February 4, 2010
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ON THE PERSONAL SIDE

Mark S. King Facial Wasting Update: Mark S. King Shows How His Treatment Is Going
Almost a year ago, viewers of Mark S. King's video blog got to tag along as he started treatment for facial wasting. Mark promised to keep us updated on his treatment -- and in the latest installment of his blog, he takes us on another illuminating trip to the office of lipoatrophy expert Gerald Pierone, M.D. (Video blog from TheBody.com)

Want to learn more about facial wasting, one of several conditions that fall under the "lipoatrophy" umbrella? You can read all about it in TheBody.com's vast collection of articles on the topic -- or you can pose your questions to Dr. Pierone himself at TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forum on facial wasting.


Justin B. Smith Justin B. Smith Takes on a New Title: Mr. Maryland Leather
Not many contests in the world feature a category called Pecs & Personality. But for Justin B. Smith, it was just one of the criteria he was being judged on in his bid to become Mr. Maryland Leather 2010. In his latest blog entry, he talks about the nerve-racking experience -- and about how he hopes it will help him become a more effective HIV/AIDS advocate. (Video blog from TheBody.com)


Magnetic Mama Magnetic Mama: Being the "Negative" in a Pos-Neg Romance
"In my eyes (err ... ears), 'magnetic' sounds so much more positive than serodiscordant because it implies attraction rather than some kind of clash," writes one of TheBody.com's newest bloggers, Magnetic Mama. In her first entry, MM introduces herself: She's a globetrotting psychologist who works with HIV-positive kids -- and also happens to be the HIV-negative half of a mixed-status couple. (Blog from TheBody.com)


Sheila The Ups and Downs of a Positive Life
"Share the information, but keep the virus to yourself," says 43-year-old Sheila, who has been living with HIV for nine years. Though she's struggled with depression and medication adherence, she's now open about her status. But that openness comes with a challenge to those she discloses to: "Do you want to know who I am -- or just what I've got?" (Video from The Positive Project)


The Latest Posts at TheBody.com's Blog Central
Blog Central at TheBody.com is hopping! In addition to the blog entries we've highlighted above, be sure to give these recent posts a read:

fogcityjohnFogcityjohn: Soloist (posted Feb. 3)
"I'm now a 49-year-old, HIV-positive, gay man with lipodystrophy. ... I often wonder what, if any, prospect I have for finding love."

Phillip D.Phillip D.: The Fortune Teller (posted Feb. 2)
"Two years ago, I tested positive for HIV. Figures it would happen on the longest night of the year."

Scott SimpsonScott Simpson: Transitions: Life, Lemonade and Triathlon (posted Feb. 1)
"In life we go through many transitions, some of our own making. ... Other transitions are forced upon us."


Black AIDS Day: Do Your Part to Observe on Feb. 7

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day image

It's been 10 years since National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) was founded in the U.S. to raise consciousness of the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on African Americans. Today, the black HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. You can download postcards and posters to help publicize the day, or find out about events in your state.

You can also read an official statement from top U.S. health official Anthony Fauci, M.D., on the steps that communities can take to halt the spread of HIV among African Americans.
HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES

 Users of Videx Warned About Potential Liver Problem
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out a heads-up last week to warn people with HIV and their doctors about a rare but serious liver problem that can occur in people taking Videx (didanosine, ddI). The FDA noted that the benefits of Videx generally outweigh the potential risks "for certain patients," but urged HIVers and their doctors to talk things over and decide for themselves. (Notice from U.S. Food and Drug Administration)


 Scientists "Grow" Integrase, Providing New Insight Into How Some HIV Meds Work
Integrase inhibitors such as Isentress (raltegravir) somehow manage to slow down HIV's ability to make copies of itself. However, even though we know they work, scientists still don't know exactly how integrase inhibitors do what they do, or what specific steps they can take to make them work even better. A new discovery may help change that. (Article from kaisernetwork.org)


HIV PREVENTION

 Circumcision Doesn't Appear to Protect Gay Men in Wealthy Countries From Contracting HIV, Early Studies Suggest
Most studies on circumcision and HIV have focused on whether circumcision can protect heterosexual men in developing nations from getting HIV. But what about gay men -- and what about people who live in wealthier nations, such as the U.S. and Australia? Researchers are beginning to explore the answers; so far, the results haven't been very encouraging. (Article from CATIE)


 Fighting HIV/AIDS in U.S. Communities of Color
To truly make HIV prevention work in the U.S., many advocates believe we need a wide range of tools that are specially tailored for each unique community. In this article, HIV/AIDS experts from African-American, Native, Asian and Latino communities sound off on the HIV prevention challenges in their communities -- and what can be done to overcome them. (Article from ACRIA and GMHC)

Take a look at TheBody.com's index on race and ethnicity in the U.S. for much more information on HIV/AIDS among communities of color, including statistics, prevention and treatment info, personal stories and more.


Connect With Others
My Husband Has AIDS, but What About Me?
(A recent post from the "Women" board)

"After two years of unprotected sex with him, my husband was diagnosed with AIDS. ... I was seven months pregnant, we had been married about a year, and total devastation! ... All the focus is on him and poor him. Well, what about poor me? I am a strong person, and I'm not selfish, because I pretended to be OK with this so his health would improve, and it did. ... His mind is at peace. How do I get that same peace with this hate in my heart?" -- CHIKITA

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!


HIV THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

 Obama Proposes Increases in Global HIV/AIDS Funding
President Barack Obama's newly proposed federal budget for 2010 calls for a new influx of funding for global health, including HIV/AIDS-related programs. For instance, Obama has proposed more money for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (also known as PEPFAR), and he wants to double the cash that goes into efforts to fight tropical diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, which pose huge dangers for people living with HIV in many developing countries. (Article from kaisernetwork.org)






Activist Central

 Tell Congress to Finish U.S. Health Care Reform


 Learn About the Earthquake in Haiti and HIV/AIDS -- and How You Can Help


 Help Stop Dangerous Ugandan Parliament Legislation


 Play in a Bid Whist Tournament in Your Area; Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness and Funds!


 Apply by Feb. 10 to Attend or Present at This Summer's AIDS 2010 Conference!