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What's the Buzz? The Top 10 Stories on TheBody.com in 2011

December 2, 2011

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#5: California: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers

From U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Jan. 4, 2011
researching

It's amazing how such a tiny piece can gain so much traction -- or maybe, considering it's about a potential HIV cure, that should just be expected. A lot of people were excited and energized in the wake of the news that Timothy Brown (formerly known as the "Berlin patient") had been cured of HIV. This short news piece calling for volunteers blew up on Facebook and Twitter as people eagerly spread the word, hoping to fill out the study ranks and help the research move forward.


#6: Damaries Cruz: Deciding to Start Treatment After Nearly 20 Years of Living With HIV

By Olivia Ford; March 30, 2011
Darmies Cruz

When she was diagnosed with HIV, Damaries Cruz decided to hold off on starting medications -- eventually waiting 17 years. Her health was far from perfect and had been for a long time (she'd even received an AIDS diagnosis, with a low T-cell count and a high viral load), but she finally knew the time was right:

I even cried. Your T cells, they are like soldiers; they help your immune system. But I felt as if they were my kids, waiting there, like, "What are you doing? What are you doing? Come on, help me." And I felt so guilty, so guilty, that I just had to say, "You know what? Help is on the way. I'm going to do what I need to do. Do not worry." Then I came back and I started researching HIV medications.

I never was against medication completely. I would say, "When the time comes, I'm going to research it." And you know, when that time comes, you do feel it in the core of your body, in the center of your soul. You feel it -- that it is the moment.

Since official guidelines have been recommending people living with HIV start treatment earlier and earlier, it's easy to overlook just how nerve wracking the decision to go on meds can be. Readers across the country -- and the world -- connected with Damaries' story about waiting.


#7: The Long-Term Survivor Dilemma

By Nelson Vergel; Feb. 14, 2011
Nelson Vergel

In his first blog entry at TheBody.com, Nelson Vergel gave voice to some of the fears HIVers in his generation are experiencing:

With the advent of friendlier drugs and long-term virus suppression, many of us are confronted with a dilemma faced by few healthy people our age. Fear of financial doom in old age has replaced the fear of death that was part of our psyche for so many years.

Many people with HIV on permanent disability struggle by on less than $1,000 a month to pay all their bills. Others who get payments from private disability policies from their last job will lose them when they reach age 65. But who thought we were going to live to be 65 anyway!?

In the entry's comments, many readers poured out their own insecurities about HIV, money and aging.


#8: Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away

By Maria T. Mejia; January 2011
Maria T. Mejia

In January, Maria T. Mejia joined TheBody.com's blogging family, providing another unique perspective to the site. Among many other things, Maria is an activist, an educator, a lesbian and a long-term survivor who kept her HIV status hidden for many years. In her most popular blog entry, "Why I Want to Show My Face After 20 Years," she explains what prompted her to go public:

Something really deep happened before 2011 came. My partner's sister passed away from cancer and this was so terrible :(. I thought to myself, and asked myself, WHY can't I say I have HIV?? Why is it that anyone can say they have cancer or diabetes or any other health condition and I am so scared to disclose openly without having that fear?

It then, with a combination of other things, made me feel it is time to show my face to take the stigma away! We are not criminals ...

In her blog, Maria speaks openly and honestly about her experiences taking medication, dealing with stigma and much more.

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This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 
See Also
10 HIV/AIDS Stories That Defined 2011 in the US
Top 10 HIV/AIDS-Related Clinical Developments of 2011
Read More Articles From TheBody.com's 2011 HIV/AIDS Year in Review
More News for December 2011

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