Live Monday morning, 2/2: The Importance of #ReproductiveHealth to Ending #HIV”

Monday morning: Watch it on You Tube. 

Local Speakers: 
Lynn Matthews, MGH / Seth Bloom, MGH / Rebecca Zash, BIDMC / Kunjal Patel, HSPH

aids slide
Mofenson slide

Invited Speakers:
Lynne Mofenson, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation

See “Risk of HIV Acquisition during Pregnancy and Postpartum: A Call for Action”

Pregnancy hormone-associated changes in the female genital tract, including changes in vaginal epithelial thickness, the vaginal and gut microbiome, and an increase in CCR5 co-receptor expression, may create a favorable milieu for HIV acquisition in the female genital tract during pregnancy

Craig Cohen, UCSF School of Medicine / Jeanne Marrazzo, UAB School of Medicine / Lena Serghides, University of Toronto / Jeffrey Stringer, UNC-CH School of Medicine

Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Rotunda Room, HMS | 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston

Morning Session: 
HIV Prevention in Pregnancy and Periconception:  The Role Of the Microbiome

Afternoon Session: 
What Will It Take to Eliminate Mother to Child Transmission Of HIV?  Challenges to HIV Treatment in Pregnancy (followed by a poster session and reception)

Please click here to register or visit for more information.


Would you take a pill to prevent AIDS? Those at risk should consider it, says Massachusetts.

The Globe reports today on the push to make Capturean AIDS prevention drug available. After
many years of struggling to come up with a vaccine, this was a true breakthrough. (We don’t use that word lightly on this page.) But instead of a shot that stays with you for year, here you have to take a pill.

Critics questioned the wisdom of giving powerful drugs to healthy people, and worried that access to a preventive drug would encourage promiscuity or lead to a spike in other sexually transmitted diseases by reducing condom use.

But as study after study — some conducted in Boston — found the drug safe and effective, public health officials came to embrace PrEP, concluding the benefits exceed the hazards. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that some 1.2 million people at risk of HIV infection should at least consider PrEP.






Infectious disease and Bostonians from Africa

Passing this along from the Running a Hospital blog, which is run by BIDMC chief Paul Levy. 

According to World Health Organization reports, nearly half of deaths due to infectious diseases globally, occur in the Sub-
Saharan Africa. Particularly, of all the people infected globally
by various diseases, 89% of those infected by malaria, 77%
of HIV/AIDS patients and 31% of Tuberculosis patients, in Sub-Saharan Africa die of these diseases.

There is a large population of Sub-Saharan Africans domiciled
here in Massachusetts.
The African Community Health Initiatives
(ACHI) has stepped up to help, not only to provide appropriate
education, but has increasingly become a conduit through which
people of African descent are sought after, screened for health
insurance, health/social service needs, and assisted with application/referral to appropriate health/social service providers.
ACHI also assists in the enrollment of clients in the Massachusetts state health insurance plans, namely, MassHealth and Commonwealth Care.

BHN exclusive: Gay Pride and health, Boston 2009

        The world was an unfriendly place for gay people when the Fenway Community Health Center started in the basement of a Boston church in 1971. They recently cut the ribbon on a 100,000-square-foot building that rivals any of the monuments to medicine on Longwood Avenue.

             BHN visited the Boston Gay Pride festivities on Saturday, June 13 and offers this video update on health and the gay community. (Most people ID themselves. The man in the Hawaiian shirt is Dick Bourbeau from Boston Prime Timers.)