HIV News & Views, November 18, 2010
November 18, 2010
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Paul and Mark Mark S. King Hits the High Seas
Two hundred gay men on a boat. No, you're not dreaming: It's the 2010 HIV Cruise Retreat! Watch, laugh and learn as Mark S. King -- who was this year's Master of Ceremonies for many of the cruise events -- shows us what this exciting, uplifting annual sea voyage is all about. "There was a minimum of the strutting or posturing you would normally find among a large group of gay men," Mark says. "There was a vulnerability we shared ... that helped us feel closer to one another from the start."

AIDS ribbons Guest Blog: Four Benefits to Living With HIV (Really!)
"There is a lot of negativity and heaviness when talking about HIV," writes an anonymous guest blogger. "I want to provide a different side of the dialogue around the epidemic and talk about the benefits of living with HIV. ... As crazy as this may sound, I have gotten to a place where I know I am lucky to be living with HIV."

Henry Ocampo This Positive Life Video Series: An Interview With Henry Ocampo
When Henry Ocampo was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 23, the news came as a shock: Not only did he work in HIV prevention, but he had always played it safe with his then-boyfriend, who was positive. Henry talks to us about living with HIV for the past 15 years; the stigma around being Filipino, gay and positive; and letting go of the fear of dying early.

Photo From Best in Drag Sherri Lewis: Life Is Best in Drag
Check out this collection of truly fabulous photos and stories from blogger Sherri Beachfront Lewis' night out at the annual Best in Drag extravaganza in Los Angeles, Calif., which raises money for the local HIV/AIDS organization Aid for AIDS. "This is the event we look forward to all year. Our Halloween. Our gathering of love and service, rhinestones and boas!" Sherri writes.
(Photo credit: Mark Melnick)

voting is open in our world aids day 2010 video contest!

World AIDS Day 2010 Video PSA Contest Last month, asked, "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?" We sent out a call for video PSAs to answer those questions, and you responded!

We picked our favorite entries, and now it's time for you to pick yours. Watch the videos and rate each from 1 to 5. We'll announce the videos with the highest overall scores on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.


Activists Wearing 'HIV Positive' T-Shirts  Could There Be Less HIV Stigma in the U.S. Than We Think?
A novel T-shirt campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier this year appeared to be a big hit -- but what does its success mean? "Could we conclude from this experience that perhaps stigma and prejudice are more internal than external?" asks Sue Saltmarsh of Test Positive Aware Network. "We can always hope, but one thing is clear -- the level of ignorance about the disease has not decreased."

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Join the Conversation

Joseph (From Brooklyn, N.Y.) on "Personal Perspective: I'm Not Gay"
(Comment posted Nov. 17; Joseph is the author of the original article)

"I never did, nor will I ever, hate myself, or anyone else, period. ... How the hell am I supposed to turn around and say, "OK, I'm gay," when you're foaming at the mouth to call me all types of derogatory things. Forgive me if I call you biased and radical in the same sense that you do, when you point fingers at those who oppose and suppress you."

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


Planning an Immune-Friendly Diet? Don't Forget the Antioxidants
A good diet can help you live healthier and feel better. Foods rich in antioxidants (or nutrients that can boost the body's own production of antioxidants) are believed to be particularly beneficial -- but can they help people with HIV in particular? A small U.S. study suggests that antioxidants may help boost CD4 counts and decrease insulin resistance, a complication connected with diabetes.

Hands in the Air The Power of Advocacy: How HIV/AIDS Activists Helped Win Approval of Egrifta
HIV journalist and treatment advocate Jeff Berry was one of several HIV/AIDS community members to speak at an FDA advisory committee meeting earlier this year, when the now-approved belly fat treatment Egrifta was still being debated. "Initially ... I had some serious doubts about whether my being there could have any real effect on the panel's decision," he writes. But his experience in that meeting strengthened his respect for the power that advocates can wield.

 With HIV Medication Adherence, It's Not a Competition
"The next time you hear someone make a broad generalization about adherence being better in City A vs. B, or Country X vs. Y, remind them that people are people -- and adherence to HIV therapy is likely to be the same everywhere," writes Paul Sax, M.D. In this article, Sax tackles the often-debated question of whether people in certain parts of the world are "better" about taking their HIV meds than others.

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Connect With Others

I Just Want Companionship, Love and Passion
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)

I am positive and in my late 20s. All I want in this life is a partner. I don't want a one-night stand. I want someone who will be with me through good and bad, every day and every night. ... I always tell potential boyfriends about my status... and am usually met with rejection, if not immediately, in a few days.

I am sick of it. I am so sick and tired of the rejection. I cannot NOT disclose my status, as I just can't do that to someone. I just don't think I will EVER find someone. I thought I could just wipe the notion out of my mind of having a husband, but it is a yearning that just will not go away. I have even been rejected by another positive guy. I really need some advice. I don't want to die alone.

-- Dizengoff

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

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!


Brooke Davidoff Brooke Davidoff: Like Sand Through the Hourglass, Women's Health Falls
"I'd never been told by any of my previous doctors that I was at risk and should get tested for HIV," writes Brooke Davidoff. And if she hadn't gotten pregnant, she might still have no idea that she was HIV positive. "Sometimes they ask if you would like an HIV test. ... When you go to the dentist they say, 'You need to have this tooth pulled.' They don't ask if you would like your teeth pulled."

women Women and HIV: A Nuanced Epidemic
In 1985, women represented 8 percent of HIV infections each year in the U.S. By 2006, that number had risen to 27 percent. This Achieve article breaks down how women get infected with HIV today, and examines how HIV prevention efforts are failing to address barriers of poverty, sexism and racism that fuel the epidemic among women.

More HIV Transmission & Education Headlines:

Activist Central

 Demand That the CDC Reach Out to Transgender Youth

 AIDS Alliance Asks You to Get Informed/ Involved in the Effort to Maintain Funding for School-Based HIV Prevention (DASH)

 Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program Applications Due Friday, Dec. 3, 2010

 Call on Peruvian Authorities for Justice in Murder of HIV/AIDS & Gay Activist