December 3, 2009
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ON THE PERSONAL SIDE

Mark King and Mark King When My T Cells Are Old and Gray: Mark King's Latest Video Blog
"Do I have the right to complain about getting older?" asks 25-year HIV survivor Mark King. In King's tremendously entertaining, creative new video blog, he -- and his snarky alter-ego -- try to cope with the realities of growing older as a gay man with HIV. (Blog from TheBody.com)


Justin B. Smith When It Comes to Being Black and Gay, Not All Churches Are Alike
"Back in the days of slavery, the church was a place of salvation for black people," says HIV-positive activist and speaker Justin Smith. "Today many black gay men don't feel that the black church provides that love and acceptance they so long to have." In his latest poignant blog entry, Justin explains why he feels churches have largely failed to help prevent HIV among black gay men -- and lists a few churches throughout the U.S. that are more accepting of gay men. (Blog from TheBody.com)


Scott Simpson One Man, One Virus ... and One Triathlon: Scott Simpson's Journey
"Life's too short not to be following passions," says Scott Simpson. To all those people who wonder how physically fit you can become as an HIV-positive 44-year-old who used to smoke, drink and weigh 240 pounds, Simpson's got one word for you: Ironman. Join him on his new blog as he trains for the Ironman triathlon in Louisville, Ky., in 2010! (Blog from TheBody.com)


Also Worth Noting: U.S. HIV/AIDS Plan: Testify via E-mail Until Dec. 7!
The White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP)'s series of HIV/AIDS community discussions is nearing its end. The final discussions will take place in New York City on Dec. 4, and in Puerto Rico on Dec. 14. If you live in either of these places, take a look at the details and register for the meeting of your choice. While you can no longer submit your testimony via the online form on ONAP's Web site, you can e-mail your testimony to ONAP from now through Dec. 7.
HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES

 Can Cocoa Milk Reduce Inflammation?
We all know that exercise and a low-fat diet can help reduce heart disease risk, which is especially a concern for many people with HIV. Research also suggests that including specific items in a diet, such as fish oil and red wine, can do a heart good. Now a small study conducted in Spain has shown that, of all things, a twice-daily glass of cocoa with skim milk may also help. (Article from The New York Times)


 For HIVers Over 60, Illnesses Other Than AIDS Are Greater Health Risk, Study Suggests
We still have so much to learn about the way HIV affects our bodies as we grow older. The latest evidence comes from a small French study of HIVers over the age of 60. After four years, 14 percent of the volunteers had died, but not because of AIDS; instead, the main cause was cancer, followed by heart disease, liver disease and other ailments. (Study summary from aidsmap.com)


 Selzentry Approved in U.S. as First-Line HIV/AIDS Medication
Selzentry (maraviroc, Celsentri) has gotten an official go-ahead from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used as a first-line HIV medication. Until now Selzentry, which was approved by the FDA in 2007, has only been formally granted permission for use by treatment-experienced HIVers. People will still have to take a "tropism test" before starting Selzentry to make sure it will work against their strain of HIV. (Advisory from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Much more information about Selzentry is available in our rich collection of articles!


 Long-Term HIV Treatment Doesn't Damage Kidneys, French Study Finds
HIV meds don't hurt kidney function over time, according to a long-term French study. The study, which followed more than 1,000 people on HIV treatment for an average of seven years, found that the only HIV medication that appeared to worsen kidney function was Crixivan (indinavir), which is rarely used nowadays. (Study summary from aidsmap.com)

HIV is known to potentially damage a person's kidneys over time, and experts (including the panel that put together the newly revised U.S. HIV treatment guidelines) advise people with HIV who have kidney disease to start HIV treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage. To learn more about the kidneys and HIV/AIDS, check out TheBody.com's collection of articles.


Connect With Others
Just Diagnosed; What Are My Next Steps?
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

"I just got tested and got back a positive result. Now I'm not sure what I should be thinking or feeling. I've got my first appointment with a doctor tomorrow and that's all I know. Anyone got any advice?" --john33
Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with TheBody.com's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous (all you need is an e-mail address) -- click here to get started!


Also Worth Noting: Video Central

Horace

How do you learn to adhere to your HIV medications? In this video from TheBody.com's Video Central, 45-year-old Horace shares his experiences.
HIV IN THE NEWS

 International AIDS Conference Will Finally Return to U.S. in 2012
The International AIDS Society has announced that the 2012 International AIDS Conference, the world's largest conference on HIV/AIDS, will be held in Washington, D.C. This follows President Obama's announcement in October that the U.S.'s decades-old ban on international travelers with HIV would end in January 2010. The International AIDS Conference has not been held in the U.S. since 1990. (Press release from the International AIDS Society)

The big announcement came during a 30-minute talk by various Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which they walked through the government's current efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and abroad, and discussed the long road ahead. You can watch a video of that discussion online. You can also read a special statement from U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby, M.D., about what it means for the U.S. that the International AIDS Conference is coming to Washington, D.C.


 HIV/AIDS Activists Arrested in D.C. World AIDS Day Protest
Two HIV/AIDS activists were arrested in Washington, D.C., on World AIDS Day. The activists were part of a group of hundreds who gathered outside the building where the city's mayor, Adrian Fenty, works. They were attempting to pressure the mayor into action regarding the city's soaring HIV/AIDS rates and sub-par delivery of vital services to people with HIV. (Press release from Housing Works)

On World AIDS Day, people all over the U.S. were getting active -- and getting noticed. Activists were also arrested at a protest outside Gracie Mansion, the residence of New York City's mayor, and a letter endorsed by HIV organizations throughout the U.S. was delivered to President Obama requesting a first-ever White House summit of HIV-positive advocates.

Meanwhile, in TheBody.com's own World AIDS Day section, we've been collecting videos of people all over the U.S. talking about how they were going to spend World AIDS Day. Check out the page and add your comments!


Alicia Keys Alicia Keys' World AIDS Day Benefit Concert Reminds Fans to Fight HIV
Alicia Keys has been an HIV/AIDS activist for years, and on World AIDS Day she once again proved her dedication to the cause. Keys performed a benefit concert in New York City to raise money for the Keep a Child Alive foundation, a group she cofounded in 2002 that provides medications to HIV-positive children in Africa and India. Throughout the concert she encouraged her fans to get involved in the fight against HIV. (Article from TheBody.com)






Activist Central

 Call on Your Senator to Support Health Care Reform


 Participate in the White House's HIV/AIDS Community Discussions on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy


 Don't Let Dems Wimp Out on Opposing Abstinence-Only Funding


 U.S. Territories Separate and Unequal in Health Care Reform; How You Can Help


 Urge President Obama to Lift the Ban on Federal Funding for Syringe Exchange Programs