HIV News & Views, February 24, 2011
February 24, 2011
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Brooke Davidoff Brooke Davidoff: A Killer Sex Drive?
"We're married. We're supposed to have sex. ... But he wasn't supposed to get sick the day after," writes blogger Brooke Davidoff, who is HIV positive and whose husband is HIV negative. In this entry, she shares her stress and fears about the possibility of transmitting HIV to her husband, wondering, "Is there a way to not feel guilty every time my husband is sick?"

Gene Anthony Ray Justin B. Terry-Smith: HIV Profile of Gene Anthony Ray
Whatever happened to "Leroy" from the 1980s film/TV hit Fame? Blogger Justin B. Terry-Smith pays tribute to the HIV positive actor, who died in 2003. It's the latest of Justin's monthly profiles of well-known people who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

David David: Getting Medical Care Despite Stigma (Video)
When David got tested for HIV in 1990, he expected his results to be negative. That isn't quite how it played out. In this video interview from our friends at The Positive Project, David, a 49-year old registered nurse, talks about experiencing stigma at his job and accessing care at a free clinic because he feared that he would be dropped from his insurance provider for being HIV positive.

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B.A. (From Northern Minnesota) on "The Long-Term Survivor Dilemma"

"I am 57 years old and was diagnosed in 1990. Being a realist, especially in these economic times, it's gonna be hard to return to work with a huge gap in employment. If there was a government-funded program for this, that would help, but that's probably a long shot with budget cuts. My employment now is well below my 'earnings potential,' but I'm making the best of my situation. I live one step, one day at a time. Should I be fortunate enough to retire (social security is all I have), I'll downsize significantly, ride a bicycle for transportation and live a very spartan existence. My suggestion is get creative and make the most of your own situation. You are all you've got."

Read the rest of B.A.'s comment and join the discussion on this article!


Robot Mark S. King: The Hilarious Idiocy of Anonymous Gay Sex
If you didn't already know the online robot-sex movie you were watching wasn't a Pixar film, here's the moment it becomes clear: The animated robot bottom, who wants to bareback a top he just met online, asks, "Are you clean?" While this hilarious and raunchy online cartoon may be mere satire, Mark S. King writes that it strongly speaks to the state of sexual risk that gay men are taking when hooking up online.

 New Report Highlights Impact of Transgender Discrimination on HIV and Health
While we know that transgender Americans have a heightened risk for contracting HIV, we have very little data to help us fully understand how prevalent HIV is among this community and what kind of role transgender discrimination plays. To help bridge this knowledge gap and shed light on an overlooked community, two organizations have released findings from the first large-scale national study on transgender people in the U.S.

 Puerto Rican Cosmetology School Settles Over Allegations of HIV Discrimination
According to the U.S. Justice Department, a settlement has been reached between Modern Hairstyling Institute in Puerto Rico and a unnamed complainant who claimed that the school refused to admit her because of her HIV status. Modern Hairstyling Institute will not only enroll the woman into its school, but has also agreed to stop requesting information about HIV/AIDS status from future applicants, and will provide training to all employees about discrimination on the basis of disability.

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Skin Rash From Atripla Was Not For Me
(A recent post from the "Treatment & Side" board)

"Seven days after starting Atripla, I broke out from head to toe in an awful rash, which I still have. It itches, is uncomfortable and looks horrible. Today I had to start taking Prednisone to help clear up the rash. Once it clears up I'll have to follow up with the doc and begin a new treatment. If you break out or have any allergic reaction with Atripla, be sure to call your doctor ASAP. Apparently, I'm of a small percentage that has this major of a reaction to the med."

 -- RL9141

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research conference Coming Next Week: Coverage of CROI 2011, a Major HIV Research Conference
The largest annual gathering of HIV researchers and clinicians begins this weekend, and --'s sister site for health professionals -- will be on hand to bring you wide-ranging coverage. Visit our CROI 2010 home page frequently next week for key study summaries and a discussion of conference highlights!

Philip D. Philip D.'s Liquid Gold: The Secret Life of Essential Oils
"The powerful chemistry found within a single drop of essential oil has such a profound, almost instantaneous and usually beneficial effect inside our bodies and minds; to cheapen it by putting inferior quality imitations into room sprays and calling it Aromatherapy is a crying shame," writes blogger Philip D. He gives readers tips on his favorite oils that can benefit the immune system.

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 Common Questions About PrEP
Late last year, the iPrEx study showed that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- the use of HIV meds by HIV negative people to prevent infection -- may be effective. This Q&A from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation tackles some of the major questions people have asked since, including what PrEP means for the future of safer sex and why it's a big deal in the first place.

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton to America: Stop Being a Part of the Problem
"We have helped to create this culture where teen girls believe unprotected sex is acceptable and having a baby is a prize of some sort," writes blogger Rae Lewis-Thornton. In this entry, she explores society's focus on pregnancy as the only "real" consequence of unprotected sex, and the dangerous effect that approach can have on HIV risk among young women, particularly young black women.

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Activist Central

 House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood: Sign a Letter to Congress to Save Critical Services!

 Urge Your Elected Officials to Defend the Affordable Care Act