HIV News & Views, August 19, 2010
August 19, 2010
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Dr. Steve Keeping a "Negative" Outlook: Dr. Steve Talks About His Magnetic Relationship
"There's always something that's out there to remind you that there are no guarantees," admits Steve Natterstad, M.D., but "after this many years, [HIV] becomes part of your relationship." Steve knows this as well as anyone: He's not only an expert in our Spanish-language forum, he's also the HIV-negative half of a mixed-status marriage with Bob Frascino, M.D. -- a.k.a. "Dr. Bob," our resident HIV prevention expert and blogger.

Major, Eva and Rolf Showing "Sero-Different Couples" Some Respect
Sero-different couples (or magnetic couples, or serodiscordant couples, or mixed-status couples, or whatever your favorite term is) have existed since the beginning of the HIV pandemic. There's been little exploration of how these couples make their unique relationships work, but recently, partners in sero-different couples from all over the world gathered with researchers to share what they've learned.

Rusti Miller-Hill Meet Rusti Miller-Hill: Fighting for Better Health Care in Prisons
Plenty of people become HIV/AIDS advocates soon after they're diagnosed with HIV -- but how many do it while in prison and recovering from addiction? "The support I received from the other women in my housing unit saved my life," writes Rusti Miller-Hill, who was diagnosed in 1991. Now this mother, grandmother and brand-new blogger fights for incarcerated women's health from outside the walls.

Jose Ramirez This Positive Life: An Interview With HIV Prevention Activist Jose Ramirez
"[HIV] was just something added on the plate, [something] that I had to learn how to deal with," says Jose Ramirez. Jose survived many childhood traumas before his HIV diagnosis at 17. Now, 10 years later, he teaches LGBT youths in similar situations how to keep their sex lives safer, healthier -- and, yes, sexier.

share your life on

Do you love to write -- especially about yourself? Want to share your unique experiences, thoughts and tips on living with HIV/AIDS? is looking for talented writers to join our growing community of volunteer bloggers! Interested folks should prepare a sample blog entry (no more than 500 words) along with a brief description of who you are and what you'd like to write about (150 words tops). Please e-mail our community manager Olivia Ford with these materials.

We're looking for HIV-positive folks of all ages and experiences -- especially people of color, young folks (18 to 25), transgender and gender-nonconforming folks, women and heterosexual men. If you want to share your experiences but would rather keep your name to yourself, that's not a problem.

We look forward to hearing from you!


 Vitamin B12 and My Health
It's important to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels to reduce the risk of serious problems with the blood and nervous system. Vitamin B12 deficiency affects many different people for many different reasons. Click here to learn about the importance of vitamin B12 and how it impacts your health.


 The Wrinkled Face of HIV/AIDS: Aging With Complex Chronic Disease
It seems to be one of the mixed blessings of modern HIV treatment: Increasingly, people with HIV are living long enough to experience a diverse array of conditions traditionally associated with aging. Amy C. Justice, M.D., Ph.D., takes a detailed look at the research behind this unsettling trend in this article from Gay Men's Health Crisis.

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It Only Took Five Years ...
(A recent post from the "Coping With HIV" board)

"Well, I've been positive for nearly 5 years now. My dearest friend tested positive just this past Friday. It made me realize that this whole time, I had never actually dealt with the fact that I was positive, and has brought it all back up to the surface.

"For the first six months, I was tested, got my labs, even took the pills. But after the initial six months, I blocked it out. I knew I had it, but I never discussed it, stopped getting my labs done and stopped any type of romantic involvement just so I wouldn't have to bring it back up.

"Today I made the call. While trying to help my friend deal with his diagnosis I have found doctors, information and even called my old doctor for my lab history -- which is scaring the hell out of me, by the way. ... I'm going to start dealing with this bitch, and I'm not going down without a fight."

-- nibbler

Respond to nibbler's post now or start your own discussion!

To do this, you'll need to register with'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!


Kellee Terrell While AIDS Kills Women of Color in the U.S., Women's Movement Appears Missing in Action's news director Kellee Terrell asked a group of young U.S. women if they considered HIV/AIDS a women's issue. None of them did. "Because AIDS wasn't ravaging them, it wasn't on their radar," Terrell writes. "But if this disease is affecting and killing women, why are we not talking about it?"

 BBC Tackles HIV, Disclosure and Criminalization as German Singer's Trial Begins
German pop singer Nadja Benaissa is facing criminal charges for not disclosing her HIV status before having unprotected sex -- and subsequently allegedly infecting one of her partners. World Have Your Say, a BBC program, dedicated an entire show to the topic on Aug. 16.

 Experts Explore Possibility of Reducing Cost of HIV Meds by "Optimizing" Doses
Lack of funds is a major thorn in the side of those who are fighting for greater access to HIV medications worldwide. But what if treatment could be made cheaper for resource-poor countries by safely reducing the recommended dose of some HIV meds? Treatment Action Group reports.

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Paul M. Smith (From Florida) on "Subconscious Death-Wish of a Gifted, Young Black Man"
(Comment posted Aug. 13)

"If a young, black, talented and gifted man wants to victimize himself to the forces of greed, lust and willful self-indulgence, I don't know how we can help him. Maybe he does have a desire to commit suicide slowly and painfully while getting his rocks off easy and often. His choice, but far too often I encounter men like Terron who feel hopelessly compelled to engage in risky behavior over and over again and rationalize it away as 'the devil made me.' I'm not buying it."

Read the rest of Paul's comment and join the discussion on this article!


 Video: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Ain't Ready for Prime Time, Experts Note
The concept of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a promising one, but we may still be years away from knowing just how well it works, said a pair of U.S. experts in a recent interview with And even if it proves effective, they note, it won't be a magic bullet.

More HIV Transmission Headlines:

Activist Central

 Action Alert: Say NO to Abstinence-Only Sex Education

 President Obama: Address the ADAP Crisis!

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

 Action Alert: Help Homeless AIDS Activist Get Into Housing Today