ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Vacations, Retreats and Getaways for People With HIV/AIDS
"Summer is approaching and vacation plans are being made -- but have you ever considered a retreat or getaway with other people living with HIV/AIDS?" asks blogger Mark S. King. Joining a group of others living with HIV may be a great way to make friends and build a support network. Mark offers a few fun options that could be right for you.
Ibrahim on HIV and Homosexuality: Coming in and out of the Closet (Pride 2011)
"I still have a problem getting close to gay people. I do not feel comfortable passing by a gay sign or getting involved in gay issues. Is this a clear case of internalized homophobia? The answer is 'No.' This is me trying to avoid getting close to my HIV," writes our blogger Ibrahim. In this controversial first-person perspective, Ibrahim discusses how navigating and reconciling his own identity of being Muslim, gay and HIV positive is still a work in process.
Marvelyn Brown: Discovering the Activist Inside Me
"Today I use my personal story as a tool for helping others," writes Marvelyn Brown, who in this Black AIDS Institute article recounts how a moment of failure motivated her to become the leader and HIV activist she is today. "They say that you don't know how strong you are until you have no choice. Well, I grew tired of being told, 'You are dying' and 'You are getting skinny and ugly.' The fighter in me came out."
Pride 2011: We Are the Youth
The poignant photojournalism project We Are the Youth chronicles the stories of young LGBT folks in the U.S. talking about a range of issues, including coming out, bullying, falling in love and learning to love themselves. This touching series captures the stories of young people whose voices often aren't heard.
HIV and Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in HIV patients. Visit www.HIVandYourHeart.org to make changes to improve your heart health and overall wellness. You can live a longer, stronger life with HIV and keep your heart healthy, too. Did you know people living with HIV often share some common issues that affect cardiovascular health? They include higher triglyceride levels, not enough good cholesterol, chronic inflammation, smoking, atherosclerosis, kidney failure and diabetes.
AIDS TURNS 30
June 5, 1981: That's the day that a medical publication reported an outbreak of Pneumocystis pneumonia among five young, gay men in Los Angeles, Calif. That nondescript, two-page article was the first published report on what we now know all too well as AIDS and the virus that causes it, HIV.
Throughout 2011, TheBody.com will write and collect articles, reflections and blog entries looking back at the past three decades. Here are some of the latest:
Word on the Street: Where Were You When AIDS Began?
We asked HIV/AIDS community members of all ages what they were up to 30 years ago, at the time AIDS was first reported in a medical journal -- and at what point they first became conscious of HIV. Read what they have to say and share your own memories!
Kevin Maloney: My Message on the 30th Year of the AIDS Epidemic (Video)
"1981 was a happy time in my life. I was 5 years old, and my favorite toys were my Pound Puppy, Glo Worm and my new bike," Kevin Maloney says. "I was oblivious to what was happening in the big world around me." In this emotional video blog, Kevin takes us back to his blissfully ignorant childhood, recounts the evolution of the pandemic, and shares his wishes for the future.
William Brawner: I Can't Do It Alone
William Brawner is 30 -- as old as the AIDS pandemic itself. And he's been living with HIV nearly all of those 30 years, since a blood transfusion led to his infection as a baby. Now a married dad, William looks back on his early years growing up with HIV, in which he struggled with stigma and disclosure. He also calls for more straight, positive, African-American men to get up the courage to speak out about their status.
ScotCharles: Where Was I When HIV First Reared Its Ugly Head?
"As clear as a bell 30 years later, I remember an announcer and commentator discussing the previous day's CDC report," blogger ScotCharles recalls. "My partner and I were going to a dinner party that Saturday evening; and, it was at that party that I first talked about what would become the AIDS crisis."
More Headlines on 30 Years of AIDS:
Steve M. (From Los Angeles, Calif.) on "Three Decades of HIV/AIDS: Are You Ready to Dance?"
"It is stunning to me, frankly, that many in the LBGT community had the courage to fight on and endure when the messages they received were a constant drum-beat of shame and guilt, coupled with a complete and total overt abandonment of this nation's responsibility to treat AIDS as a national crisis (let alone a world crisis). I believe during the early '80s, quarantine of those affected with AIDS was also a serious consideration -- kind of like the establishment of leper colonies. This period was as much about the physical toll as much as the short- and long-term psychological damage to human beings that did not deserve this, regardless of what Pat Buchanan said."
Read the rest of Steve's comment and join the discussion on this article!
HIV NEWS & VIEWS
What's It Really Going to Take to Make It Get Better? (Pride 2011)
Last year's "It Gets Better" campaign talked about some of the serious issues that LGBT youth are facing: homophobia, increased bullying and higher rates of suicides. But the campaign also highlighted a major disconnect: a lack of LGBT mentors for LGBT youth. In this featured article, our community manager Olivia Ford points out that in order to better the outcomes of our youth, we must do more to bridge the generational gap in the LGBT community.
AIDSVu: HIV on the Map
A new online tool may (literally) change the way we look at HIV rates in the U.S. AIDSVu, an interactive online map created by Emory University researchers and programmers, lets you view a color-coded breakdown of HIV rates in various parts of the country -- and in cities like Washington, D.C., and New York City, you can zoom in by ZIP code. Candace Y.A. Montague walks us through what AIDSVu can do, as well as what it can't.
More News & Views Headlines:
When and How Should I Disclose to my Teenage Kids?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
"I am a white heterosexual male, married, but in crisis since my HIV diagnosis in 2007. I don't know when and how to tell my kids. My wife is negative and of course has known since the beginning. But how will my 19-year-old daughter, 17-year-old and 15-year-old sons react? All three still live at home. My wife and I no longer share the bedroom because of a marriage crisis. HIV was an additional burden on top of me cheating on her. I feel very sorry, and have done a lot to reconcile, but now I need to tell my kids. Any advice?"
Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!
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HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
My Generation Takes HIV for Granted
"A boy in the back of the room picked up his head and asked, 'If someone with the virus sneezes on you, does that mean you get AIDS?' The room exploded with laughter as if that was the stupidest thing they had ever heard. But it soon quieted down when it became clear that he was completely serious." Fourteen-year-old Kali Villarosa recalls a recent high-school health class, and ponders what it means for the state of HIV education among U.S. teens like her.
LGBT Teens More Likely to Put Their Health at Risk, Study Finds
A federal survey of sexual orientation and risk behavior in teens shows gay and bisexual youths in the U.S. are more likely to engage in activities that place their health at risk -- like alcohol use, sex or drug use -- than their heterosexual peers. "Many risk behaviors are related to how people feel about themselves and the environment they're in," noted researcher Laura Kann, who presented the findings.
Questions and Answers: Using Microbicides to Prevent HIV Transmission
There has been a lot of recent HIV research around microbicide use as a way to prevent HIV transmission, and some results have been promising. If you're unfamiliar with what microbicides are or are looking to get yourself up to speed on the latest, this article from The Well Project answers many common questions.
More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines: