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The Viral Truth


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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Project Disclosure: Mondo Guerra Announces He Is HIV Positive
By Kellee Terrell
October 6, 2010

"This print is also just symbolism for who I am now," Mondo Guerra, a Project Runway contestant, explains during deliberations. "It's just very, very personal and it tells a story."

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My Thoughts on the United States Conference on AIDS: Confessions of an HIV News Editor
By Kellee Terrell
September 28, 2010

It's funny that even though I have been writing about HIV/AIDS since 2006, this year's United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) was my first opportunity to attend any type of HIV/AIDS conference -- ever.

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U.S. Senate Nominee Christine O'Donnell on HIV Funding: Less Is More
By Warren Tong
September 23, 2010

Whether you're political or not, you can't help but raise your eyebrows at some of the things Republican U.S. Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell has said, whether it's with respect to her campaign against masturbation or dabbling in witchcraft. Last week, a C-SPAN video surfaced of her in 1997, talking about government funding for HIV. She says, "A lot of the money that we're spending goes to things we know will not prevent AIDS, but indeed continue to spread the disease, when a lot of our money goes to distribute condoms in high schools, when a lot of our money goes to distributing material that is literally pornographic." Which sounds like she's saying that using condoms spreads HIV.

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Who's Gonna Stand Up to AIDS in America?
By Kellee Terrell
September 22, 2010

Nearly two weeks ago, television networks joined forces to raise awareness and money for cancer -- and to no surprise, America paid attention. Stand Up to Cancer clocked in a record 18.3 million viewers and raised a whopping $80 million. And while I watched dozens of celebrities talk about the importance of finding a cure, a thought hit me.

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HIV/AIDS: A New First Impression
By Myles Helfand
September 20, 2010

I wonder where we'd be right now if those first few cases of AIDS had been found in straight white guys. If the disease hadn't been initially referred to as "gay cancer" or GRID (gay-related immunodeficiency disease). If HIV/AIDS hadn't been associated from the start with lifestyle, rather than biology.

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FDA Decision on Egrifta (Tesamorelin) Delayed Until Fall
By Myles Helfand
August 3, 2010

It's been more than a month since a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of Egrifta (tesamorelin). That recommendation appeared to put Egrifta firmly on track to become the first approved treatment for lipohypertrophy (unusual fat gain) in people with HIV.

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TMC278 (Rilpivirine) Stands Up to Efavirenz in Battle of First-Line NNRTIs; FDA Approval May Be Drawing Near
By Myles Helfand
July 28, 2010

The NNRTI efavirenz (EFV, Sustiva, Stocrin) is one of the most popular first-line HIV medications, but its risk of associated neurological side effects sometimes leaves people seeking other options. An NNRTI in late-stage development, TMC278 (rilpivirine), appears firmly set on offering treatment-naive people a viable alternative.

It's too soon to predict whether TMC278 will succeed in that goal. But research presented at AIDS 2010 appears to support this young upstart's progress toward U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, perhaps within the next several months.

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