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HIV/AIDS News Digest: May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011

Here is a quick look at a few HIV/AIDS stories recently reported in the media:

Experiencing Childhood Violence Increases HIV Risk for Men in Adulthood (From

A recent study found that a history of adolescent violence accounts for 18 percent of new HIV infections among adult American men. By interviewing over 13,000 men, researchers saw a link between experiencing stressful violent events in childhood and an increased risk of infection with HIV during adulthood in the men. Stressful events in childhood are known to have long-term psychological and developmental consequences.

Previous research has found a link between childhood sexual and/or physical abuse and sexual risk behavior in women. There is also some evidence that gay men who were sexually abused as children are more likely to put themselves at risk for HIV. Yet this particular study boasts a significant heterosexual constituency. Of the men surveyed, only 4 percent reported that they were gay or bisexual; 11 percent were African American; 13 percent were Latino; and 37 percent had a college education.

While the researchers recognize that solely relying on self-reporting of experiences and HIV diagnosis as a means of collecting data is not a perfect science, they do believe that their findings have public health significance, especially in terms of HIV prevention.

They wrote: "Incorporating HIV prevention into these evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatments for youth, or adapting these validated treatments as part of HIV prevention interventions that target young adult men, represents an important area of intervention development research, especially given that mental health concerns not only contribute to HIV risk but also likely interfere with the uptake of behavioral interventions for men."'s Blogger Rae Lewis-Thornton Featured in The Windy City Times and Women's Day (From The Windy City Times)

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of AIDS, Chicago's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) newspaper The Windy City Times has launched its AIDS @ 30 series. As part of that series, the newspaper interviewed one of Chicago's finest, Rae Lewis-Thornton, who also happens to be one of our amazing bloggers.

In "AIDS: Rae Lewis-Thornton: Talking With an AIDS Diva," the Emmy Award winner, and magazine cover girl, discusses her fears of testing positive in 1986, her current battle living with AIDS and her future in activism. When asked who was the hardest person to disclose to, she replied Jesse Jackson and his wife.

I shared their home for five years. Congressman Jackson, Jonathan and I were housemates for almost five years. The Jacksons had bought a second home across from their family home when Jesse and Johnny got out of college. When I moved back to Chicago, I stayed [at that house].

When you believe in someone's mission and have supported it up close and personal, I asked, "Would he practice what he preached? Would he be the man who slept in those AIDS hospices?" Then, I had lived in their house and not told them; I had lied.

Rae was also featured in the May 2011 issue of Woman's Day in an article called, "The Stigma of Illness." Rae, along with two other women (one living with lung cancer and the other with bipolar disease), open up about their illnesses as a means to empower women and reduce stigma around being sick.

American Heart Association Launches Heart Healthy Web Site and iPod App for People Living With HIV (From

We all know that heart health is crucial for people living with HIV, especially those who are more susceptible to heart disease (i.e., African Americans, Latinos, seniors, smokers and those with diabetes). To help address this growing health concern, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) have joined forces to launch HIV & Your Heart.

The Web site features informative videos from health care providers, a wellness checklist, an HIV quiz and personal stories from patients and behavioral change coach Michael Patterson. HIV & Your Heart also has an iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch app. The interactive tracking tool helps patients define their goals and begin the steps needed to make changes. It's also confidential. The desktop icon is labeled "Your Heart" and the information you enter may be password-protected.

Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in people living with HIV.

"The good news, however, is that much of this risk for coronary heart disease is remedial," said American Heart Association spokesperson and past president, Robert Eckel, M.D., University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.

Other HIV/AIDS Articles in the Media

HIV/AIDS Advocates Protest ADAP Cuts in Florida (From Sun Sentinel)

It Gets Better Because We Grow Stronger: An Interview With Leading Gay Men's Health Expert Dr. Ron Stall (From The Huffington Post)

HIV Experts Recommend Shifting HIV Care to Primary Care Doctors (From The AIDS Beacon)

Legal Barriers to Routine HIV Testing Now Mostly Gone (From MedPage Today)

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for and

Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.

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