HIV News & Views, August 25, 2011
August 25, 2011
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ON THE PERSONAL SIDE

Jessie Irene Snyder  Jessie Irene Snyder: Beneath an Angel's Wings (Part One)
How much can a person endure and keep on not only living, but holding onto her will to dream? Jessie Snyder of Nashville recounts a journey beset with overlapping challenges: teen parenthood, poverty, family tragedies, navigating social services and battling addiction, all while living with HIV/AIDS in the early years of the epidemic. In part one of a two-part piece, Jessie shares her struggles as a poz teen mom in the '80s and '90s.


Jermaine Wright Jermaine Wright: Dealing With the Guilt of Infecting Your Partner
"From listening to the rumors that had caused me to get tested in the first place, I had narrowed down the time frame that I could have contracted it. So the thoughts of passing the virus to someone else echoed in my head the whole ride home," Jermaine Wright says. In this video blog, Jermaine talks about the day he was diagnosed with HIV and that he had passed it onto his young boyfriend -- and offers advice on how to deal with the guilt.


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Join the Conversation

Dom (From London) on "Silence Equals Death!"

"Another reason for there being no great push for a cure is that a lie is generally being ascribed to, even by some people who are themselves HIV+. This lie is that having HIV is 'no big deal,' that 'HIV is a now a manageable condition,' that people with HIV now live 'totally normal lives.' ... Whatever the reason, it's nothing short of a lie and a cop-out, and, you're right, we really really need to get angry about it and MAKE governments and establishments work HARD on THE cure."

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


NEWS & VIEWS

Harmony Trans Actress Goes From AIDS Street Outreach to Indie Darling
In the critically acclaimed new film Gun Hill Road, Harmony Santana shines as Michael/Vanessa, a Bronx teen who is transitioning into a woman and whose ex-con machismo father refuses to accept it. In this article from Housing Works, Santana, who is a transgender woman in real life, talks about how she won this groundbreaking role, her past battles with homelessness, and how HIV prevention work became one of her passions.


 Why the Black Church Must Get Real on HIV/AIDS
Christian churches, which are among the most powerful and influential social institutions in the black community, could serve as the knowledge broker of the U.S. HIV epidemic. And while some black churches have stepped up, there is still a lot of stigma and ignorance that remains unchecked -- and some community members are getting fed up.


Republican Supercommittee National Debt "Super Committee" Republicans Could Jeopardize AIDS Programs
"[The U.S.] Congress has just finalized the roster for the super committee -- the group of lawmakers charged with charting much of the country's fiscal future -- meaning it's time to examine how the committee's decisions could shape AIDS programs in the U.S.," Julie Turkewitz of Housing Works writes. At first look, that examination yields a few major concerns.


 Florida HIV Disclosure Laws Can Only Cover Heterosexuals, Appeals Court Rules
To some, HIV criminalization laws are outdated, stigmatizing and at times scientifically inaccurate. In Florida, we may be able to add "homophobic" to that list: Only heterosexuals can be prosecuted under the state's HIV nondisclosure law, because sexual intercourse is defined as penetration between a man and a woman.


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Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the August 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Portrait of Paul Nash," 1981
Copy Berg

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.

HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES

Mark S. King Mark S. King: 7 Ways to Save Money on Your HIV Meds
"With all the doctor appointments and wellness activities we engage in, living with HIV/AIDS can be a full-time job. And the truth is, it doesn't pay very well," Mark S. King says. "We've all been feeling the pinch of tough economic times. So I hope you'll find some savings in this new video."


virus in the bloodstream Is Your HIV Treatment Working? Warning Signs and False Alarms
The first few months after starting HIV treatment are pivotal in determining whether your first regimen will be successful. Yet if you are brand-new to HIV/AIDS treatment, how can you know what success is? We'll help you tell the difference between a warning sign that your regimen might not be right for you and a normal signal that your body is still adjusting to medications.


Depression Is Still Common Among People Living With HIV
Researchers from several U.S. universities have found that even though antiretrovirals have improved health outcomes overall, people living with HIV still experience depression and have suicidal thoughts. Sixty-three percent of the 1,500 people studied reported symptoms of depression currently or at some point in the past.


Complera An Overview of Complera (Rilpivirine/Tenofovir/FTC)
Looking for a breakdown of the most important info to know about Complera, the newest once-daily, fixed-dose combination drug approved in the U.S. for first-line treatment? The government resource AIDSinfo has compiled this fact sheet that explains how the drug works and lists dosing recommendations, possible side effects and other key details.


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Connect With Others

Am I the Only Person Scared of Rejection and Infecting Others?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

"Being HIV positive has put a bit of a strain on my sexual relationships. Yes, everything else is great. But I wonder what other people go through. ... Me, I don't let anyone get close. My feeling is, I'd hate to be rejected by someone I really like. Secondly, I would hate to infect anyone else. That leaves me with ... myself. Me, Myself and I. I hate to believe I live in fear. And alone with loneliness. I never find myself crying and depressed. I'm busy with work, being a mum and teaching about the disease. I would like to believe I'm happy. But I must say, it would be great to have someone to share those special moments, not just the physical. Am I the only one? Am I in denial?"

 -- Christa1

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HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION

Tracie M. Gardner and Kymsha Henry Mandates Won't Save Our Kids from HIV; Actual Follow-Through Will
For the first time in almost 20 years, all New York City middle and high school students will be required to receive comprehensive sex education. Prominent policy advocates Tracie M. Gardner and Kymsha Henry weigh in on how this is a step in the right direction in addressing the staggering HIV and sexually transmitted disease rates among NYC teens -- but they also explain what has to happen beyond this new mandate before we see real results.


Testing Makes Us Stronger CDC Unveils New Campaign to Encourage HIV Testing Among Black MSM
Recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a new public awareness campaign to encourage HIV testing among black men who have sex with men (MSM). "Testing Makes Us Stronger" will launch in five cities this fall: Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, New York and Oakland. This campaign comes right on time, as new HIV diagnoses are skyrocketing among black MSM in the U.S.


Dr. Ronald Valdiserri Highlights From the U.S. National HIV Prevention Conference
Last week, more than 3,000 members of the U.S. HIV/AIDS community, public health and medical fields gathered in Atlanta for an annual HIV prevention conference hosted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As longtime HIV expert and U.S. health official Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., explains, the first day of the conference was headlined by discussions about the first year of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the rising rates of HIV among young black men who have sex with men.

For more highlights from the U.S. National HIV Prevention Conference, read Valdisseri's recaps of day two, day three and day four .


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Activist Central

 Scholarships for Activists: What Would You Do for the Cure? An AIDS Community Challenge


 AIDS Healthcare Foundation Announces March on Washington


 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