HIV News & Views, September 8, 2011
September 8, 2011
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ScotCharles ScotCharles: Openness
"It's said that 'When one door closes, another opens.' My viral load has never been as high as it is now. I do not know what will happen. I am open to whatever comes. I am like the bonsai in my garden; the virus has pruned me. I am open and exposed." In his latest blog post, longtime HIV survivor ScotCharles lays all his cards on the table.

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: Herpes, AIDS and Shame
"Dealing with health issues is one thing; having to deal with them wrapped in shame is an entire other thing," Rae Lewis-Thornton writes. "But at the end of the day, none of this can be undone. Yes, I have these sexually transmitted diseases that have changed my life for the rest of my life. But I must somehow find the strength to go on."

Michael Moniz Are You Surviving or Thriving With HIV?
"'This isn't borrowed time, it is your time. Your time to live your life," Michael Moniz reminds us in this article reposted by blogger Robert Breining. "Being HIV+ doesn't limit your life more than anyone else's. ... The difference is you are now aware of your health and you can do something about it. It is not time to think about death, it is time to live.'"

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Exotic Dance D.C. HIV/AIDS Org Charged With Using Federal Money for Exotic Dancing Club
Washington, D.C., Attorney General Irvin Nathan has accused Miracle Hands Inc. of spending nearly $330,000 in federal tax dollars on an exotic dance club, instead of using the money for what it was intended for -- a job training center for people living with HIV. Nathan is suing the organization for $988,959 in damages.

Life Foundation HIV/AIDS Organization Spotlight: Life Foundation of Hawaii
The cultural stigma attached to HIV/AIDS remains strong in Hawaii, and that's part of why Life Foundation's efforts are as important as ever. The 28-year-old nonprofit is the focus of our latest HIV/AIDS Organization Spotlight; we talk with communications director Melanie Moore in this interview.

Michelle Bachmann Conservative Republicans Spark Next Wave of AIDS Activist "Bird-Dogging"
"Facing the most daunting political and economic climate in years, AIDS activists have relaunched efforts to follow presidential candidates on the campaign trail, challenging them to commit to funding the fight against global AIDS," Housing Works reports. "For AIDS bird-doggers, though, this presidential campaign could be the most difficult yet."

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keeping up with your hiv meds

pillboxNobody wants his or her HIV treatment to stop working. And it's easy for someone to tell you, "Just take all your meds, and you'll be fine." But the challenge of taking antiretroviral therapy every single day, and the obstacles that life throws in your way, can make adherence a lot tougher in real life than it might seem on paper.

This is why we've created our Resource Center on Keeping Up With Your HIV Meds. It features:

In addition, our new resource center contains loads of information and advice that will help ensure your dance with HIV treatment is as flawless as possible.


HIV news Use of HIV Meds Low Among Young MSM of Color
A recent small-scale study found poor rates of HIV medication adherence among young men of color who have sex with men. Almost half of the HIV-positive gay men in the study with a CD4 count of 350 or lower were not taking their meds, or had not been prescribed meds to begin with.

microsocope Research Explores Two "Novel" Approaches to Initial HIV Therapy
"It's been several years since the 'preferred' or 'recommended' initial regimens for HIV treatment have been consolidated" into four tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada)-based combinations, Paul Sax, M.D., writes. "Now along come two interesting papers testing alternative initial treatment strategies."

Khafre Abif Khafre Abif: Be the Chair of Your Own Board
"It wasn't until 1998 that I started my first medication regimen," recalls Khafre Abif, who has been living with HIV since 1989. "As a librarian I was heavy into research and worked to find out as much as I could about the current treatments available. ... I trusted myself, my God and my instincts to make the decisions I felt were best for me."

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Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the September 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Sideways Stool," 1998
Chuck Nanney

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.


 In Order to be Effective, Do Microbicides Have to be Sexually Pleasurable?
Vaginal microbicides are slowly moving closer to reality as an HIV prevention tool for women. But one of many concerns has been, "What will it take to get women to actually take this gel?" Researcher Kate Morrow, Ph.D., seems to have an answer: She believes that enhancing sexual pleasure is the key to microbicides living up to their potential.

neon sign promoting adult films False Alarm: Porn Actor Wasn't HIV Positive After All
An adult-film performer whose positive HIV test caused a weeklong shutdown of porn productions in the Los Angeles area has been retested with negative results, according to the Free Speech Coalition.

 AIDS Org Chief Asks: What's Your Game Plan?
"Congress and the Obama administration have agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts to federal spending," Paul Kawata, head of the National Minority AIDS Council, writes. "We need to come together as a community and talk about how we are individually and collectively going to protect existing funding for programs we feel are vital to fighting HIV/AIDS."

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What is to HIV-positive people, HIV-affected people, activists and the general public, is to HIV health care professionals. seeks to inform and educate doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, prevention/treatment educators, mental health professionals and others who work on the frontlines of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Here's a sampling of articles we've recently added to the site.

Nelson Vergel A "Gut Feeling" Emerges in HIV
"The effects of HIV and HAART on gut health was highlighted recently at the 13th International Workshop on Adverse Drug Reactions and Co-Morbidities in HIV in Rome, Italy," Nelson Vergel, B.S.Ch.E., M.B.A., writes. In this blog entry, he recaps two key presentations that explore a little-known, but potentially critical, area of HIV medicine.

 Addressing the Gaping Hole in HIV Prevention: A Plea for Public Health Action
"The CDC has yet again released a report highlighting the growing HIV disparity in young, black men who have sex with men," Lisa Fitzpatrick, M.D., M.P.H., writes. "Unless we are content to continue applying cosmetics to conceal this gaping public health wound, we must confront the issues that have long been ignored and stop the bleeding."

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