August 8, 2011
Here is a quick look at a few HIV/AIDS stories recently reported in the media:
Magic Johnson Wishes He Hadn't Retired Because of HIV (From Los Angeles Times)
This November marks the 20th anniversary of when basketball great Earvin "Magic" Johnson told the world that he is HIV positive. To commemorate Johnson's public disclosure, Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke sat down with Johnson at Loyola Marymount University to talk about Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers legacy, how he grappled with his diagnosis and his regrets.
Watch three clips from that conversation below:
17-Year-Old HIV-Positive Girl Arrested for Non-Disclosure in Canada (From Edmonton Journal)
Another day, another HIV criminalization case.
A 17-year-old teen living in Edmonton, Canada, has been arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault for having unprotected sex without disclosing her HIV status to her partners. Her arrest came days after the Edmonton Police Service issued a public safety warning that named her.
The Edmonton Journal wrote:
City police issued the warning after two young men came forward alleging that the girl had been engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse without telling her partners of her HIV-positive status.
The complainants are around her age, and told police they had sex with the girl in the past month. A third complainant came forward after the warning was issued.
Police say the girl has no fixed address. She is known to police.
In their warning to the public, police had asked that anyone who had engaged in sexual activity with the girl to call police and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Local HIV advocate Shelley Williams, the interim executive director of HIV Edmonton, told the newspaper that while she encourages people living with HIV to disclose to their partners, the media is only adding to HIV stigma by releasing the names and pictures of the accused. Williams said, "It doesn't exactly make you want to disclose [your status]."
Meth Abuse Ups Risk of HIV Infection in Young Gay Men (From U.S. News & World Report)
Methamphetamine use and how it has played a role in the rising rates of HIV among gay and bisexual men are not new topics by any means. But most past research around these topics has focused on older men who have sex with men (MSM); however, a recent study narrowed in on the younger generation. Researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago looked at 595 MSM ages 12 to 24 living in eight U.S. cities. Sixty-four men reported meth use within the previous 90 days.
U.S. News & World Report reported:
Compared to those who had not used hard drugs, the participants who said they used methamphetamine were more likely to have a history of sexually transmitted diseases (about 52 percent vs. 21 percent), two or more sex partners in the past 90 days (about 86 percent vs. 63 percent), sex with an injection drug user (51.5 percent vs. about 11 percent), and sex with someone infected with HIV (about 33 percent vs. 11 percent).
Methamphetamine users were also less likely to use condoms during every sexual encounter: 33 percent vs. 54 percent.
"The findings of our study suggest that there is a need to develop substance abuse prevention and treatment programs as part of HIV prevention" for this group, Freeman and colleagues wrote.
SF's Drinking Water May Be Unsafe for Those Living With HIV/AIDS (From SF Weekly)
Pregnancy Doubled Risk of Female-to-Male HIV Transmission Says New Study (From aidsmap.com)
Celebs Show Up for amfAR's Block Party in New York City (From Examiner.com)
Editorial: The Differences Between HIV/AIDS and HPV (From EmpowHER)
Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
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