NATIONAL BLACK HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY
The U.S. officially marks Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Tuesday, Feb. 7. It's an opportunity for the country as a whole to take a moment to acknowledge the disproportionate impact HIV has on African Americans, encourage greater awareness of HIV in African-American communities, and shine a spotlight on the need for more testing, treatment and services.
Throughout this month, we'll be launching new, original articles and perspectives on HIV/AIDS among African Americans. But be sure to also make use of our existing resources to find information and support, as well as help educate others about HIV in black America:
TheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
Whether you're recently diagnosed, a longtime HIV survivor, an HIV advocate, an HIV prevention expert or a person who cares for somebody living with HIV, our African-American HIV/AIDS Resource Center is the best place on the Web to find community, information and guidance.
Word on the Street: Experiences Disclosing HIV Status
The intense focus on privacy in many communities often creates a "veil of secrecy" around HIV, making it profoundly difficult for many to be open about their HIV status. Here, African Americans living with HIV share their experiences telling others they're HIV positive -- sometimes with unexpected results.
Fact Sheet: HIV Among African Americans
"African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV of all racial/ethnic groups in the United States," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in this fact sheet. "Compared with members of other races and ethnicities, African Americans account for a higher proportion of HIV infections at all stages of disease -- from new infections to deaths."
"Untitled (Women)," 1998
Visit the February 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, "This Belongs to Us," is curated by Richard Haines.
Mark S. King's HIV Criminalization Faceoff: One Poz Man and His Accuser (Video)
"I couldn't help but wonder what might happen if an HIV-positive man had to sit down with his accuser and explain himself. So, through the magic of some creative editing, I produced this video episode of 'My Fabulous Disease' to give a voice to the opinions and feelings of both parties."
Rae Lewis-Thornton: Finding the Missing You
"So here I am, trying to find me. Trying to reclaim that part of me that I can own, that I can control. ... I cannot change the fact that I contracted herpes in college, or that I contracted HIV years later, and now the combination of the two has deeply affected my life in the most unexpected way."
I Know I Should Have Safe Sex and Disclose, But ...
(A recent post from the "Relationships and Dating" board)
"If I use latex at our age, she will wonder why (she is in the medical field). The best I can do right now, since my mind is mush AND I am in love, is not to cum inside of her. I know, please, all the ramifications (excuse the pun). I am not going to freak out. I am lucky to have her and we are both in love. The last thing I want is a lecture telling me to just 'tell her.' I am one of the silent majority (and I am not the only one) that can't seem to come up to the admission factor."
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
"My Lizzy, Me and HIV": One Woman and Her Perfect HIV Doc
In her 22-plus years living with HIV, Rev. Andrena Ingram has learned a thing or two about finding the right HIV doctor. She's picky -- and proud of it: "One thing about my medical treatment from the beginning is that if I am not 'feeling' you after the first two or three visits, I will quickly request a change of doctors."
Can Having Pets Help Women Living With HIV/AIDS Cope?
A recent study found that women living with HIV/AIDS may find therapeutic benefits from owning pets. "Pets -- primarily dogs -- gave these women a sense of support and pleasure," study author Allison Webel, RN, Ph.D., said.
The Self-Worth Analysis, or How Neuropathy Can Steal Your Social Self
"Neuropathy symptoms can end up being so severe that you are limited in what you can do in a way that you've never known before," Dave R. writes. "People have lived through this before, with the doubt and fear that they would be excluded from society by HIV; but the advent of neuropathy can attack an already fragile ego like rust on metal."
More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:
Michael (From Los Angeles) on "The New Black Market: Selling HIV Meds for Cash"
"Should medicine that saves lives be patented? Without the patent of Truvada and other HIV medications, cost of these drugs will go down by probably as much as 99%, possibly bringing down the cost of Atripla from $1,500 to $15. So what is that woman in the story to do? Sacrifice her health to save her children? Quite sickening that the pharmaceutical business is just that much in control of people's lives."
Read the rest of this comment and join the discussion on this article!
HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
How Accurate Are Rapid HIV Tests? Study Finds Blood Tests Slightly More Accurate Than Oral Tests
Rapid HIV tests perform slightly worse when testing oral samples in comparison to blood, according to a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases on Jan. 24. Overall, however, the chances for false positives and negatives were very low.
"Testing Together" Program Breaks Ground Among Gay Couples
An HIV testing initiative being implemented in Atlanta and Chicago is adopting an approach historically used for heterosexual couples in hopes of decreasing HIV transmission rates and increasing awareness among men who have sex with men.
More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines:
FEATURED ON THEBODYPRO.COM
What TheBody.com is to HIV-positive people, HIV-affected people, activists and the general public, TheBodyPRO.com is to HIV health care professionals. TheBodyPRO.com seeks to inform and educate doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, prevention/treatment educators, mental health professionals and others who work on the frontlines of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Here's a sampling of articles we've recently added to the site.
Avoiding the Slippery Slope to Burnout
"Health care professionals working with HIV/AIDS patients -- physicians, nurses, social workers, and other personnel -- are at a very high risk for [Burnout Syndrome]," David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., writes. In this blog entry, he recommends several strategies that you can employ to help prevent burnout.
Generic Lamivudine Has Arrived
Generic antiretrovirals are common in much of the world, but not in the U.S. and other wealthy nations. However, as Paul Sax, M.D., notes, lamivudine (Epivir, 3TC) recently joined the small-but-growing list of off-patent U.S. antiretrovirals.