January 14, 2010
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ON THE PERSONAL SIDE

Dr. Bob Dr. Bob Gets Bloggy: Life, Love, Sex, HIV and Other Unscheduled Events
"Having the eyes and mind of an HIV specialist physician, but the body and soul of an HIV/AIDS patient, provided me with a unique perspective on this modern-day plague," writes Robert Frascino, M.D. -- better known as Dr. Bob from TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forums. The hilarious, eloquent Dr. Bob is now a blogger, too! In his first entry, he shares how he became "virally enhanced" and other important but unplanned moments from his life story. (Blog from TheBody.com)


Marama Pala This Positive Life: Living With HIV Where Everybody Knows Your Name
When indigenous New Zealander Marama Pala was diagnosed with HIV, she didn't have the option of telling her loved ones on her own terms. "Because we are such a tight-knit community ... news of my diagnosis spread like wildfire," she explains. In this interview, Marama talks about being an HIV/AIDS activist in her indigenous community -- as well as finding love and having children with her husband, who's also HIV positive. (A new installment of TheBody.com's "This Positive Life" podcast series)

Want to learn more about HIV/AIDS in New Zealand and other Pacific Islands? Check out TheBody.com's collection of articles on this region.


 Positively Healthy: A Gay Man's Guide to Sex and Health
Are you a gay, bisexual or transgender man trying to make sense of the risks of sex and disclosure -- but who still wants sex to actually be fun? If so, this candid, conversational safer-sex guide was created with you in mind. The guide was written by gay Canadian men with HIV, but non-HIVers -- and guys outside of Canada -- can get plenty out of it too. (Guide from CATIE)

Check out TheBody.com's collections of articles on prevention for gay men -- and for HIV-positive folks -- for informative articles and guides befitting a wide variety of sexual tastes.


HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES

 This Month in HIV: The Basics of Bone Problems and HIV/AIDS
Bone disease is more common in HIV-positive people than in non-HIVers -- but many people don't even know they have it. In this in-depth interview, two top HIV researchers cover the basics of bone problems in HIVers: what causes them, how to find out whether you have them, and what you can do to keep your bones healthy. (A new installment of TheBody.com's "This Month in HIV" podcast series)


 Report Explores Ways to Involve Racial and Gender Minorities in HIV/AIDS Research
We still have a long way to go before we fully understand how HIV meds work differently in women or minorities than they do in white men. But why is the research gap still so large? In the U.S., experts point to mistrust in the medical system and a lack of access to care as reasons why women and minorities often are not included in vital HIV/AIDS clinical trials. (Article from ACRIA and GMHC)

Want to learn more about HIV/AIDS clinical trials? Browse TheBody.com's collection of resources on the topic.


Connect With Others
My Husband Was Just Diagnosed; Please Tell Me He'll Be OK
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

"My hubby was diagnosed with AIDS about a month ago: CD4 75 and very high viral load. ... I know with all the new advances, he may have a long life, but I cannot seem to stop thinking about death. I am skeptical because he was just diagnosed and already has had acute toxoplasmosis. ... I have no idea since when he's had it because he cheated several times in the 12 years we've been together. Since he's trying to recuperate, I don't nag him, because I want him to focus on getting better rather than being guilty. Luckily, my 10-year-old daughter and myself are negative. I guess I just want a little more reassurance that he will be OK, or at least to know what to expect in the years to come." -- abitsad

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: Visual AIDS

Image from the January 2010 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
"What I Was Seeing" 1995; David Nelson

Visit the January 2010 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Light Itself," is curated by Joy Garnett.
HIV IN THE NEWS

 HIV/AIDS Clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Hit Hard by Earthquake; How You Can Help
A key HIV/AIDS clinic in Haiti, the GHESKIO facility in Port-au-Prince, has been severely damaged but most of its staff is accounted for and OK, according to a message from Jean W. Pape, M.D., the director of the facility. TheBody.com's Myles Helfand has more on how you can help the clinic get back on its feet and assisting Haitians living with HIV. (Blog from TheBody.com)


 What Ending the U.S. HIV Travel Ban Means for HIVers' Civil Rights
"Lifting the ban helps remove stigma and saves lives," says Frank J. Oldham, Jr., head of the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA). In this interview, Oldham discusses how everyone -- and particularly African Americans -- will benefit now that HIVers from abroad are free to travel to the U.S. (Article from the Black AIDS Institute)

In other post-travel-ban news, Clemens Ruland became the first known HIVer to enter the U.S. after the ban went bye-bye. Ruland and his partner (who is HIV negative) won a Dutch contest celebrating the end of the ban. Their prize? A trip from the Netherlands to the U.S., of course! POZ magazine interviewed Ruland upon his arrival in New York City.


"STRANGEST BUT TRUEST" OF 2009

 And the Winner (a.k.a. Loser) Is ...
You have spoken! We've spent the past few weeks tallying your votes for the oddest question about HIV risk asked in our "Ask the Experts" forums during 2009. So, which question did you all find the most unusual: The one from the pimple-popper? The fart inhaler? The scissor-wielding fly murderer? You're about to find out. (Survey from TheBody.com)


TESTING/TRANSMISSION OF HIV & OTHER STDS

 D.C.'s Largest Needle Exchange Short of Money Despite Removal of Federal Funding Ban
Now that federal funding for needle exchanges has been legalized throughout the U.S., everything's going to be fine for needle exchange programs, right? Not so much: In Washington, D.C., where federal needle exchange funding has been legal since 2007, the city's largest needle exchange program was so low on cash last November that it couldn't pay its employees and had to temporarily suspend giving out clean syringes. (Article from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)






Activist Central

 Letter Opposing Ugandan Anti- Homosexuality Bill: Sign On No Later Than Jan. 18!


 End the Two-Year Wait for Medicare


 In California, ADAP Gets a Boost -- but HIV/AIDS Advocates Push for More Help


 Ensure HIV Care Is a Priority in Health Care Reform: Contact Your Senators and Representatives Today!