March 11, 2010
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ON THE PERSONAL SIDE

Robert Breining and Jack Mackenroth Robert Breining: A Reality TV Lover Gives a Nod to the Genre's HIV-Positive Heroes
Robert Breining was a closeted high-school freshman during the early days of reality television, when Pedro Zamora broke barriers on MTV's The Real World by letting cameras observe his life as a gay man living with HIV. "I remember seeing [Pedro] and having an overwhelming desire for his bravery," Robert writes. In his latest blog for TheBody.com, this avowed "reality show junkie" pays homage to some of his all-time favorite programs -- and makes the case for more openly HIV-positive cast members on reality TV.


Gary This Positive Life: Growing Older With Grace, Good Humor and HIV
"I never expected to be this alive at this point," Gary said to himself on his 60th birthday last year. Diagnosed with HIV in 1992, Gary has survived the tragic loss of his partner, a bout with prostate cancer and a heart condition. In this edition of TheBody.com's ongoing podcast series, This Positive Life, Gary talks candidly about his health, his family, the challenges of dating, and how he went from denial of his HIV diagnosis to being a knowledgeable HIV/AIDS advocate.


More From TheBody.com's Blog Central
Blog Central at TheBody.com is hopping! In addition to the blogs and personal stories we've highlighted above, be sure to give these recent posts a read:

Justin B. SmithJustin B. Smith: High Steaks vs. High Cholesterol (posted March 8)
"People who take certain HIV medications often get high cholesterol as a side effect of the drugs. Recently my doctor told me that I have high cholesterol. But is it a result of my drug regimen?"

Marc KolmanMarc Kolman: Stigma: Whose Responsibility? (posted March 7)
"Stigma is a key issue in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. It has resulted from a long history of issues in our culture, none of which have anything to do with the disease itself."

Magnetic MamaMagnetic Mama: Three Countries and Six Weeks Later and a World Has Opened Up (posted March 2)
"Before flying to Bangkok, I passed a week in London, where I met with some other [people in magnetic relationships] for the first time ever."

Enrique FrancoEnrique Franco: It Applies to ALL of Us (posted Feb. 24)
"My partner, spouse and love, Devin, once imposed upon me a deep thought. ... 'You probably are only with me because I have HIV too.'"


WOMEN & HIV

"Lady with Blue Bandana," by Joyce McDonald TheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women Features News, Personal Stories, Art and More
Have you checked out TheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women lately? You'll find a ton of outstanding stuff for HIV-positive women and advocates, including resource guides; first-person stories from a diverse range of women living with HIV/AIDS; a sprawling library of news on HIV/AIDS related to women's issues; and a gallery that pays tribute to some of the extraordinary female artists of Visual AIDS.

Get a widget for your Web site from TheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women Newsroom and stay up to date on international news relating to women and HIV/AIDS!


 HIV in Black Women: It's Not About Men on the Down Low
"In the late 1990s and early 2000s, media hype about men on the so-called down low prompted considerable finger-pointing in the black community," writes Tomika Anderson for the Black AIDS Institute. "Years later, an increasing body of evidence is undermining this theory, yet the media are barely covering the story. How do we ... undo the damage?" In this article, some of the U.S.'s foremost black HIV/AIDS advocates offer their advice.


 HIV-Positive Women: Share Your Experiences! U.S. HIV/AIDS Group Asks for Feedback
In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10, the U.S. Positive Women's Network has launched a survey to track the extent to which HIV-positive U.S. women's human rights are being respected. Women HIVers all over the U.S. are welcome to share their experiences on the survey, which focuses on access to testing and information about pregnancy, disclosure and legal concerns.


More Headlines on Women & HIV:


Connect With Others
Newly Diagnosed and Frighteningly Alone
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

"I wish I had someone to talk to who can relate to having this disease. Four weeks ago I tested negative, but my positive test result was found through a bDNA test (Branched DNA Assay). This test was suggested when I was experiencing a high fever, headache and fatigue. While I never wanted this, it's crazy to say, I feel a bit of solace knowing now. As a gay man, I always worried that one day this could happen. ...

"I guess I am just scared now about the road ahead and what complications may arise. I am alone in this (I have some friends to talk to, but none who can relate). I am glad I was told about this site, and if anyone anywhere in the world who has been newly diagnosed would like to talk, please get in touch with me, especially if you live in the New York City area. Thanks!" -- NiceGuyNYC

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 TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES

Loreen Willenberg Out of the Mouths of Babes: Why We Need a Therapeutic HIV Vaccine
"I imagine my HIV-positive friends and world community members free from the burden of having to take antiretroviral medications," writes advocate and "elite HIV controller" Loreen Willenberg. She's talking about the importance of a therapeutic vaccine for people living with HIV. In her most recent blog entry for TheBody.com, Loreen shares a speech given by a fellow advocate: a 13-year-old who is already so passionate he used his Bar Mitzvah speech as a way to raise awareness about therapeutic HIV vaccine research. (Photo credit: Bob Roehr)


 Researchers Find a New Hiding Place for HIV: Bone Marrow
Today's HIV meds do a tremendous job at stopping HIV replication in its tracks. But they can't completely wipe out HIV within a person's body: Some HIV manages to remain stubbornly out of the reach of antiretroviral therapy. The question is: Where is this unreachable HIV hiding? A team of researchers appears to have brought us one step closer to the answer.


 Belly Fat Drug Generates Controversy as Possible U.S. Approval Nears
There are frustratingly few treatment options available to people with HIV who experience an unusual increase in belly fat. One possible treatment, a drug known as tesamorelin, may be nearing official approval in the United States. But there's still a lot of uncertainty over the drug's future -- and whether it even has a significant benefit for HIVers with lipodystrophy.






Activist Central

 Women Living With HIV: Take a Survey on Sexual and Reproductive Health Services


 Fill Out a Survey on Stigma by March 15 -- HIV-Positive Voices From Developing Nations Needed!


 Tell HHS That Black Women Openly Living With HIV/AIDS Should Be Represented on PACHA


 Action Alert: Tell Congress You Support a Permanent Fix to Ryan White Housing Policy!


 Tell Congress to Finish U.S. Health Care Reform