News & Views at, July 15, 2010
July 15, 2010
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 U.S. Officially Releases First National HIV/AIDS Strategy; Response Is Mixed
Thirty years into the epidemic, U.S. government officials have formally unveiled the country's first national strategy for fighting HIV/AIDS within its borders. The strategy aims to establish a coordinated, nationwide effort to reduce new HIV infections, expand access to HIV care, fight stigma and reduce health disparities. Reactions have varied widely, but members of the U.S. HIV/AIDS community have generally been cautious in their praise.

 Why the Christian Right Often Gets HIV Prevention Wrong
Homophobia and gender inequality are major forces driving the HIV pandemic worldwide. That's why HIV/AIDS activists often take issue with Christian conservatives in the U.S. As this overview from the HIV/AIDS publication Achieve describes, many Christian groups that influence international HIV policy don't support prevention programs that include gay men or condom use.

More News & Views Headlines: Covers AIDS 2010

Beginning next week, our team will bring you on-the-ground coverage from Vienna, where more than 30,000 members of the worldwide HIV/AIDS community are gathering for the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010). Visit our AIDS 2010 home page throughout the conference for:

  • the latest breaking news
  • blog entries on AIDS 2010's many sights, sounds and stories
  • summaries of key studies and noteworthy research
  • video recaps, including a daily video blog from Mark S. King
  • discussions involving HIV/AIDS community members from around the world


Brooke Davidoff Brooke Davidoff on Impending Parenthood: "Expecting the Unexpected"
"People want to know what it's like to be pregnant and have HIV. I really don't know. Not to be a smart-ass, but I've never had one without the other," writes Brooke Davidoff. In her latest blog entry, she briefly chronicles her doctor visits, unexpected weight loss and her rapidly approaching due date.

Enrique Franco Enrique Franco: "This Is Where Stigma Is Born"
Many people with HIV know all too well how much stigma is associated with the virus. But that stigma begins long before someone with HIV is diagnosed, writes Enrique Franco: "When we hear about ... someone getting tested for HIV/AIDS, what types of questions filter in our minds? ... What has he/she has been secretly doing?"

 Catholic, Gay and Living With HIV
"I was an altar boy and was very close to our parish priest. I recall hearing him preach that he could understand aid for starving people or for homeless people, but aid for people with AIDS was taking things too far," says Joseph. In this column for the HIV/AIDS magazine Achieve, Joseph recalls how his faith and his guilt played a role in his dependency on drugs and alcohol, as well as his struggles to accept his HIV status.


 Smoking Tobacco and HIV: An Overview
Can smoking cigarettes have a greater impact on the health of an HIV-positive person than an HIV-negative person? This primer from AIDS Project Los Angeles provides a quick look at what we know to date about the intersection between smoking and HIV. (Spoiler alert: The article is not very pro-cigarettes.)

More Headlines on HIV Treatment & Health Issues:

Connect With Others

Changing Docs and Worried About the Future
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)

"[This is] the fourth time I have been faced with a changing of the guard (so to speak) ... a change in the caregivers in the same clinic. ... I'm not sure if anyone else feels the same, but it has me nervous, not knowing if the new person who will be in my charts wants to help or just make a good move on their resume. ...

"I'm a very introverted person when it comes to my body and issues, I keep it all in, and I hope the next caregiver won't start off with an overhaul of my medical care so far. Anyone ever get these feelings? Please let me know how you went or are going about the changes, or if I'm just worried about nothing."

-- alive2

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 Scientists Find Antibodies That Appear to Protect Against Most HIV Strains
U.S. scientists have discovered two potent human antibodies that can stop more than 90 percent of HIV strains from infecting human cells -- at least in laboratory testing. The antibodies, which were discovered in the blood of an HIV-positive person, have suddenly opened a new potential avenue for vaccine development.

 An HIV/AIDS Vaccine Breakthrough? On CNN, Community Leaders Offer Perspective
CNN anchor Don Lemon interviewed Phill Wilson, CEO and founder of the Black AIDS Institute, and Sherri Lewis, HIV/AIDS activist and blogger, to discuss what the discovery of potent human antibodies that protect against HIV means for the possible development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine.

Joseph Gathe Jr., M.D. The Changing HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Houston, Texas
When you think of U.S. cities with high HIV rates, Houston, Texas, might not be the first to spring to mind. Yet the city's HIV diagnosis rate is twice the national average. In this interview from the Black AIDS Institute, prominent HIV clinician Joseph Gathe Jr., M.D., a Houston-area HIV specialist, talks about HIV treatment and his hometown's changing epidemic.

 Does Pregnancy Pose a Greater HIV Infection Risk for Men?
A study conducted in Africa has found that, if an HIV-positive woman is pregnant, she's twice as likely to transmit HIV to her male partner during unprotected sex (although the overall risk of transmission is still relatively low). Researchers believe that certain physiological and immunological changes in pregnant women may explain the difference.


Activist Central

 President Obama: Address the ADAP Crisis!

 Participate in a New Survey on HIV Prevention Strategies Targeting MSM

 NMAC Asks for Your Help Ending S.B. 1070; Promoting Comprehensive Federal Immigration Reform

 Action Alert: Help Homeless AIDS Activist Get Into Housing Today

 Action Alert: Urge Your Senator to Support an Extension of Critical Medicaid Funding