ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Nelson Vergel: The Long-Term $urvivor Dilemma
"As we speak more [at conferences] about the science related to aging with HIV ... the communal anxiety of surviving and aging with HIV is not addressed," HIV activist and fitness guru Nelson Vergel warns. In the first entry of his new blog on TheBody.com, Nelson talks about an aspect of aging and HIV that's often overlooked by researchers: the effect it has on our wallets and our emotional well-being.
Maria T. Mejia: Here We Go Again -- Lab Results and My Fears
"I know what I should do and how I should act, but I guess my personality or my fears get the best of me," Maria T. Mejia writes. Every four to six months, she goes for another round of blood work and an update of her CD4 count, HIV viral load and other vital numbers. And each time, her anxiety goes through the roof: "As my partner, Lisa, and my Mom tell me, 'Everything will be OK!' But how do they really know?"
Sharon: Aging With HIV and Going Strong (Video)
When she was diagnosed in 1988, Sharon felt as if she was the only woman in the world with HIV. Now 57, she's a long-term survivor who speaks passionately about aging with HIV and the "happy hour" culture among some older people. In this video interview from our friends at The Positive Project, Sharon talks about her diagnosis 19 years ago, her initial loneliness and despair, and the reasons why she's so public about her status despite persistent stigma.
Rhonda (From Oklahoma City, Okla.) on "Why I Want to Show My Face After 20 Years"
"I am a 46-year-old heterosexual woman, and I am so tired of the stigma. I'm tired of trying to be 'hush, hush' about it. It does make me feel like a criminal, or dirty. ... So many people have no idea how close they are to getting it. Like you said, all it takes is one time. I just also happen to be one of the honest ones that tell. How many are there out there that don't even tell, and go ahead and sleep with someone. ... I am no different from anyone else, it is just that one of the times I chose to have unprotected sex impacted my life forever."
Read the rest of Rhonda's comment and join the discussion on this article!
HIV NEWS & VIEWS
Obama's Proposed Budget Calls for Increases to HIV/AIDS Programs; Republicans Call for Cuts
This week, the White House unveiled its budget plan for the rest of this year -- and it held a press conference specifically to discuss how the budget will impact HIV prevention and care. "While we've heard in the press that the new budget includes cuts in most social spending domestically, there is actually increased funding in most HIV-related programs," reports HIV/AIDS advocate Kenyon Farrow. The Republican budget proposal, however, tells a very different story.
Some Question Focus of "AIDSWatch" as Activists Descend on Washington, D.C.
This week, HIV/AIDS advocates (and aspiring advocates) from across the U.S. have gathered in Washington, D.C., for AIDSWatch, a huge annual lobbying and activist-training event. But does the mission of AIDSWatch accurately reflect the needs of the HIV/AIDS community? Candace Y.A. Montague explores an apparent rift among HIV/AIDS activist groups.
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Starting Meds Soon. Need Advice!
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
"To anyone who is interested, I have great news! My doc just got my genotyping and resistance tests back and it is very good! My virus is HIV-1, with no mutations! It has tested 100% susceptible to all drugs in all categories! I feel really encouraged by this! I meet with my doc on Wednesday to decide on my medication regimen. I feel strongly that I want to start on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). I probably cannot get all three into one neat pill cost effectively over here, but can get all three drugs individually. My doc did a lot of reading and feels comfortable with this. Any ideas anyone has about this would be helpful."
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
Dr. Bob: The Search for the Cure Heats Up! Part Two: Why Now?
What's behind the renewed urgency we've seen of late toward developing a cure for HIV? In part two of his three-part perspective on the search for a cure, Bob Frascino, M.D., points to seven key reasons why the hunt has been reinvigorated.
Is the "Non-Suppressive HIV Drug" KP-1461 Worth Getting Excited About?
Researchers are constantly searching for new, innovative ways to fight HIV. One particularly intriguing candidate is KP-1461, which appears to work by trying to mutate HIV to death. Paul Sax, M.D., tells us a bit about this drug in development, and takes a moment to keep it real when it comes to getting overly excited about new HIV drug possibilities.
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HIV TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
The Rising HIV Rates Among Young Women and Girls of Color: What's Going On? Part Two
Check out the conclusion of this critical look into HIV risk among young women in the U.S. A panel of prominent advocates explores the harsh social, cultural and economic realities that lead women and girls of color to put themselves in situations where they may be especially likely to get HIV -- and what must happen to break this destructive cycle.
Rae Lewis-Thornton on Unsafe Sex: "I Just Don't Get It"
Blogger Rae Lewis-Thornton is more than a little upset that, despite all we know about HIV and many other sexually transmitted diseases, so many people still have unprotected sex. "I'm not concerned with who you f***, that's your business. I'm more concerned with how you f***. ... There's a lot of f***ing out there and ... an equal amount of sexually transmitted diseases to match," she writes. "So why, why, why would you put yourself at risk? I just don't get it."
Helping People Understand the Needs of the Transgender HIV Community
For Dee Borrego, an HIV-positive transgender person herself, witnessing the persecution her communities face has often led to frustration and heartbreak. But Dee still strongly believes that, "by being open and honest with those who have questions, we can educate and enlighten more people about what it means to be living with HIV and/or to be transgender nowadays." In this op-ed, Dee lets off a little steam and talks about how the transgender community can help build bridges between "us" and "them."
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