We are shocked and deeply saddened to share the news that Bonnie Goldman, TheBody.com's former editorial director, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 31. She was 55 years old. Bonnie worked on the site from its earliest days in 1995 through early 2010. Her vision helped shape the site you see today, and her dedication to the HIV community knew no bounds.
On this memorial page, we share thoughts and perspectives on Bonnie's passing from our staff, our experts, our bloggers and other members of the HIV/AIDS community. We hope you'll add your own thoughts as well.
HIV/AIDS BLOG CENTRAL
Justin B. Terry-Smith: Being Honest, Even When You're Scared
"I don't know why my viral load shot up and my T cells went down a little before I started [my] new treatment," Justin writes in this blog entry, which includes a video. "When you are public about what you have, you tend to not be public about when you are scared, or when it doesn't seem like it is going to get any better."
Rae Lewis-Thornton: Hospital Drama
When blood started oozing out of the intravenous line Rae used at home to administer her herpes treatment, she headed to the emergency room. Once there, still bleeding, she found herself thrown into a situation with no choice but to disclose her HIV status to everyone within earshot.
Can't Stop Blaming Myself
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)
"What I can't get past (other than a blood-chilling fear of sickness, the regret of a life with less opportunity now, and the weight from thoughts of telling my family the saddest news I can imagine) ... is the GUILT that I did this to myself. I didn't protect the most important thing I had. Me. I took care of every other thing: friends, family, work, pets. I was top notch. But I didn't take care of me. How can I get past this guilt?"
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Longtime HIVer Weaves Alternative Treatments With Antiretrovirals (Video)
Maria T. Mejia went 10 years after her HIV diagnosis without taking a single HIV medication. She did, however, take complementary therapies -- and in the 11 years since she started taking HIV meds, she still incorporates these other therapies into her treatment. In this video, Mejia walks us through her approach to treatment.
How Neuropathy Is Currently Treated
"Neuropathy is essentially nerve damage, and ... there is no cure for nerve damage, and nerves where the cells are dead cannot be repaired," writes Dave R., who blogs on the topic of neuropathy for TheBody.com. "That said, many of the worst aspects of neuropathy, and that means the symptoms, can be helped or alleviated, so that life becomes more bearable."
More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:
If you'll be in the New York City area this weekend, why not check out more than 1,500 pint-sized pieces of art? Visual AIDS, a nonprofit organization devoted to assisting HIV-positive artists and archiving their work, hosts its annual Postcards From the Edge benefit on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8, with a special preview party on Friday, Jan. 6. Read more about the event and take a look at how much creativity can be packed into a 6" by 4" space!
HIV IN THE NEWS
New Yorkers Living Longer Than U.S. Average; Officials Cite Expanded HIV Testing, Treatment
While moving to New York City may not automatically increase your life expectancy, a new report shows that New Yorkers, on average, are living longer than ever before. A chief reason, officials say, is the city's efforts to ensure more people get tested and treated for HIV.
J&J Will Not Join Medicines Patent Pool; Says Pool Could "Cause Disaster"
The nascent Medicines Patent Pool, which was created in part to improve access to inexpensive HIV medications in resource-poor countries, suffered a blow last month when Johnson & Johnson announced it would not take part. It also warned that the patent pool could lead to a surge in HIV drug resistance, a concern panned by the head of the patent pool.
More News Headlines:
OPINIONS & PERSPECTIVES
Great Expressions Dental Denies HIV Discrimination Claim; I Deny Their Denial
Late last year, news broke that a former dental office worker in Michigan had sued his employer, Great Expressions Dental, for allegedly harassing and firing him due to his HIV status. Great Expressions Dental is now countersuing -- and blogger Brandon Lacy Campos is not happy about it.
Bob Skinner Shares His Story
"Bob is a 61-year-old young man," Robert Breining says. "In 2000, he had finally had his first HIV test; it was on his 50th birthday." In an interview with Breining and Jeromy Dunn on POZIAM Radio, Skinner talks about why he was relieved when he was told he had six months to live -- and what he's been up to in the 11 years since that moment.
More Opinions & Perspectives:
fogcityjohn (From San Francisco) on "Just Fine"
"Like you, I'm a pessimist, but I don't claim to be recovered. I honestly don't find much good in being HIV+. The only thing I'll say is that when one is confronted with a life-changing event like an HIV diagnosis, one has two choices. One can either fall apart under the strain, or one can find a way to cope and go on. ... I tend to think HIV was nothing more than a 'kick in the ass.' The inner strength you've discovered as a result was there all along."
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HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Experimental Vaccine Partially Protects Monkeys From HIV-Like Infection
"New vaccine research in monkeys suggests that scientists are homing in on the critical ingredients of a protective HIV vaccine," according to a press release from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "The experimental vaccine regimens reduced the monkeys' likelihood of becoming infected per exposure to SIV by 80 to 83 percent."
More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines: