HIV/AIDS News & Views, May 26, 2011 -
May 26, 2011
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Khafre Abif Khafre Abif: The Responsible Thing to Do
"Early in 1990 I met a young woman on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. ... By March of 1991, I knew I wanted to marry her," writes blogger Khafre Abif. But first, he decided to do the responsible thing: get tested for HIV. In this blog entry, he begins to share the story of his diagnosis and its aftermath during a time when there was still more fear about HIV/AIDS than there was knowledge about it.

Jeannie Wraight Jeannie Wraight: It Is What It Is
As much as we strive to find that light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes life unexpectedly makes that tunnel longer. "I'm finally HAPPY. My life is far from perfect, but it is good, and getting better and better. How could this be happening now?" asks blogger Jeannie Wraight. In her latest blog entry, she searches for the silver lining as she copes with some difficult news about her long-standing struggles with hypertension.

Brandon Lacy Campos Brandon Lacy Campos: Body Beautiful
"I figure if I am doing all this personal growth work on myself ... and trying to become a better, healthier blah blah blah person, I should probably have a good chat with the man in the mirror (MISS YOU MICHAEL!)." In his latest entertaining entry, blogger Brandon Lacy Campos shares some of his struggles with body image and how he's learning to love all of himself. Well, that, and working out a heck of a lot more.

aids @ 30

ribbon heart

June 5, 1981: That's the day that a medical publication reported an outbreak of Pneumocystis pneumonia among five young, gay men in Los Angeles, Calif. That nondescript, two-page article -- simply entitled "Pneumocystis Pneumonia -- Los Angeles" -- was the first published report on what we now know all too well as AIDS and the virus that causes it, HIV.

Throughout 2011, will be collecting articles, reflections and blog entries looking back at the past three decades. Here's some of what we've gathered so far:


Kellee Terrell The New York Post Is at It Again; This Time It Outs Alleged Victim's HIV Status
"As a New Yorker for the past nine years, I have grown accustomed to the ridiculousness called the New York Post," our news editor Kellee Terrell writes. "In a botched attempt of what they might believe is 'investigative journalism,' staff reporters Jennifer Bain and Bob Fredericks somehow 'uncovered' that Dominique Strauss-Kahn's nameless alleged rape victim may be HIV positive and living in an apartment complex designated for people living with HIV."

 HIV Prevention Study Results Raise Deeply Disturbing Question: Should HIVers Be Forced Into Treatment?
A recent New York Times article examined how the results of a recent study, which showed treatment can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 96 percent, "reopens old questions" about the rights of people to refuse therapy for an illness -- and whether doctors, in the interest of public health, should be allowed to force those people to start treatment against their will.

Olivia Ford What Were Our Deciding Moments?
At the recent National Association of Black Journalists' Conference on Health Disparities,'s Community Manager Olivia Ford and News Editor Kellee Terrell recorded PSAs for the Greater Than AIDS Campaign, which aims to fight stigma and improve HIV/AIDS education among African Americans. Watch them and other African-American journalists discuss how HIV/AIDS has impacted their lives and inspired their work.

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Trish S. (From Kansas City, Mo.) on "Major Opinion on Major HIV/AIDS Crisis"

"What I'm having a hard time understanding is how the government plans to implement the National AIDS Strategy by expecting to test more people, get them into care should they test HIV positive and then urge them to start ARVs at the same time that the State ADAPs are tossing people aside on a daily basis? Just doesn't make sense. I do hope Congress is paying close attention, and it is up to the HIV-positive community to become even louder and stronger to make sure our lives are not sacrificed."

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


Edurant (rilpivirine) Edurant (Rilpivirine): The HIV Treatment Dating Game Just Got More Interesting
The HIV medication family just welcomed its first new member in three years: Edurant (rilpivirine), an NNRTI approved for use in people starting HIV treatment for the first time. We talked with noted HIV researcher Cal Cohen, M.D., to get the nitty-gritty on what makes this drug so special, what side effects and other concerns to watch out for, and -- most important -- how the heck to pronounce it.

Maria T. Mejia Maria T. Mejia: To Take or Not to Take Your Meds
"I tell those that are confused and lost, and hopeless, and very scared, and don't know what to do: Listen to your heart! Do your research. Investigate and pick a doctor that works with you!" blogger Maria T. Mejia writes. Maria avoided HIV medications for the first 10 years after her diagnosis. In this video blog, she shares her personal experience on starting meds and addresses those who feel there is no benefit to treatment.

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:

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Need Support Dealing With HIV and Anorexia
(A recent post from the "Women" board)

"Hello, lovelies! I miss being around other women living with HIV. It's been just over 20 years for me. I started out in a big city with lots of services and moved six years ago to the Midwest, where I am appalled to find a lot of ignorance among health care professionals and pitiful few services. ... What I am dealing with now is anorexia nervosa and I am going to have to go for residential treatment soon. I struggle with feelings of unworthiness, and am becoming lackadaisical about taking my meds. I know this is dangerous and I need support."

 -- anotherJane

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 email address) -- click here to get started!


 PrEP in the U.S.: Where Do We Go From Here?
Last month's failure of a major trial in women has cast into doubt the future of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- the regular use of HIV meds by HIV-negative people to prevent infection. At a recent meeting convened by the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, experts and advocates discussed the significance of these findings and their possible implications, as well as other important issues to address if PrEP is ever to be considered a serious prevention tool.

Candace Y.A. Montague Candace Y.A. Montague: Demand the Test, Ladies -- Ignorance Is Not Bliss
"If men won't make us a priority, then we have to do it ourselves," writes Candace Y. A. Montague. In this blog entry, she reports findings from several reports on women's health, which show that disturbingly few women get tested for sexually transmitted diseases or receive safer-sex counseling from their doctors.

More HIV 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