HIV News & Views, July 28, 2011
July 28, 2011
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Shana Cozad Shana Cozad: Meditations on Love and Death (or "Day Spa")
"Don't you ever wish there was a prettier word for death, rather than death? Like say, 'Day Spa'; you instantly get all relaxed inside and know it's such a good thing," blogger Shana Cozad writes. Everyone will have that big day at the spa, Shana knows; so why take it so seriously? In this blog entry, she shares how living with HIV has enhanced her appreciation for family, friends, life and love.

Jermaine Wright Jermaine Wright: Everything That Glitters Ain't Gold
Jermaine Wright had a boyfriend who was popular, magnetic and drop-dead gorgeous. He also, it turned out, was a porn star and an escort -- and a man living with HIV. "Everything that's shiny on the outside isn't always good for you!" Jermaine writes in his first blog entry on (which includes a video intro). "I thought I had the perfect dude and everyone was jealous ... but I got screwed in the end."

Myles Brooke Davidoff: Year #1 of HIV-Positive Motherhood
"This last year has been crazy, exciting, scary and amazing. Anyone who is thinking about having kids, and lets having HIV be a deterrent, needs to think again," blogger Brooke Davidoff writes. Her son Myles, who is HIV negative, recently turned 1 year old! In this blog entry, Brooke looks back on the joys and stresses she's experienced during her first year of parenthood.

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: Living With Addiction
"I may not have an addiction to drugs, but I have lived an unhealthy life as a result of addiction from my childhood. I know how hard it is to live whole and healthy," blogger Rae Lewis-Thornton writes. In the wake of singer Amy Winehouse's death at 27, Rae reflects on her own family's history with addiction, and offers advice both to addicts and the people who are close to them.

Join the Conversation

Al (From Ontario, Canada) on "Timothy Brown: The Other Side of the Cure"

"I've been following this story for as long as it's been going on almost. Your article actually sheds more light on Tim, like what he went through and his continuing battles. It's really sad to see that his government can't or won't help this man until he can become a totally happy and healthy person that can contribute to society, and I think he has a lot to contribute! Tell him to move to Canada! We take care of our sick here too, like Germany does."

Read the rest of Al's comment and join the discussion on this article!


Mark S. King Mark S. King: I'm Gonna Wipe That AIDS Right Off of My Face
"Most of us know 'the look,'" Mark S. King says. He's referring to lipoatrophy -- the loss of fat in the face that was once a telltale sign of HIV. Mark is one of many HIVers who receives treatments to keep his face looking more full; in this new video blog, he visits Gerald Pierone Jr., M.D., for a new round of treatment and learns about additional facial-filler options.

David Fawcett Volunteering Can Make You Healthy and Happy (No Joke!)
"Did you know that giving your time and effort on behalf of someone else can actually improve your mood and overall health? Although it sounds too good to be true, that is the conclusion of a number of studies on a variety of populations from around the world," therapist and blogger David Fawcett writes.

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Connect With Others

What Can I Do About Achy Joints?
(A recent post from the "Treatment & Side Effects" board)

"I take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and don't have too many side effects, just joint aches. I have been taking over-the-counter pain medicines, but it has not helped! What else can I try to deal with my achy joints?"

 -- harcase116

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous (all you need is an email address) -- click here to get started!


Phill Wilson Phill Wilson: Remembering Ourselves, and Our Responsibilities
"Every day I struggle to understand why Black people aren't more concerned about HIV/AIDS than we are," Black AIDS Institute CEO Phill Wilson writes. "I get why AIDS is not a high priority for other ethnic racial groups: They think with the exception of Africa the AIDS epidemic is over. But it should be a top priority for us. Could it be that we think AIDS only impacts poor people, young people, gay and bisexual people -- that is to say, the 'least' of us?"

heads and arms The Irony of HIV: The Saviors Within
The growing awareness that HIV treatment can be an effective form of HIV prevention may drastically change the way many activists and HIV/AIDS groups approach the fight against HIV. "It's no longer just about the individual, it is also up to PWAs [people with HIV/AIDS] to save their communities," Paul Kawata, head of the National Minority AIDS Council, writes. "Before, we were talking about empowering PWAs -- now we're asking them to save us."

AIDS/HIV Services Group of Virginia HIV/AIDS Organization Spotlight: AIDS/HIV Services Group of Virginia
"Here in rural Virginia, stigma is what it was 20 years ago with little or no progress," says Peter G. DeMartino, executive director of AIDS/HIV Services Group. "Based in ignorance, this stigma is responsible for ruining countless lives." As the sole provider of HIV services across a large swath of Virginia, DeMartino knows how critical his organization is to the thousands of people it helps each year.

Sapphire Precious Author Talks About AIDS and Her Latest Novel
The follow-up to Sapphire's critically acclaimed book Push, the film adaptation of which (Precious) took home two Academy Awards, has finally arrived. In The Kid, Precious has died of AIDS and her son is left to fend for himself on the streets of New York City. Blogger Candace Y.A. Montague attended a book reading to find out why Precious had to die, what black men can take away from the book, and what the book is trying to say about HIV among African Americans.

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birth control pills Study Finds Increased Risk of HIV Associated With Birth Control Pills/Injections
Hormone-based contraception may be associated with an increased risk both of HIV acquisition (by HIV-negative women) and HIV transmission (from HIV-positive women to men) during sex, according to a recent study. However, the findings still need to be confirmed in follow-up studies and should not cause women to immediately change birth control practices, the researchers said.

cell infection Evidence Grows That Hepatitis C Is Transmitted Sexually Among Gay Men With HIV
Hepatitis C is transmitted sexually far more often than most people might think, particularly among gay men with HIV, according to a newly published U.S. study. The study, which focused on HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City, identified dozens of cases of hep C among HIV-positive MSM who reported no injection drug use.

Study: After 30 Years, Americans Still Lack HIV Understanding
After three decades of AIDS, do Americans have a good understanding of the disease? Not as strong as they should, says a recent survey conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Among other findings, the survey revealed that 25 percent thought a person could get HIV by sharing a drinking glass with someone who has the virus, and that 29 percent of parents would feel uncomfortable if their child was in a classroom with an HIV-positive teacher.

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