May 6, 2010
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ON THE PERSONAL SIDE

Mark S. King Mark S. King: The Words That Changed HIV/AIDS Forever
"It was 1983," writes Mark S. King. "Just a year prior, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome became the fearful nameplate for the murderer of gay friends and lovers. ... Amidst this atmosphere of unremitting grief and fear, a group of activists met in Denver as part of a gay and lesbian health conference. ... They were about to do something that would change our response to AIDS -- and health care in general -- forever."


Philip D. Philip D.: Cry Me an Ocean (in the Desert)
"Weeping is seen as weak by some," muses Philip D., "but I think it's the most enlightened members of the human race that 'let it out' on a regular basis." It took two years, however, for Philip to let himself cry about his HIV diagnosis. At a yoga retreat in the desert, the moment finally came in a torrent. "Normally I would have backed off something so intense," he recalls, "but instinctively I knew these toxic feelings had to be dispelled if I were ever to heal."


Quill HIV/AIDS in Verse: Your Voices on TheBody.com
We wrapped up our "HIV/AIDS Poetry Month" feature last week, but not before posting three dozen of our readers' beautiful works about coping, stigma, love, fear, strength, loss and hope. You don't have to be a fan of poetry to connect with these words; scan through all of our posted poems and share your thoughts as well!


HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES

Dr. Bob Dr. Bob: Has AIDS Become Acquired Inflammation Disease Syndrome?
"The story of 'accelerated immune aging' ... is becoming an increasingly complex and, at least for us whacked immunologists, fascinating aspect of HIV/AIDS," writes Bob Frascino, M.D. In Dr. Bob's customary witty style, his latest blog entry explores the ins and outs of HIV-associated inflammation and accelerated aging -- or "inflammaging," as he calls it.


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HIV NEWS & POLICY

 "Positive Policy": TheBody.com's New Blog for HIV/AIDS Advocacy Updates
Want to keep up with what's going on in the halls of law, government and community organizations when it comes to HIV/AIDS? Enter "Positive Policy," a brand-new blog from TheBody.com. We'll keep it regularly updated with entries from a range of sources, guest bloggers and our own original posts to keep you informed on efforts to change HIV/AIDS-related policies in the U.S. and abroad.


Thomas DeLorenzo Thomas DeLorenzo: Is "Cure for AIDS" Written Anywhere in the U.S. Health Care Reform Bill?
"Maybe I should be content where I am, taking my regimen of seven pills a day, and just call it a win," ponders blogger Thomas DeLorenzo. "Then I remember the insurance problem, the one that the current health care reform cannot wave a magic piece of legislation at and have go away. That is the cost." Thomas was on hand at a recent HIV treatment activists' conference -- where health care reform was a major topic, but "cure" was the word on countless lips.


 Is PEPFAR Getting Smarter? Or Just Cheaper?
Where George W. Bush had PEPFAR, Barack Obama has GHI, the Global Health Initiative. PEPFAR was widely hailed by HIV/AIDS advocates for its critical role in expanding access to HIV treatment in poor countries. GHI, however, seeks to change the way the U.S. doles out HIV/AIDS assistance -- and many in the HIV/AIDS community aren't so sure it's a good idea.


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HIV TRANSMISSION & AWARENESS

 Should Good Catholics Not Use Condoms?
Is it possible to stop the spread of HIV without using condoms? Pope Benedict XVI says yes -- in fact, he believes condom use only "increases the problem." But Jon O'Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, disagrees. "Pope Benedict and the Catholic hierarchy are unable ... or perhaps unwilling, to acknowledge that condom use is pro-life," he writes.


 For Advice on HIV Prevention, Experts Turn to ... Iran?
You probably don't exactly think of Iran as the most socially liberal country in the world. But the country's approach to HIV prevention among injection drug users was held up as a model worth following at a major British harm reduction conference last month. "They began to understand it was better to have a [drug] addiction problem than an addiction problem with HIV," said a doctor who runs syringe exchange programs in Iran.


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Activist Central

 Join a Rally in Washington, D.C., on May 19 to Call for Hepatitis Program Funding


 An Open Letter Calling on International Agencies to Support Amnesty for Maksim Popov


 May 5: Join a Call to Learn About How Health Reform Impacts HIV-Positive Women


 China: Release Activist on Medical Parole


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


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