HIV News & Views, March 3, 2011
March 3, 2011
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Justin B. Terry-Smith Justin B. Terry-Smith: You Have HIV ... Now What?
"First thing's first: It is not the end of the world. You can survive and live a good, long life with HIV," says Justin B. Terry-Smith in his latest video blog. Justin shares advice and basics for newly diagnosed HIVers based on his own experiences, and emphasizes the importance of never giving up hope and not letting HIV get you down.

Maria T. Mejia Maria T. Mejia: Ignorance and My Beauty Salon Experience
When Maria T. Mejia escaped to the salon, she was looking forward to a day filled with primping and pampering. Instead, she found herself educating the stylists after she overheard an ignorant comment one of them made about AIDS. While Maria is not usually hurt by these types of comments, she worried that someone who is positive might hear those comments and "feel dirty, low, sick [and] shame."

Ibrahim Ibrahim: What I've Learned About HIV, Islam and Suicide
"Why do HIV-positive Muslims want to kill themselves?" blogger Ibrahim asks. Numerous unsettling e-mails from his readers -- and his own past suicidal thoughts -- led him to spend his recent vacation reading more about the issue. Ibrahim writes about how self-hatred, oppression and homophobia all play a factor in why some of his readers think about ending their lives.

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Roberto (From New York) on "The Hilarious Idiocy of Anonymous Gay Sex"

"A guy once asked me if I was positive. I told him yes and then he replied, "Why don't you have it on your MH profile?" I said, "It's not everyone's business." He said that he would still have sex with me, but that we have to use protection. I asked myself, "Wouldn't you still protect yourself no matter what the other person said?"

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


Nelson Vergel Gene Therapy Makes Small But Promising Steps Forward as Potential "Permanent" HIV Treatment
At this week's CROI 2011 conference, one of the major topics of conversation was new and innovative ways to treat -- or possibly even cure -- HIV infection. Although the idea of gene therapy has been around for a while, its potential value in HIV treatment is only now beginning to bear fruit. Nelson Vergel provides a technical summary of some exciting recent research on this alluring new possibility for HIV treatment. (This is part of our coverage of CROI 2011 at

Bob Munk The Slow Decline: An Update on Neurological Complications Among People With HIV
For a long time, researchers stopped looking into neurological problems in people with HIV, since many assumed antiretroviral treatment had become so good that such problems would vanish. But they most certainly haven't -- and researchers are finally starting to pay attention again. In this video, HIV treatment advocate Bob Munk talks with a neurologist who's worked in the field for decades about the latest we've learned. (This is part of our coverage of CROI 2011 at

 FDA Report Suggests Ziagen May Not Increase Heart Attack Risk After All
In recent years, high-profile studies have tied the use of Ziagen (abacavir) to an increased risk of heart attack among some people with HIV. But many researchers doubted those findings -- and a new analysis from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration appears to support those who felt Ziagen's link to heart attacks was overblown. (This is part of our coverage of CROI 2011 at

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Connect With Others

To My Surprise, I Tested Positive Yesterday
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

"This was a huge blow to me as it was completely unexpected. I'm very scared as to what is to come and feeling completely lost. Fortunately, I have very supportive parents and friends."

 -- greg23

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous (all you need is an e-mail address) -- click here to get started!


Michael Emanuel Rajner Is HIV Conversation on the Menu?
ABC's recent What Would You Do? episode that focused on HIV/AIDS discrimination set in a small-town diner got Michael Emanuel Rajner thinking. "Watching the video made me reflect on how I now live my life openly as a gay man living with AIDS," he writes. In this blog for The Bilerico Project, Rajner discusses the episode and reflects on his own experiences disclosing his HIV status and sexual orientation to others.

 NYC's AIDS Activists Debate an HIV/AIDS PSA Geared for Gay Men ... Again
The debate rages on over a controversial New York City HIV awareness campaign aimed at gay men that has angered many HIV/AIDS activists. Blayne Cutler, M.D., Ph.D., the city's director of HIV prevention, defended the campaign at a recent community forum. Kellee Terrell,'s news editor, was not convinced.

Phill Wilson Making Sense of the Budget Battle: The Implications for HIV/AIDS
"Basic accounting requires that you balance a budget by either raising revenues or decreasing expenses," explains Phill Wilson. In this article from the Black AIDS Institute, Wilson takes a look at proposals that aim to cut the U.S federal budget down, and the impact those measures could have on people living with HIV.

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Mark S. King Mark S. King: Another Look at Serosorting and HIV-Positive Gay Sex Clubs
Last year, video blogger Mark S. King gave us a behind-the-scenes look at a gay sex club that hosts a monthly "Poz4Play" party, where people practice serosorting (limiting sexual partners to those who share your HIV status). In this video, Mark gets an update from Bill, the party's host, about the strong reaction to the original video.

Heidi Nass Studies in Post-Menopausal Women Reveal Potentially Higher HIV Risk, Viread Concerns
This week, two studies have shone a little light into the dark corners of HIV research in aging women. One new study of HIV-negative women suggests that post-menopausal women may be at a biologically higher risk for HIV than those who have not yet reached menopause. The other found potentially increased levels of Viread (tenofovir) in older women taking the drug. (This is part of our coverage of CROI 2011 at

Ed Perlmutter Ed Perlmutter: In This Case, I Don't Even Own That Kind of Towel
"The battle for routine opt-out HIV testing is not futile, and I will never throw in the towel as I carry on with this advocacy work," writes blogger Ed Perlmutter. Critiquing the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Perlmutter blasts it for using "weather-worn" written consent forms and claims that too many people are falling through the HIV testing cracks because of them.

More Transmission & Education Headlines:


Activist Central

 3/16: Implementation Fever: Making Health Reform and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Tools of HIV Prevention Justice

 Organizations: Call on US to Heed UN Words on Sex Worker Rights

 Congress: Ask for $$$ Estimate on the Nat'l AIDS Strategy!

 Activist Alert: Sign on to Demand Freedom for Chinese AIDS Activist

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