B. Osten: HIV, the Common Denominator
"In one breath I told him I was HIV+, in recovery from meth addiction, on SSI disability and receiving Section 8 assistance. ... The music stopped and the lights came on. I felt exposed. He tenderly took my hand into his and whispered into my ear that he was HIV+ also."
Rev. Andrena Ingram: Women's HIV Support Group Reveals Anger With Church
"[T]here are some denominations, some pastors, some Christians who use the Bible as a lethal weapon against LGBTQ and people living with HIV. ... Some folks use the Bible to tear you down."
Ed Perlmutter: Simmer on Low; Stir Occasionally
"It's time to regroup my brand of HIV activism and perhaps refocus my 'silent coalition' -- the thousands of individuals in [Massachusetts] infected with HIV who don't know it because they have never been offered an HIV test or engaged in conversation about the virus with their health care providers."
Rae Lewis-Thornton: The Wind Beneath My Wings (Video)
"While hanging out today with my girlfriend Markeeda, I started to think about my friends and support system, so I decided to talk candidly about my support system living with HIV over these last 29 years."
More Headlines From HIV/AIDS Blog Central:
I Thought It Was the End. Turns Out ...
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)
"When I was diagnosed I thought my world had ended. My viral load was at 9 million (!) and my CD4 was at 230, so you can only imagine how I felt. I was already thinking of what song I wanted to have played at my funeral. I was always sad, always crying, always confused, scared, paranoid, and I felt like I was just falling through a downward spiral. ...
"Having HIV gave me the push I needed to get on track. I started eating better and started exercising, I went back to school and worked hard at work. ... I've made great new friends and realized who my real friends are. ... I'm finally doing things I've always wanted to do, like play instruments, learn new languages, fun projects and travel, and that's only the beginning. I'm doing a lot better, too: 475 CD4 and 1,000 viral. ...
"YOU ARE NOT DYING FROM HIV, YOU ARE LIVING WITH HIV. You can accomplish anything you want, and doing it with HIV should say something about you."
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
First-Person Stories About People Taking HIV Treatment (Videos)
Nine HIVers sit in front of the camera and talk with The Positive Project about what it's like to take HIV treatment, the side effects they've dealt with and some of the tricks they've learned for making sure they don't miss any doses.
HIV Co-Pay and Patient Assistance Programs
If you live in the U.S., HIV drug companies offer discounts on their meds for people who qualify, usually in the form of help with co-pays. Positively Aware offers this quick breakdown of such programs for each HIV medication.
More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:
John (From Pittsburgh, Pa.) on "HIV Stigma and Awareness: Time to Change Our Message "
"I've been alive with HIV longer than without it. However, I've lived under the cloud of stigma the whole time. I've struggled with self-esteem my whole life, and am now finally viewing myself as whole and not less than because I got infected. The message change is crucial! ... One big reason I have so much fear is that over the past 19 years, I haven't always had the personal integrity to inform my sex partners of my status. I took steps to be 'safe' but I feel that I could be prosecuted because I haven't disclosed every time. I certainly never intentionally infected anyone, but how can that be proven?"
Read the rest of this comment and join the discussion on this article!
HIV NEWS & POLICY
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird Talk HIV/AIDS on Letterman
Last week on the Late Show With David Letterman, to promote the new Broadway play about their NBA rivalry, basketball greats Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird discussed, among other topics, the day that Magic disclosed that he is HIV positive.
50-Year Sentence in Iowa HIV Criminalization Case Upheld by Federal Judge
A federal judge upheld a 50-year sentence for Adam Musser, an Iowa man living with HIV who was found guilty of having unprotected sex with several female partners.
More News & Policy Headlines:
Miracles really happen.
There was no voice, yet I heard.
I heard a whisper.
I heard a whisper.
The whisper said, "I am sick.
I am sick."
--From "My Brother's Voice," by Monwabisi
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).
OPINIONS & PERSPECTIVES
This Positive Life: Cassandra Whitty (Video)
This mother and grandmother shares her experiences grappling with a late HIV diagnosis (no thanks to the U.S. health care system), how disclosing made all the difference, and why being an HIV/AIDS advocate is her life's calling.
Monique Moree: Living Inside My Skin of Silence
During a low point in her life, Monique faced an experience that changed her forever: finding out that she was HIV positive. Monique's story is told in HIV is NOT a Crime, a documentary by Sean Strub -- and in this interview with POZ I AM radio.
More Opinions & Perspectives:
"You are an abusive lover and I, as millions before me, bear the scars of your hate and bitterness. I am not bitter. I am better. You have seen that each time you have knocked me down that I have gotten up. I am stronger and braver. ... Our physical beauty may be diminished by your attempts at disfigurement but our inner beauty will always shine as a tribute to those who have been taken in your holocaust and as a beacon of hope to those who have been touched by your icy-hot fingers." -- Ken Warnock
Read (and watch) all of our readers' submissions to the "Write a Letter to HIV" campaign started by blogger Justin B. Terry-Smith!
HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Risk of HIV Reinfection May Be Similar to Risk of Initial HIV Infection
How likely is it that a person living with HIV can be infected with another strain of the virus? Experts still aren't sure, but recent research (summarized by HIV i-Base) suggests that becoming HIV positive doesn't alter your chances of being infected a second time.
Past Sexual Abuse May Put Boys at Risk for Unsafe Sex
Teenage boys who have been sexually abused in the past are more likely to have unsafe sex, according to a recent study conducted in Canada. A past history of sexual abuse is also linked to negative outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Expansion of Sex Education in U.S Is Not Making Much Progress
U.S. schools are not making much progress teaching their students about safer sex and preventing pregnancy, HIV and STDs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines: