HIV News & Views, September 29, 2011
September 29, 2011
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Kevin Maloney Kevin Maloney: Dating With HIV -- My Experience and Thoughts
A year and half after being diagnosed with HIV and hep C, Kevin Maloney has more questions than answers when it comes to how he can dip back into the dating pool. "Why am I having such difficulty meeting people?" he asks. "Why can't I open up, why does my body language turn so cold, why can't I let anyone in? Before HIV I always had fear of rejection, and having HIV compounds this fear. I feel like damaged goods."

Lucia This Positive Life: Lucia
In 1989, this pregnant Cuba native took a mandatory blood test in hopes of gaining U.S. citizenship. She was utterly shocked when the results came back positive for HIV. In this interview, Lucia opens up about being pressured to have an abortion, the long journey it took for her to feel at peace again, and why she's decided to speak publicly and help break down the walls of stigma in her community.

This interview is also available in Spanish.

Mark S. King Mark S. King: Finding Support in an "e-Patient" World
At a special conference last week in Philadelphia, our blogger Mark S. King met up with many other people who blog elsewhere on the Web about their own health conditions. "As much as I view HIV/AIDS as 'terminally unique,' there's something comforting about how much in common I had with the other bloggers," he writes. He recaps the experience in this blog entry and accompanying video.

Brandon Lacy Campos Brandon Lacy Campos: "Does This Look Like AIDS?"
"There are those moments in life when an individual opens up his mouth and something so far beyond ridiculous and inappropriate comes out that your first and immediate reaction is to start looking for hidden cameras," Brandon Lacy Campos writes. In this entry, he recalls a recent mind-boggling conversation about HIV with a random passerby.

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: There But for the Grace of God ... and Twitter
"If I had held my pain to myself, no one would have known that I was hurting," Rae Lewis-Thornton writes. "People can't help if they don't know." Finding herself at one of the lowest points in her life, both physically and mentally, Rae took to the Web, reaching out desperately for a connection. In the nebulous world of Twitter, she found a prayer to cling to.


Dr. Bob Frascino Dr. Bob: An In-Depth Look at Modern-Day HIV Testing
In a blog entry he finished before his passing on Sept. 17, Bob Frascino, M.D. ("Dr. Bob") completed his two-part series delving into the deep, dark details behind today's HIV tests and testing guidelines. In his final article on, Dr. Bob explained how our ever-increasing knowledge about recent HIV infection may lead to changes in HIV testing guidelines in the future. (We miss you, Dr. Bob.)

The incredible outpouring of support and well wishes from people across the world has been of huge comfort to Dr. Bob's family and close friends. Please continue to read and comment on our memorial page; our deepest thanks go out to everybody who has taken a moment to share their feelings.

Viread PrEP Study in Women Ditches Viread-Only Approach
A major HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) study in women will be altered due to findings that one of the PrEP strategies being tested was ineffective. The U.S.-led VOICE study will continue to explore whether a vaginal gel or Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) pills can help protect women from HIV. But an arm of the study that involved taking oral Viread (tenofovir) will be stopped because it offered no protection.

Black AIDS Institute Reversing the Alarming HIV Increase Among Black, Gay Men
While HIV rates have remained stable in the U.S. over the past five years, the rates among black men who have sex with men (MSM) have risen by almost 50 percent. In a two-part series, Rod McCullom reports for the Black AIDS Institute on what can be done to reverse this trend.

HIV News Global Study: More Young People are Having Unsafe Sex
A recent study found that more and more young people around the world are having unprotected sex and don't have enough knowledge about safer sex and contraception. In Clueless or Clued Up: Your Right to be Informed about Contraception, researchers questioned more than 6,000 young people from 26 countries about their attitudes toward sex and contraception, and what they found was alarming.

More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines:

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the September 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Untitled (City Nocturne)," 1978
Joe Brainard

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.


Teniecka Drake Remembering Meds When Life Has Run You Ragged
When Teniecka Drake began working a second job, remembering her HIV meds became twice as challenging. In this brief article, she writes about how juggling finances, family and jobs can cause a rift between an HIVer and his or her meds -- and shares what she does to ensure she remembers each dose.

kidney Study Finds Increased Rate of Kidney Damage in People Living With Both HIV and Diabetes
According to a recent study, kidney damage is much more likely to occur in HIV-positive people who have diabetes than in people with HIV or diabetes alone. The finding provides an important new heads-up for HIVers and their health care providers on when to be on the lookout for kidney-related health issues.

ICAAC poster session On ICAAC Poster Roundup #2
Take a dip into the research pool with these brief summaries of noteworthy HIV-related studies presented at ICAAC 2011, a recent research conference. Topics covered include the importance of a person's CD4:CD8 ratio, a comparison of two facial fillers (one FDA-approved, the other not); and new findings on coinfections such as syphilis and tuberculosis.

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Connect With Others

Just Diagnosed: I Feel Like I'd Rather Die Than Live With HIV
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

"I tested thinking there was no way I could be positive because I had almost always used protection during sex. But in the end my test still came back positive. I can't believe this happened to me. I am only 22 and feel like I have condemned myself to possibly losing 20 years of my life. ...

"I just came out to my parents about being gay, so I don't want to add this onto them and have them think even more differently of me. Shortly after my diagnosis, I felt like killing myself and how much easier that would be than living with this. Please give me any information that would help me understand this disease and any possibilities out there that there could be a cure soon."

 -- werddrew05

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous (all you need is an email address) -- click here to get started!


 HIV-Positive Man Sues Atlanta Police Department for Employment Discrimination
Was an Atlanta man denied a job as a police officer because he was unqualified for the position or because he is HIV positive? Lambda Legal thinks his status was the determining factor; it recently briefed an appeals court in hopes judges will overturn a 2006 ruling that sided with the city.

Virginia Fields Q&A With C. Virginia Fields, AIDS Movement Leader and Power Broker
C. Virginia Fields, CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), is standing tall these days as her organization makes waves in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Here, the former Manhattan borough president talks with the Black AIDS Institute about working with Southern churches and what her organization has planned.

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