amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfar_new.gifamfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $275 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.

Issue Brief: HIV in Correctional Settings: Implications for Prevention and Treatment Policy (Summary

    The incarcerated population in the U.S. is larger than that of any other nation. At the end of 2006, more than one in 100 adults were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails. Compared with the population at large, incarcerated individuals are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS; the prevalence among prisoners is more than three times that of the general U.S. population. Communities of color are disproportionately represented in the U.S. correctional system and are affected by HIV/AIDS at higher rates than other groups.

Issue Brief: HIV Prevention for Men Who Have Sex With Men

    The year 2006 marks the 25th anniversary of the first reported cases of HIV/AIDS. Initially diag- nosed in the United States among men who have sex with men (MSM),1HIV’s impact on MSM in the U.S. and other developed countries led to swift grass-roots responses from the gay community and eventu- ally to targeted interventions from the public health sector to address high-risk behaviors such as unprotected anal intercourse and substance use. These interventions, implemented in the 1980s and 1990s, resulted in significant reductions in sexual risk and the prevention of new HIV infections in MSM.

Issue Brief: The Effectiveness of Condoms in Preventing HIV Transmission

    In the context of U.S. government policies and programs for combating HIV/AIDS domestically and internationally, a debate has resurfaced about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV infection. Some recent U.S. government policies have begun to shift emphasis to the lackof condom effectiveness in educational materials and other publications and programs that receive federal funds. This shift has caused confusion in the general public about whether condoms should be used and promoted for preventing HIV infection.  In response to these developments, it is important to restate the scientific evidence related to condom effective- ness for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. January 2005

Fact Sheet: Women and HIV/AIDS

    Historically, women have been neglected in HIV/AIDS research, treatment, care, and prevention efforts in the U.S. and around the world. This lack of attention to women’s health issues, com- bined with biological differences in the ways HIV affects men and women, social and economic inequities, and environmental factors, has led to a dramatic rise in the number of women living with HIV, as well as an increase in AIDS-related deaths among women. These factors, along with research and prevention efforts that focused on men only, have left many women unaware that they are vulnerable to the disease. As a result, the proportion of women in the U.S. living with HIV/AIDS has more than tripled since the beginning of the epidemic. In 2005, women represented 26 percent of HIV/AIDS diagnoses, compared with 8 percent in 1985.1

Issue Brief: HIV in Correctional Settings: Implications for Prevention and Treatment Policy

    The U.S. correctional system is facing critical challenges as the number of incarcerated people continues to grow. At the end of 2006, there were nearly 2.26 million inmates in state, federal, and local correctional facilities, a rate of 751 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents.1 This is a record high for the U.S. and is the highest incarceration rate in the world.2 For the first time, more than one in every 100 adults in America is now confined in a jail or prison.3 Such high rates of incarceration have far-reaching implications for the health and well-beingnof families, communities, and society at large. The increasing size of the incarcerated population also has serious cost implications for the healthcare infrastructure, particularly since the cost of medical care in the U.S. is now more than seven times higher than it was in 1980.4

TREAT Asia Special Report: Expanded Availability of HIV/AIDS Drugs in Asia Creates Urgent Need for T

    Across Asia and the Pacific, 7.4 million1 people have already been infected with HIV.  Some sources predict that Asia’s epidemic could grow to as many as 40 million infected individuals by 2010.2 For many years, the sheer size of Asia’s population, and its limited healthcare infrastructure, have augured disaster to public health experts.  But the human catastrophe that was once the only possible outcome of AIDS in the developing world is no longer preordained.  The proliferation of generic and discounted branded antiretroviral drugs provides hope that the lives of millions needing treatment can be saved.

Issue Brief: Efficacy of Abstinence-Only Programs for HIV Prevention Among Young People

    Nearly 40 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS.1 At the end of 2005, 10 million young people aged 15–24 were living with HIV/AIDS, and this number continues to grow.1 In 2005 alone, 5,172 new cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States were diagnosed in young people 13–24 years old.2

Issue Brief: Gender-Based Violence and HIV Among Women: Assessing the Evidence

    In 2003, the number of new HIV infections among women world- wide reached parity with that of men. In some locales and among certain age groups, the percent- age of females with HIV/AIDS has surpassed that of males.  In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, females account
for 76% of HIV infections among young people aged 15 to 24. 1   A number of biological, behav- ioral, and social factors contribute to the increased vulnerability of women— particularly young women—to HIV infection.  One factor that has been receiving increasing attention is gender-based violence (GBV). June 2005

Fact Sheet: The Effectiveness of Harm Reduction in Preventing the Transmission of HIV/AIDS

    Injection drug use is responsible for 10 percent of new HIV infections globally. Transmission occurs not only from sharing contaminated injection equipment but also through sexual transmission and perinatally from mother to child.1 While abstaining from drug use is the best way to eliminate drug-related HIV risk, harm reduction programs help those who are unable or unwilling to abstain to make positive changes to protect their health and the health of others.2 The term “harm reduction” has various meanings, but it generally refers to methods of reducing health risks when eliminating them may not be possible. In the context of HIV prevention, harm reduction includes syringe or needle exchange programs (SEPs or NEPs), but it also includes drug addiction treatment.3, 4

TREAT Asia Special Report: MSM and HIV/AIDS Risk in Asia

    As the worldwide AIDS epidemic enters its second quarter-century, HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) is a growing concern, especially in Asia. In recent years, MSM in Asia have experienced an extraordinary rise in HIV prevalence. Various studies report infection rates as high as 14% in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; 16% in Andhra Pradesh, India; and 28% in Bangkok, Thailand. Unless dedicated resources and political will can be mustered in support of innovative and creative ways to stem rising infection rates, MSM in Asia will face a crisis more devastating than that experienced by gay men in the West during the epidemic’s earliest years.