ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Positive Love: A Valentine's Day Video Collection
Ah, love: It's exhilarating, it's challenging, it's terrifying -- and when you're living with HIV, it involves all sorts of additional issues to consider. In honor of Valentine's Day, check out this collection of videos featuring a diverse array of people -- HIVers and negative folks, gay and heterosexual, single and partnered -- as they share stories and advice on finding love when you're HIV positive.
We're love-crazy over at TheBody.com! Read or listen to last year's collection of thoughts on love from HIV/AIDS community members, as well as our large assortment of articles on relationships, sexuality and HIV.
Philip D Vows: 2011 Is the Year to Suck It Up
"Every time I catch myself beginning to complain about something, I'm going to ask myself what sort of fear might be lurking beneath the surface," blogger Philip D. writes. He's vowed that this year, he's going to keep his temper in check: Whenever the urge to complain rises like a volcano inside him, he's going to explore the reasons behind that urge before it erupts.
Maria T. Mejia: Why I'm Here
"My partner's sister passed away from cancer," recalls new blogger Maria T. Mejia. "[I] asked myself, WHY can't I say I have HIV? Why is it that anyone can say they have cancer or diabetes or any other health condition and I am so scared to disclose openly without having that fear?" In this entry, Maria explains why, after 20 years of living with HIV, she's chosen now to go public about her status.
HIV-Positive Couples Talk About Coping and Relationships
This month on TheBody.com's This Positive Life video series, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, we have inspiring interviews with two loving HIV-positive couples: Leslie and Andrea Williams (top) and Frank Lopez and Anthony Castro (bottom). Both discuss their experiences living with HIV/AIDS; how they lean on each other for support; and the benefits that HIV has brought into their lives.
HIV NEWS & VIEWS
As ADAP Waiting Lists Surpass 6,000, Last-Minute Agreement Saves Thousands More in Florida
The Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) announced on Feb. 1 that it has brokered agreements that will allow approximately 6,500 Floridians to continue to receive their HIV medications during a budget crisis in that state, Positively Aware reports. Florida's ADAP was expected to exhaust all available funds and shut down in early February if an emergency solution was not implemented.
New Report Deeply Criticizes HIV/AIDS Spending, Decries Rampant Stigma
"Despite a more than 53-fold increase in AIDS funding in barely over a decade, the epidemic continues to outpace the rate at which programs are delivering," according to a new UNAIDS-commissioned report. The report finds that scarce resources are being misspent, while laws making homosexual sex illegal and the harassment of intravenous drug users are preventing the most vulnerable from seeking help.
Phill Wilson: Commemorating a Long-Lost Friend on Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
"Rather than rehash statistics describing the magnitude of the epidemic and its disproportionate impact on Black women, youth, injection drug users and men who have sex with men, I'd like to ask you to think about the people in your life who are at risk of HIV, who are living with the virus or have already died of AIDS," writes Black AIDS Institute CEO Phill Wilson. "I'm thinking about my friend Reggie Williams, who passed away 12 years ago on the date that now marks Black AIDS Awareness Day."
More HIV News & Views Headlines:
My Boyfriend Tested Positive. I'm Still in the Window Period. How Can I Stay Supportive?
(A recent post from the "Am I Infected?" board)
"My boyfriend tested positive Jan. 4. I've tested negative so far, but am still inside the window period. When he told me his results, I was 100% supportive. Any time he's gotten down about this, I've lifted him up and have been there for him. What I'm worried about is how to be strong and supportive of him despite my feelings. Let's say I test positive later, I don't want to be a hypocrite and vent too much on him or get too down about it around him after I've had such a positive outlook. I don't know what my initial reaction will be. I really might break down and I don't want him to see that. ... Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this?"
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Phase 3 Study Begins for a New Fixed-Dose Combination, "572-Trii"
Shionogi-ViiV Healthcare announced on Feb. 3 that it has begun a Phase 3 study named SINGLE to assess the worthiness of a new fixed-dose combination drug for HIV. The investigational drug, known as 572-Trii, is a combination of Epzicom and the experimental integrase inhibitor S/GSK1349572. The study will pit the drug against Atripla in HIV-positive people who have never before been on HIV treatment.
More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:
Charles (From New Jersey) on "Out and Proud"
"I cried when I read this blog entry. From the moment I was diagnosed in July of 2010 I just found it so natural to tell those close to me that I am HIV+. My ex-wife knows and my two twin 22-year-old daughters know. I just have to go to the last step and tell my 15-year-old son that his dad is gay and HIV+, and I will have told all those closest to me. I have been told that I shouldn't be proud of my HIV status and reading your blog entry was a godsend for me. Live in shame? No way. There is much more about me than HIV. Ask my new boyfriend and he'll tell you!"
Read the rest of Charles's comment and join the discussion on this article!
HIV TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Clergy Say It's Time to Get Black Churches Behind HIV Prevention
With African Americans accounting for 64 percent of HIV infections in Philadelphia, Pa., clergy there have rallied in a citywide campaign to encourage people to get tested. "The church is supposed to be the heart of Christ, and if Christ were here, HIV would be on his agenda," says the Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, the city's largest congregation.
Why Do So Many Asian/Pacific Islanders Go Untested for HIV?
"HIV/AIDS stigma and related discrimination continue to pose a problem for testing with APIs [Asian/Pacific Islanders]," writes blogger Pamela K. Santos. "Candidness is not a common trait in traditional Asian cultures, least of all candidness about sexual practices and health." In this op-ed, Santos explores why Asian/Pacific Islanders seem to get tested less often than other ethnicities -- and what can be done to change that.
More Transmission & Education Headlines:
BACK TO BASICS
Updated Slides: HIV/AIDS Surveillance Trends in the U.S.
This 19-slide set produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides line graphs showing how the numbers of people who have been diagnosed with HIV, or who have died from AIDS complications, have changed over the years. The updated slides follow trends from 1985 through 2008.
Five HIV Facts You Need to Tell Your Parents and Other Elders
"They have bathed us, fed us and changed our dirty diapers, but today they need our help," LaShieka Purvis Hunter writes for the Black AIDS Institute. "Whether your elders are looking for companionship, re-entering the dating scene, finding a 'friend with benefits' or just plain cheating, help them do it safely -- no matter what you think about it. School them about these five facts."