HIV News & Views, August 11, 2011
August 11, 2011
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 FDA Approves Complera (Edurant + Truvada), a Second "All-in-One" Option for First-Line HIV Treatment
When it comes to single-pill HIV treatment regimens in the U.S., Atripla is no longer the only game in town. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just approved Complera, a once-daily tablet that contains Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and the NNRTI Edurant (rilpivirine).


Melissa Baker Melissa Baker: Dispelling the Myths About Being a Mom With HIV
"Have you ever wondered how to tell your child/children that you are HIV positive or living with HIV/AIDS? Or how an HIV-positive woman can have an HIV-negative child?" Melissa Baker, an HIV-positive mother of four, speaks out about her efforts to dispel stigma and encourage other women to get tested. Listen to her interview on Robert Breining's POZIAM Radio.

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: This Is What Sexual Abuse Really Is
"There are some underlying issues for me when it comes to sexual abuse and rape: Age, consent, misuse of power and boundaries, as with many of these cases. This stands true whether it's Congressman Wu, Eddie Long or, yes I'm going there, even R. Kelly," blogger Rae Lewis-Thornton writes. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse herself, the longtime HIVer relates her own experiences, and demands a closer look at what "sexual abuse" and "consensual sex" really mean.

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Shawn (From Washington, D.C.) on "If AIDS Is Only 30, Why Do I Feel So Very Old?"

"I am glad and sad at the same time that someone actually shares my pain. I am an African-American woman living in the nation's capital and will be 38 years old this September, and I feel like I am 50, I tell you no lie. I have been living with the virus for almost my whole adult life, and it is a 24-hour job, on top of having to raise a daughter alone, on top of having to constantly stay up on the government trying to take your health benefits at every turn, on trying to remain productive. ... I agree with you totally: It has not been as great as some might think, when you have young adults saying things like, 'If I get it I will just take my medicine and be OK.'"

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Aless Piper The Guilt Myth: Who Deserves HIV/AIDS?
"Why is that 'love the sinner, hate the sin' mentality, which so many Christians boast, oddly absent when it comes to HIV/AIDS in America?" blogger Aless Piper asks. "Nobody deserves HIV, the same way nobody deserves cancer ... even if they have smoked a pack a day for several decades." In this entry, Aless examines -- and rejects -- the myths of "guilt" and "innocence" around HIV transmission.

 Magic Johnson Wishes He Hadn't Retired Because of HIV (Video)
This November marks the 20th anniversary of basketball great Earvin "Magic" Johnson announcing to the world that he is HIV positive. To commemorate Johnson's public disclosure, a Los Angeles Times columnist sat down with Johnson to talk about his Los Angeles Lakers legacy, how he grappled with his diagnosis and his regrets.

Souther Tier AIDS Program HIV/AIDS Organization Spotlight: Southern Tier AIDS Program of New York
This week, we turn our HIV/AIDS Organization Spotlight on New York state and the Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP). STAP provides HIV prevention and education to a broad swath of upstate New York, as well as care services for hundreds of HIVers, many of whom live in rural areas.

HIV Criminalization House Democrat Plans to Introduce Anti-HIV Criminalization Bill to U.S. Congress
"A new bill could put an end to HIV criminalization laws that impose cruel and unfair penalties on people with HIV," Julie Turkewitz of Housing Works reports. A draft of the bill, to be introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee of California, includes this sentence: "The criminalization of exposure to and/or transmission of HIV without the requirement of malicious intent violates the civil and human rights of individuals who are HIV positive."

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Love Has No Limits
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS " board)

"At the age of 69, I am very much in love with a man from another country who I am helping get through college and obtain citizenship in our country. This is definitely not a "sugar daddy" relationship; we have been through some very difficult times together, including facing his HIV diagnosis a year ago. I am negative but have often wished the diagnosis would have been reversed, especially because of our respective ages. ... I have learned through studies and experience the huge role attitude plays in dealing with any major illness, so as I encourage him to do it, I encourage those of you in a a similar situation to remember that mind over body applies to leading a successful, productive life in spite of illness."

 -- begladtohelp

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young, black MSM HIV Infection Rates Stable Overall, but Rising Among Young, Black MSM
"Over the past four years (2006-2009) the average number of HIV infection rates in the country has hovered around 50,000 per year," Candace Y.A. Montague reports. However, "young, African-American men who have sex with men (MSM) ages 13-29 are the leading subgroup of infections. Their rates have rose 61 percent in 2009. Now some local organizations are reacting to the news." (Image credit:

 Meth Abuse Ups Risk of HIV Infection in Young Gay Men, Study Finds
Methamphetamine use and its 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). A recent study narrowed in on the younger generation -- and yielded worrisome results.

Paul Sax, M.D. Paul Sax, M.D.: Why the Proposed Massachusetts HIV Testing Bill Is Bad for Patients
Massachusetts is bringing up the rear when it comes to implementing a more modern HIV testing policy, which includes the removal of written informed consent rules. Now, finally, a bill is nearing passage that may do away with that antiquated approach. And yet, as Paul Sax, M.D., explains, "I'm not aware of a single ID or HIV clinician who supports it."

Paul Sax, M.D. World's Largest Vaccine Study Expands, Looks Toward Prevention
The biggest active study on the planet involving an HIV vaccine is enrolling an additional 750 volunteers and expanding its scope to look at both treatment and prevention, according to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The vaccine was initially investigated as a form of treatment for people already living with HIV, but there are signs it may be able to protect against HIV as well.

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Activist Central

 AIDS Healthcare Foundation Announces March on Washington

 Women's HIV & AIDS Advocacy and Leadership Summit Application Deadline Extended

 HIV+ Gay and Bi Men! Sign-On Letter Supporting an Informed Debate About PrEP Based on Facts, Not Misinformation

 NYC and Housing Works Launch re-fashioNYC