HIV News & Views, April 7, 2011 -
April 7, 2011
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Brooke Davidoff Brooke Davidoff: A Year So Rough, Even Depression Is Hard to Feel
Brooke Davidoff's HIV diagnosis was just one of many earth-shattering events over the past 12 extremely difficult months. Her father died; she and her husband were evicted from their apartment while she was pregnant; their (HIV-negative) baby boy is healthy, but they have just one salary to support the family. In her latest blog entry, Brooke can't help but ask: Am I depressed? If I were, could I even feel it?

Richard Cordova III Richard Cordova III: Why I Give Back
"Endurance training and fundraising helped heal my body, my soul, and my mind. Doing for others while doing for myself was such a transformative experience for me," blogger Richard Cordova III writes. In his latest entry, he shares why he participates in the bike-a-thon Ride for AIDS Chicago, one of many bike-a-thons and walk-a-thons that will be held around the U.S. as spring thaws out the country.

two women Black Women Living With HIV Thrive Thanks to Peer Support
HIV support groups provide more than just a space for people to shoot the breeze. They can also link people to care, encourage treatment adherence and remind folks that they are not alone. The Black AIDS Institute's Andrea King Collier writes about the importance of support groups by sharing the voices of HIV-positive black women who have benefited greatly from them.

'poetry month @ submit your work!

quillDo you hide yours?
Like most of the world?
Do you not mention it?
Ignore its ache?

--From "Scarred," one of two poems submitted by Darris Willis

April is National Poetry Month in the U.S., and as we did this time last year, we're now accepting your 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 featured on our site and in e-mail newsletters all this month. Click here for more detailed information on how you can submit your poem (anonymously, if you'd like).


 Khafre Abif: Honoring Mark Colomb, Ph.D.
"Mark A. Colomb was a staunch warrior and activist whose passion and commitment to Mississippi, the [U.S.] South and particular focus on responding to the needs of black men who have sex with men (MSM) have left a legacy of leadership," Khafre Abif writes.'s new blogger honors the passing of his mentor, a leading HIV and health disparities activist.

Rev. Edwin Sanders African-American Church in Tennessee Serves as Example of How Churches Can Fight HIV
Historically, black churches have been the most powerful social institutions in the African-American community. Their silence around HIV/AIDS has helped fuel the spread of the virus, particularly in the U.S. South. But as the Black AIDS Institute reports, not all faith leaders have turned their backs on the epidemic. Meet Rev. Edwin Sanders, whose church in Nashville, Tenn., houses a primary care clinic that provides HIV testing, treatment and prevention.

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It's Not Always the End of the World
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

"I was only 19 and facing the biggest life-changing sentence ever spoken to me: "Your test came back positive for HIV, I am sorry."... There is nothing else I have encountered that is so unsettling. Not only do you think you are going to live a shortened life, you also fear looking like a holocaust victim before you end up dying. I just wanted to know who gave me HIV and why god let this happen.

"After knowingly living with it I have come to realize I still have control of my life and I can still be who I was before. The only change I made was doctor visits. Honestly it's not the physical obstacles that make it so difficult but more of the internal fight within yourself. Dating, sex, family, friends and financial burdens all make this so much more of a tough situation. ... People view it as something repulsive, and as if I chose this for myself. ...

"If you become positive, be ready to undergo the biggest emotional crisis of your life, the brakes don't work on this roller coaster. After being told you're positive, you can almost handle anything else life throws at you. You learn to appreciate what you have and what you did have SO much more."

 -- Blue_22

Click here to respond to Blue_22, or to start your own discussion!

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 and Nelson Vergel (with Dab the AIDS Bear) The Hard Facts on Erectile Dysfunction: Pills, Pumps and Prosthetics (Video)
"You're about to get a big education on erections. Well, on the lack thereof, to be precise." In his latest video blog, Mark S. King gets in bed with fitness and nutrition guru Nelson Vergel, and the two go full frontal on a sensitive topic: the causes of and treatments for erectile problems among men with HIV.

 Vitamin D Supplementation May Offset Tenofovir-Related Increases in Parathyroid Hormone Levels (on
Increases in parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels are associated with potential bone risks, and have also been tied to both vitamin D deficiency and Viread (tenofovir) use. A recent study found that young adults on Viread have elevated PTH regardless of vitamin D deficiency, but that vitamin D supplementation may nonetheless help decrease their PTH levels.

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Robert T. (From Cleveland, Ohio) on "Five Things About HIV They're Not Telling You"

"I agree with 'tossing gays a bone.' We KNOW more through experience than anyone gives us credit for. As a long-term survivor, I KNOW we need the nasty images. Nicey-nice HIV prevention messages don't cut it. HIV is nasty. HIV is deadly. Soft politically correct, puppy-dog slogans are NOT effective. If they were then the HIV infection rate wouldn't remain at 50,000+ a year!"

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


 United Nations Sets New Goal: 4 Years, 0 Infections, 0 Deaths
The United Nations has set an ambitious new goal for the global fight against HIV/AIDS. In a new report, the global organization calls for achieving zero new HIV infections and AIDS deaths by 2015. However, to achieve its zero-infection goal, the world must turn a tide of more than 7,000 new HIV infections each day.

condom flag Condoms Bring Out the Police in Mississippi -- and Highlight Debate Over HIV Prevention
Mississippi's own health department supplied the condoms; all HIV/AIDS activists did was set out a bowl of them alongside other materials while lobbying at the state Capitol. "This simple bowl of condoms whipped up an astounding controversy," explains Luke Versher, a field organizer at AIDS Action in Mississippi, in this Housing Works article. That controversy highlights a backward approach to safer sex that is fueling the HIV epidemic in Mississippi, Versher asserts.

Candace Y.A. Montague Candace Y.A. Montague: Critiquing a Popular Motivational Speaker's Stance on Homosexuality and Abstinence-Only Sex Education
"God's plan is an old plan but it's the best plan." Those are the words of author and motivational speaker Tara White, who recently spoke at a Washington, D.C., forum to support abstinence-only sex education and "reparative therapy" for gay men and women. Candace Y.A. Montague takes us through White's approach and reveals the flaws behind her logic.

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Activist Central

 Take Action: Call-In to Support HIV Funding in the U.S.!

 Sign a Birthday Card for Health Care Reform!

 Choice in HIV Prevention -- Let FDA Look at 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!