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June 6, 2007

In This Update
  • New Resource Center for HIV Treatment Veterans
  • Living With HIV
  • HIV Treatment & Complications
  • HIV News & Policy
  • HIV Outside the U.S.

    Are you a multidrug-resistant HIVer who wants to know what other HIV treatment veterans have to say? The Body has launched its brand-new Resource Center for HIV Treatment Veterans, which is filled with podcasts, one-on-one interviews, articles and resources. The center offers a one-stop shop loaded with info for people who are HIV treatment experienced. Stop in and take a look!



    The Dark Side of Mixed-Status Relationships
    "People try to take advantage of you when they know you are HIV positive," says Roxanne, an HIV-positive woman. "I've even had men flat out ask me to pay them to be with them, telling me, 'You know that nobody else is gonna be with you 'cause you got this virus.' The sad thing is that for a while I believed them." In this article, Keith Green offers a few cautionary tales from HIVers who got hurt in relationships with HIV-negative partners.

    Affirmations to Reduce HIV's Stress and Pains
    When you're feeling down, try a simple exercise to banish negative thoughts and feelings, suggests Chicago herbalist Sue Saltmarsh. When you've had a sleepless night, a hard day or have been feeling sick, take some deep breaths and say her special incantation. "This surrender is not going to cure you," Saltmarsh admits, but "what do you have to lose besides the few minutes it takes to breathe, speak, and visualize getting rid of those things that hold you back or drag you down?"



    Researchers Look to Fight HIV by Boosting the Immune System
    Right now, HIV treatment focuses on suppressing the virus: Get your viral load down, and the immune system will build itself up again. But immunotherapy, which controls HIV by boosting your immune system rather than attacking HIV directly, may be the next major advance in HIV treatment. In this article, Dr. Daniel Berger looks at some of these exciting experimental treatments.

    Abacavir Hypersensitivity Test Could Be Combined With Drug Resistance Test: Study
    About one out of every 12 people has a potentially dangerous allergy to Ziagen (abacavir), an HIV med that's also a part of the combo pills Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) and Trizivir (AZT/3TC/abacavir). Now scientists say they've developed a new test that can spot people who may be allergic before they ever take Ziagen. The new test could potentially become a part of standard drug-resistance testing, meaning it wouldn't cost extra and wouldn't require a separate blood sample. (Web highlight from

    Drug-Resistant Bacteria May Pose Health Risk for Some HIVers
    Sometimes it seems like every time you read the news, there's a new health risk for people with HIV. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bugs out there that can hurt people with damaged immune systems. Take MRSA, for instance: It's a drug-resistant form of bacteria that's a rapidly growing problem in U.S. hospitals. But as this article explains, some HIV-positive people could also be at risk for MRSA even if they haven't spent time in a hospital.



    As Corruption Accusations Swirl, Puerto Rican HIVers Go Without Care
    Hundreds of HIV-positive people in Puerto Rico are not receiving the medical care they need, thanks to a bushel of problems that may include poor management and government corruption. Accusations are flying between HIV doctors, advocates, Puerto Rican officials and even the FBI, but the bottom line is that while people bicker over how things went wrong, many HIVers appear to be getting the short end of the stick.

    Hollywood Stars Back HIV Funding Petition -- And You Can Too
    Are the world's most powerful, wealthy countries doing all they can in the fight against HIV? Not according to the Global AIDS Alliance, which has launched a petition accusing the Group of Eight (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) of failing to follow through on pledges made at a 2005 summit. The petition has been signed by many advocacy groups, political leaders and now a number of Hollywood celebrities, including Elton John, Alicia Keys, Iman, Jessica Alba and Liv Tyler. It calls for a plan to reach the goal of universal access to HIV services by 2010.

    Want to sign the Global AIDS Alliance petition yourself? Click here.



    Not As Advertised: Zambian HIV Cure Is Actually a Pesticide
    A Zambian newspaper has been promoting a cure for HIV that is actually a pesticide somtimes used as a disinfectant. The chemical, Tetrasil, has already been given to a number of HIVers, who in turn stopped taking their HIV meds and hoped for a miracle, even though Tetrasil has apparently never been tested as a treatment in HIV-positive people.

    Could Breast Milk Be Made Safe Through "Flash-Heating"?
    HIV-positive moms are told to use formula instead of breastfeeding their babies. But making formula requires clean water -- and what if there's no clean water nearby, as is the case in much of the developing world? A new study in South Africa has shown that a technique called "flash-heating" can inactivate the HIV found in breast milk, greatly reducing the risk that a mother will pass HIV to her child. A video in this press release shows how it's done. (Web highlight from the University of California-Berkeley)

    Australian Tries HIV Denialism As a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card
    Andre Chad Parenzee, 36, was a man trying to get out of a bad situation. He was charged in Australia with not disclosing his HIV-positive status to three former girlfriends he had sex with -- one of whom was eventually diagnosed with HIV. His defense? HIV doesn't exist and is not sexually transmitted. After a few AIDS denialists testified on his behalf, the court convicted him and threw out his appeal. (Web highlight from The Australian)

    HIV May Be Destroying African Democracies, Report Warns
    Some of Africa's elected leaders and most-active citizens are losing their lives to HIV -- and democracy itself may be suffering as a result, a new report says. The study, by South Africa's Institute for Democracy, says that so many African leaders are dying from HIV that the growth and stability of many African democracies may be at risk. (Web highlight from BBC News)

    Also Worth Noting

    Visual AIDS
    Art From HIV-Positive Artists

    Image from the June 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
    Untitled, 2001; John Morrison
    Visit the June 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Queer New World," is curated by Hector Canonge, the founder and director of CINEMAROSA, the only queer film series in the New York City borough of Queens.

    Connect With Others
    t The Body's Bulletin Boards

    What Is Portland
    Like for a Gay Man
    With HIV?

    (A recent post from the
    "Gay Men With HIV" board)

    "I currently live in Texas. ... I've been looking at Portland, Ore., for about a year now but have yet to visit. ... The research I've done on Portland has yielded no negatives I can see. ... I'm on disability with Medicare and supporting myself except for meds. I'm getting that from our ADAP here. I go through the public health care system here for care ... it's a university medical center. I have Kaposi's sarcoma and a history of chemotherapy, and possibly might need oncology support, but in general [I'm in] good health now. I've checked out the Cascade AIDS Project and Housing Connections Web sites. I like living in the inner city, not the suburbs. I rely on mass transit. Bar life isn't important to me, but a strong and thriving gay community outside the bars is. ... Does anyone here know what it's really like to live in Portland?"

    -- chuck512

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