HIV News & Views, December 22, 2011 -
December 22, 2011
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Rae Lewis-Thornton with her dog Sophie Rae Lewis-Thornton: Appreciating the Right-Now Moments
As she readies herself for another round of intravenous treatment for her drug-resistant herpes, Rae Lewis-Thornton refuses to let anxiety get the best of her. "Many times we allow what's to come affect the right now and miss the opportunity of the moment," she writes. "If you are so caught up in the pain that will happen, you miss the joy and the peace that is happening in the moment."

Kevin Maloney Kevin Maloney: Tips and Resources to Help You Maintain Your Sobriety Over the Holidays
"In order to maintain sobriety it is important to be prepared and proactive during this time of year," Kevin Maloney urges. In this blog post, Kevin shares a list of five key tips and five important resources he urges us to "keep in mind to make sure you're taking the proper steps to take care of yourself."

Mark S. King Mark S. King: Addiction, the Disease More Likely to Kill Me
"The drug relapse came over me like a sickness, as if I was coming down with something, slowly, over weeks," Mark S. King writes. "The breakup with my former partner last month in Ft. Lauderdale had been cordial ... But my disease of addiction had already begun rearranging my thoughts, shuffling my priorities in a bid for dominance over the vigilant recovery I had practiced, proudly and successfully, for nearly three years."


Throughout December, we continue to 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.

Word on the Street montage Word on the Street: "What Were 2011's Biggest Setbacks? What Are Your Hopes for 2012?"
2011 was marked by epic highs and devastating lows, thoughtful commemorations and persistent disappointments. We asked HIV/AIDS community members from throughout the U.S. which events and circumstances from 2011 weigh most heavily on their minds, and what they're most looking forward to next year. Read their responses and add your own!

Team4HIVHope Taking on the Race Across America: Talking With Team4HIVHope 2011
What's it like to be part of the first-ever team made up mostly of openly HIV-positive cyclists to complete the Race Across America? Team4HIVHope 2011 conquered this grueling, 3,000-mile challenge for the first time this past June, and members of the team sat down with to recount their experiences.

Aless Piper Aless Piper: Beyond the Bad News of 2011
"Sometimes I feel like the bearer of bad news. It's not a job I chose, but it is one I do well," muses HIV/AIDS advocate Aless Piper. "But I do delight in sharing the good news -- even if it doesn't come as easily. So here is my list of some of the good, and downright awesome, highlights this year."

More From's 2011 Year in Review:

Join the Conversation

Meigs G. (From Sarasota, Fla.) on "HIV Positive Detroit Man Faces Massive Discrimination by Employer: The James White Story"

"The betrayal of confidence by a superior, the creepy harassment by fellow workers, and finally, the staggering ignorance of medical and bio[logical] knowledge demonstrated by this staff reveals this is probably a dangerous place to receive treatment. If the staff does not know a person cannot contract HIV from being in everyday contact with someone who has HIV, I wonder what else they don't know."

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


Dave R. Neuropathy? Never Heard of It!
"It started off, like for so many people, with tingling in the toes, then loss of feeling in the toes and feet, and then confusingly dull pain," Dave R. recalls. He's talking about peripheral neuropathy, a nerve disease affecting 30 percent of all HIV-positive people. In the first entry of his new blog on, which will highlight useful neuropathy information and research, Dave shares what it's like to be HIV positive and deal with this debilitating side effect.

Maria T. Mejia When Our Lab Results Are Not Normal (Video)
Maria T. Mejia watches her lab numbers very closely -- and that's why, when she got the news this fall that her liver enzymes were up, "I freaked out! ... We, as HIV-positive people, always have to go through this every time we get our blood work done!" In this video blog, Maria takes us along as she talks with her doc about the abnormal lab results.

David Alain Wohl, M.D. Opportunistic Infections in 2011
Opportunistic infections (OIs) "are no longer the plague on top of the plague that they once were, at least in the U.S. and other places where HAART is widely available," David Alain Wohl, M.D., writes in this overview from Positively Aware. "Yet, more remains of OIs than a dark legacy. They are down but not out."

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:

Connect With Others

Is My Best Friend Giving Up?
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

"I don't have anyone to talk to about my boyfriend and best friend of 10 years. ... My family loves him and so does his family love me. Recently, we have been having problems -- well, I believe he has been having problems with himself -- and started to lack taking his meds, but only like a day, maybe two, and go right back to schedule. Then suddenly he just stopped: He quit school and work, and no longer takes his meds, and it's been over a month now. ... He left and hasn't been home in two weeks, nor has he contacted me or family, and I'm losing my mind thinking that he gave up and no longer wants to live. ... Is this a sign of a person giving up, going through depression, or what?"

 -- najee

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!


big ol' tooth California: Some Dentists Refuse to Serve People With HIV
A new study finds that 5 percent of dental offices in Los Angeles County have a blanket ban on serving people living with HIV/AIDS. Instances of discrimination were higher in areas with high HIV infection rates, neighborhoods with more low-income people, and areas that would serve more people of color.

More News Headlines:


Sherri Beachfront Lewis Sherri Beachfront Lewis: Imagine, Visualize, Act
"If HIV can stop with me, it can stop with you. We can bring it down to zero one life at a time." Alive, determined and on a mission, Sherri Beachfront Lewis, the renowned HIV/AIDS activist and former front of the '80s pop band Get Wet, shares the story of her HIV diagnosis 24 years ago. She also explains how she got through that difficult time, as well as the drug addiction that preceded it.

 Ronald Valdiserri, M.D.: On Mr. Crowley's Departure, Our Appreciation
For more than two years, Jeffrey Crowley has headed the U.S. Office of National AIDS Policy, making him one of the senior government officials responsible for fighting HIV/AIDS within the U.S. As he steps down from the job at the end of this month, his colleague Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., pays tribute to Crowley and shares a video in which Crowley reflects on his tenure.

rainbow of hands grasping wrists Addressing the HIV/AIDS Epidemic Among Latinos in America
When we talk about ethnicity and HIV/AIDS in this country, the media tends not to be as inclusive as it should be. Too many times, Latinos are either excluded, lumped in with other groups or not given enough of their own spotlight. And that's problematic, especially given that Latinos are the fastest-growing population in the U.S., our news editor Kellee Terrell writes.

This article is also available in Spanish.

 Julie Davids Reflects on the Future of HIV Prevention and Social Justice
Julie Davids is one of the most passionate, dedicated HIV/AIDS activists striving to keep America engaged in the fight against HIV within its borders. In this interview with Treatment Action Group, Davids talks about where HIV prevention efforts currently stand in the U.S., and how to change the situation for the better.

More Opinions and Perspectives:

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the December 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Bayside," 2010
Pete Wyman

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.


 Gilead Seeks First-Ever Approval for Drug to Prevent HIV
Gilead Sciences, Inc., announced it has asked U.S. regulators to approve its once-daily pill Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) as the world's first drug to prevent HIV infection. For years, Truvada has been one of the more widely used medications to treat HIV-positive people; the new application seeks to win permission for the drug to be used by HIV-negative people to protect against sexually acquired HIV.

More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines:

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Activist Central

 Tell Johnson & Johnson to Stop Turning Its Back on AIDS Patients

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 African American HIV University Community Mobilization College: Apply Today!

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