HIV News & Views, December 1, 2011
December 1, 2011
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Loreen Willenberg Loreen Willenberg: Radio Hope (Audio)
HIV controller Loreen Willenberg recently took to the airwaves to share her story and talk with psychologist Howard Gluss, Ph.D., about long-term nonprogressors like her, who keep HIV at bay without the use of HIV meds. "I am deeply grateful for Dr. Gluss' compassion and concern," Loreen explains, "when I lived with the very real fear of illness, and perhaps death, and how I coped with those feelings long before I learned about my unique ability to control the virus."

Justin B. Terry-Smith Justin B. Terry-Smith: A Mother's Love for Her HIV-Positive Son (Video)
"Sometimes I get personal emails about my blog and I haven't really shared them with you all," Justin B. Terry-Smith writes. But after a recent letter from a reader, he's decided to make an exception: "I received this email from a woman I'm going to call Amanda. She and her son discovered he was HIV positive and this letter made me cry ... twice."

Mark S. King Mark S. King: Sailing on the 2011 HIV Cruise Retreat (Video)
As the weather gets ever colder here in the Northern Hemisphere, what better time to look back on warmer days? "It may seem curious that so many people living with HIV would spend their vacation time and their money on an vacation alongside more than 200 others living with the disease," Mark S. King blogs. "But our common issue is inspiring, and even a source of humor and fun."

fogcityjohn Fogcityjohn: Dis Honesty
It's another first date for fogcityjohn -- and another occasion for him to wonder why he's so quick to disclose his HIV status so early. "As soon as the words were out of my mouth ... I could see it was a deal breaker," he writes. "Alex's discomfort was written all over his face, and I wasn't in the least fooled by the exaggerated smile he used to try to cover it up."

More Headlines From HIV/AIDS Blog Central:


Throughout the month of December, we'll bring you a diverse series of exclusive articles and interviews that looks back over the past year in HIV/AIDS, and ahead to what 2012 may hold in store for our community.

Year End News Ten HIV/AIDS Stories That Defined 2011 in the United States
As the calendar marches toward 2012, there is good news -- and not-so-good news -- to report regarding the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In this slideshow, we take a brief look at some of the major HIV/AIDS stories that rocked 2011, particularly within the U.S.

David Wohl, M.D. Top HIV/AIDS-Related Clinical Developments of 2011
David Wohl, M.D., takes an in-depth look at this year's most critical HIV-related studies, and explains how each one may change how we prevent and treat HIV in 2012 and beyond. (Fair warning: This article can get pretty technical, but each story has a "bottom line" section to help explain its importance.)

Aryeh Lebeau Aryeh Lebeau: Fear, Not Loathing and HIV
"As we wind down 2011 and look back at the year in HIV and everything we've published on, I want to reflect on what you haven't seen on our site," our general manager Aryeh Lebeau writes. "We take the liberty of screening article comments -- mostly to eliminate spam, but also to filter out an occasional hateful message or two. Here are a few lovely examples from this year."

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the December 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Étude," 2010
Martin Klug

Visit the December 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "The Sword of Damocles," is curated by Patrick Webb.


stopwatch Six Reasons Why People Skip Their HIV Meds
Taking your medication every day as prescribed isn't the easiest thing to do -- and anyone who says otherwise is lying. The reality is that everyday life brings with it obstacles that can stand between you and your meds. Check out this slideshow for a quick rundown of some of the common reasons why people skip their meds, and how to resolve those problems.

 Huge Study Finds Higher Cancer Risk for HIV-Positive People
People with HIV have a higher risk of developing certain cancers than do uninfected individuals -- and the weaker their immune system, the more vulnerable they are to cancer, a large U.S. study shows. Cancer risk was found to increase dramatically in HIVers whose CD4 counts were below 200, but the rates of at least five types of cancer were higher even in people with CD4 counts of 500 or higher.

Theresa Mack, M.D. Ask the Doctor: HIV and Bone Disease
What is bone disease? Why do people with HIV appear to be especially at risk? What are the signs you might be developing bone problems? In this new overview from the Black AIDS Institute, Theresa Mack, M.D., M.P.H., will walk you through the basics.

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:

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Just Came Back From the Doctor ...
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive " board)

"I just received my results. I have tested positive for HIV antibodies. Kinda expected. Kinda late. I had shingles four months ago and I suspected it was due to HIV. I have been always scared to get tested, I haven't seriously engaged in severe risky behavior (I am gay, 35+, only was the bottom in my life like five times). ... I want to be well, to able to be there for myself and my family. I am scared and sad. ... I guess in all the bad is a good thing: I was at the doctor today, the beginning of my recovery and the opportunity for me to take control of my health."

 -- rookie

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!


World AIDS Day 2011 World AIDS Day at Do. Learn. Think.
To commemorate World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 and its theme of "Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination. Zero AIDS-Related Deaths," we're proud to highlight our World AIDS Day 2011 section. Within these pages you'll find a ton of new and unique content that inspires you to Do, Think and Learn more about the fight against HIV/AIDS.

 Global Fund Halts New Grants for Two Years, Citing Economic Downturn
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria announced Wednesday that it will offer no new grants for the next two years due to the global economic downturn and the European financial crisis. The fund will continue supporting about 400 AIDS treatment and prevention programs working in more than 100 countries for now, but it will not subsidize new patients or service increases.

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River Huston River Huston: World AIDS Day Makes Me Sad
"Even though I will stand up in front of yet another group of students and talk about how this is a preventable disease, I have no delusions after 22 years that my one talk will make much of a difference in their behavior," blogger River Huston admits. But for her, World AIDS Day "will never again be about my successes or failure; it will be about the day, and whether I smiled, stayed open, was of service and found something to be grateful for."

Allen Kwabena Frimpong and Michael Terry Everett When Condoms Ain't Enuf: What to Do With a Sex-Phobic Society in a "Post-AIDS" Era?
"The message of safe-sex, by way of condom usage, may not resonate with people because it is limited and does not allow one to ponder the spectrum of other possible harm reduction practices," write Allen Kwabena Frimpong and Michael Terry Everett in this guest column. "We want people to still live a healthy life without causing further harm to themselves and others. ... The spectrum does not begin or end with condom usage only."

Bernadette Berzoza HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Latinos: An Interview with Bernadette Berzoza
"There was something in me that said, 'You need to tell these women your story,'" Bernadette Berzoza remembers. Bernadette, a mother, grandmother and the co-founder of an HIV and health education organization, finds her life today is a far cry from the years following her 1989 HIV diagnosis, when she told barely anyone her secret.

This interview is also available in Spanish.

More Opinions and Perspectives:

Join the Conversation

Frankie Ninja (From San Francisco, Calif.) on "Should Care for the Aging HIV Patient? Everything Old Is ... Oh You Know"

"I am now a regular patient at UCSF General Hospital's Ward 86. I see a [nurse practitioner] I consider my absolute, most trustworthy friend. I believe in order to provide the best medical service and advice available, she should know everything about my life that might affect my health. I respect her enough to feel comfortable answering ANY question she may have regarding me because -- well, because my life DEPENDS on it."

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


Bethsheba Johnson On A Bad Note in HIV Prevention -- Our VOICE May Be Hoarse, but the Opera Isn't Over
"Another disappointing note was bellowed out this month concerning the discontinuation of part of a significant HIV prevention trial in women," writes nurse practitioner Bethsheba Johnson in this "HIV Care Today" blog post on "The 1 percent tenofovir (Viread) gel arm of the VOICE phase 2B clinical trial was halted early."

More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines:


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