ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Brandon Lacy Campos: Queer, Poz and Colored
"I called every person I loved, including my mother, while crying in the airport ... and told each of them that I was a drug addict and HIV positive," writes Brandon Lacy Campos. "I totally went over my minutes that evening." In his first blog entry for TheBody.com, Brandon, 32, details how he decided to go public about his status after years in which HIV was "a regularly reoccurring mute button on the DVD of my life."
Brandon's first blog entry is part of our newly launched Pride 2010@TheBody.com feature section. Take a look at some of the other perspectives we're highlighting as part of the feature!
River Huston: Get Me (and HIV Education) on Reality TV!
"I was still cruising the channels when I came across this naked woman answering questions about sex. She was doing what I always dreamed of, except she was naked," writes River Huston in her latest blog entry. Never one to back down from a self-made challenge, River is jumping at a casting call for a reality show on Oprah Winfrey's new TV network. Her vision: an engaging, funny, frank show featuring an HIV-positive woman. And she's asking for your help to make it happen.
Scott Simpson: Off to the Races?
Triathlete Scott Simpson knows firsthand how determination and willpower can breed success. But after struggling to complete four races in three days despite being ill (complete with dizziness and vomiting), he wonders if he maybe went a bit too far: "I could hear my doctor's voice from my last appointment echoing in my head, 'You know that your heavy training negatively impacts your immune system?'"
Enrique Franco: When "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Bites the Dust
The U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gay servicemen is the reason Enrique Franco is no longer in the Army. So it's no surprise that he's ecstatic the policy may soon be eliminated -- although his hope is tempered with realism: "I completely understand that this issue will not be solved overnight," he writes in his latest blog entry. "The Army needs the time to grow and mature. So do its soldiers."
We asked LGBT community leaders and members throughout the U.S. how they'd answer the question:
Is LGBT Pride Still Significant Nowadays?
Some of their answers are contemplative; others are defiant; and all of them are part of an important discussion for our society today. Read people's thoughts on the issue and add your own -- it's all part of Pride2010@TheBody.com!
HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
As the Weeds Grow Higher, Tips for HIVers With Seasonal Allergies
HIV doesn't appear to make a person's allergies any worse, experts say. However, being HIV positive can impact what you're able to do about them, especially if you're taking HIV medications. In this helpful article from Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange, a physician, a pharmacist and a practitioner of natural medicine provide some great advice to keep in mind if you're an HIV-positive person dealing with seasonal allergies.
Selzentry Labeling Includes New Warnings for People With Kidney Problems
The CCR5 inhibitor Selzentry (Celsentri, maraviroc) should be used with caution by some HIV-positive people with kidney problems, according to new info on the drug's official labeling. The labeling notes that, while research suggests that people with only mild to moderate kidney problems don't need to worry about using Selzentry, there may be a different story for people with severe kidney impairment.
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HIV NEWS & POLICY
Illinois Advisory Panel Recommends Starting ADAP Waiting List
Illinois' AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) should close its doors to new applicants to avoid its own "total fiscal collapse," a state advisory panel said on May 21. The program served about 4,400 people as of April 2010, and adds around 100 people each month to its rolls -- people who might be turned away if the waiting list goes into effect.
Malawi President Announces Pardon of Jailed Gay Couple
HIV/AIDS advocates applauded the recent decision by Malawi's president to pardon a gay couple sentenced to 14 years of hard labor for sodomy. The men were arrested in December following widespread local media accounts of their public same-sex marriage. HIV/AIDS activists expressed concern that Malawi's public stigma and prosecution of gay men and women could force others underground, hurting efforts to fight the virus.
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Seeking a Car Wash for the Body and Soul
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
"I've got HIV. Not on meds yet (CD4=988, VL=40,000). I don't take very good care of myself. I smoke, eat bad food, skip meals (I'm underweight), don't exercise, usually go to bed still wearing my pants and work boots, haven't read a book in a long time, haven't learned much about HIV yet. I've been working (12-hour days, 7 days a week) and living for the past three and half years at a refinery in a remote, hostile, hot, dusty and austere location.
"I will be 'retiring' in two months (I'm 51 years old) and what I would really love to do when I leave this place is to spend some time at some type of rejuvenating retreat/health spa where they provide healthy meals, some counseling on HIV. I just know that there's got to be some wonderful and healing place of business out there where I can book some time to restore and repair and reward my mind, body, and spirit. A car wash for the body and soul. If you have suggestions or recommendations PLEASE let me know."
Respond to High5'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 Meds Dramatically Reduce Risk of Transmitting Virus to Partners, African Study Finds
A major boost to supporters of the "treatment as prevention" approach has been published in one of the world's most respected medical journals, the Lancet. Results from a two-year study of nearly 3,400 mixed-status couples in Africa found that HIV-positive people on antiretrovirals were 92 percent less likely to transmit HIV to their negative partners than HIV-positive people not on antiretrovirals.
Even in Religious Circles, Needle Exchange Has Its Backers
"The single most effective means of HIV prevention among [injection drug users] is syringe exchange," write HIV/AIDS advocates Benjamin Shepard, Ph.D., and Erica Poellot. "Communities of faith have historically been ambivalent about supporting it. ... Yet there are examples of faith-based efforts to support these programs."
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