ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
David Fawcett: Living Longer by Living With Purpose
"Not all of us, of course, have the opportunity to drop out of our lives and begin anew, but we all certainly have the chance to discover what gives our life meaning and follow it to our best ability," blogger David Fawcett writes. In this piece, he discusses the benefits of living out your dreams and shares a few tips on how to make that happen.
"If They Could Just See" -- A Day With HIV in America
So many people don't truly understand what it means to live with HIV. Don't you wish there was a way to show them? Jeff Berry, the national spokesman for "A Day With HIV in America," has the answer: "In a few days, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, you can share a moment in your daily life through a photograph that tells your story -- in one frame." Read more about this one-day event -- and get your camera ready!
Brooke Davidoff: Homesick
"How do you make friends when the majority of things on your mind are HIV, death, bills, baby stuff and baseball?" an exasperated Brooke Davidoff asks. "I realize I'm in a cave socially, and I cling to the dream of moving home to get myself out." In her latest blog entry, Brooke contemplates moving home as she processes the past year and a half of HIV, a new baby and her father's death.
"Meth vs. Meds: A Tale of Self-Preservation
"Even though, in the beginning, I had no idea how my HIV medications worked, deep down I knew they were the only things that were going to keep me alive," Richard Cordova III writes. "At the time, I had no stability in my life -- I was using crystal meth daily, my housing situation was tenuous at best, and I had no job. Not exactly a recipe for medication adherence!"
ScotCharles (From Los Angeles) on "Openness"
"Good news - I have reduced my viral load to 1000 in three weeks. My latest neuropsych report shows marked weakness in my limbs, which may be caused by HIV damage to my brain. I am to undergo an EMG next month, a procedure I hate as it involves running an electric current through your nerves. It is perfectly awful. I will take 3 mgs of Xanax to calm me down so I can stand the shocks. I am also to get another spinal tap, which is as awful as the EMG. Cross fingers all will be well."
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NEWS & VIEWS
10 HIV-Positive LGBT Characters We Love
Over the past three decades, HIV/AIDS has been a part of our lives and our communities, as well as a fixture (though in no way enough of one) in pop culture. While the epidemic does not discriminate by sexual preference, society does. We pay homage to the HIV-positive LGBT characters in film and television who have inspired us, made us cry, made us laugh and made us think over the past 30 years.
End of Britain's Gay Blood Donor Ban Is a Tipping Point, U.S. Senator Says
Most of the United Kingdom soon will drop the policy enforcing a lifetime ban on blood donations by gay men, a move that "is likely the start of a trend globally that I'd rather we be leading than following," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said. "This is a very close ally who sees the same information we do, and they've determined that gay donors pose no risk to the blood supply."
AIDS United Wants to "Make it Grow"
More than 1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S., and almost half of them do not have access to quality health care. To lessen this gap, AIDS United has launched Make it Grow, a campaign that aims to increase individual, corporate and private investments for AIDS United programs that can reduce health care costs for people with HIV.
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Is This Company Discriminating?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
"I sent an email to a company that sells a balanced nutrient dense meal. I wanted to make a bulk order of this meal so that I can offer it to people living with HIV/AIDS in prisons and rural communities. ... This is what they said: "I understand you want to make an impact on peoples lives but we also concerned that our product if marketed incorrectly could be stigmatized as an AIDS product instead of a balanced nutrient dense food." ... Am I crazy to feel we are being discriminated against?"
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Is Lack of Sleep an Obstacle to HIV Treatment Adherence?
Lack of sleep is extremely common among people with HIV. In addition to harming your physical and mental health, new data out of the University of California-San Francisco find yet another possible side effect of not getting enough zzz's: It may reduce the likelihood that you'll adhere to your HIV medications, which can in turn increase your risk of treatment failure.
How to Manage the Most Common Side Effects of Your First Regimen
While most HIV medication regimens are easy to handle, side effects occur in many people -- and if you're not prepared to deal with them, they can undermine treatment success. Nelson Vergel, B.S.Ch.E., M.B.A., and Ben Young, M.D., discuss several of the most common side effects in people on their first treatment regimen, and offer tips on how to manage them.
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"Sam Orwen's Spirit Basket," 2001
James "Jimmie Mack" Simmons
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.
HIV TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Comic Books in Motion: The CDC's New HIV Awareness Campaign
In a new initiative to combat HIV, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are turning to comic books. But they won't be creating traditional print comic books as many of us know them: The CDC is much more interested in using the blossoming medium of digital motion comics, which brings comic book pages to a video screen and combines them with voice-overs, sound effects and music.
San Fran Very Close to Becoming First City to Pass Out PrEP
San Francisco public health officials and the National Institutes of Health are very close to inking a deal that would make the city the first in the nation to pass out pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to gay and bisexual men. This joint program, aimed to debut in early 2012, would allow up to 300 "high risk" men who have sex with men to enroll.
Is Poor Communication to Blame for Lackluster HIV Vaccine Participation?
It's not a secret that getting people to participate in HIV vaccine trials has not been easy. To better understand why, researchers from the University of Toronto interviewed nine focus groups made up of "high-risk" communities in Canada. They found that false perceptions and mistrust dominated people's thoughts.
Stopping Interpartner Violence Should be an HIV Prevention Strategy, Study Suggests
Violence between heterosexual partners increases HIV transmission risk among women by making it nearly impossible to demand condom use. A new study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania examined how this violence impacts African-American women -- and what they found was alarming.
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