HIV News & Views, August 18, 2011
August 18, 2011
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Jermaine Wright Jermaine Wright: A Bisexual, HIV-Positive, Single Father of 5
Blogger Jermaine Wright isn't shy about how he spent his teenage years -- or about the series of events that led to him being a father of five children at the age of 23, and being diagnosed with HIV along the way. In this stark, honest blog entry (including video), he explains how he got started down this rocky road.

Suzie Suzie: "I Was on a Suicide Mission" (Video)
How many people can say their life was saved by HIV? "Had I not been tested, or taken responsibility, or accepted help and knowledge, I would be dead, because that behavior would have continued," Suzie admits. In this video from the Positive Project, Suzie talks about the risks she took before she was diagnosed, as well as how she coped with her status, disclosed to her son and battled HIV stigma.

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: What We Do to Keep a Man
"When I think about the things that I did in my 20s to try to keep a man, I'm downright embarrassed," Rae Lewis-Thornton admits. "Looking back, I know some of it was rooted in the fact that I didn't want to be alone with HIV." But now? "I will be 50 years old in eight months," Rae writes. "I am not going to debase myself for the love of another. Those days are long gone."

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the August 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Untitled (2 Boxers)," 1984
Martin Wong

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.


Ibrahim Ibrahim: Poz Politics in the Face of Armageddon
Everywhere he turns, Ibrahim sees signs of how little the HIV/AIDS community is taken into account when U.S. city, state and federal leaders make decisions about HIV policy. "I guess my HIV virus should vote Republican in the next elections, because this will give it a chance to multiply once my medications get the shortage in supply," he quips. "Clearly, my virus and I are on very different political agendas."

 Manhunt Is No Way to Deal With HIV-Positive Minor, Newspaper Says
A 17-year-old teen living in Edmonton, Canada, was 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. Criminalization issues aside, were the cops right to broadcast the minor's face on the Internet and in the media?

silence Push for the Cure: Silence Still Equals Death
"Today we know a cure is possible. The leading scientists are telling us that. With these facts, to remain silent about proceeding full throttle with funding for a cure means we will continue to die unnecessarily," activist Gerald A. Gerash writes. In this Being Alive article, he reintroduces the slogan, "Silence Equals Death," and discusses why a lack of funding is one of the greatest obstacles we need to overcome in the search for an HIV cure.

 Condoms-in-Porn L.A. Ballot Initiative Petition Effort Underway
AIDS Healthcare Foundation has pledged to collect more than 40,000 signatures required for a citywide ballot measure that will ask voters whether condoms should be required as a condition of getting a permit to shoot adult films in the city. The initiative comes almost a year after Derrick Burts, aka Patient Zeta, tested positive for HIV and turned the adult film world on its head.

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Gurlzone (From New York) on "The Guilt Myth"

"I observed this ugly business of dividing the 'deserving' from the 'innocent' PLWHA during the first years of the pandemic. ... Medical providers try to persuade us that if we treat HIV as "just another disease," people will treat it that way. No. It is when the behaviors are de-stigmatized that HIV will be de-stigmatized."

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


starting HIV treatment New at Resource Center on Starting HIV Treatment
Are you debating whether to start taking HIV medications, or a new member in the HIV treatment club who's trying to figure out whether your meds are working the way they should? In our newest resource center at, you can dive into a sea of useful tips, overviews, personal stories, expert advice and everything you need to decide when, how, why and with what to start antiretroviral therapy -- and to gauge whether the meds you're on are right for you.

Complera U.S. Treatment Guidelines Panel Adds Edurant (Rilpivirine; Part of Complera) to List of "Alternative" First-Line HIV Drugs
Following last week's approval of the all-in-one pill Complera (which consists of Edurant, Viread and Emtriva), the FDA's HIV treatment guidelines panel has announced that Edurant (a.k.a. rilpivirine) is now an "alternative" first-line medication. This means that, while Atripla (Sustiva, Viread and Emtriva) remains "preferred" for first-line therapy, Complera is considered an acceptable option as well.

HIV binding Researchers Begin to Puzzle Out Secrets of People Who Naturally Control HIV
One hopeful area of HIV vaccine research involves special "neutralizing antibodies," which live inside a very small number of people and appear to curb (or even stop) HIV disease progression. U.S. researchers believe they're making some early progress in determining how to get these antibodies into people who don't have them naturally.

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gonorrhea As Antibiotics Wane, Should We Worry About a New Sexually Transmitted Plague?
"It was bound to happen," the Black AIDS Institute reports. "After most of a century of antibiotic use, it's no longer a surprise to find bacteria ... that can stand up to every antibiotic we can throw at it." The latest antibiotic-resistant bug is the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea -- and its discovery may impact the HIV community in several ways.

 How Can We Close the Race Gap in HIV That's Affecting Black MSM?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revealed that HIV rates are stable for much of the American population, yet rates among young African-American men are increasing alarmingly. In a recent installment of the feature "Room for Debate," The New York Times reached out to nine top HIV experts to get their take on what public health officials should do in order to close this racial gap.

David Bromstad HGTV Star David Bromstad Wants You to "Know Yourself"
The "Know Yourself" HIV testing campaign kicked off last month with a special message for gay men at risk for HIV, brought to you by none other than David Bromstad, who won the first season of HGTV's Design Star and is now the host of Color Splash. Bromstad "will use his artistic ability to create a community inspired traveling mural to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS," Candace Y.A. Montague reports.

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