Healthline Media and BEAM Announce Black Trans Womens Wellness and Mental Health Grants OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer

Healthline Media and BEAM Announce Black Trans Women’s Wellness and Mental Health Grants

Applications are now open for a new program that will award grants to Black trans women-led projects that support Black trans women’s mental health

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Healthline Media in partnership with the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) has today announced the Black Trans Women’s Wellness and Mental Health Grants. The new program will award three grants of up to $10,000 each to Black trans women-led projects that support Black trans women’s mental health.

Applications are now open, and winners will be announced in January 2022.

The grants are part of Healthline Media’s $100,000 investment in BEAM’s Black Wellness Innovation Fund, a series of innovative Black-led wellness programs designed to sustainably address unmet mental healthcare needs within Black communities and build a national movement dedicated to the healing, wellness, and liberation of marginalized communities.

“Over the last 10 years it’s become more evident to the general public that dominant mental health interventions were not built with Black people in mind. This fund fills that gap by supporting innovative culture-based mental health interventions that invite Black communities across the country to heal on our own terms,” said Yolo Akili Robinson, Founder and Executive Director of BEAM.

“At Healthline Media, we are passionate about addressing disparities in access to health and wellness,” said Laurie Dewan, VP of Brand Insights and Communications at Healthline Media. “Through our partnership with BEAM and the Black Trans Women’s Wellness and Mental Health Grants, we are furthering our vision of a stronger, healthier world by centering Black trans women innovators and making direct investments in the well-being of Black trans women.”

Prioritizing the mental health of Black trans women

Black trans women currently experience the highest levels of violence and distress of any group and correspondingly high levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidality. This project aims to address disparities in mental health resources by supporting Black trans women-led projects that support Black trans women’s mental health through innovative approaches to healing and disability justice.

Winners will be selected by a panel of accomplished leaders in the Black trans community, including:

  • Dominique Morgan, Executive Director, Black and Pink Inc.
  • Aaryn Lang, Writer, Public Speaker & Media Personality
  • Valerie Spencer, Capacity Building & Social Services Specialist
  • Aryah Lester, Deputy Director, Transgender Strategy Center

“Disparities in mental health outcomes in the Black trans community deserve our attention. We are honored to continue our close work with BEAM to improve mental health outcomes by supporting leaders and mental health advocates within the Black trans community,” said Faye McCray, editor-in-chief of Psych Central, a Healthline Media brand. “Health equity is a top priority for Healthline, which is why we will continue to invest in the mental health of historically excluded communities.”

About BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective)

BEAM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to remove the barriers that Black and marginalized communities experience when trying to access or stay connected to mental health care and wellness resources. Through healing justice-based organizing, education, training, grantmaking and advocacy, BEAM envisions a world where there are no barriers to Black healing.

About Healthline Media

Healthline Media is the leading digital health and wellness property, reaching the most people on their road to well-being. The company delivers expert insights with a clear, human voice through its content, communities, and services. Healthline Media connects its partners with more than 94 million people each month (ComScore, August 2021) across its brand portfolio (which includes Healthline.com, MedicalNewsToday.com, Greatist.com, and PsychCentral.com), and connects its audiences with solutions to help them live fuller, richer lives. The company publishes more than 1,500 pieces of content a month, created by more than 250 writers, and reviewed by more than 125 medical experts, doctors, and clinicians. Every program and piece of content is purpose-built to make an impact and make wellness attainable for people everywhere. Healthline Media uses its platform to advocate for a more inclusive and equitable approach to wellness. Throughout its history, Healthline Media’s mission and vision have stayed constant: to make a stronger, healthier world. Healthline Media is based in San Francisco and owned by Red Ventures.

Contacts

Stacey Grimsrud

Bospar Public Relations

415.271.1028

Stacey@bospar.com

New Hires During the Pandemic Report Feeling Disconnected From Colleagues OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

New Hires During the Pandemic Report Feeling Disconnected From Colleagues

Personality Tests Could Help Bridge the Digital Divide Separating CoWorkers

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Employees who started new jobs remotely during the pandemic are gradually adapting to the evolving fully remote and hybrid work environments, but many are struggling to make meaningful connections with colleagues, according to a recent survey of HR professionals conducted by Principles at the 2021 HR Tech Conference.

Ninety-four percent of HR professionals surveyed revealed they have onboarded new employees during the pandemic who have only interacted with their colleagues virtually and have not met anyone in person. Of these, 31 percent reported that while new hires are adapting in some respects, they are struggling to make connections with their coworkers. More alarming, 10 percent were unsure how these new hires were adapting in a virtual environment – highlighting a concerning disconnect between HR executives and the employees they onboard.

Onboarding and Remote Operating Strategies Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic

When asked about pandemic and future operating models, the survey found that:

  1. Pandemic Operating Models: 44 percent of respondents’ companies operated fully remote throughout the pandemic; 36 percent followed an optional remote/in-office format; and 15 percent followed a mandated hybrid model.
  2. Future Operating Models: 49 percent of respondents are adopting an optional remote/in-office model for the future; 23 percent will be fully remote moving forward; and 19 percent will have a mandated hybrid model. Only six percent are requiring all employees to be on-site in the office.

“While workplaces quickly adapted to remote work at the start of the pandemic, no one was prepared for how long the pandemic would last and the permanent impact it would have on the workplace,” said Jeff Taylor, GM and Chief Customer Officer at Principles. “When hiring picked back up, HR professionals were faced with the challenge of welcoming new employees and integrating them into the company culture without ever meeting in person. The survey shows that we are now dealing with a workforce that is disconnected and disengaged due to the challenges of remote onboarding and operating. HR professionals need to find a way to fill in this gap or else they will run the risk of increased turnover at their organizations.”

As the majority of companies will operate with some remote work moving forward, the survey highlights the necessity for managers to be more aware of the disconnects that can occur in a remote or hybrid workplace between co-workers and the need to leverage new tools and strategies to help employees build better relationships.

Using Personality Assessments to Improve Employee Retention & Engagement

To gauge how companies have been dealing with this disconnect, the survey asked respondents if they have utilized personality assessments in the workplace for team building and management purposes. The survey found that:

  1. 54 percent of respondents believe that personality assessments help people understand their strengths and areas where they might improve, and;
  2. 48 percent said that they allow you to build better teams, however;
  3. 62 percent of those same respondents’ companies don’t utilize personality assessments.

“The truth is that employees feel disconnected, and companies are struggling to find compelling new ways to improve communication, engagement, and team-building to address this disconnect,” said Taylor. “Looking to the future, if organizations want to recruit and retain top talent, they should consider leveraging data-enabled tools to gain deeper insights into employee’s approaches to work, which can help to assemble the best teams and identify the most optimal staffing structures. Using Principles’ tools, organizations can empower all their employees – from CEOs to new entrants – to better understand themselves, understand others, and help others understand them.”

About Principles

Principles is a people management software company that offers an integrated suite of enterprise tools to help organizations improve employee, team and company performance. Its most recently launched product, PrinciplesUs, is a best-in-class personality assessment that provides deep insights into what individuals and teams are like, and how team members can use that understanding to improve their relationships and the ways in which they interact. Learn more at http://www.PrinciplesUs.com.

Contacts

Breanna King

Prosek Partners

pro-principles@prosek.com

AHF Files Brief Against CVS at the US Supreme Court OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

AHF Files Brief Against CVS at the U.S. Supreme Court

9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier that HIV patients may make a discrimination claim under the Affordable Care Act against CVS for requiring HIV patients to use mail-order pharmacies or to go to a few of CVS’s selected specialty pharmacies, where patients say they are not getting full service

In 2018, AHF warned the U.S. Department of Justice that the then-proposed CVS merger with Aetna would create a monopoly-like behemoth that would harm patients, which appears to be the case here with pharmacy choice

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, filed a brief of amicus curiae with the Supreme Court of the United States earlier today in CVS Pharmacy, Inc. vs. Doe, a case set to be heard and decided by summer 2022.

In December 2020, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Doe vs. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. that people living with HIV can state a discrimination claim under the Affordable Care Act against CVS Pharmacy, Inc., for requiring them to use mail-order pharmacies to obtain HIV/AIDS medications or to go to one of a few designated “specialty” pharmacies that are little more than pick-up stations, as part of in-network pharmacy services for private insurance plans. CVS appealed the ruling and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. In its brief, AHF asks the Supreme Court to affirm the earlier judgement of the Ninth Circuit.

“For people living with HIV/AIDS, real specialty pharmacies and pharmacists that focus on HIV/AIDS and in-person treatment provide demonstrably superior care than do mail-order pharmacies and retail pharmacies. We believe that CVS’s denial of choice in pharmacy services for HIV/AIDS patients is both wrong and discriminatory,” said Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Deputy General Counsel — Litigation for AHF.

AHF’s amicus curiae brief focuses on three primary arguments:

  1. That U.S. Statutory Law Requires Courts to Protect People Living with HIV/AIDS from Disability Discrimination by Healthcare Providers,
  2. That Coerced Use of Mail-Order Pharmacies Is Highly Detrimental to People Living with HIV/AIDS, and
  3. That Coercing People Living with HIV/AIDS to Use Mail-Order Pharmacies Is a Disability-Rights Violation, by Both Intent and Impact.

“CVS said to people living with HIV that they can only go to a few of its selected pharmacies and/or be compelled to utilize its PBM’s mail order pharmacies. Patients asserted they weren’t getting full service there, which discriminated against them. They wanted to keep their current pharmacies which provide more comprehensive and specialty services,” said Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel for AHF. “We filed this amicus brief to support HIV/AIDS patients’ legal arguments in the case before the Supreme Court and to defend patients’ rights and choice in their pharmacy services.”

The December 2020 9th Circuit Court ruling validated AHF’s earlier warning of the CVS threat to the HIV response back in 2018. See AHF press statement (Nov. 28, 2018) “CVS-Aetna Merger is Bad for HIV Patients.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Deputy General Counsel–Litigation for AHF +1.323.860.5361 w Jonathan.esienberg@ahf.org
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF +1.323.791.5526 [cell] +.323.308.1833 [work] gedk@aidshealth.org
John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy, AHF +1.202.774.4854 [cell] John.hassell@aidshealth.org

Natreve Announces Partnership with The Trevor Project on World Mental Health Day OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

Mission-Driven Wellness Company, Natreve, Announces Partnership with The Trevor Project on World Mental Health Day

VANCOUVER, BC, Oct. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Natreve, the mission-driven and ocean-forward premium wellness company dedicated to providing the most innovative, highest quality products, announced today its partnership with The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The brand will become an official corporate partner of the renowned organization on World Mental Health Day (October 10).

“Support from brands like Natreve is so essential to our life-saving work,” said Sofi Goode, Corporate Development Manager at The Trevor Project. “We’re so thankful for not only their generous donation – which will allow us to keep operating and scaling our free, 24/7 crisis services, but for the message of love and acceptance that they’re sending to LGBTQ young people everywhere by backing our organization.”

“At Natreve we’re just as focused on creating premium wellness products as we are on cultivating a community that believes in diversity, equality, and acceptance,” said Roland Radu, Founder of Natreve. “We are honored to team up with The Trevor Project to support LGBTQ young people. While our partnership officially kicks off on this important day, World Mental Health Day, we look forward to continuing our support throughout 2021 and 2022.”

While this year has been difficult for everyone, it has been especially challenging for  LGBTQ youth, who often face more rejection, bullying  and discrimination than their straight or cisgender peers. As a corporate partner, Natreve will work with The Trevor Project to help end suicide among LGBTQ young people through a donation of $25,000.

For more information visit Natreve.com or TheTrevorProject.org.

About The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.

About Natreve
Launched in 2019, Natreve is a mission-driven and ocean-forward premium wellness company dedicated to providing the most innovative, highest quality products, to help you Eat Right and Do Good. Natreve is proud to be the world’s first plastic and carbon-neutral wellness company, with a vision to become the world’s most sustainable wellness brand. Protein powders include WheyVegan, and Keto options available in unique and decadent flavors such as French Vanilla Wafer Sundae, Fudge Brownie, and more. The Wellness Series offers science-backed drink mixes including Stress LessImmune Strength, and Sleep Peaceful. Natreve products are Non-GMO Project verified, Informed Sport certified, and free from gluten, hormones, artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors. For more information visit www.natreve.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Lauren Newhouse
Konnect Agency
320654@email4pr.com 
407-342-2833

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mission-driven-wellness-company-natreve-announces-partnership-with-the-trevor-project-on-world-mental-health-day-301394848.html

SOURCE Natreve

rt

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AHF Praises President Biden’s Pick for New PEPFAR Chief

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest HIV/AIDS care provider operating in 45 countries, praised today President Biden’s decision to nominate John Nkengasong to lead the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Nkengasong currently serves as the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC). Before joining ACDC as its inaugural director, he served as an acting deputy director at the US CDC Center for Global Health. Nkengasong is a virologist by training and holds a dual US and Cameroonian citizenship.

“We believe Dr. Nkengasong is well suited to lead PEPFAR because his tireless efforts in fighting COVID-19 as the head of ACDC are widely praised across Africa. As a virologist, he understands both the HIV and the COVID-19 pandemics, and has the requisite managerial and scientific credentials to successfully lead PEPFAR,” said AHF Africa Bureau Chief Dr. Penninah Iutung. “We hope the US Senate will fully support Dr. Nkengasong’s nomination and move quickly to confirm his appointment. To-date PEPFAR has saved millions of lives, most of them across Africa, and during the ongoing pandemic it is also providing indispensable COVID-19 relief. With Dr. Nkengasong at the helm, PEPFAR will continue its legacy of lifesaving humanitarian work funded by the generosity of the American people.”

Congress will soon consider whether to reauthorize PEPFAR for another five years. AHF has always been a strong supporter of PEPFAR and has repeatedly advocated for its reauthorization in previous rounds.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million clients in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

Contacts

US MEDIA CONTACT:

Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF

+1.323.308.1833 work +1.323.791.5526 mobile

gedk@aidshealth.org

Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy &

Communications, AHF

+1 323.308.1829

denys.nazarov@ahf.org

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FDA grants Priority Review to ViiV Healthcare’s New Drug Application for cabotegravir long-acting for prevention of HIV

Final FDA decision anticipated by 24 January 2022; if approved, cabotegravir would be the first long-acting therapy for HIV PrEP

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ViiV Healthcare, the global specialist HIV company majority owned by GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), with Pfizer Inc. and Shionogi as shareholders, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted and granted Priority Review for a New Drug Application (NDA) for investigational, injectable cabotegravir long-acting for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. The Priority Review designation of cabotegravir long-acting for PrEP builds upon its prior identification as a Breakthrough Therapy by the FDA.

If approved, cabotegravir would be the first, long-acting therapy for the prevention of HIV for individuals at risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection, who have a negative HIV-1 test prior to initiation. The FDA has set a target approval date of 24 January 2022.

The NDA was based on the results from two phase IIb/III studies, HPTN 083 and HPTN 084, which evaluated the safety and efficacy of cabotegravir long-acting for PrEP in men who have sex with men, transgender women, and cisgender women.1,2 The blinded, randomised portions of both studies were stopped early by independent Data Safety Monitoring Boards after cabotegravir was shown to be superior to daily oral emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC/TDF) tablets in preventing the acquisition of HIV.1,2

Kimberly Smith, M.D., MPH, Head of Research & Development at ViiV Healthcare, said: “The FDA’s Priority Review designation of cabotegravir long-acting for PrEP underscores the importance of this medicine, supported by the results of the HPTN studies, which demonstrated cabotegravir’s superior efficacy over daily oral FTC/TDF tablets. In the United States, fewer than 25% of those who could benefit from PrEP are currently taking it, which points to the need for additional HIV prevention options. We believe new options like investigational cabotegravir long-acting for PrEP will help play a significant role in our collective efforts to end the HIV epidemic.”

ViiV Healthcare will initiate submissions of cabotegravir long-acting for PrEP to other regulatory authorities by the end of 2021. Cabotegravir long-acting for PrEP has not been approved or licensed anywhere in the world for use in HIV prevention.

About HPTN 083 (NCT02720094)

The HPTN 083 study is a phase IIb/III double blind study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of long-acting injectable cabotegravir for HIV prevention administered every eight weeks compared to daily oral FTC/TDF tablets (200 mg/300 mg). The trial design included an oral lead-in phase to assess tolerability to cabotegravir before administering the intramuscular injection. HPTN 083 was conducted in 4,566 men who have sex with men and transgender women who have sex with men. The study opened to enrolment in November 2016 at research centres in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, United States, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.1

Long-acting cabotegravir was found to be superior to daily oral FTC/TDF in preventing HIV acquisition in the study population. The most common adverse reactions (all grades) observed in at least 1% of subjects receiving long-acting cabotegravir were injection site reactions, diarrhea, headache, pyrexia, fatigue, sleep disorders, nausea, dizziness, flatulence, and abdominal pain. For further information on HPTN 083 please see https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02720094.

About HPTN 084 (NCT03164564)

The HPTN 084 study is a phase IIb/III double blind study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of long-acting injectable cabotegravir for HIV prevention administered every eight weeks compared to daily oral FTC/TDF tablets (200 mg/300 mg) in 3,223 cisgender women who are at increased risk of HIV acquisition. The trial design included an oral lead-in phase to assess tolerability to cabotegravir before administering the intramuscular injection. HPTN 084 opened to enrolment in November 2017 and is being conducted at research centres in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Eswatini, Uganda and Zimbabwe.2

Long-acting cabotegravir was found to be superior to daily oral FTC/TDF in preventing HIV acquisition in the study population. The most common adverse reactions (all grades) observed in at least 1% of subjects receiving long-acting cabotegravir were injection site reactions, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, sleep disorders, nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, vomiting, myalgia, and rash. For further information please see https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03164564.

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined as a shareholder in October 2012. The company’s aims are to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV.

For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline, and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com/about-us/.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2020, GSK’s Q2 Results and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registered in England & Wales:

GSK PLC

ViiV Healthcare Limited

No. 3888792

No. 06876960

 

Registered Office:

980 Great West Road

Brentford, Middlesex

TW8 9GS

References

1 Marzinke M, Grinsztejn B, Fogel J, Piwowar-Manning EM et al, Laboratory Analysis of HIV Infections in HPTN 083: Injectable CAB for PrEP. Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections Abstract 153

2 Delany-Moretlwe S, Hughes JP et al. Long acting injectable cabotegravir is safe and effective in preventing HIV infection in cisgender women. HIV Research for Prevention Virtual Conference (HIVR4P 2021) abstract HY01.02, 2021.

3 DC statement on FDA approval of drug for HIV prevention. News release CDC NCHHSTP Newsroom. July 16, 2012. Accessed September 7, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2012/fda-approvesdrugstatement.html
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevent new HIV transmissions by using proven interventions, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and syringe services programs (SSPs). Accessed September 7, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/endhiv/prevent.html

Contacts

ViiV Healthcare
Media enquiries:

Melinda Stubbee +1 919 491 0831 (North Carolina)

Audrey Abernathy +1 919 605 4521 (North Carolina)

Catherine Hartley +44 7909 002 403 (London)

GSK enquiries:
Media enquiries:

Tim Foley +44 (0) 20 8047 5502 (London)

Kristen Neese +1 804 217 8147 (Philadelphia)

Kathleen Quinn +1 202 603 5003 (Washington DC)

Analyst/Investor enquiries:

James Dodwell +44 (0) 20 8047 2406 (London)

Mick Readey +44 (0) 7990 339653 (London)

Jeff McLaughlin +1 215 751 7002 (Philadelphia)

Frannie DeFranco +1 215 751 4855 (Philadelphia)

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City of Hope and Griffith University Researchers Use Novel Method to Block HIV in Mice

Scientists developed an anti-HIV protein called ZPAMt that can be delivered to affected areas using exosomes, nanosized parts of cells able to reach difficult-to-access areas of the body, such as the brain.

DUARTE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Researchers at City of Hope, a world-renowned research and treatment organization for cancer and diabetes, and Menzies Health Institute Queensland at Griffith University have developed a novel anti-HIV protein that suppressed HIV levels in the bone marrow, spleen, and brain of mice and prevented the virus from replicating in those regions, according to a new study published in Nature Communications today.


Their research demonstrates that scientists could engineer nanosized parts of cells called exosomes to carry therapeutic cargo to hard-to-reach places, including the nearly impenetrable blood-brain barrier. This innovative delivery system paves the way for a future where it’s conceivable that engineered exosomes could carry cargo that either suppress infectious diseases or restructure genetic material so that pathogens are rendered harmless.

“This innovative technology could become a viable way to deliver therapies not only for HIV but also for other diseases, including ones that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” said Professor Kevin Morris, Ph.D. from City of Hope’s Center for Gene Therapy and Griffith University’s School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. Morris is senior author of the new study.

Human immunodeficiency virus attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making an individual more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. Many researchers believe one way to cure HIV is to “block and lock” the disease in a process that obstructs the ability of the virus to replicate and locks it in a dormant state.

“The ZPAMt HIV protein repressor we developed is packaged into exosome nanoparticles and can enter cells where it epigenetically silences HIV,” Morris said. “We show that these nanoparticles can systemically ‘block and lock’ HIV expression. This is the first time that block and lock has been successfully delivered to treat HIV in vivo in the brain.”

HIV can enter the human body in a dormant-like state; it is able to hide from the body’s immune system and evade treatments. Then, it can reactivate later. HIV hiding in the brain is especially difficult to treat because of the blood-brain barrier, which prevents both toxins and therapies from entering the brain.

Currently, there is no cure for HIV, so once someone contracts it, he or she will have it for life. An estimated 1.19 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (R01 113407-01).

About City of Hope

City of Hope is an independent biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy such as CAR T cell therapy. City of Hope’s translational research and personalized treatment protocols advance care throughout the world. Human synthetic insulin, monoclonal antibodies and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs are based on technology developed at the institution. A National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope is ranked among the nation’s “Best Hospitals” in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Its main campus is located near Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California and in Arizona. Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) became a part of City of Hope in 2016. AccessHopeTM, a subsidiary launched in 2019, serves employers and their health care partners by providing access to NCI-designated cancer center expertise. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

About Griffith University

Griffith University is a comprehensive research-intensive university ranked in the top 2% of universities globally with 50,000 students spanning six campuses in South East Queensland, Australia. Its research excellence, innovative teaching and learning practices, and strong industry ties makes it one of the leading providers of higher education in the Asia–Pacific.

Contacts

Zen Vuong

626-409-9367

zvuong@coh.org

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OptumHealth Education Launches LGBTQ+ Education Program for Providers

Developed in partnership with OutCare Health, the no-cost, on-demand accredited series and related resource guide teaches health care professionals about the unique needs and health disparities facing the LGBTQ+ community

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–OptumHealth Education, in partnership with OutCare Health, has launched an accredited, no-cost, and publicly available education program to teach health care professionals about the unique health care needs and disparities experienced by the LGBTQ+ community. The series is designed to promote a more equitable, affirming and supportive health care environment for LGBTQ+ people through increased provider education and understanding.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LGBTQ+ people experience health disparities linked to social stigma and discrimination1. Studies have found that an estimated 8% of lesbian, gay and bisexual patients, and almost 27% of transgender patients, have reported being denied health care services2.

The program is an on-demand, publicly available webcast on OptumHealthEducation.com at no cost, and is eligible for continuing education credits. The series identifies the negative effects that implicit bias, stigma and discrimination can have on the mental and physical health of those in the LGBTQ+ community; discusses the appropriate pronouns and terminology to use in respectful communication with members of the LGBTQ+ community; covers the specific and unique health-related risks and disparities that are experienced by the LGBTQ+ community; and identifies how to create a health care environment in which members of the LGBTQ+ community can feel validated, welcome and safe to discuss health issues.

Future modules starting in fall 2021 will offer more in-depth provider-focused education around the unique health care needs of specific populations within the LGBTQ+ community, such as caring for transgender patients.

In conjunction with the education, Optum created PRIDE365+, a website that provides resources to educate and support LGBTQ+ community members and allies in creating open, safe and respectful working and living environments. PRIDE365+ includes a resource guide, an LGBTQ+ terminology and pronoun guide, a transgender support guide, and a “How to be an Ally” guide, along with informational content from Optum partner Trans Lifeline, a grassroots nonprofit 501(c)(3) offering emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis.

“LGBTQ+ people face a number of unique challenges and barriers when it comes to their health and well-being. Many of these barriers are rooted in discrimination, stigma and a simple lack of awareness and knowledge,” said Dr. Amy Nguyen Howell, Optum senior national medical director, Office for Provider Advancement. “We launched this educational series as part of our commitment to advancing health equity and improving the health care experience for everyone we serve.”

Caring for the LGBTQ+ Community: An Introduction, was developed in partnership with OutCare Health, a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) LGBTQ+ health equity organization, which offers directories of providers and public resources, mentorship, webinars, blogs, research and cultural competency trainings.

“We’re proud to launch this educational series with OptumHealth Education and Optum, and to address these disparities head-on,” said OutCare Health Founder and President Dr. Dustin Nowaskie. “Working with one of the leading health care services companies in the United States to design this training means we can reach more providers and make a meaningful impact on the barriers LGBTQ+ people experience within the health care system.”

Caring for the LGBTQ+ Community: An Introduction, is offered by OptumHealth Education, an organization dedicated to providing interprofessional continuing education that improves patient outcomes and positively affects the delivery of health care. OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

For more information or to sign up for the educational series, please visit OptumHealthEducation.com.

About OptumHealth Education

OptumHealth Education is dedicated to providing interprofessional continuing education that improves patient outcomes and positively impacts the delivery of health care. It works diligently to foster the professional development of engaged, lifelong learners who seek to advance the skills, strategy and/or performance relevant to their clinical practice and/or their role within the health care team. For more information, visit www.optumhealtheducation.com.


1 https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-health

2 https://www.lambdalegal.org/publications/when-health-care-isnt-caring

Contacts

Brad Lotterman

Brad.Lotterman@optum.com
714-445-0453

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Magellan Rx Management’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program Center of Excellence Expands Program That Significantly Improves Medication Adherence and Quality of Care for Patients with HIV

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Magellan Rx Management, the full-service pharmacy benefits management division of Magellan Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN) has expanded Navigate Whole Health to include the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) that applies an innovative and comprehensive approach to managing the quality of care for persons receiving treatment for HIV. Through the program, clinical pharmacists partner with providers to manage complex cases by promoting best-practices for HIV treatment and closing care gaps. The Navigate Whole Health ADAP program also supports participating ADAPs in meeting Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) performance measures.

“Navigate Whole Health ADAP offers a unique opportunity to support participating ADAP customers, providers and their members by concentrating on HIV/AIDS treatments, comorbid chronic diseases, behavioral health conditions, and social determinants that interfere with outcomes,” said Caroline Carney, MD, chief medical officer, Magellan Health. “We are using data science to tailor interventions to deliver the right supports to prevent interruptions in therapy and address behavioral healthcare, including depression and substance abuse.”

Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is critical to reducing viral load, transmission, and resistance. For most patients, nearly perfect (>95 percent) adherence is necessary to achieve optimal viral suppression and clinical success. However, the national average rate of adherence to ART is around 70 percent, and the total annual unadjusted costs per patient for non-adherence to HIV ART therapy ranged from $16,957 to $30,068.1,2

The Navigate Whole Health ADAP pilot program was conducted for nine months. An analysis of the first three months of intervention shows a 26.7 percent increase in HIV/ART medication adherence in six months post intervention. This program also addresses behavioral concerns, like depression, and achieved a 60 percent increase in members being adherent to their antidepressant medication adherence. “It is particularly encouraging to note that 100% of the recommendations made by Magellan clinical team were accepted by prescribers,” says Astha Chopra, vice president, clinical effectiveness, Magellan Health.

ADAP Center of Excellence

Magellan Rx established a national ADAP Center of Excellence (COE) with a dedicated call center to provide timely service and continuity of care. The dedicated ADAP team provides a multi-faceted approach to State ADAP programs across the country with a best-in class operating paradigm to help improve patient outcomes and prevent HIV. Navigate ADAP is one of the ways the Magellan Rx ADAP COE helps improve clinical quality for ADAP members.

“With over three decades of experience in serving some of the largest state ADAP programs, our Magellan team is deeply invested in the national effort to combat AIDS and the HIV epidemic through education, awareness, research and access to medications for those living with the disease. We invested in the Center of Excellence to leverage significant expertise on behalf of all our ADAP customers and their members. This program is one of many examples of our commitment to this work.” Meredith Delk, general manager and senior vice president, government markets, Magellan Rx Management.

About Magellan Rx Management: Magellan Rx Management, a division of Magellan Health, Inc., is shaping the future of pharmacy. As a next-generation pharmacy organization, we deliver meaningful solutions to the people we serve. As pioneers in specialty drug management, industry leaders in Medicaid pharmacy programs and disruptors in pharmacy benefit management, we partner with our customers and members to deliver a best-in-class healthcare experience.

About Magellan Health: Magellan Health, Inc., is a leader in managing the fastest growing, most complex areas of health, including special populations, complete pharmacy benefits and other specialty areas of healthcare. Magellan supports innovative ways of accessing better health through technology, while remaining focused on the critical personal relationships that are necessary to achieve a healthy, vibrant life. Magellan’s customers include health plans and other managed care organizations, employers, labor unions, various military and governmental agencies and third-party administrators. For more information, visit MagellanHealth.com.

1.

Machtinger EL, Bangsberg DR. Adherence to HIV Antiretroviral Therapy. HIV in Site Knowledge Base Chapter; May. 2005. [Accessed on 2021 Mar 16]. Content Reviewed; January 2006. http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=kb-03-02-09.

2.

Cutler RL, Fernandez-Llimos F, Frommer M, Benrimoj C, Garcia-Cardenas V. Economic impact of medication non-adherence by disease groups: a systematic review. BMJ Open. 2018;8(1):e016982. Published 2018 Jan 21. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016982

(MGLN-GEN)

Contacts

Media: Lilly Ackley, ackleyl@magellanhealth.com, (860) 507-1923

Investor: Darren Lehrich, lehrichd@magellanhealth.com, (860) 507-1814

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AHF Dumbfounded by Gilead’s Claim of No AIDS Stigma Today

In recent legal filing in lawsuits over one of its HIV/AIDS medications that causes permanent and potentially deadly damage to the kidneys and bones, Gilead’s white shoe law firm, Sidley Austin, stumbles as it claims “…there is no shame or stigma …” associated with the disease today

At the same time its lawyers deny AIDS stigma, NBC News reported that Gilead itself funded a newly released study that found half of Americans “… said they’d feel uncomfortable with a HIV-positive medical professional, 42 percent were uncomfortable with a hair stylist or a barber living with the virus, and a third (34 percent) said they were uncomfortable with an HIV-positive teacher.”

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced that in a recent legal filing in personal injury lawsuits against Gilead Sciences Inc. seeking to hold the Bay Area drug maker accountable over one of its HIV/AIDS medications that allegedly causes permanent damage to the kidneys and bones, lawyers for Gilead claimed that “no shame or stigma” remains associated with HIV/AIDS today as they sought to reverse a judicial order denying Gilead access to AHF’s patient and client mailing lists.

In an August 9, 2021 filing in the Superior Court of California County of San Francisco (Case No. CJC-19-005043) seeking reconsideration of the Court’s Recommended Order No. 19 (Motions to Quash, and to Modify, Deposition Subpoena For Production of Business Records to AIDS Healthcare Foundation), lawyers for Sidley Austin, Gilead’s law firm, twice asserted there is no longer stigma associated with HIV or AIDS today, writing:

  • “Support for the HIV/AIDS community is not even stigmatized in today’s society,” (pleading, P #5, lines 19 & 20), and
  • “Further, there is no shame or stigma associated with supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS…” (pleading, P #9, lines 17 & 18).

At nearly the same time Gilead’s lawyers dubiously claimed that no HIV/AIDS stigma remains today, a new study undertaken by the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD and the Southern AIDS Coalition found that half of Americans “… said they’d feel uncomfortable with a HIV-positive medical professional, 42 percent were uncomfortable with a hair stylist or a barber living with the virus, and a third (34 percent) said they were uncomfortable with an HIV-positive teacher.” According to NBC News, the study, “The State of HIV Stigma 2021”, was published and widely reported on August 26, 2021.

NBC News also reported that Gilead funded the study.

Gilead’s assertions denying the existence of stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS today came about in its response to multiple personal injury lawsuits by patients taking Gilead medications. The lawsuits focus on Gilead’s failure to rectify a known defect in its tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) drug formulation, knowing that a safer alternate, tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) existed—in Gilead’s own laboratories—and for its failure to warn patients of the damaging side effects of TDF as well as Gilead’s active misrepresentation of TDF’s efficacy and risks. AHF supported many of the plaintiffs’ lawsuits, which likely led to Gilead’s discovery requests for its mailing lists.

Gilead’s zeal to maintain and maximize its corporate profits came at the expense of the health and wellbeing of its customers who were prescribed and taking TDF. According to earlier pleadings in the cases, the company knew as far back as 2001 from its own studies and other research that TDF was, ‘…highly toxic in the doses prescribed and risked permanent and possibly fatal damage to the kidneys and bones.’

“It’s official, according to Gilead: there is no longer any stigma around AIDS today,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “I suppose that means Gilead wasted a lot of money on its recent—and disheartening—GLAAD/Southern AIDS Coalition study documenting the ongoing and severe stigma around HIV and AIDS. Perhaps Gilead should instead spend its energy developing a drug to treat the willful blindness associated with its overwhelming greed. They make billions of dollars harming HIV/AIDS patients when they knew they had a better, less toxic drug sitting on the shelf. Now, they declare AIDS stigma no longer exists. Gilead, what astounding arrogance—and greed!”

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare

Contacts

Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF

+1.323.791.5526 mobile

gedk@aidshealth.org