HIV News & Views, October 27, 2011
October 27, 2011
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Mark S. King Mark S. King: Playing the Last Scene of a Marriage
"'I'm not in love with you anymore.' He said this at the dinner table as he made the first cut of his steak, a beautiful rib eye he had grilled to perfection. I put down my own knife and fork and stared at him." In his latest post, Mark S. King shares heartrending details of breaking up with his partner recently, and his early thoughts and fears about dipping back into the dating pool.

Rusti Miller-Hill Rusti Miller-Hill: A Present to Myself, on My 50th Birthday
"I learned it's not about the destination, but the journey that counts the most. My journey has been a crooked and ever-winding path; I would not change my course for anything, including my living with AIDS." On her 50th birthday, Rusti Miller-Hill reflects on the many challenges she's lived through and how far she's come since her darkest days.

Thomas DeLorenzo Thomas DeLorenzo: Life's Derailment Is Not Life's Denial
"On Aug. 11, my journey to take on the insurance companies and help bring about our long overdue health care reform began. Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles would become my launching pad. Like the rest of my life, it is filled with unexpected directions." Thomas DeLorenzo pauses amidst his first law school midterms to reflect on the years of struggle that got him to this point.

Sherri Beachfront Lewis Sherri Beachfront Lewis: Walk, Talk and KLEAN
"Long before there were HIV medications or information or laws to help protect HIV-positive people from the enormous stigma of AIDS ... the hope and help and friendships I found in 12-step meetings saved my life -- first from addiction, then to living with HIV," Sherri Beachfront Lewis writes. In this entry, she shares a video of her guest spot on a show about recovery and discusses the recent AIDS walk in Los Angeles.

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Just Diagnosed: How Can I Get Health Insurance for My Wife If She Also Tests Positive?
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

"I'm a bisexual truck driver, been married to my wife for almost four years now. Last week, I was diagnosed with HIV. The doctors said that I've been infected for over five years, so it must have been during my past relationship with a man. I had promised my wife that I would never hurt her and here I did unknowingly. She has no insurance and we can't afford any on just my income alone. We are barely surviving. Through all this, she has stood by me even though I may have infected her. Is there any help for her anywhere?"

 -- Elf

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Maria T. Mejia Maria T. Mejia: My Story With Medication
"I've been HIV positive for 20 years, 10 of them without any HIV meds," Maria T. Mejia writes. "You shouldn't wait till your immune system is destroyed like mine was. Take your meds and live a healthy and positive lifestyle. Please find a doctor you can communicate with and listens to you. Be proactive with your illness; and most important, do your research!"

U.S. Health Care Reform  Frequently Asked Questions: Health Care Reform and People Living With HIV
Although health care reform -- often referred to as "Obamacare" -- was passed in the U.S. more than a year ago, many HIV-positive Americans are still confused about what the new law will mean for them. Our friends at Project Inform answer some of the most pressing questions regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as it pertains to people with HIV.

pregnancy Getting Pregnant When You're HIV Positive
Ignorant people may claim otherwise, but HIV doesn't end a woman's chances of becoming a mom. Advances in HIV treatment have greatly lowered the risks that a mother will pass HIV on to her baby. In this overview, The Well Project explains how to safely have a baby when you're HIV positive, and offers a range of advice on how you and your partner can make it happen.

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Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the October 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Collage -- 1 of 2," 1995
Juan Sanchez

Visit the October 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Stereopsis," is curated by Andrew Blackley.

HIV IN THE NEWS logo Say What? HIV-Positive Wall Street Protester Tells Cop Who Punched Him to Get Tested
An Occupy Wall Street protester was recently punched in the face by a New York City police officer. The protester, who is openly gay and HIV positive, told a journalist that the officer should get tested for HIV. Our associate editor Warren Tong ponders the protestor's misguided words and the unethical manner in which the press treated the story.

Adapting screencap New Short Film Addresses the Financial Costs of Living With HIV/AIDS
We all may be well acquainted with the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) crisis, but most other people are not. That's why three recent graduates from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism made adapting, a new short documentary film that gives a peek at what it's like to be HIV positive and dependent on ADAP for HIV medications. In this article, read a brief interview with the filmmakers and watch the film in its entirety.

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Evelyn Hernandez HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Latinos: An Interview With Evelyn Hernandez
"I share my story so that communities can see that this can happen to anyone. It impacts anyone. It has no borders," Evelyn Hernandez says. In 1993, instead of enjoying their brand-new marriage, Evelyn and her husband both found themselves dealing with HIV diagnoses. She speaks to us about loss, overcoming stigma, finding love again and the importance of giving back to other Latinos.

This interview is also available in Spanish.

transgender The Double Burden of Being Black and Transgender in America
It's not very often that the media pays attention to transgender issues, let alone transgender people of color. This is very problematic, given just how much discrimination the black transgender community faces. And that discrimination likely leads to increased HIV risk, as a recent survey of transgender Americans showed: It found that a stunning 20 percent of the black respondents were HIV positive.

Friends In Deed Friends in Deed: 20 Years of Service to People With Life-Threatening Illnesses
"We all have friends and family," therapist Robert Levithan says, "but here there is a community where you can completely reveal yourself safely." He is talking about Friends in Deed, a storied HIV service organization in New York City that is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In this article by Roger Kimpton, Levithan and others talk about the spiritual healing people (including Kimpton himself) experience at Friends in Deed.

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ScotCharles (From Los Angeles) on "HIV and Death ... In Memory of Dr. Bob"

"Dr. Bob, like myself and so many other bloggers, preached over and again that HIV is not the end of life, it is the beginning of a new and more immediate life. So many people with a new HIV diagnosis chase around searching for more life, when the goal of the chase should be quality not quantity. ... We should not mourn Dr. Bob's passing. We should celebrate his belief that the day is sufficient to the day, and tomorrow is unknown."

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


Rx Approval Another Study Finds That Microbicides Cut Women's Herpes Risk
A 2010 clinical trial found that a microbicide -- a vaginal gel spiked with antiretrovirals -- could cut HIV transmission during sex by 39 percent or more, and reduce herpes risk by 51 percent. A newly published study backs up those findings, and pinpoints Viread (tenofovir) as the reason the microbicide is so effective at preventing herpes.

Bethsheba Johnson On Many Think They're Less at Risk for HIV Than They Actually Are, Study Finds
A recent U.S. study underscores the disturbing fact that many people think they know a lot more about HIV transmission than they actually do. Many of the people surveyed for the study engaged in high-risk behaviors, yet insisted they were at low risk for HIV.

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Activist Central

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