ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
An Interview With America's First Openly Positive National Pageant Winner
In a recent episode of his talk show POZIAM Radio, Robert Breining sat down with Michelle Anderson, 2011 Ms. Plus America -- and the first openly HIV-positive woman to win a national pageant title. Anderson, an African-American woman who has been living with HIV since 1999, discussed her HIV/AIDS advocacy work and how her diagnosis has impacted her life.
Ed Perlmutter: Fighting HIV My Way
Blogger and HIV/AIDS activist Ed Perlmutter took a third-place prize in this year's "Fight HIV Your Way" contest, a national photo-and-caption competition in the U.S. "While I did not win first place, I am deeply humbled that my entry was highlighted at all, let alone selected as one of 50 national winners, and profoundly grateful that the issue of routine opt-out HIV testing in Massachusetts will be elevated as a result," Ed writes.
"With Attitude," 1997
Visit the August 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Ciao," is curated by Jake Yuzna.
NEWS & VIEWS
Advocates Support Overturning Iowa's Criminal HIV Law
An HIV/AIDS advocacy group in Iowa is working hard to convince state officials to overturn Iowa's HIV nondisclosure law. Under the law, actually infecting someone is irrelevant. Just knowing you are HIV positive and engaging in intimate contact with another person is considered a Class B felony in the state and carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Model AIDS Project Kicks Off in Haiti
"Amid all the distressing news about the slow pace of recovery in Haiti -- and the negative impact it has had on people living with HIV/AIDS -- here's a bit of hope," Housing Works' Julie Turkewitz writes. In June, a tiny town in the western part of the country broke ground on a major project that will provide a range of housing and services to people with HIV and AIDS orphans.
As International AIDS Conference Edges Closer, No Progress on Visas for Drug Users or Sex Workers
So now that it's legal for HIV-positive people to come to the U.S., we're all set to welcome visitors for next year's International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. -- right? Not so fast: As Housing Works explains, continuing restrictions against sex workers or people who use drugs may still shut the door on many hopeful attendees.
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Mitch (From Akron, Ohio) on "Isn't It Ironic? More Musings from Paul Kawata"
"The future of treatment and prevention is as much about punishing those with HIV for our presumed sins as it is about any rational path to health and containment. We see this inclination manifest itself in the starvation of ADAP programs while we devote money to PrEP, an ineffective sex toy for the wealthy and reckless. ... Test and Treat as a means to an end? They'd rather see us die than save themselves."
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Quick Conference Recap: Highlights From IAS 2011
Want a brief run-through of highlights from IAS 2011, a huge international HIV research conference that took place last month? Paul Sax, M.D., has you covered. From the latest on HIV drugs in development to new information on existing regimens and treatment strategies, Dr. Sax sweeps through some of the key findings presented at the meeting.
Study Affirms Rarity of HIV Non-Progressors
Just how rare is it that an HIV-positive person's body is able to maintain a strong immune system without the use of medications? A massive British study presented earlier this year found that only 13 of 14,227 people in the study had been HIV positive for more than seven years and had a CD4 count of at least 450 that had never dropped.
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AIDS TURNS 30
Thirty years ago, 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:
Dr. Bob Presents Three Decades of HIV/AIDS: The Rise of HIV Stigma and Activism
In this second part of his photojournal commemorating AIDS at 30, Bob Frascino, M.D., takes us back to the late '80s and early '90s. From the death of Ryan White to the birth of the AIDS red ribbon, Dr. Bob looks at how fears about HIV first began to spread through U.S. mainstream culture, and at the activism that sprang up in response.
If AIDS Is Only 30, Why Do I Feel So Very Old?
"How would I celebrate AIDS at 30 if I could? ... In spite of this virus that lurks in my body, I am capable of many great things. Don't prejudge me just because I get to work harder at staying on this planet than you do. If you need to, give me some credit for what I have been through," blogger Thomas DeLorenzo writes. In this blog entry, he reviews just a smidgen of the story of how HIV has fundamentally changed his life.
Rusti Miller-Hill: Where I Was When I Learned About AIDS
"I never thought that this would have an impact on my life other than hearing about it on the news. Magic Johnson and I found out around the same time!" our blogger Rusti Miller-Hill writes. She talks about the deep denial she was in when she was diagnosed in 1991, her spiraling drug addiction that landed her in prison and how the help of a women's support group changed her life.
Just Tested Positive. Feels Like a Cosmic Joke.
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)
"I'm a walking statistic now. Sex worker. Teen. Couch hopping. I've been staying with this guy for a week now. We fucked and later I Googled one of his meds, which happened to be Atripla. So I went to get tested today, both finger prick and RNA, and I tested positive. ... Now I'm sitting on the bed and my infector/roommate is in the room silent. ... I want to say something to him and I know that he knows. Getting things done and reading feels good but it still feels like this cosmic joke."
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HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Paying People to Be Safer: The Next Step for HIV Prevention?
Whether it's to get students to study harder or help people to quit smoking, researchers have explored the idea of whether dangling cash in front of people can alter their behavior for the better. This same approach is being used in HIV/AIDS research too: At a major conference last month, studies explored the use of monetary incentives to help ensure HIV-negative people stay that way.
Missed Opportunities for HIV Diagnosis in the ER
It's been estimated that 200,000 Americans are HIV positive and don't know it. One strategy to help bridge that gap is increasing HIV testing in hospital emergency rooms (ERs). But researchers from the University of Cincinnati have found that ER docs often miss opportunities to diagnose people, even when a regular HIV testing program is already in place at their hospital.
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