HIV News & Views, March 22, 2012
March 22, 2012
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Maria T. Mejia Maria T. Mejia: It's Friday ... and I Still Have HIV
"At the end of the day, I, like so many people dealing with HIV/AIDS, have to look at my face in the mirror. The face is the same, it ages a little, but the story is still the same, and I think to myself, 'It's Friday ... I still have HIV.'"

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: HIV/AIDS and the Black Church -- a Retrospective
"I wonder if white AIDS activists get asked, 'Why was the white church slow to respond to AIDS?' ... There has been a double standard when addressing the black church and AIDS, and the response -- or lack of response."

Robert Breining Robert Breining: My Reflection of the Positive Living 15 Conference
"I arrived on Thursday night and found myself very excited. I was like a 6-year-old on Christmas Eve. You see, when I attended this conference last year, it unexpectedly changed my life. So this year, I wasn't nervous. I knew I was about to have an amazing experience."

Letters to HIV

Justin B. Terry-Smith Earlier this month, blogger Justin B. Terry-Smith invited everybody who's living with or affected by HIV to submit a message to the virus expressing their feelings. Since then, we've received many thoughtful letters, essays, poems and videos from across the community.

Take a look at the submissions people have sent so far, and take part in the campaign to deliver your own letter to HIV!


Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D. Breakthroughs in HIV/HCV-Coinfection Treatment Shine at CROI 2012
"Hepatitis C treatment for [people] with HIV is the Wild West of drug discovery," writes Ben Young, M.D., Ph.D., from CROI 2012. "Unless one closely follows the major research conferences, it's easy for practicing clinicians to be bewildered and run over by the veritable stampede of clinical studies and findings." (On

Dave R. Do All These Vitamins and Supplements Really Make a Difference?
"I always suspected that swallowing a handful of vitamins and minerals with the orange juice every morning was possibly swallowing a whole lot of advertising propaganda at the same time," Dave R. writes. "Eventually, my conscience pricked me enough to do some research to try to find out what really is necessary and what the best means of taking vitamins actually is." In this article, he summarizes what he learned.

newspaper Study Finds Past Sexual and Physical Abuse Can Impact Ability to Adhere to Medication
Can past trauma play a negative role in the health outcomes of someone living with HIV/AIDS? A two-year study conducted at the Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research confirms mounting data that says, "Yes."

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the March 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Map on Red Silk 2," 2006
Joel Hoyer

Visit the March 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, "From Arches to Earrings," is curated by Glynnis McDaris and Julia Trotta.


Rx pad What the Affordable Care Act Means for Women, Girls and Families
As another presidential election oh-so-slowly draws near in the U.S., it's important to keep in mind some of the important gains in health care that have recently been made for people with HIV and their families. The Women's Collective provides this rundown of the Affordable Care Act's impact on HIVers and the threats that face the law.

Grant Colfax Mixed Feelings on Appointment of New Director of U.S. AIDS Policy Office
The White House announced last week that Grant Colfax, M.D., a research scientist from San Francisco, will be the new director of the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). "This is not a criticism of the selection by any means," Candace Y.A. Montague writes, but "seeing another white male lead the fight against such a 'colorful' epidemic can be a tad disheartening."

More News & Policy Headlines:

Connect With Others

Why Don't We Love Ourselves?
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)

"I work for an HIV prevention organization and receive many applications from people who want to work for me as a speaker. As an HIV-positive gay male, I (of course) am extremely sensitive to those folks who detail the circumstances surrounding their HIV infection. What troubles me is that as gay men we are taught to not like ourselves, to harm ourselves, and to ultimately take our own lives. Sweeping statement, I know. But where is the new generation of gay people that LOVE themselves and do not aim at self-destruction?"

 -- tonymurf

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!


quill Poetry Month at Submit Your Work!
April is National Poetry Month in the U.S., and throughout the month we'll be posting your submissions of poetry about living with, or being affected by, HIV/AIDS. Any form of poetry is fair game! Find out more about how you can get your poem featured on

 New Head of U.S. Office of AIDS Policy: A "Transformative Time" in HIV/AIDS
"[A]s a healthcare provider and someone who has guided implementation of HIV prevention efforts at the local level, I will ensure that the voices of persons living with HIV and those at high risk of infection, including women, are at the front and center of ONAP's work, every day," writes Grant Colfax, M.D., M.P.H., the newly appointed ONAP chief.

Angels in America Angels in America: The Play That Goes Clunk
When Lauren Whalen was told to make a "conceptual project" based on her favorite play, she chose Angels in America. She decorated a cardboard jewelry box, and then placed a rock inside it. "I wanted to hold this, to protect it," her professor said. "The delicacy of life. It's precious. Not to be wasted. You think it's one thing, and then it goes..." Clunk.

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Join the Conversation

Paul (From Los Angeles, Calif.) on "When Will Male HIV/AIDS Leaders Make Women and Girls a Priority?"

"Empower the movement before anything else and progress trickles down to the extinction of this disease. Should the gay community bark also because people like Bill Gates are straight and in heterosexual relationships? Being distracted by trying to empower sectionalizing resources is petty and is just costing more lives -- not just women, but humanity as a whole."

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


U.S. Health Updated U.S. HIV/AIDS Numbers Reveal Increase in New Infections Among Some Groups
HIV and AIDS rates held steady overall in the U.S. in 2010, but new HIV infections increased among people ages 15 to 24, men who have sex with men, and Native Americans, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Panelists Experts Discuss Recent Advances in HIV Prevention Research (Video)
A rush of new research has helped us get a better understanding for how "treatment-based HIV prevention" methods (such as microbicides, pre-exposure prophlyaxis and test-and-treat policies) work -- and what obstacles may reduce their effectiveness. (On

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