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The Viral Truth


PrEP Ineffective for Women? Study on Truvada for HIV Prevention Is Unexpectedly Cut Short
By Myles Helfand
April 18, 2011

A clinical trial investigating the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection among women has been canceled after early results suggested the approach would be ineffective, according to a statement issued by FHI, which implemented the study.

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HIV-Positive Prisoner Betsie Gallardo Passes Away
By Kellee Terrell
February 1, 2011

Last month, TheBody.com reported on Betsie Gallardo, an HIV-positive Florida inmate who was dying from stage IV gallbladder cancer and being denied food and liquids from prison officials. I'm saddened to report that Gallardo passed away Jan. 31 in her mother's Indiana home. She was only 27 years old.

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"I Talk Because": A Better Way to Do HIV/AIDS Awareness Ads
By Warren Tong
January 20, 2011

In case you missed it, on Dec. 7 the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) began airing an HIV prevention public service announcement (PSA) with the tagline, "It's Never Just HIV." The PSA targets young men who have sex with men (MSM) by flashing scary images that warn that HIV can lead to bone loss, dementia and anal cancer. Since its debut, this ad has polarized the HIV community. Some activists, such as Larry Kramer, believe this ad is a much needed wake-up call; others, such as our news editor, Kellee Terrell, believe it does more harm than good because it demonizes gay sex, being gay and being HIV positive.

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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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