AFRICAN AMERICANS & HIV
The U.S. observed National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Although the day often focuses on educating HIV-negative people, these important new articles from TheBody.com seek to further the conversation about HIV within our community.
What Really Fuels the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Black America?
For the past 15 years, we have been bombarded with images and media attention blaming the "down-low brotha" -- the closeted gay man who sleeps with both men and women -- for the AIDS epidemic in black America. But these HIV/AIDS advocates from across the U.S. know what's really to blame.
The Culture War in the Black HIV/AIDS Movement Is Hurting Us All
"Whether you want to admit it or not, it's not just our country as a whole that is engulfed in a bitter culture war -- so is our black HIV/AIDS leadership," our news editor Kellee Terrell writes. "And just like in American politics, the conservatives in the black HIV/AIDS movement seem to be the ones with the loudest bark."
The Problem of HIV Stigma: It's Time for the Black Community to Own It
"It's a tangled web we weave with stigma, and it helps to fuel the new cases of HIV in the black community," blogger Rae Lewis-Thornton writes. "At some point, we have to take ownership of this disease. The African proverb, 'He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured,' is true. If we don't own it, we can do nothing about it."
More Headlines on African Americans & HIV:
"Self Portrait With Bruno and Horatio," 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.
Nelson Vergel's Tips for Finding Your Valentine
"However we choose to meet a potential person to date, we know one requirement has to be met first: That person has to be HIV friendly and educated about HIV. But how do you meet people who have a better chance at meeting that requirement?"
Brooke Davidoff: Where My HIV Came From
"I know now where I got it, THIS. I no longer need a man-map trying to retrace my who's and where's of the years past. One email answered it all today. ... Now I feel dirty again. Living in a bubble, thinking it's not really real if I can't find anyone I've been with who has it."
Thomas DeLorenzo: A "Thank You" to the Woman Who Gave Me My Life Back
"We all have that moment -- that one moment where time seemed to stand still for us -- and we saw what was going on with our community, how it was being annihilated by this powerful force that we could not see, and the rest of the world just stood still. ... Bonnie [Goldman]'s voice reminded the world that we still had something to be enraged over."
More Headlines From HIV/AIDS Blog Central:
Gerhard on "HIV Criminalization Faceoff: One Poz Man and His Accuser"
"What are we actually dealing with here? I disagree that the issue is homophobia. It doesn't jive with the fact that many of these prosecutions affect heterosexuals, especially minorities. I think that what we're looking at is a lot more nasty and complex than homophobia: It is the ancient hatred for those labeled "impure." Disclosure exists to segregate people who have the virus."
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Staying Healthy During Flu Season: Advice for People Living With HIV/AIDS
It's been an unusually warm winter in much of the U.S., but influenza is still a risk, and vaccination is recommended for HIV-positive and HIV-affected people alike. Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., offers three steps for fighting the flu.
Getting Your Daily Dose of D
"Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to many medical conditions, but what does all this research mean for people with HIV?" the good folks at the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange ask. "While there is much left to learn, researchers are finding that people with HIV need to make sure they are getting enough vitamin D."
Incivek in HIV/Hep C-Coinfected Patients: A Look at Recent Research
Incivek (telaprevir) is one of two new hepatitis C drugs that form the vanguard of a new, much more promising era in hep C treatment. Our resident expert Barbara McGovern, M.D., brings us up to date on Incivek's effectiveness and safety in people coinfected with HIV and hep C.
More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:
How Can I Get "HIV" Taken Off My Future Death Certificate?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
"I was told by a health professional here in the U.S. that they have to put my HIV status on the death certificate. Considering the religion, culture, family and how I have been keeping this confidential between me and the only person that I trust, I was really surprised to hear that. This is devastating for me. ... Ideally, I would like to see that I have died from cancer or lymphoma, which is the case. ... I don't see how I am risking anyone's life by wanting to keep this confidential. Can you please let me know if anyone has any suggestion on how I can prevent this from happening?"
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HIV IN THE NEWS
Tennessee State Senator Says It's "Virtually Impossible" for Heterosexuals to Contract HIV From Sex
Another day, another opportunity for our elected officials to completely expose themselves for being entirely out of touch with the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic. Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) has found himself at the center of a media firestorm because of some comments he made on a radio program about HIV transmission.
HIV Status of Michigan Man Remains Unknown, State Laws May Have Been Broken
Last month, news reports buzzed about a man who claimed he had attempted to infect hundreds of people with HIV -- and about suggestions that the man be forced to take HIV meds. But there is one major question that has largely been ignored: Is this man even HIV positive?
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OPINIONS & PERSPECTIVES
Millicent Y. Foster: Living My Life Positively
"I've been ridiculed and criticized because of my HIV status," Louisiana resident Millicent Foster writes. "But that has just made me more determined." Millicent, a TheBody.com reader and a 51-year-old mother of three, shares how she faced addiction and tragic loss, turned her life onto a different path, and learned to draw from her family and her faith for support.
The "S" on My Chest
"If I convince myself that I am immune to the virus and all that comes with it, I can also pretend that I'm not affected by the side effects of medications, the feeling of walking into a room and being the 'HIV-positive guy,'" writes William Brawner for the Black AIDS Institute. "Unfortunately, this 'superhero' persona does not work all the time."
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