Journal of Urban Health

Many U.S. Residents Test Positive For HIV Late In Illness, Few High School Students Being Tested, CDC Reports Find

Many people who test positive for HIV are diagnosed late in the course of their infection when treatment might be less effective, according to a report published Thursday in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Reuters Health reports. The report looked at data on people who were diagnosed with HIV from 1996 to 2005 and found that 45 percent had developed AIDS within three years of their initial HIV diagnosis, 38.3 percent within one year and an additional 6.7 percent within the next two years (Reuters Health 6/25). R. Luke Shouse of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention in the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said, "This means that they may have unknowingly transmitted HIV. It also means that there is a time when they had HIV when they were not under appropriate medical care, so there are missed opportunities for prevention and care." A separate CDC report also published yesterday found that 22.3 percent of high school students who are sexually active and 12.9 percent of all students have been tested for HIV

New Resources On HIV Testing In The U.S. Available, Nationwide HIV Campaign Announced

The Kaiser Family Foundation, ahead of National HIV Testing Day on Saturday, has released new and updated informational resources on HIV testing in the U.S., including a fact sheet that provides HIV testing statistics, policies and CDC recommendations. In addition, the Foundation released two survey briefs, which examine the public's attitudes, experiences and knowledge related to HIV testing, one of which focuses on black residents. The briefs are based on the 2009 Survey of Americans on HIV/AIDS released this spring. Information regarding HIV testing by state also is available through

Separately, the Kaiser Family Foundation in conjunction with the Black AIDS Media Partnership (BAMP) yesterday announced "Greater Than AIDS," a nationwide campaign that seeks to address HIV/AIDS in the black community. The Greater Than AIDS campaign -- which is being developed and distributed by BAMP, a coalition of leading media companies -- will reach the black community through public service announcements, integrated media content and community outreach. A number of media organizations are supporting the initiative. The campaign is being produced in collaboration with "Act Against AIDS," a communications effort by the CDC .

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