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The Viral Truth


CNN Tackles HIV and (GASP!) Just About Succeeds
By Kellee Terrell
January 19, 2011

When I read that CNN's Anderson Cooper was hosting a news special about the HIV epidemic in America, I wasn't too excited about it. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Cooper, but too many times mainstream media's coverage of HIV has fallen flat.

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New Nebraska Bill Proposes Increased Penalties for Spitting on Cops if You're Living With HIV or Hepatitis; Media Fails in Its Reporting
By Kellee Terrell
January 13, 2011

Even though HIV and hepatitis C are not spread through the transference of saliva, that scientifically proven fact didn't stop Nebraska State Senator Mike Gloor. On Jan. 10, Gloor proposed a bill that would make spitting on a police officer a misdemeanor in his state, but for someone living with HIV or hep C, the punishment would be much more severe.

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Revised U.S. HIV Treatment Guidelines Include Minor Changes, Reassurance on Viral Load "Blips"
By Myles Helfand
January 10, 2011

In recent years, we in the HIV information world in the U.S. have taken to holding our breaths whenever a new version of the official U.S. HIV treatment guidelines is released. The last time the guidelines were updated, in December 2009, they altered some of the basic rules that health care professionals should follow regarding when a person should start HIV treatment and what HIV meds he or she should take.

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Denial of Health Care for HIV-Positive Florida Inmate Raises Discrimination Questions
By Kellee Terrell
January 5, 2011

Thanks to her mother's love and tenacity, Betsie Gallardo, a young, HIV-positive Florida inmate dying of cancer, is finally receiving the basic nutrition she needs to stay alive. But some wonder if she'd still be in prison at all if she didn't have HIV.

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New York City Radio DJ Suspended After HIV Remark
By Warren Tong
December 29, 2010

New York City radio station Hot 97 has indefinitely suspended one of its DJs, Cipha Sounds, following outrage over a controversial joke he made on the air on Dec. 17. During his morning show last Friday, Cipha Sounds, whose real name is Luis Diaz, told listeners, "The reason I'm HIV negative is because I don't mess with Haitian girls."

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Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga and Other Celebrities "Dying" for AIDS
By Warren Tong
December 6, 2010

This World AIDS Day, some of the most followed celebrities have sacrificed their digital lives, in one of the more interesting campaigns to raise money for HIV/AIDS, known as Digital Death. The celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake, will stop using online social media until US$1,000,000 is raised via Buy Life for Keep a Child Alive, singer Alicia Keys' foundation that provides HIV/AIDS treatment and services for millions of people in Africa and India.

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It's World AIDS Day. Who Cares?
By Myles Helfand
December 1, 2010

To most of humanity, today is World AIDS Day. To most of the world's 33 million people who are living with HIV, it's Wednesday.

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Has Obama Already Failed Us on HIV/AIDS? (And Will Yelling Make It Better?)
By Myles Helfand
November 5, 2010

Is it somehow "wrong" to protest President Barack Obama on HIV/AIDS? If you have mixed feelings on the question, you're not alone: The HIV community itself is divided over the issue.

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Why the Porn Industry's HIV Problem Is Our Problem, Too
By Kellee Terrell
October 25, 2010

HIV infections in the porn industry are not a new phenomenon. While testing is voluntary, some studios require their actors to be tested every 30 days and have documentation from the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation showing that they do not have HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). But clearly, this method isn't foolproof, especially if the actor has had unprotected sex in between tests. In 2004, Darren James, who was unaware of his HIV status, unknowingly infected three actresses. Twenty-two performers are reported to have tested positive for HIV since James, including a female performer who tested positive last year.

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Oprah Misses the Mark on HIV/AIDS ... Again
By Kellee Terrell
October 13, 2010

"Why She Sued Her Husband for $12 Million and Won" opened with beautiful, educated Bridget, who had met and married the love of her life. It was a fairy tale -- until the day, 10 years ago, that she found out she was HIV positive. Later, she learned her husband was HIV positive, too. And that he had slept with men without using condoms. And that he was the one who had given her HIV. She later sued her husband for $12 million and won.

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