ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Justin B. Terry-Smith: Marriage Is Still an Option
"Just because you are HIV positive doesn't mean you will never get married. Do not give up on love and it will not give up on you," urges Justin B. Terry Smith. In this blog posting, Justin discusses his marriage to his partner Philip, explains why marriage equality is important and reaffirms his belief that love is the most powerful force in the world.
Video: Growing Up in the HIV Closet
"I heard about Ryan White getting kicked out of his school ... I was really pretty scared to tell people, so I kept it a secret," says Mark, a hemophiliac who was infected with HIV as a kid. In this video from The Positive Project, Mark, now 31, talks about keeping his status hidden and describes how he finally disclosed, for the first time, while he was in college.
Ladybug (From Washington, D.C.) on "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale"
"You know, a lot of women think because they have this disease that they don't deserve the same things as negative women. And I would like to say to them, I used to think the same way, and it wasn't until I began to be true to myself, start loving myself and being my own best friend when I realized that if you feel that you are worthy of something, you are. So to my lovely sisters: Continue to celebrate yourselves every day and never settle for less."
Read the rest of Ladybug's comment and join the discussion on this article!
HIV NEWS & VIEWS
Edwin J. Bernard: Why HIV "Crimes" Harm Everyone
It's not just that HIV criminalization laws are unfair; they also ultimately hurt HIV-negative people as well as HIV-positive people, expert Edwin J. Bernard contends. "The jury may still be out on whether such laws and prosecutions do more harm than good, but an increasing number of smart thinkers ... believe they are discriminatory, unnecessary and should end."
Number of HIVers on ADAP Waiting Lists Reaches (Yet Another) All-Time High
The number of low-income HIVers on AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists surged past 5,100 in 10 U.S. states as of Jan. 6, according to the latest "ADAP Watch" report. The dramatic increase -- about 400 people added to waiting lists in the past three weeks -- is mostly due to the situation in Florida, where more than 2,700 are on standby for HIV medications.
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Got questions about mental health or substance use? Ask our newest expert, David Fawcett, Ph.D., in one of our two brand-new forums!
A clinical social worker, sex therapist and accomplished researcher, Dr. Fawcett has worked in the HIV/AIDS field ever since his own HIV-positive diagnosis in 1988. Visit the "Mental Health and HIV" and "Substance Use and HIV" forums; you can also read more about Dr. Fawcett's work.
HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Revised U.S. HIV Treatment Guidelines Include Minor Changes, Reassurance on Viral Load "Blips"
Newly updated official U.S. HIV treatment guidelines were released this week -- the first revision since December 2009. The guidelines include no major changes to the questions of "when to start" or "what to start with." However, they do include a number of minor but noteworthy changes that could impact some aspects of HIVers' health care.
Brandon Lacy Campos: A Caveat to the HIV Cure
Though the world is abuzz with news that a leukemia treatment may hold a cure for HIV, blogger Brandon Lacy Campos reminds us that the procedure isn't easy. Having watched his cousin go through leukemia treatment, Brandon writes, "The pain that he had to endure during his fight was heartbreaking. A cure that demands that type of pain as its cost is one that may be more than many people are ready or able to face."
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What Do My Lab Numbers Mean?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV " board)
"I hope someone will be able to help explain what the following information means. RNA copies: 160,080 copies/mL. CD4: 444. Does this mean I need to start treatment?"
Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!
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HIV TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Men on the Down Low: Separating Fact From Myth
The "down low" (self-described straight guys secretly having sex with men as well as women) has often been blamed for the alarming rates of HIV in black America. While some believe that this claim is a fact, others believe that it's unsubstantiated and homophobic. In this Achieve article, Adrian Guzman, M.P.H., attempts to demystify this always-contentious topic.
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