Dave R.: The Health Cost Crisis? Who Cares?!
"We're constantly bombarded with statements that the costs of health and social care are spiraling out of control because of course, we're all living too long. Wasn't that the idea, for goodness sake? ... Apparently not; it's just too expensive to be supported by a health industry which plays football with the Hippocratic oath."
Frankie Ninja: My Friend Mike, and the Last Goodbye
"'People like me,' he said while looking off into the distance, 'get buried with a blank cross. ... I don't want that to be me. I want something written on my cross.' ... The recollection of mistakes long since passed and regretted, and some maybe just remembered, played through his deep brown eyes."
Rev. Andrena Ingram: In This Corner, the Scale
"The funny thing is that at 140, I feel horrible, but everyone thinks I look 'healthy.' ... When I get my weight down to where I feel good, filled with energy, it is around 120-125. No fat; muscle. And everyone begins commenting: 'you've lost weight,' 'are you feeling OK?' YES! I am feeling FINE!"
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Anna F. (From Kensington, Md.) on "The Culture War in the Black HIV/AIDS Movement Is Hurting Us All"
"A movement inevitably reflects its leadership at the top. Always has, always will. Those who wish to change (or fine-tune) the direction of a movement must, themselves, step into leadership positions to do so -- and take the risks and heat that stepping forward involves.
"I hope your comments inspire more progressive people to do that. And I hope that those of us (like me) who have been in the field forever have the good sense to step aside and welcome new leaders into our ranks."
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
FDA Panel Rules Against NeurogesX Patch for HIV-Related Neuropathy
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel of outside experts unanimously ruled against recommending approval of a product derived from chili peppers to treat neuropathic pain in people with HIV. If it had been green-lighted, it would have become the country's first officially approved treatment for the condition in HIVers.
Pain, Drugs and the Risks of Self-Medication
The idea of taking meds to treat physical pain is a difficult one for many of us, therapist David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., writes. "I totally respect the desire to remain clean from mood-altering substances. ... But suffering extreme pain is not healthy for our bodies or our emotions; living in pain is not heroic."
FDA Warning: Beware of Drug Interactions Between Hep C Drug Victrelis and Norvir-Boosted HIV Protease Inhibitors
A newly issued drug interaction warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cast a sudden shadow over the most promising development in hepatitis C treatment in many years.
Frequently Asked Questions: HIV and Your Mental Health
Each day, readers submit new questions to our "Ask the Experts" forum on Mental Health & HIV. We've pulled together answers to some of the most common and important of these questions in this easy-to-browse resource.
More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:
Avoiding Disclosure for My Kids' Sake, But It's Eating Me Alive
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
"Although I feel that I have come to terms with things, I feel my life is getting smaller every week. I have not started treatment yet, and live in a small town where the worst thing that could happen is that my status gets found out. My kids do not know, and I couldn't bear the thought of them being bullied if everyone knew. I am lucky enough to have an HIV support group in my town, but am terrified to go there in case anyone finds out. ... I know I sound selfish, but I am a sensitive lady, and I know I have so much support to give. My world is shrinking and my kids deserve so much more."
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HIV IN THE NEWS
HIV Denialism Article Creates Controversy for Italian Medical Journal
A member of an Italian medical journal's editorial board recently stepped down in protest of its decision to publish a paper written under the direction of longtime AIDS denialist Peter Duesberg. The piece questioned the validity of deaths in South Africa due to AIDS and whether antiretrovirals actually improved the health of people living with HIV.
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"Self Portrait With Red," 1991
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.
OPINIONS & PERSPECTIVES
Love in the Age of HIV
Ah, love: It's exhilarating, it's fun, it's challenging, it's terrifying. And when you're living with HIV, there are all sorts of additional issues to consider. We asked a wide range of people in our community -- HIVers and advocates, gay and straight, single and partnered -- for their advice on love, disclosure, dating, and where to find that special someone.
AIDS Activists Face Prosecution for Chanting
"A group of AIDS activists has been misled into thinking that a few hours of community service and drug testing would absolve them of charges of misdemeanor trespassing," Candace Y.A. Montague writes. "Now they are facing trial and six months in jail. How harshly should someone be punished for exercising his or her first amendment right to free speech?"
Of Faith and Compassion
After more than 20 years of bringing together the worlds of faith and HIV, Pernessa C. Seele says the black church is no more homophobic than any other religious institution, despite accusations that are regularly raised in prevention work. But at the same time, Seele is acutely aware of the harmful effects of the homophobia that does exist, reports Enid Vázquez of Positively Aware.
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