HIV News & Views, May 3, 2012
May 3, 2012
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Bob Leahy NEW BLOGGER -- Bob Leahy: Northern Lights
HIV is "no picnic for many," says Bob Leahy, a onetime banker turned AIDS activist and prolific, thoughtful writer. "For some of us though, the lucky ones, HIV has been a good thing. ... It's made us make something of our lives." Bob's new blog complements his insightful writings on

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: Miracle of Life -- Counting Down to 50!
"I'm counting down to 50 and I'm allowing you to see a side of me that I have never allowed. ... I want you to see the miracle in my ability to keep pressing no matter what I face day to day."

Dave R. Dave R: "Dear Dave ...": The Virus Writes Back!
"You knew all about me before we met ... How many friends had I killed, with you watching me do it and yet still determined to get into bed with me eventually? Oh please, don't tell me you never meant for this to happen!"

dear hiv

letter writers"In 2007 you stopped just being something I watched in a movie. All that time you were living in him. It didn't matter if he had acknowledged you. You almost took his life regardless. Seeing you in him scared me. You turned my world upside down days before my 28th birthday. You coming into my bloodstream left me no choice but to acknowledge you. ... As I processed and grieved your presence, I almost allowed you to destroy me." -- Melissa Baker

Read the rest of Melissa's letter (and video) to HIV, and browse through many more of our readers' submissions to the "Write a Letter to HIV" campaign started by blogger Justin B. Terry-Smith!


caution cones HIV/HCV-Coinfected People, Doctors Warned Against Using Victrelis With Some Norvir-Boosted HIV Meds
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an official warning last week that Victrelis (boceprevir), a protease inhibitor used to treat hepatitis C, should not be used alongside certain HIV protease inhibitors boosted with Norvir (ritonavir).

Paul Sax M.D. Do People With HIV Still Need to Take Meds to Prevent Opportunistic Infections?
You're in the hospital. Your CD4 count is below 200. U.S. HIV treatment rules state that you should be given extra meds to help prevent opportunistic infections, such as pneumonia. But is this truly the wisest course? One top HIV doc isn't so sure. (On

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Brad (From Washington, D.C.) on "How Has Activism Changed Since the Early Years of ACT UP?"

"When 'activists' say we need to speak with one voice, what I hear them saying is 'don't challenge our status quo' despite the arduously slow response to change that bureaucracies by their nature [have]. Activism has itself become an industry that wants people to be reactive, do their bidding, but not necessarily be informed. When you see how many activists are jetting around the world on someone else's dime to the countless conferences, is it any wonder?"

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


social media Is "Soft" HIV Activism Enough?
What makes a person a "real" HIV/AIDS activist? Can young people today become respected members of the fight by using social media and blogging, or must they hit the pavement to be welcomed into the fold?

leadership Ending the Epidemic: A Call for Leadership
"The President and Secretary Clinton gave us the vision" for an AIDS-free generation, writes Paul Kawata of the National Minority AIDS Council. "Now it's time for various federal departments to provide the substance to realize that vision and for Congress to appropriate the necessary resources to make it a reality."

Charles Stephens White House Hosts Conference in Atlanta on HIV/AIDS in LGBT Communities
A gaggle of top HIV/AIDS experts, LGBT advocates and federal officials headed up a recent White House conference on the impact of HIV/AIDS among LGBT folks. Charles Stephens of AIDS United recaps the day's highlights.

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Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the May 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Jacques and Tyrone," 1997
Frank Moore

Visit the May 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, "Jungle Pussy," is curated by Yeni Mao.


Sonia Rastogi As a Young Woman With HIV, Can I Still Reach for the American Dream?
"Is the American Dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness really achievable for HIV-positive women?" Sonia Rastogi asks. "[HIV] does not have to be a disease of crisis, despair and shame. Yet, it is. It is because HIV runs the well-worn path of gender inequality."

Barb Cardell Dear HIV Organizations: You Really Want to Help Us? Pay Us.
Barb Cardell dreads it when people ask her what she does for a living. "'I am a professional volunteer,' I usually respond. ... What am I supposed to say? 'I can't work because 20 years ago I tested HIV positive, and just surviving was my full-time job?'"

Maura Riordan A Fire in the House: HIV/AIDS in the Deep South
"Having been active in the fight against HIV/AIDS for the past 25-plus years, I've seen plenty of life that is unfair, unjust and painful," Maura Riordan writes. A recent trip to Alabama brought it all back: "What I have seen and heard is far too reminiscent of my early days in this fight," she declares.

Connect With Others

My Husband, HIV and Me
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

"This is my first post ever, very scary. My husband was diagnosed 3 years ago. For anyone out there who is going through this: It gets better. I thought I was going to bury him, instead he is doing well. On HAART, no bad side effects. Sometimes it is difficult to be in a serodiscordant relationship, but because of HIV, I know what it means to love someone completely."

 -- tictac

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

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 An Answer to a Commonly Asked Question: Is Treatment 100% Effective in Preventing HIV Transmission?
"Treatment as prevention" is an exciting idea: If people with HIV take their meds properly, they can dramatically reduce their risk of passing on the virus. The question is: How much does it truly reduce the risk? Here's an expert's point of view. (On

condoms To End HIV and Hepatitis C, We Have to Change the Conversation
It's a common refrain: "Condoms make sex less enjoyable." But is that really as true as many of us claim? "What about the idea of reframing sexual pleasure as including the absence of worry?" asks Dana Van Gorder, the head of Project Inform.

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Activist Central

 Join Phill Wilson on May 3 National Conference Call to Discuss AIDS 2012 Plenary: "The U.S. Epidemic"

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