HIV News & Views, March 24, 2011
March 24, 2011
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ScotCharles ScotCharles in Egypt: Taking a Chance, With No Regrets
Long-term HIV survivor ScotCharles returned from his trip to Egypt mere days before the revolution began. Though his health was indeed compromised -- and he was messed with by muggers near the Nile -- "all in all the risk was worth it," he writes. "A friend of mine told herself she would travel when she was older. Now that she is older, she is too sick to travel. ... You should not put off anything that you can do today."

Teniecka Drake Teniecka Drake: Balancing HIV Advocacy, Marriage and Three Young Children
As she approaches the 10-year anniversary of her HIV diagnosis, Teniecka Drake has been busy: In the past few years alone, she's gotten married and has had three children. In this interview (an update of a chat we had with her in 2007, before she got married), she talks about her pregnancies, juggling school and her career, and raising her family with little outside support.

Sarah and Carmen Anthony Sacco Sarah and Carmen Anthony Sacco: To Rent or to Buy?
"[O]ur HIV status makes us look at life differently -- to ask some really tough questions," writes Sarah Sacco. "Looking at a 30-year mortgage is just one. Is there any way we might actually be able to pay that off?" In their latest blog entry, the Saccos consider buying a home -- one of many "normal" decisions that married couples make, but one that suddenly becomes more complicated when both partners have HIV.

Connect With Others

My Son Tested Positive For HIV Yesterday
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

"Needless to say, I am terrified and have been on the Internet learning everything I can so I can try to help him live with this disease. Does anyone have any advice about helping my son and the rest of my family to deal with this? Any help you can offer me will be greatly appreciated."

 -- worriedmom

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!


 Mark S. King: Farewell, Elizabeth
"It's impossible to overstate the impact Elizabeth Taylor has had on HIV/AIDS awareness and funding since the earliest days of the epidemic," writes blogger Mark S. King. "'With every breath of my being,' I remember her saying, 'I will fight this disease and for the rights of people with AIDS, until the day I die.'"

We'll be posting more perspectives on the passing of Elizabeth Taylor over the upcoming days, including this blog entry by Candace Y.A. Montague on Taylor's contributions to Washington, D.C., and amfAR's statement in memory of one of its founding chairwomen.

 Taxation of Disability Benefits for People With HIV
It's tax season again in the U.S.! If you are receiving disability benefits, don't automatically think that you are exempt from having to file and pay federal taxes. This is the case whether your disability payments come from Social Security, disability insurance plans or both. In this article from Being Alive, Jacques Chambers gives you the 411 on what to expect from the IRS.

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'poetry month @ submit your work!

quillRemember last year's Poetry Month at Well, it's that time again! From now through the end of April, we'll be accepting and posting submissions of poetry about living with, or being affected by, HIV/AIDS. Anything you write is fair game. Pieces can be literal or abstract, serious or funny, short or long (but hopefully not too long), whatever you want. Select poems will be highlighted on our site throughout the month of April!

Please e-mail your poems to with the subject line "Poetry: [Title of Your Piece]." Be sure to specify what name or alias you'd like to use, as well as any details about yourself that you feel comfortable letting readers know -- your age, the city you live in, your gender, etc. Please note that if we post something you send us, it can be Googled, so be sure to think through what kind of information you want to provide.

If you'd rather send us a poem without having to use e-mail, use our feedback page. You can leave out any contact information, but please write "POETRY" at the top of the form so we can spot it easily.


 CROI 2011 Wrap-Up: Taking Research Into Practice (on
Joel Gallant, M.D., discusses the practical implications of recent research on biomedical HIV prevention methods, the dry drug development pipeline (particularly for multidrug-resistant people), the unanswered questions about inflammation, and the "when to start treatment" question. He also discusses the importance of ensuring that patients keep, and share, their medical records when they move on to a new health care provider.

Philip D. Liquid Gold: The Secret Life of Essential Oils, Part Two
"If you're interested in making aromatherapy part of your life, here's what I'd suggest to get you started," writes blogger Philip D. In his latest entry, Philip continues his series of posts on essential oils with a run-through of more favorites, as well as a list of tips on how you can integrate aromatherapy into your life.

 Early Study Results Look Good for BMS-663068, Potential First-in-Class Oral HIV Attachment Inhibitor
More than three years after its approval, Selzentry (maraviroc) remains the only HIV entry inhibitor on the market -- for now. Nelson Vergel recaps research from CROI 2011 on another candidate in development -- one that may support once-daily dosing and would not require the same expensive tropism test that Selzentry currently requires.

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 Kidney Transplant Recipient in U.S. Got HIV From Donor
For the first time in two decades, a person has been confirmed to have gotten HIV through an organ transplant in the U.S., scientists report. The discovery has led to recommendations that U.S. health workers implement stricter guidelines regarding when and how to test organ donors for HIV.

 Preparing for PrEP: What Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Could Mean for Black Gay and Bi Men
Since the results of the iPrEx trial were released, "pre-exposure prophaylaxis" -- the use of HIV meds by HIV-negative people to prevent infection -- has been a hot topic of debate. In the first of this two-part series, The Black AIDS Institute discusses PrEP's relevance for one of the highest HIV risk groups in the United States: African-American men who have sex with men.

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Join the Conversation

Enraged (From Indianapolis, Ind.) on "Act Now: Choice in HIV Prevention -- Let FDA Look at the PrEP Data"

"PrEP is ridiculous. WTF are we supposed to do, put Truvada in the water supply? That's the only way it's going to protect normal human beings or people who aren't in a position to protect themselves. The only people who are going to be using it are people who have money to burn and those who are negative but choose to knowingly put themselves at risk. These are not demographics we need to be devoting our resources to protecting. It's absolutely infuriating that we're spending money researching this when pozzies who NEED the drugs still don't have access to them and when so much more needs to be done for our own long-term health."

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


What is to HIV-positive people, HIV-affected people, activists and the general public, is to HIV health care professionals. seeks to inform and educate doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, prevention/treatment educators, mental health professionals and others who work on the frontlines of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Here's a sampling of articles we've recently added to the site.

David Fawcett Speaking of Sex: Creating a Safe Place for Open Discussion
"It is one of the great ironies of a sex-drenched culture that sex, if it is spoken of at all, is too often described with code words and cute metaphors -- or, in health care settings, sometimes barely mentioned," writes David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. In this blog entry, he explains the importance of doctors talking frankly with their patients about sexual concerns, and offers some advice on how to help facilitate this discussion.

Nelson Vergel What Lies Ahead: An Activist's View of Promising HIV Treatment Research
"We live in parallel worlds rife with contradictions," writes Nelson Vergel. "As we fear more and more budget cuts; AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) problems; slow, or lack of, global access to HIV medications; and other concerns that keep popping up when attempting to control this epidemic, there are rays of hope that emerge, and motivate many of us working in treatment and research advocacy to keep moving forward."

Activist Central

 Sign a Birthday Card for Health Care Reform!

 Choice in HIV Prevention -- Let FDA Look at the PrEP Data

 Sign on, Sign Up, Speak Out: Save Prevention Access

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