HIV News & Views, May 12, 2011 -
May 12, 2011
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Patrice Patrice: The Importance of Mental Health
Patrice wasn't shocked when she learned she had HIV, because she knew she had lived a very high-risk lifestyle. But even though she wasn't surprised, she had a hard time coping. In this Positive Project video, Patrice opens up about how tending to her mental health finally helped get her life back on track.

Efrain Carrasquillo This Positive Life Video Series: An Interview with Efrain Carrasquillo
In 1990, Efrain Carrasquillo, then 25 years old, believed that HIV was not a heterosexual man's issue. Then he tested positive. For five years, he only disclosed to his immediate family, refused to date and lived in silence about his diagnosis. But once he found the courage to disclose to others, his life completely turned around -- as his loving wife and children can attest.

Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco Professor Poz: Not Your Everyday HIV/AIDS Researcher
"One of the first things you notice about Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco, 47, is the multicoloured fish tattoo on his neck. In his early twenties, getting inked was his way of side-stepping a boring, conventional life," Jennifer McPhee writes for CATIE. "Inspiring the next generation of HIV researchers at the [Canadian] national training program Universities Without Walls, he tells up-and-coming scientists that they probably won't get rich studying HIV, but they'll never be bored."

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My Positive Partner Is Abusive. Would It Be Selfish of Me to Leave?
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

My partner and I have been together for over 12 years. I'm HIV negative and I knew he was HIV positive going into it. I didn't care. I love him, but lately, it's becoming hard to do so. He blames me for everything. He's verbally abusive, emotionally distant and has been physical with me. I put up with it because I can't imagine what he's going through.

I try to tell myself that I'm strong for standing by his side, and tell myself that the reason for his behavior is his inability to cope. No one knows his status but me, I bear the brunt of it all. When I mention this, I'm accused of being selfish. He has hit me, cheated on me, called me a stupid effing bit**, thrown me out. I've stood by it, trying to rationalize his actions, thinking they were due to his disease -- for 12 years. But now I'm tired, so tired. Sometimes I want to leave, but that would make me insensitive and fulfill his prophecy. Am I really being selfish?

 -- AtWitsEnd

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

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 HIV and Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in HIV patients. Visit to make changes to improve your heart health and overall wellness. You can live a longer, stronger life with HIV and keep your heart healthy, too. Did you know people living with HIV often share some common issues that affect cardiovascular health? They include higher triglyceride levels, not enough good cholesterol, chronic inflammation, smoking, atherosclerosis, kidney failure and diabetes.


Candace Y.A. Montague Candace Y.A. Montague: Hateful Words in Media Reports Keep Stigma and Ignorance Going
Recent media coverage of the savage beating of a transgender woman in Baltimore, Md., has Candace Y.A. Montague fuming. "People with HIV are judged similarly as transgender people. The judgment is 'you're getting what you deserve,'" she writes, adding that the shortsighted coverage "minimizes the severity of the beating and questions whether it's a hate crime or not."

 U.S. Justice Dept. Warns States About Discrimination Against People With HIV/AIDS Applying for Trade Schools/Licenses
Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice says it "issued letters to the attorneys general of all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories, to request their assistance in addressing the illegal exclusion of individuals with HIV/AIDS from occupational training and state licensing." Excluding HIV-positive people from these programs is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Join the Conversation

Gisele V.-P. (From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) on "Monday Reflection: Never Suffer in Silence ..."

"I too am a 27 year HIV/AIDS survivor. I am widowed, my husband died of AIDS over 20 years ago. My adult children, I'm happy to say, are productive and caring people. I taught high school French and English for 20 years, and I certainly kept my mouth shut about my status for most of those years. I currently receive palliative care, though I'm still vertical and for the most part coherent. And I'm certainly no longer quiet or 'discreet' about my HIV. I have been feeling pretty low lately, and then I found your blog. I thought I was a strong woman, but now I know what strong and courageous really means. Thank you for sharing this pain in your life."

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


 HIV Treatment Reduces Sexual Transmission Risk to Partner by 96%, Study Finds
Newly released results from a major clinical trial could reignite support for a "test and treat" approach to HIV prevention, in which everyone living in a given area is aggressively tested for HIV, and those who are diagnosed are urged to immediately start taking HIV medications so as to greatly reduce the risk of unknowingly passing HIV along to others.

 Q&A: Errol Fields on Young, Black, Gay Men and Perceptions of HIV Risk
Recently, a U.S. study found that young, black, gay men prefer "masculine" men as partners, and believe that such partners are less likely to have HIV. Some members of the media and the LGBT community have used those results to make sweeping generalizations about gay black men. sat down with the lead author of the study, Errol Fields, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., to address these misconceptions regarding masculinity and HIV risk.

 Research Update: Are Lubes Safe for Anal Sex?
For years, experts have said that using condoms and lube together can help protect a bottom from HIV infection during anal sex. But last year, two studies called that advice into question. In this article from CATIE, Zak Knowles delves into the details of these studies, and questions whether the findings are enough to change long-followed safer sex practices.

 Change Is Coming: A Primer for U.S. HIV/AIDS Groups
"Between today and 2014 there will be a total transformation of how HIV/AIDS prevention and care is provided in America. Are you ready?" Paul Kawata, Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council, asks. In this recent message to the HIV/AIDS community, he outlines the changes on the horizon and offers advice on how HIV/AIDS organizations can prepare.

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 Protect Yourself Against HIV Discrimination in Work, Health Care and Housing
Discrimination against HIV-positive people remains disturbingly common in the U.S. But that doesn't mean you have to accept it. In fact, there are laws that protect you from discrimination in the workplace, in your health care coverage, and in your efforts to secure housing. This article from The Well Project provides an overview of your rights.

This overview on discrimination and HIV is also available in Spanish.

 Six Questions to Ask When Assessing Health Information on the Web
With the abundance of health information on the Internet, it's hard to know which resources to trust. This article from CATIE offers six key questions you should ask yourself when checking a Web site's credibility and deciding whether information you read is worth paying attention to.

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Activist Central

 Deadline is this Friday, May 13! Ask your Rep. to Sign the FY12 Minority AIDS Initiative Letter!

 Immediate Alert: Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill Hits Parliament

 NMAC's ADAP Action Campaign: Get Free Flip Video Camera to Collect Stories

 Action Alert: On May 12, Make Big Banks and Millionaires Pay

 ACRIA Partners With New York Academy of Sciences for Educational Symposium on May 16