HIV News & Views, December 29, 2011 -
December 29, 2011
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Justin B. Terry-Smith Justin B. Terry-Smith: Maryland Renaissance Festival, Prince for A Day? (Video)
"You can still be that little prince or princess that you wanted to be when you were younger. You can still be whatever you wanted to be when you were younger. Don't let HIV steal your dreams or your life. Strive to be the best you can be in whatever you do."

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: Moving Toward 2012 -- Silence Your Worst Critic
"If God had told me that my life would be what it is today, I would have told God to go sit down somewhere with that craziness. ... Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We speak negativity into a situation before it can even blossom. We doubt our abilities before we have even given them the chance."

Join the Conversation

Peter (From Toronto, Canada) on "Addiction: The Disease More Likely to Kill Me"

"I was a bit surprised to read this after viewing the recent happy family video clip you posted. This revisit to all things meth centered (the sex, the depression, the self-pity) brings up the truth about addiction. Although we continue in sobriety using tools which allow us to achieve new goals, we are not immune to emotions which can snowball us back to using -- surprising the hell out of ourselves. ... Thanks for your honesty on this recent turn of events -- it takes a real gentleman to admit this in public."

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


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.

Philip D. Just Fine
"After testing HIV positive in 2007, I promised myself that I would make something 'good' from all that I was handed," Philip D. writes. "I have been so incredibly fortunate. ... Maybe by sharing my experience, it will help those starting later in the game, on the fast track to HAART, or anyone that's feeling a bit isolated or 'stuck' with their diagnosis."

Year-End News Ten HIV/AIDS Stories That Defined 2011 in the United States
As the calendar marches toward 2012, we have 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.

Dr. Bob Strangest but Truest Posts in's "Ask the Experts" Forums -- the "Best of Dr. Bob" Edition
Each year, we scour our "Ask the Experts" forums and ask you to vote on 10 posts we feel are the "best of the worst" -- some of the oddest questions we've seen people ask about HIV that year. This year's collection honors Bob Frascino, M.D., ("Dr. Bob"), who was a master at responding to these questions.

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.)

More From's 2011 Year in Review:

Connect With Others

Life With Meds, Years Later
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

"I'm looking to find info from others who have been on meds for the past 10 to 20 years. I'm curious to see what have been your long-term effects on the body. I have been on meds for 15 years now and haven't been able to find any real answers as to the effects. I've been on Atripla for the past 4 to 5 years now and my bones and joints are experiencing fatigue. Don't tell me it's just the onset of age, 'cause we know that it's not. But what have others been experiencing? Please share your results."

 -- riverprincess

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!


  A Primer on What's Up With Cure Research
Scientists are experimenting with novel drugs they hope will be able to target and eliminate HIV cells hiding in the body, inaccessible by today's HIV meds. As Project Inform explains, these new drugs, some of which have shown promise and are now entering clinical trials, may one day even lead to -- dare we hope? -- a complete cure.

 A Golden Decade of Antiretroviral Drug Development
"The past decade has indeed been a golden age of [antiretroviral] drug development," write Polly Clayden and Mark Harrington of Treatment Action Group. "So much for those who say investing in HIV treatment is a bad bet."

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:

Test Your Knowledge

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!


 "Treatment as Prevention" Makes Lists of Top Stories of 2011
The journal Science has chosen the HPTN 052 clinical trial as its "2011 Breakthrough of the Year." The international trial found that HIV-positive people who are on stable, successful HAART reduce their risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners by up to 96 percent.

  Needle-Exchange Programs Face New Federal Funding Ban
Federal funding for needle-exchange programs in the U.S. faces prohibition once again, only two years after Congress had lifted a ban on such funding. The ban was reinstated as part of a larger federal spending bill earlier this month.

More News Headlines:


Yo Soy ... The Art of Capturing Latinas Living With HIV/AIDS (Photo-Essay)
Even though there are more than 110,000 Argentineans living with HIV/AIDS, Caitlin M. Kelly noticed how reluctant people were to talk about it. In hopes of breaking down this wall, Caitlin created "'I am ...' Women Living with HIV," a photo gallery highlighting the faces of strong women living with HIV.

This photo-essay is also available in Spanish.

Brooke Davidoff Occupy HIV?
"Our generation has needed a movement like this for a long time," Brooke Davidoff writes. "They had a sit-in in front of a Chase bank. I hadn't felt so much unity since AIDS Walk. We need to stand up for each other more in America."

More Opinions and Perspectives:

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Activist Central

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