HIV News & Views, May 19, 2011
May 19, 2011
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Shawn Shawn: After Years of Denial, Love Provides an Extra Nudge
Shawn was infected with HIV through hemophilia treatment while he was in elementary school. His fear of side effects kept him from starting HIV treatment for many years, until it was almost too late. Then he fell in love. "She sees how sick I am," Shawn recalls in this Positive Project video. "Falling in love and wanting to not see the fear in her eyes anymore was really my main motivation in starting treatment."

Brooke Davidoff Brooke Davidoff: I Don't Have Time to Be Sick
"I'm supposed to go every 3 months to a doctor for labs. My last doctor appointment was all the way back in October, and it's currently May. ... Full-time work, part-time mom and wife = NO free time." Blogger Brooke Davidoff has been so busy lately that she can't even ensure she gets the basic HIV care she needs. How do you find the time to care for yourself?

Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: A Mother at Heart
"Not having children has been one of my greatest losses with HIV," writes blogger Rae Lewis-Thornton. Rae's child-bearing years came during the period before HAART made mother-to-child HIV transmission rare in the U.S. (and dramatically increased moms' chances of raising their kids, too). In this blog entry, she recounts her tough decision not to get pregnant, and introduces us to the children she does have: the four-legged kind.

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NCFred (From North Carolina) on "The Rising Rates of HIV Among Black and Latino Men: What's Going On?"

"I am a masculine African American man who is openly gay and HIV positive. I have been attacked by black churches because I asked several black ministers to include HIV awareness and prevention information with other information that they have at the church. The responses I got include things like, 'If a person has AIDS he deserves it because of abomination.' None of the black churches in my town will even mention the word AIDS unless it is to condemn the people who have it. They don't understand that AIDS is not a 'gay' disease. It is a blood disease."

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


 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.


Elizabeth Lombino Dear Uncle Sam: Why Won't You Pay More for Your Own Citizens' HIV Meds?
A recent New York Times op-ed piece did something very rare: It focused on the challenges faced by people within the U.S. in getting access to the HIV treatment they need. New blogger Elizabeth Lombino hails the thoughtful op-ed and shares the concerns it raises: "If our nation continues to treat people living with HIV/AIDS in this way, we will no doubt repeat the mistakes of the epidemic early on."

Tracy Johnson Wanna Get Intimate? Sign Here, Please.
"For Tracy Johnson, 22 and HIV positive, romance often begins at a karaoke bar," Housing Works reports. "He's at ease until it's time for the first kiss -- that's when he leans in, pulls out the document and asks the object of his affection to sign, indicating he's shared that he has HIV. That piece of paper, he believes, could save him from years behind bars if a partner ever alleges that he didn't disclose his status."

housing U.S. Senate to Consider Historic HIV/AIDS Housing Resolution
"Eleven senators are backing a resolution that recognizes the key role housing plays in preventing and treating AIDS," Housing Works' Julie Turkewitz writes. "The resolution's introduction is a small step toward a larger victory for those who view housing as a critical tool to fighting HIV/AIDS."

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summertime: a season for hiv retreats!

lodge cliff "It might sound odd to seek out a vacation event just for people with HIV," comments's video blogger Mark S. King. He's participated in HIV retreats and found the experience so rewarding, he compiled a list of several fun options around the U.S. "Joining a group of others living with HIV might be a fun solution if you're looking to make friends with other people living with HIV and build your support network."

Retreats range from carefree holidays off the beaten track to educational weekends in the middle of the biggest U.S. cities. Many retreats are free, low-cost or provide discounts to people in need. Check out Mark's article, as well as's retreat resource page!


Paul Sax, M.D. Major New Study Yields Another Win for Early HIV Therapy -- and "Treatment as Prevention"
New research has found that taking HIV meds can reduce a positive person's risk of transmitting HIV to their negative partner by 96 percent. What does this mean for the future of treatment -- and prevention? Paul Sax, M.D., considers the ramifications of this landmark study, and raises some questions about the research that have yet to be answered.

Nelson Vergel Nelson Vergel: Will You Be a Hero for the Cure?
"Most of these [HIV cure] studies will present no personal benefit to patients enrolling in them, but they will hopefully appeal to those altruistic enough to take a risk for the greater good and advancement of this important research," treatment advocate and long-term HIV survivor Nelson Vergel writes. In his latest blog entry, he weighs his fears and hopes about participating in studies that may point us toward a cure for HIV.

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:


Kellee Terrell Why Our Youth Desperately Need Condoms
The hoopla around Philadelphia's safer-sex campaign, Take Control Philly, reminds us that any strategy for lowering STD and HIV infections should focus less on abstinence and more on safer sex and empowerment -- even if it makes adults uncomfortable,'s news editor Kellee Terrell writes.

 Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis C: Are HIV-Positive Gay and Bisexual Men at Risk?
Research shows that the hepatitis C virus may be transmitted sexually, especially among HIV-positive gay men, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. This article from the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange looks at the evidence that hep C can be transmitted sexually and explores why HIV-positive gay men appear to be at higher risk.

More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines:


Activist Central

 Call to Action: Sign a Petition to Support Youth Participation in Global HIV/AIDS Decision-Making

 Action Alert: Condemn NY Post for Revealing Strauss-Kahn Victim Lives in AIDS Housing

 Join June 8 NYC Rally at Critical UN Meeting on HIV/AIDS

 Tell Washington, D.C., to Fully Fund ADAP and Other HIV/AIDS Programs to Prevent Needless Deaths

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