HIV/AIDS BLOG CENTRAL
Frankie Ninja on Disclosure: An Intensely Personal Decision
Disclosing your HIV status may not be for everyone, but for Frankie Ninja, it has a specific purpose. "I don't really fit into any stereotype," he explains. "I am a father, an aircraft mechanic, conservative and Christian. Yet, I am bi and live in San Francisco. ... It's a great way to show people just how ignorant they can be."
Rae Lewis-Thornton: Hurt People Hurt; Breaking the Cycle!
Many of us have demons in our past, and too often we let them become excuses for our behavior. "I inherently believe that no one is born evil; even sociopaths are shaped by their environment," Rae Lewis-Thornton writes. "[O]ften, our sick ass parents grow us up to be sick and then we have to figure out what healthy is on our own." In this blog entry, Rae shares a message of empathy and talks about how we can heal our past pain.
Daniel Bauer: Interview With an Escape Artist
"Daniel Bauer is the official successor to the legendary Harry Houdini, and was on the climb to becoming one of the world's most successful magicians and escape artists since the Houdini era," Robert Breining explains. But in 2002, Bauer learned he is HIV positive. The magician recently talked on Breining's POZIAM radio about his life and advocacy work.
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
"I'm going to be thankful this year to just be able to celebrate another year of marriage, and life itself. Also I'm thankful I can have medicines that many aren't as fortunate to get. And thanks for the people I have met here, and for those who I know and have befreinded in the process of learning about how to live again with HIV. Be safe everyone, enjoy the holidays best you can."
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Who Should Care for the Aging HIV Patient?
As the evidence continues to mount that HIV-positive people age more quickly than HIV-negative people, HIV physicians like Paul Sax, M.D., are revisiting the question: What type of doctor is best equipped to handle issues relating to HIV-positive people as they get older? Is it the HIV specialist, or a primary care doc?
You and Your Meds: The Dance of a Lifetime
As the saying goes: It takes two to tango. If you're on HIV treatment, those antiretrovirals you take every day are your lifelong dance partner. With good preparation and coordination, you and your meds will dance together beautifully -- a partnership that will likely keep you healthy for the rest of your (long) life. Use these resources to help ensure your dance glides smoothly along.
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Think you know your stuff when it comes to HIV/AIDS, eh? We'll see about that. Our new quiz asks eight questions about HIV/AIDS that go well beyond the basics of what HIV is, how it works and who gets it. If you can get all of these right, consider yourself a master of HIV minutiae.
Question #1: We have more than 30 HIV medications now, and they keep getting more effective at stopping the virus. Thanks largely to this treatment, how long can the average 20-year-old person with HIV expect to live if he or she is diagnosed today?
- Into their 30s or 40s.
- Into their 50s.
- Into their 60s.
- Into their 70s.
Answer now and take the quiz!
HIV IN THE NEWS
Annual HIV/AIDS Pandemic Update: Nearly Half of All Who Need Treatment Now Have It
"2011 was a game changing year for the AIDS response," UNAIDS reports in its annual update on the state of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. While aspects of the pandemic have become worse in some areas, the report states that overall, new HIV infections are down and AIDS-related deaths are dropping as access to HIV treatment continues to improve.
For HIV-Positive Latinas in the Bay Area, WORLD Picks Up Where the Safety Net Leaves Off
"There are a lot of places to go for help [in San Francisco], but they've mostly been for gay men," Agripina Alejandres says. By comparison, services for women in the area are sorely lacking. Enter Oakland-based WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease), which in 2000 targeted the growing HIV rate among Latinas by expanding its staff to include a Latina peer advocate. Alejandres is that advocate.
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"Mask and Snorkel," 1984
Visit the November 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "i am anyone," is curated by Anthony Allen.
OPINIONS AND PERSPECTIVES
Sarah Sacco: Zero
"Sure, we adults can understand mathematically what 'zero' means," writes HIV-positive mom Sarah Sacco. "But I wonder if we can truly understand what it would mean if there were 'zero' cases of HIV; 'zero' people afflicted with AIDS. What the world would be like if there were no babies born positive. If there were no graves dug, no children orphaned. Not even one."
Shateria Smith: Orphaned Because of "It"
"I wake up some mornings and just want to see my mama's smile or hear my daddy say my name," writes Shateria Smith. "The truth of the matter is that you don't have to be infected to be affected by HIV. I am affected so I have just as much responsibility to educate others about this epidemic. IT took him and her from me, so I'm fighting for the cure in their memory."
HIV/AIDS and Latinas: What Does Gender Have to Do With It?
In this exclusive, two-part roundtable discussion, a group of four Latinas deeply involved in the HIV community talk about a range of major issues that contribute to HIV prevention and treatment gaps among Latin-American women. The tackle issues such as how gender inequality makes Latinas vulnerable to HIV, what prevention obstacles exist for Latinas and how language can serve as a barrier to HIV treatment and information.
More Opinions and Perspectives:
Alex G. (From New Haven, Ct.) on "'Let Them Die'? The Dangers of Losing Compassion"
"I was watching a PBS show about the evolution of humans, and it was pointed out that given we did not possess large claws or powerful jaws as competing species, one of the most important things that gave us an evolutionary advantage is our ability to care for one another. I feel if we lose that, then we lose what makes us essentially human."
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HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Under the Radar: Mental Health and HIV Risk
Long-time HIV survivor and therapist David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., laments how little attention we still pay to the mental aspects of HIV risk. "We need to be certain our outreach and prevention efforts incorporate the effects of mood disorders and behavioral concerns on sexual behaviors," he urges. "To truly get to zero, we need to broaden our reach to all of the varied settings where vulnerability for HIV is born."
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