Did you know that Nelson Mandela was, at first, very quiet about AIDS? Yes, Nelson Mandela. The same man who spent 27 years in prison for essentially fighting for justice for the oppressed. But he turned things around as great leaders are known to do. He became a well-known advocate for AIDS causes. Today, as we mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela, the uber advocate, this Examiner reflects on three major ways he waged an international war against AIDS.
Basketball legend and entrepreneur Earvin "Magic" Johnson collaborated with OraSure Technologies and the Reed For Hope Foundation on Tuesday to present "life. as we know it," a forum about HIV and healthy relationships within the African-American community. The panelists included Magic Johnson, reality television star Lala Anthony, author Demetria Lucas, Reverend Toure' Roberts from One Church in Los Angeles, and sexologist Rachael Ross, M.D.. The lively and colorful dialog took place at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York (yes I know this is a D.C. blog. Stay with me on this one). While discussions happen all the time and all over the place, there where four notable points that were brought to the forefront. I call these the takeaways.
A new web portal has just launched to help people with HIV navigate through the new healthcare law. Obamacare and You is an on-line resource dedicated to the specific needs of people with HIV and AIDS looking for health care coverage. Supported by Gilead Sciences, Inc., the site is presented as a part of the Greater Than AIDS initiative in conjunction with Kaiser Family Foundation and the Black AIDS Institute.
So Michael Douglas got throat cancer from performing oral sex. Or not. Or maybe. It's debateable right now. The first report revealed that his battle with throat cancer nearly three years ago spurred from possible exposure to human papilloma virus (HPV). He stated in an interview with the Guardian that oral sex caused throat cancer. More recent reports claim that the 68 year-old actor did not say that oral sex caused his cancer specifically but was a potential cause of it. Semantics aside, the mere mention of HPV, cancer, and a famous movie star in the same sentence causesthe media circuit to light up and presents a time for a teachable moment. Now before everyone freaks out and temporarily swears off oral sex, let's examine what HPV is and how it relates to throat cancer.
Where do I begin? I have had many chats with my girlfriends, fellow advocates and the Lord before I decided exactly what I wanted to say about Tyler Perry's Temptation. I am not a movie reviewer so I will not comment on the cinematography side of this film. I know what I like as a movie-goer and as an HIV advocate so that is what I zero in on when watching cinema. This movie was not a good look from my perspective. Aside from a bad script, choppy pacing, weak story line and a sucky ending I found this movie to be an insult to those of us who are fighting to be an AIDS free generation. I'm not sure what Tyler's intentions were with this film but I wish he would consult someone before going to print.
Spring is here!!! (well ... according to the calendar it is). Time to update your news feed with information that you can read, use and share. Maybe it will spark your inner activist to come alive.
The three condom rule myth has finally been laid to rest by the D.C. Metropolitan Police. In a press release from The Women's Collective in Northeast, the Police Department has begun to distribute cards that will explain that citizens are allowed to carry as many condoms as they wish in the District. Demands from a local coalition of HIV/AIDS advocates prompted the department to clarify the "rule."
Yesterday, the National Institute of Health released results from the trials of three antiretroviral-based strategies intended to prevent HIV infection among women in Africa. The results were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta. In spite of high hopes, the strategies did not prove to be effective in preventing HIV transmission. The trials were a part of the the Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic (VOICE) study, which was launched in 2009.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is upon us again. We have some ups and downs to reflect on when it comes to infection rates. For example, the infection rates among Black women nationally dropped between 2008 and 2010. That's pretty promising. But among Black women in DC, the infection rates are still high. Young Black gay men still have the highest infection rates among homosexual men, even though studies have shown that they are no more promiscuous than other gay men. And heterosexual Black men remain absent from the conversation. In short, we still have a lot of work to do to get to the core of this issue. There are a myriad of items to consider when it comes to AIDS in the Black community. I would like to highlight eight of them.
One man, 10 women, 11 kids and a reality show. Sounds like a bad joke but alas it is real. All My Babies Mamas is a one-hour television special that is scheduled to air on the Oxygen network in the Spring. The show is focused around Carlos Walker, an Atlanta-based rapper, and his 10 babies mamas. Yes! Carlos aka "Shawty Lo" is a sexually active straight Black male who has successfully impregnated 10 women. Obviously there isn't much safe sex practices being performed. There are so many places to go with this that I hardly know where to begin. However, this page is devoted to HIV/AIDS so let's stick with that.