HIV News & Views, June 2, 2011
June 2, 2011
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Lolisa Gibson This Positive Life Video Series: An Interview With Lolisa Gibson
When Lolisa got tested for HIV in 2004, she was certain that she was HIV negative. When her results came back positive, she was utterly shocked. It was a lot for a 17-year-old to take in, but the more she learned about HIV, the more firmly she felt that her diagnosis wouldn't stop her from living life to the fullest. Lolisa, a proud mother of a baby boy, talks to us about coping with her diagnosis, becoming an HIV educator/public speaker, and being in a mixed-status relationship with a man.

Philip D. Philip D.: Running From the Devil
"I read stories in the gay mags that hide in the back of my closet. Pictures show me all the things I should never try. AIDS kills those that do. Why can't I be straight?" blogger Philip D. reminisces on the thoughts that occupied his 18-year-old mind, when the HIV/AIDS pandemic was just beginning -- and recalls the evolution of his life that ultimately resulted in his own positive HIV test.

Maria T. Mejia Maria T. Mejia: PRIDE, From a Proud HIV-Positive Lesbian
"My running away from home and joining a gang, the things we had to go through in our home with my father, and then having to tell her [my mother] that I was HIV positive was just enough for her to handle," blogger Maria T. Mejia explains. "I didn't want to give her one more thing to worry about, and tell her: 'Mom, I am a LESBIAN also!'" In this video blog, Maria shares how, contrary to her fears, finally coming out to her mom was easier than she ever imagined.


 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.


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 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 write and collect articles, reflections, and blog entries looking back at the past three decades. Here are some of the latest:

Michael Gottlieb, M.D., and Nelson Vergel There When It All Began: Nelson Vergel Interviews Michael Gottlieb, M.D.
If you look at the first published report of the disease we now know all too well as AIDS, you'll see this name listed as the primary author: M.S. Gottlieb, M.D. For 30 years, Dr. Gottlieb has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS research and medicine -- and through it all, he hasn't lost his passion or his empathy. In this interview, he sits down with friend and long-term HIV survivor Nelson Vergel to look back over the past 30 years and ponder those to come.

Bob Frascino, M.D. Dr. Bob on Three Decades of HIV/AIDS: Are You Ready to Dance?
"Although there are countless stories of the LGBT community's remarkable, pride-worthy and praiseworthy response to the pandemic ... I've decided to take a slightly bigger-picture approach to what transpired," writes Bob Frascino, M.D. He's created a photo essay of the epidemic; in this special article on, he unveils the first chapter. "It's not really a story we as members of the human race should be proud of, but it's what I feel further generations need to hear and remember."

Becky Allen AIDS Is Older Than I Am: Musings From Generation Y
"My generation grew up with HIV. We were among the first kids who learned about it in the classroom," writes Becky Allen,'s site manager. But "just because HIV has been with us for as long as we remember doesn't mean we're at ease with it, or even know that much about it," she notes. "If I weren't engaged with this stuff every day ... I would still carry around the stigma and fear of my second-grade self, and the outdated information of my 10th-grade self."

More Headlines on 30 Years of AIDS:

Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

Image from the June 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
"Eye Full," 1998; Chuck Nanney

Visit the June 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "For Peter Hujar," is curated by Evan J. Garza.

Don Lemon CNN Anchor Don Lemon Talks About Being Gay, Black and on TV
"Besides looking a little like Marvin Gaye on the cover of his new memoir, Transparent, CNN anchor Don Lemon has revealed some shocking news," Akiba Solomon writes for the Black AIDS Institute. The news: He's gay. "It's about the worst thing you can be in black culture," Lemon told The New York Times. "In the black community they think you can pray the gay away."

Candace Y. A. Montague Candace Y.A. Montague: Schwarzenegger's Affair Could Have Done More Than Produce a Child
Amidst all the gasps, giggles and groans over Arnold Schwarzenegger's revelation last month that he had an affair, it's easy to lose sight of a more important message, Candace Y.A. Montague writes. "The primary question that comes to mind as a health educator is: Why didn't he use condoms? Extramarital affair you're-going-to-hell-for-breaking-your-vows aside, he could have contracted an STD or HIV and passed it on to his wife unknowingly."

More News & Views Headlines:

Join the Conversation

Gargantuan Minnow (From London) on "Body Beautiful ..."

"If you look tired and thin (we're talking facial wasting, facial rashes and Bell's Palsy), the queens just don't want to know you -- you are either invisible, or worse, a joke ("... don't talk to her, she's got AIDS ..."). When you start looking healthier (facial fillers, rash disappears, Bell's Palsy fades), all those bitchy queens gush over you and nobody gives a sh*t if you are HIV! It seems that nobody cares if HIV will kill you, just as long as it doesn't make you look UGLY."

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


Barbara McGovern, M.D. Why Incivek and Victrelis Herald a New Era in Hepatitis C Treatment
May 2011 has been a landmark month in the history of hep C treatment, thanks to the approval of the first two new hep C drugs in a decade: Incivek (telaprevir) and Victrelis (boceprevir). To help explain why these drugs are such a big deal and what special considerations people with HIV need to know before taking them, we spoke with Barbara McGovern, M.D., a member of the FDA advisory committee that unanimously recommended both drugs for approval.

Elizabeth Lombino Elizabeth Lombino on Stress: "Is It Worth Losing a T Cell?"
"There is abundant research that shows a clear connection between our minds and bodies, especially as it pertains to stress," blogger Elizabeth Lombino writes. "When feeling excessive stress, your T-cell count can lower. ... If the goal is to raise your T-cell count, how you handle stress can be counterproductive in this goal." In her latest entry, Elizabeth shares some wisdom and tips about reducing stress for the sake of your immune health.

More Headlines on HIV Treatment and Health Issues:

Activist Central

 June 6: Live! AIDS 2012 Community Reps Take Your Qs, Suggestions!

 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