THE YEAR IN REVIEW
As an action-packed year for the HIV/AIDS community draws to a close, TheBody.com takes stock of 2010 in a new series of articles, "HIV/AIDS Year in Review: Looking Back on 2010 (and Ahead to 2011)." You can read the entire series here; below is a taste of what you'll find there.
10 Tips for the Media on How to Stop Screwing Up HIV/AIDS Coverage
As 2010 comes to an end, we take a look at how the media has covered HIV. Some of their work is good; a lot is bad. We acknowledge the difficulties of covering HIV, but that still doesn't let the media off the hook. (Or us, even.) So, after reviewing 2010's media coverage of HIV/AIDS, we came up with 10 important lessons that journalists should keep in mind for next year.
Word on the Street: "Looking Back at 2010 in Terms of HIV/AIDS, What Do You Want to See Change in 2011?"
So many challenges still face the HIV/AIDS community as we close out the third decade of the pandemic. We asked many members of the community what they felt were the greatest challenges -- and what needed to happen in order to overcome them.
Loreen Willenberg: The Ups and Downs in a Year of Functional-HIV-Cure Research
Long-term HIV "elite controller" Loreen Willenberg reviews the year in research around HIV controllers and therapeutic vaccine development. She also recaps the Zephyr Foundation's recent contributions to building the "controller community" -- that is, the small group of people on the planet whose bodies are able to keep HIV at bay without the use of HIV medications.
Magnetic Mama: What They Say Is True -- You Do Have to Go There to Come Back
Magnetic Mama is back from her eight-month trip around the world. And for the first time since her husband's HIV diagnosis, she's found that the virus no longer rules her life. "Finally, HIV -- who had been the ever-present mistress in our lives -- has been demoted to the level of an annoying relative you're responsible for," she writes.
My HIV-Positive Boyfriend Cheats; What Should I Do?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
I broke up with my boyfriend because I found out he's having sex with other women. We're both positive. I'm not sure if he's using condoms with them, but I can't deal with the thought of him putting others at risk. Now I'm wondering how long he's been doing this. Should I look the other way or do I need to do something? I don't know what to do. -- will_live2
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ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
ScotCharles: Forget the Box of Chocolates; Life Is Like a Garden
"A garden is a patch of the planet that you caretake for the next caretaker," writes long-term HIV survivor ScotCharles. "Our attitude about life is very much like a garden. We can ignore it and let it go to dark weeds and tangled vines; or, we can turn our minds to learning to see the miraculous that life offers all about us."
Wendell Mosby: In Remembrance of My Mother
"For boys growing up in single-parent households, it's way too common to deal with a deadbeat dad, face serious financial struggles and have awkward conversations about sex with their mother," AIDS advocate Wendell Mosby writes. "But one thing I did not count on was watching this strong, fun-loving and full-of-life human being lose her battle to AIDS at the ripe age of 41 ... [on] the same day that the entire world recognizes World AIDS Day."
John (From Connecticut) on "Out and Proud"
(Comment posted Dec. 9)
"Honestly, there are times I choose not to disclose my HIV status because I don't want it to be 'the' thing that defines me and overshadows everything else about me -- exactly the way I don't always 'out' myself about being gay. It's not that I'm ashamed, it's that it's only one aspect of who I am, and I don't want to define myself by my HIV diagnosis."
Read the rest of John's comment and join the discussion on this article!
HIV NEWS & VIEWS
New York City Health Department Defends Graphic HIV Video
The top brass in New York City's Department of Health is defending a controversial ad that uses rotting brains, decaying bones and bleeding anuses to convince young men to use condoms, Housing Works reports. The ad has pitted those who are offended by its scare tactics and call the campaign dishonest against those who think the video's shock value could prevent the spread of HIV.
Republicans to the Rescue? New ADAP Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate
Two U.S. Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that would pump $101 million in stimulus funding into the nation's cash-starved AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). As Housing Works' Julie Turkewitz explains, this could mean that "ADAPs might -- just might -- get some relief" before the lame-duck Congress leaves Washington, D.C., for the year.
More HIV News & Views Headlines:
You have just one more week to cast your vote for the most bizarre HIV-related question asked in our "Ask the Experts" forums this year! From twisted sisters to semen-laced breakfast treats, you'll be amazed at just how far-out some folks can get in their paranoia over a possible HIV exposure.
HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
On TheBodyPRO.com: Cardiovascular Disease Risk in People With HIV
Over the past few years, we've seen an increased focus on health problems associated with cardiovascular disease in people with HIV. There's still uncertainty as to why these problems happen, as well as how to prevent, assess and manage them. But there is a lot we do know: In this exclusive interview, two of the leading minds on cardiovascular disease and HIV discuss this critical issue from an HIV clinician's perspective.
TheBody.com Flashback: The Man Who Was Cured of HIV
The Internet and news media have been abuzz this week with news about the "Berlin patient," a man whose HIV infection appears to have vanished following a risky stem-cell transplant procedure more than three years ago. The story first made headlines more than a year ago, but is getting attention again because an update was just published in a medical journal, and the man himself was recently interviewed for a German magazine. In this article from 2009, a researcher intimately involved in the story walked us through the details.
If you're looking for a quick update on this story, our blogger Candace A. Montague provides it in this thoughtful summary, in which she explains why "scientists, while pleased, are very cautious about celebrating the news just yet." The HIV/AIDS publications AIDSmeds and aidsmap.com also have good recaps of the latest developments.
FDA Approves Once-Daily Prezista Dosing for Treatment-Experienced Adults
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved once-daily dosing of Prezista (darunavir) for HIV treatment-experienced adults whose HIV has no resistance mutations to Prezista. Previously, Prezista had only been approved for twice-daily dosing in treatment-experienced people. Now treatment veterans can officially take the same recommended once-daily dose as treatment-naive people.
More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:
HIV TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
David Craig: My Coming of AIDS Story
It's a story many of us know all too well: Becoming infected with HIV despite knowing all the risks -- and even losing a loved one to the virus. David Craig's life is that story: In this stark, brutally honest column from Being Alive (beware: adult language!), David remembers the choices and events that led to that one fateful moment 10 years ago.
Candace Y. A. Montague: "The Attitude That Spreads HIV"
"Would you rather die than know your HIV status?" asks blogger Candace Y. A. Montague. Candace just attended the First International Conference on Stigma, where AIDS experts, advocates and health educators discussed why so many people answer that question with a resounding "yes" -- and how something as simple as talking about HIV can change that answer.
More Transmission & Education Headlines: