Health-care company invests in Jackson to fight HIV epidemic

Health-care company invests in Jackson to fight HIV epidemic

A four-year, $10 million investment from a global company focused on HIV will flow into Jackson and Baltimore, Maryland to fight the epidemic facing black men who are gay or bisexual. 

Officials with the Center for HIV/AIDS Research Education and Policy at the University of Mississippi Medical Center are in discussion with ViiV Healthcare to support the initiative's research, monitoring and evaluation activities for Jackson. 

In recent years, there have been increased efforts to address health disparities and social drivers that contribute to the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS in black communities. A recent study in The Lancet found disparities across the HIV care continuum - the series of steps from when a person is diagnosed with HIV through successful treatment, or viral suppression, with HIV medications. 

The study found one in three black men who have sex with men were HIV-positive, compared with less than one in 10 white men who have sex with men. The study also found 24 percent of black men who have sex with men remain in care and 16 percent achieve viral suppression, compared with 43 percent and 34 percent, respectively, for white men who have sex with men.

"We are very excited by this initiative and the potential that it has to allow us to speed up our response to the HIV epidemic in a southern city," said Dr. Leandro Mena, center director and associate professor of medicine in UMMC's Division of Infectious Diseases. "Jackson is one of the U.S. cities with the highest prevalence rates of HIV that, in spite of our efforts, continues to be challenged with this ongoing epidemic that disproportionally affects black gay and bisexual men."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jackson consistently ranks in the top ten cities nationwide with the highest HIV diagnosis rates. In recent years, Jackson also has been listed as having one of the highest rates of HIV-diagnosis among male adolescents 13-24 years of age.

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Class Act: Standardized patients sharpen students’ clinical skills

Inside a physical exam room at the Clinical Skills Assessment Center, Dawn Bynum was lying on her back and lying her head off.

The name on her chart, "Mrs. Smith," was as false as the slurred speech she affected to tick off her symptoms for medical student Andrew Bingham: Her face felt funny (but it didn't); she couldn't sit up easily (but she could); it was hard to keep her balance (but it wasn't); and her right leg and arm felt weak (but they didn't).

Why did Bynum do this?

"Because I believe it's helpful," she said later.

It's also her job: As one of UMMC's 70 standardized patients, or "patient actors," she's trained to present false complaints that lead students to a medical truth - in this case, probable causes of right-side weakness.

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Class Act: Standardized patients sharpen students’ clinical skills

UMMC staff receive service recognition

UMMC staff receive service recognition

The Medical Center is proud to acknowledge those employees who will celebrate service anniversaries this week:

25 Years

Dr. Barbara T. Alexander, professor of medicine (Physiology and Biophysics)

15 Years

Pamela Lee, nurse manager, Batson Children's Hospital (Pediatric Psychiatry)

Kathy McKinley, administrative assistant, Transplant Administration

Cheyne Robinson, nurse anesthetist, School of Medicine (Anesthesiology)

Jeffery Smith, medical technologist, Clinical Lab (Serology)

10 Years

Lynda Brassfield, administrative assistant, School of Dentistry (Periodontics and Preventive Sciences)

Earnestine Braxton, unit secretary, Wiser Hospital (Labor and Delivery/Surgery)

Sue Stevens, ambulatory nurse, Bleeding Disorders Clinic

5 Years

Shernica Ferguson, researcher, School of Medicine (Medicine-Infectious Diseases)

Kenyada Hathorn, pharmacy technician, Hospital Retail Pharmacy

Carol Parker, hospitalist clinical coordinator, School of Medicine (Medicine)

Recell Redmond, sergeant, Campus Police

Debbie Scruggs, patient care technician, University Hospital (5 North)

Heather Taylor, nurse anesthetist, School of Medicine (Anesthesiology)

William Wood, ambulatory operations director, University Physicians 

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Mississippi Miracles Radiothon, GME presentation highlight week's events

A number of interesting events is scheduled for the upcoming week at the Medical Center.

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Mississippi Miracles Radiothon, GME presentation highlight week's events
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