ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Philip D.: A Beginner's Mind
"I don't think I've ever attempted something that sounded so simple but, in practice, required such a true level of commitment," writes Philip D. He's trying out a meditation technique called "mindfulness" as a way to combat the depression he's lived with since before his HIV diagnosis in 2007. Though exercises like "Mindful Raisin Eating" might sound silly, Philip is dedicated to giving this technique a fair shake.
Enrique Franco Remembers His "Yester Me"
"HIV didn't take away my normality. If anything, it has put a stamp on it," writes Enrique Franco. In this blog entry, he remembers what life was like before his diagnosis, and how HIV shaped who he has become. "Has HIV stopped me from the partying, boozing and messing around? Of course it did! But you know what? That was a good thing."
If you had the chance to create your own World AIDS Day HIV awareness public service announcement (PSA), what would you say? What message would you want to get across?
Just two weeks remain to enter TheBody.com's World AIDS Day 2010 Video PSA Contest. If your entry wins the contest, you'll get an iPad -- and two runners-up will each get a Flip video camera! Read the rules and submit your video by Nov. 10!
HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Your Doctor and the Social Security Listings
If you're hoping to secure a claim for Social Security Disability benefits in the U.S., your doctor can often help by writing a note on your behalf. The thing is, doctors don't always know the best information to include in that note. This article from Being Alive offers tips you can share with your doctor to maximize the chances that your claim is accepted.
Understanding and Managing Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common neurological disorder in people with HIV. It can be a major source of pain and discomfort -- and a major reason that some people stop taking their HIV medications. In this in-depth article from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Anne Monroe, M.D., M.S.P.H., explains how neuropathy develops and how it can be treated.
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David (From Fargo, N.D.) on "In Praise of HIV-Negative Gay Men"
(Comment posted Oct. 7)
"I think this post illustrates a cognitive divide between gay men who are recently infected and long term survivors. ... Check out the scores of commentators on HIV issues on sites like queerty.com, or even other HIV sites with less rigorous moderating, and you'll see that for a lot of people who haven't walked this path for long, we are anything but exalted and those who are 'clean' only feel left out if they're masochists. Their 'good choices' are, in many instances, mere variations on luck. They don't need to be patted on the back."
Read the rest of David's comment and join the discussion on this article!
HIV NEWS & VIEWS
Why the Porn Industry's HIV Problem Is Our Problem, Too
"While it is obvious that not using condoms on porn sets is a safety hazard, I have often wondered: How much of a safety hazard is it for viewers to consume condomless porn?" asks news editor Kellee Terrell. "How much does watching bareback sex influence or reinforce our desire to mimic that same behavior in our own lives?"
Angels in America Returns to The Big Apple
Angels in America, the landmark play by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner about being gay and living with HIV/AIDS in the pre-antiretroviral era, is coming back to New York City. To commemorate the Oct. 28 homecoming, heavy hitters in film and theatre shared their thoughts about the play's impact on themselves and society.
Advance and Retreat: HIV Treatment, the Cure and Capitalism
"Each of us makes choices that affect our quality of life, our relationships, our finances, our health, our sanity. Too often those choices come down to the lesser of two or more evils," writes Sue Saltmarsh in Positively Aware. In this article, she talks about the difficult decisions every HIVer must make about treatment and life, and her concerns about the broader trade-offs between the drive for profits and the drive toward a cure.
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After Two Years, I Still Feel Like I've Just Been Diagnosed
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
I have been aware of my positive status for two years now. It is just horrible every morning when I wake up, as if it was the first 30 seconds after the doctor diagnosed me. My significant other finally got tested and he is also positive. Every time I look at him, I feel like I killed him. I have told my mother and grandmother. Neither one was supportive. I have been too afraid to go to a support group. I am really struggling. I am on meds, but I feel like they are dictating my life now. I see the world through HIV-tinted glasses and I just want to feel human again.
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HIV TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Still Got It at 70
Sex isn't just for the young, but the young at heart, too. This Achieve article explores the reasons behind why sexuality within the well-over-50 crowd has been largely ignored. It also delves into a range of important safer-sex issues as they apply to aging people, including STDs, HIV, condom use and sex education.
The Connection Between Domestic Violence and HIV
While October is best known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As Candace Y.A. Montague explains in her blog, "The basis of many domestic violence cases is gender-based biases that oppress women and prevent them from protecting their sexual health. These inequalities directly and indirectly lead to the spread of the virus."
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