ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Meet Brooke Davidoff: Newly Married, Newly Pregnant and Newly Diagnosed
"Every doctor you see, every support group you find tells you how you don't have to tell people," writes Brooke Davidoff. When Brooke was diagnosed with HIV four months ago -- 11 weeks into her first pregnancy and two months into her marriage -- she realized how big a role stigma was about to play in her life. "Sad you are told something this horrifying, this life changing and are instantly afraid to tell the people who are your support system," she writes in her introductory blog entry.
Dr. Bob: Even HIV-Positive Doctors Sometimes Face HIV Stigma
To readers of TheBody.com, Bob Frascino, M.D., is a renowned HIV specialist and longtime HIV survivor. Not so at the lab where he recently had his own MRI scan: "I'm just Patient #76896328963127," he writes in his latest blog entry. Dr. Bob's hilarious recap of his frustrating trip to the lab ends with a stinging reminder that HIV stigma is still alive and well -- even in some U.S. health care settings.
Traveling the World, Magnetic Mama Gives Her "Imaginary Friend" a Break
When Magnetic Mama's husband was diagnosed with HIV in 2006, fighting the virus became the focus of her life. "I lived with HIV beside me like an imaginary friend/foe you can't ignore and whose presence you are constantly aware of," she writes in her latest blog entry. But now, standing atop a mountain in South America during her recent world travels, MM suddenly realizes that her mind has taken a break from HIV -- and that freedom has her feeling both relieved and frightened.
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THEBODY.COM WANTS YOU!
Grab a camera, make a sign, and be a part of TheBody.com's celebration of LGBT Pride Month!
Your challenge: Send us a photo in which you're holding (or sitting next to, or standing on top of, or ... you get the idea) a homemade sign telling us what Pride means to you. You can either follow our template (seen to the right) or make your own sign. We'll post photos in TheBody.com's upcoming Pride 2010 section throughout June. Click here to find out how to take part!
HIV NEWS & POLICY
As States Finalize Their Budgets, the ADAP Crisis Continues
As of May 20, 1,143 people across 10 U.S. states are on waiting lists for their state's AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), which help low-income HIVers who are often uninsured pay for HIV/AIDS medications. And as TheBody.com's Becky Allen reports, it looks like things may get worse before they get better.
Although the ADAP situation is looking pretty grim, federal help may be in the works: Two Republican senators have introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would funnel $126 million to plug the immediate ADAP budget gap. The future of the bill is uncertain at this time, but on May 26, HIV/AIDS advocates across the country staged a call-in campaign urging President Barack Obama and Congress to provide more funds to embattled ADAPs.
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
New York Recommends Yearly Hep C Testing for Many People With HIV
HIV-positive people who use injection drugs, have more than one sexual partner, or are men who have unprotected sex with other men should be tested for hepatitis C every year, according to newly revised hepatitis C guidelines from the New York State Department of Health's AIDS Institute.
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I Need Advice: Should I Leap Back Into the Dating Scene?
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)
"I'm looking for some advice here. I've been poz for one year and haven't really had a relationship since. Recently, I've had my eye on this guy where I go to the gym. ... We've been exchanging a lot of looks and I feel there's a strong mutual attraction.
I'd like to give him my number and ask him out, but I'm afraid of what follows -- how to handle the situation if he accepts, when to disclose, etc. I also don't want my status being known at the gym.
Should I go for it and ask him out for a drink, or just forget it and save myself the rejection and problems down the road?" -- Dreamer76
Respond to Dreamer76's post now or start your own discussion! (If you're not already registered to post on our bulletin boards, all you need is an e-mail address; click here to get started!)
HIV TRANSMISSION & AWARENESS
HIV Risk May Be Higher for Men With Pregnant Partners
HIV-positive women may have a greater risk of passing the virus to male partners when they're pregnant, according to recent study findings. The study of more than 3,000 mixed-status couples in Africa suggested that pregnancy more or less doubled HIV risk for men, although the researchers asked for more studies to confirm the findings.
Researchers Present New Findings on Microbicides and Pre-Exposure Prevention
For years, scientists have been trying to develop new methods to help people protect themselves from HIV (besides condoms, of course). How far has the science come? At a recent conference, researchers from around the world gathered to show off their latest attempts, including a vaginal ring with time-release antiretrovirals and HIV meds for people to take before they're even exposed to HIV.
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