HIV News & Views, December 23, 2010
December 23, 2010
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As an action-packed year for the HIV/AIDS community draws to a close, 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.

day calendar collage HIV/AIDS Community Spotlight: People Who Made a Difference in 2010
If you think one person can't make a difference, you're flat-out wrong: Without the people we've highlighted in this article (and many, many other amazing people), living with HIV today might be no better than it was 30 years ago. These HIV/AIDS advocates center their work in the belief that policy, oppressive systems and power (or the lack thereof) directly impact the most marginalized people around the world.

Ed Perlmutter Routine Opt-Out HIV Testing in 2011: The Road to Civility Is Paved With Forgiveness
There have been few dull moments in Ed Perlmutter's first year as an "accidental activist" for routine opt-out HIV testing. Here, he colorfully recaps the progress and obstacles that the cause faced in 2010, and reaffirms the importance of this fight as we enter 2011.

Connect With Others

My Fiancée Is In the Hospital -- and Only I Know She Has HIV
(A recent post from the "My Partner Has HIV" board)

"I just brought my girl to the hospital today and she is being treated for PCP [pneumocystis pneumonia]. She stopped taking her meds around three years ago, after an incident in her life threw her in complete denial.

"She was afraid of losing me and I understand that she has fault in this, but I knew all along [about her HIV status], and I care about her too much to blame her for being in denial. She finally came out of denial when I suspected she had symptoms of PCP. I probably saved her life by pushing her to get treatment once I noticed the first symptoms.

"The bottom line is that I don't know how to cope with this and who to ask for support. None of my friends are aware of her HIV status, and even though she told me that she will disclose to them, I am not ready to do so myself just to get support from them."

 -- schedir81

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ScotCharles ScotCharles: Fighting the "Holiday Blues," One Simple Step at a Time
"For many people with HIV/AIDS, this season can be especially bad," writes blogger ScotCharles. Over the years, ScotCharles and his partner have found themselves estranged from family members and coping with the loss of friends to AIDS complications. They came up with a list of tried-and-true ways to battle the "holiday blues."

Robert Breining Robert Breining: 10 Holiday Gifts for Anyone HIV Positive
"I wanted to share with you 10 things that I would recommend getting an HIV-positive friend or family member for the upcoming holidays," writes our blogger Robert Breining. He shares a list of holiday gift ideas that includes classic books and cute merchandise -- all in support of important issues. 'Tis the season!

Aless Piper Aless Piper: My Beginning as an HIV/AIDS Advocate
When Aless Piper was in sixth grade, she unwittingly chose to do a science project about HIV/AIDS. During the project, she called a local HIV service organization and was introduced to Edward, an HIV-positive man who ended up speaking at her school. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship -- and the start of Aless's unlikely evolution into an HIV educator and community advocate.

Join the Conversation

Lawrence (From Athens, Ohio) on "Tentative HIV 'Cure' Presents a Guarded Sense of Hope"

"The fact of the matter is that the Berlin Patient has been to hell and back for something which may not have even completely voided the virus from his body, and no one really knows what his long-term prospects are. You're so concerned about deterioration? [Timothy] Brown is still having a hard time walking and talking. Here's an idea: Get off the damn Internet and stop whining about what your HAART is doing to your body, and go to a support group -- or hell, any poz Web site -- to brainstorm what you can do to achieve a cure."

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


 As the U.S.'s HIV Treatment Budget Hole Deepens, Many Desperately Seek Help Elsewhere
In nine states, at least 4,732 people were on AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists as of Dec. 16, according to the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors. Health officials and advocates believe most -- but not all -- people on waiting lists are getting antiretroviral therapy free from pharmaceutical assistance programs.

  New York City Radio DJ Suspended After HIV Remark
New York City radio station Hot 97 has indefinitely suspended one of its DJs, Cipha Sounds, following outrage over a controversial joke he made on the air on Dec. 17. During his morning show last Friday, Cipha Sounds, whose real name is Luis Diaz, told listeners, "The reason I'm HIV negative is because I don't mess with Haitian girls."

Bob Frascino, M.D. Dr. Bob: Three Scary Beliefs That Defy Fact, Reality and Common Sense
No matter how much progress is made against HIV, there are just some facts that will always shock us. One fact that stuns our own Bob Frascino, M.D., is the percentage of people (both HIV negative and HIV positive) who support laws that make it a crime if someone with HIV doesn't disclose his or her status before sex.

More HIV News & Views Headlines:

strangest but truest of 2010: you make the call

Only a few days remain for you 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. We'll announce the results of your voting next week.


Nelson Vergel Using PMMA for Facial and Buttock Lipoatrophy: Recap of the Second Bioplasty Congress
Nelson Vergel,'s resident expert on nutrition and exercise, recently attended a major meeting of cosmetic and dermatology physicians from Latin America. In this recap, Vergel summarizes the information presented there regarding the use of polymethylmethacrylate microspheres (PMMA) to treat fat loss in people with HIV.

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:


Kellee Terrell Kellee Terrell: Fear and HIV Prevention Shouldn't Mix
Since its Dec. 7 television debut, New York City's "It's Never Just HIV" ad campaign has polarized the HIV and LGBT communities. Our news editor Kellee Terrell knows where she stands: "To sell HIV prevention using fear (as opposed to using love and validation) does nothing but inflict more unnecessary trauma upon the same vulnerable and at-risk community that the [NYC Department of Health] claims it wants to protect," she writes.

Kat Noel Kat Noel: (HIV) Testing Anxiety
Kat Noel, a former intern at an HIV/AIDS publication, recalls getting tested for HIV -- and she guiltily remembers the selfish thoughts that raced through her head while she waited for the results. "Here I was working among and interviewing people living with the virus," she writes, "and I couldn't stop thinking about how much I didn't want to be them."

 How U.S. School Systems Fail Where Lives Are at Stake
Talking about sex might make school officials uncomfortable, but by avoiding adequate, comprehensive HIV/AIDS education, young people in the U.S. tend to turn to pop culture -- which may be the worst place to turn, HIV/AIDS advocates Tracie M. Gardner and Kymsha Henry argue. "Case in point: the admission from Pauly D. and Mike 'The Situation' Sorentino of MTV's Jersey Shore that when they have sex in the hot tub they do not use a condom, because 'hot water kills all the sperm.'"

More Transmission & Education Headlines:


Activist Central

 Let 2011 Be a Year of Action! Ask Family and Friends How They'll Join the Fight

 Act Now: No Airtime for Killer AIDS Denialist

 Demand That the CDC Reach Out to Transgender Youth

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