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Study: HIV rates in black community as much as three times higher than whites

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An Emory study presented today at the International Conference on AIDS, currently being held in Washington, D.C., shows “greatly” elevated rates of new HIV infections among African-American gay and bisexual men.

The study focused on six cities across the U.S.:  Atlanta, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Black men who have sex with men contracted HIV at a rate of 2.3 percent per year, or nearly 50 percent higher than in white men who have sex with men in the U.S.

The study goes on to state that young black men, 30 and younger, contract HIV at an annual rate of 5.9 percent, or roughly three times that of young white men who have sex with men.

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Emory Vaccine Centers gets $7 million boost for HIV fight

Emory University will receive some $7 million as part of a seven-year project created by the National Institutes of Health with the goal of finding a vaccine against HIV and AIDS, the university announced today.

The Centers for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID) will be led by the Scripps Research Institute and Duke University but doctors and scientists from Emory, the Rockefeller University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Ragon Institute will contribute to the project.

“Despite the development of lifesaving drugs, the HIV/AIDS epidemic still remains a tremendous challenge, with 34 million infected individuals throughout the world. Our greatest hope for stopping this disease remains an effective vaccine,” said Rafi Ahmed, PhD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.

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Increased retention in HIV programs part of new guidelines

Dr. Carlos del Rio

Despite an emphasis on greater HIV testing over the past two decades, an AIDS physicians association is calling for not only more testing, but better follow up to get people who are HIV positive into treatment programs.

On March 5, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) issued a new set of guidelines that challenges how the medical establishment gets people into treatment programs and keeps them enrolled.

“These guidelines are the foundation of an evolving blueprint that practitioners and health systems can use as a resource to improve entry into and retention in HIV care as well as adherence to HIV treatments,” said Dr. Melanie Thompson, co-chair of the IAPAC Panel in a press release issued by IAPAC. Thompson is also Principal Investigator of the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (ARCA).

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Emory University celebrates 20 years of LGBT activism, inclusion

Atlanta's Emory University hosts its 20th Emory Pride celebration tonight, honoring students, faculty and staff who helped make the school a national leader for LGBT equality.

Tonight's event marks two decades since the first Emory Pride celebration, which was held in March 1993 to commemorate the anniversary of student protests that spurred the university to greater commitment and inclusion for LGBT people.

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Emory University shines in LGBT Friendly Campus Climate Index

Emory University shines in new LGBT campus indexAtlanta's Emory University has received a 5-star rating in the latest LGBT Friendly Campus Climate Index, according to a media release issued by the university earlier today.

From Emory's Office of LGBT Life: “True to the institution’s commitment to diversity in all its forms, Emory University established a number of policies and procedures that create more access for students of all sexual and gender identities. To better communicate this commitment, President James Wagner was featured in an It Gets Better Project video last spring with a message of strength and hope on behalf of the entire university.”

Emory is also home to some 10 LGBT student and faculty organizations and regularly hosts events specific to the LGBT community.

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Emory receives ‘historic’ grant to study how black LGBT and civil rights movements intersect

Emory University has received a two-year $234,000 grant to explore how the civil rights movement intersects with today's black LGBT movements.

The grant is the largest awarded to Atlanta-based Emory from the Racial Justice, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity program of the Arcus Foundation, "a global foundation dedicated to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," reports the Emory Report.

"It is historic that the Arcus Foundation has taken this step," Rudolph P. Byrd, the Johnson Institute's founding director and Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies, told the Emory Report.

Ten national scholars and civil rights and LGBT experts will comprise the first-of-its-kind working group will begin meeting this week "to present papers and establish a dialogue with faculty and students," according to the Emory Report.