HIV News & Views, April 12, 2012
April 12, 2012
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Jeannie Wraight Jeannie Wraight: HIV Stigma and Awareness -- Time to Change Our Message
"I am not someone to fear or pity. I am not beneath anyone, less of a person, or unworthy because I am HIV positive. ... I will not allow ANYONE to pity me, stigmatize me or try to make me feel less than who I am. I do not give anyone that power over me."

Dave R. Dave R.: Can I Get A Witness? Authentic Voices Tell the Story of Neuropathy
"[T]here's no substitute for hearing people tell their own stories. This post is ... given over to some of the men and women with both HIV and neuropathy who have opened their hearts on forums and in blogs across the Net."

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: Just Take a Deep Breath
"Instead of giving into the madness and writing this long-ass list about how much I hate living with AIDS and why, I'll just take a deep breath, have a wonderful cup of tea and Keep It Moving! ... No matter what I'm facing, I have to continue to believe that life is worth living."

Aless Piper Aless Piper: My Social Media Makeover
"This is a solution that worked for me; it may not work for you, especially if you run an [HIV/AIDS service organization]. Only you know your needs. However, all of the tools used in my social media solution can be adapted to just about anyone's needs."

More Headlines From HIV/AIDS Blog Central:

dear hiv

letter writers"It's not your fault that you exist in a world blocked from the outside unless viewed through a bloody vial. In my world I see the way you've been treated; it sure is ugly. It's been thirty years since your sister, AIDS, revealed herself to our world yet many of us continue to bully you, mistaking you for her." -- Christopher Myron

Read (and watch) more of our readers' submissions to the "Write a Letter to HIV" campaign started by blogger Justin B. Terry-Smith!


virus in the blood New Techniques Aim to Sniff Out Hidden HIV
There is still much we don't know about how latent HIV infection works, but many experts believe that finding this hidden HIV and eliminating its reservoirs in the body may bring us one huge step closer to a cure.

Bethsheba Johnson, G.N.P.-B.C., A.A.H.I.V.S. Oral Cancer More Common Among HIV-Infected North Americans
A huge study has found that cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx have occurred more frequently in recent years among HIV-positive people than HIV-negative people. The reasons remain unclear, though smoking and alcohol use are possible culprits.

Paul E. Sax, M.D. A Skeptical Look at "Test and Treat"
Universal HIV testing and universal HIV treatment for those who test positive. It's a utopian vision for an (eventually) HIV-free future ... right? Not all experts believe so. Paul Sax, M.D., provides a glimpse at the other side of the argument. (On

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:

Connect With Others

Anxiety, Exhaustion and Starting HIV Meds: What to Tell My Boss?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

"I have been feeling extremely exhausted the past week and I'm finding it hard to concentrate. ... The doctor says I must start meds immediately. Will be starting next week. I don't know whether I'm shocked, stressed, anxious or just numb, but I can't get myself to do anything right now. Would it be wise to take a week or two off work? ... If I ask for time off while I start my meds, what will I give as the reason to my boss?"

 -- virginmary

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!


female protesters Working Group for Women and HIV in U.S. Falls Far Below Radar
"The establishment of this working group ... is a testament to how far up on the 'to-do' list women must be in order for the AIDS community as a whole [to] make some real change toward ending the epidemic," Candace Y.A. Montague writes.

Magic Johnson Magic Johnson Invests in New Medicaid Plan for HIVers in Florida
Magic Johnson Enterprises has partnered with a health care service company to offer a new medical plan for Floridians with HIV/AIDS. The plan, which will be available through Medicaid, will debut in Miami-Dade and be extended throughout Florida.

ribbon sign AIDS Activists Step Up Call for Hershey Boycott
At protests last week in San Francisco, New York City and Hershey, Pa., HIV/AIDS activists renewed their call for a boycott of the Hershey's candy company because the boarding school named for its founder refuses to admit an HIV-positive teenager.

More News & Policy Headlines:

'poetry month @ submit your work!

quillI know where I came from. I know I can't go back.
I am positive.
I don't know where I'm at.
I am positive.
I know I will survive.
I am positive.

--From "I Am Positive," by Rob

To mark National Poetry Month in the U.S., we're posting our readers' poetry submissions about living with, or being affected by, HIV/AIDS!

Anything you write is fair game. Pieces can be literal or abstract, serious or funny, short or long (but hopefully not too long) -- whatever you want. Select poems will be featured on our site and in email newsletters all this month. Click here for more detailed information on how you can submit your poem (anonymously, if you'd like).


Amanda Brown Amanda Brown: HIV Positively Positive (Audio)
Though she's only in her mid-30s, Amanda Brown has experienced much in her life: coming out to her family, military service, rape, an HIV diagnosis, marriage (to a man), semipro football and book authorship, just for starters. She shares her journey in this interview with POZ I AM radio.

Luke Versher Once Again: Mississippi at a Crossroads in the Fight to End HIV/AIDS
"Once again Mississippi has been compared to Botswana, Ethiopia and Rwanda for its stigmatizing and discriminatory polices, lack of access to care and its treatment of her citizens living with and affected by HIV/AIDS," writes HIV/AIDS advocate Luke Versher of AIDS Action in Mississippi.

Sharon DeCuir Notes From a Summit Organizer: Positive Women's Advocacy Grows in Baton Rouge, La.
Sharon DeCuir explains why HIV-related conferences are so critical: "[T]hey rejuvenate the soul," she writes, "and at the same time give participants a chance to learn from others a new way of doing something -- or even provide them with more direction to move something forward in their own communities."

More Opinions & Perspectives:

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the April 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"To Spare the Sparrow," 1997
Rebecca Guberman

Visit the April 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, "Borders/Crossings," is curated by Liz Barr.


medical puzzle Possible Clues Found to Why HIV Vaccine Showed Modest Protection
It's been almost three years since we saw the first tantalizing signs that an HIV vaccine might actually work in humans, even if just slightly. A recently published study shines new light on what it was that made the vaccine partially successful.

female condom Second-Generation Female Condoms Are Cost-Efficient, More Pleasurable, Study Finds
It's no secret that female condoms don't have the same popularity in the U.S. as they do in Brazil or South Africa. But a recent study found that a newer version of the condom is more cost-efficient, more enjoyable to use and more successful in reducing HIV infections among women.

More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines:

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