HIV News & Views, September 1, 2011
September 1, 2011
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Jessie Irene Snyder Jessie Irene Snyder: Beneath an Angel's Wings (Part Two)
How much can a person endure and keep on not only living, but holding onto her will to dream? Last week, we featured part one of Jessie Snyder's story of living with HIV/AIDS in the early years of the epidemic. In part two, Jessie loses her mom and daughter, plunges deeply into drug use and finds herself balancing on the knife's edge of succumbing to hopelessness.

Tyler Tyler: A Lifetime of Learning, and Educating, About HIV (Video)
Tyler was infected with HIV at birth. Now 20, he's learned how to negotiate dating, disclose his status and calmly answer the questions he's endlessly asked by his classmates and peers. In this video from the Positive Project, Tyler talks about his sometimes-difficult path to adulthood, and confidently explains his rules of the road.

Shana Cozad Shana Cozad: Shines the Sun
"We all have cloudy days. But the sunshine is always there. Other people may think of this in other ways, such as Jesus, God or another religious interpretation. I think about my connection to God every day too. Yet, I am clear in acknowledging the other elements of our Universe and my connection to them." In this meditative blog entry, Shana Cozad reminds us of the power of faith and forgiveness.

Frankie Ninja Frankie Ninja: An Introduction to the Ninja Report
"I hope that my words give a real and substantive insight into what life is like for 'us' on the west coast -- how, in reality, we are not much different than those not afflicted by this disease," Frankie Ninja writes. In his introductory blog entry on, Frankie -- a San Francisco resident, divorced dad (now happily partnered to another man) and former pilot -- shares the history of his mysterious name.

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My Husband Just Tested Positive and Swears He Didn't Cheat on Me
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

"My husband of 26 years just tested positive. Thankfully, I tested negative. I'm struggling with so many emotions right now, I don't know which end is up. I sat there in the doctor's office and held his hand. I talked him through the shock and the fear, reassured him that with treatment we will have a long and happy life together -- talked him in off the ledge. But I want to know how this happened! He swears there was no infidelity, that it probably happened 14 years ago when he gave CPR to a gunshot victim without a barrier. Could he really have been infected 14 years ago and is just now having symptoms? I want to believe him, I want to love him, but right now I can't."

 -- hpngandpryng

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Aless Piper 5 Easy Ways to Fight HIV, Stigma and Homophobia
To commemorate her recent birthday, blogger and HIV/AIDS advocate Aless Piper has shared her wish list: five simple things people can do in the fight against HIV and LGBT injustice. "As children we are taught that if we tell our birthday wish(es) it won't come true," Aless writes. "But as an adult, I believe the opposite is true: If we don't tell our wishes they won't come true ... people aren't psychic, after all."

C. Virginia Fields Southern U.S. Tour Addresses Toll of AIDS on Black Women
"We're here to say it's up to us .... We know that with HIV/AIDS there is no cure, but it can be prevented," says C. Virginia Fields, president and CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA). The organization kicked off its tour in Baton Rouge, focusing on HIV awareness among black women by using the personal stories of women living with HIV/AIDS to educate and empower. The "Southern Women Matter! Engagement for Action Tour" also stopped at Jackson, Miss.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Atlanta.

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Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the September 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Hellfire Biker," 1981
Gregory Maskwa

Visit the September 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Making Do," is curated by David Getsy.


montage of experts Adjusting to Life on HIV Treatment: Tips From Experts
We asked a range of knowledgeable HIV doctors, nurses, treatment advocates and other HIV care providers to answer this question: "What key piece of advice do you have for HIV-positive people who have just started treatment and are adjusting to life on HIV meds?"

man outside prison gate Life With HIV After Prison: Dealing With Obstacles and Getting Back Into Care
For former U.S. prison inmates who are HIV positive, re-entering society can be even more of a challenge than it is for former inmates who are negative. One of the most critical issues, of course, is how an HIV-positive former inmate can get connected back into HIV care and maintain his or her health. This Black AIDS Institute article talks about the struggles HIV-positive inmates may experience after leaving prison and offers tips on how to get help.

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Beverly (From Florida) on "This Is What Sexual Abuse Looks Like: Eddie Long and R. Kelly!"

"We all know that the black community is infamous for "hiding its dirty laundry." ... Until this issue is brought out into the unforgiving glare of daylight, it will continue to flourish in the darkest of shadows. Sisters, tell everyone you know, because if you don't, you will allow the pervert to continue victimizing others, robbing them of their innocence, and their right to a normal, emotionally healthy life."

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


Bob Frascino, M.D. Dr. Bob: If HIV Testing Technology Has Changed, Why Haven't HIV Testing Guidelines?
The infamous "window period," and how it may vary between different types of HIV tests, is the source of a huge amount of anxiety among people who are exposed to HIV. Just how long after an exposure does it take for HIV test results to be reliable; how does that window grow or shrink depending on which HIV test you receive; and why aren't advances in HIV testing technology reflected in official guidelines? In this recent blog post, Bob Frascino, M.D., clears the air.

neon sign promoting adult films California: Porn Filmmaking Shut Down After (Another) Performer Tests HIV Positive
In the midst of a heated debate on whether adult film performers should be required to wear condoms, another adult film actor has reportedly tested positive for HIV. This discovery has led one of the porn industry's worldwide hubs in Los Angeles to once again temporarily shut down production.

African-American doctor Why Do So Many Doctors Not Give Their Patients HIV Tests?
A recent study found that African-American doctors only test one-third of their patients for HIV each year. As Candace Y.A. Montague reports, Lisa Fitzpatrick, M.D., M.P.H. -- an infectious disease physician in Washington, D.C -- says that this issue isn't just about race: All too many doctors are guilty of making incorrect judgments about who needs to be tested and who doesn't.

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