Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

Lady Gaga & Cyndi Lauper support HIV/AIDS thru MAC VIVA GLAM

Posted in Community, Information on Sunday, March 21st, 2010 by Kelly - 2 Comments

Did you know for African-American women between 25-34, AIDS is currently the major cause of death? It’s true.  Just as it’s true the infection rate of HIV among all American women has tripled since 1985.  So much for the myth HIV is a “gay” disease. 

The statistics in Britain are also staggering.  In 2008, the number of people who were infected with HIV had almost tripled since 1998, and in that single year, this is the third highest number who became infected.  And more than half of these became HIV positive via heterosexual contact.

This spring, two major icons—Cyndi Lauper, who taught us Girls Just Wanna Have Fun back at the start of the American AIDS epidemic, and Lady Gaga, the current international DIVA, have joined forces to make a difference.  These remarkable women are the new spokespeople for VIVA GLAM.  They are heading an international drive to remind people how to keep themselves safe and HIV negative, with a special outreach to teach women how to protect themselves.

The AIDS Fund of MAC Cosmetics

As one of the twin spokespersons to bring both HIV information and “gaga-glamour” to women (and men), Lady Gaga tells us—“Be selective about those you love.”

The MAC AIDS fund of MAC Cosmetics began in 1994 as a major support for women, men, and children across planet Earth when it comes to HIV. The MAC AIDS Fund is the world’s biggest non-drug company funder for HIV organizations.  It’s contributed over $160 million dollars to organizations providing HIV related services through the sales of its VIVA GLAM Lipglass and Lipstick.  MAC donates every penny made from the VIVA GLAM line to make a difference.

This year, MAC has created two unique shades of color for two unique and talented women.  The Viva Glam Cyndi is a lipstick of light coral red—the VIVA GLAM Gaga is a light blue pink.  “My VIVA GLAM color is amazing.  It’s very me—a bluish pink, great for every day—a little bit 80’s,” reveals Lady Gaga.  “I hope women buy this lipstick and honor themselves and the cause.”

To find out more about the MAC AIDS Fund and its good works—and to find out more about Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper—visit http://www.macaidsfund.org

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National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Posted in Community, Information on Saturday, March 20th, 2010 by Kelly - Leave a comment

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness DayToday is 4th annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a national effort designed to inform Native communities about the impact of HIV/AIDS in Native populations (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians). It was established to encourage education, testing and community involvement in HIV prevention.

Now that is an idea whose time has come.

I didn’t realize that Native Americans have the third highest rate of new HIV infections and I doubt most Americans do. Of persons who were diagnosed with AIDS, they have the shortest overall survival rate.

In real numbers this means 36 months after diagnosis, Native Americans survived at only 73%, compared to 79% for African Americans, 84% for Whites, 85% for Hispanics, and 89% for Asians.

This day challenges all of us work together to create a greater awareness of the risk of HIV/AIDS in our communities. It means better access to testing and increased treatment options. We flat out must decrease the occurrence of HIV/AIDS and increase survival rates.

The Centers for Disease Control is providing the funding and vital organizations such as CA7AE: HIV/AIDS Prevention Project, Colorado State University and Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) are mobilizing their resources.

Gwenda Gorman, Health Promotion Program Director at ITCA  shared the impact of HIV/AIDS in Native Communities. She noted,” The awareness day will also challenge Native people to work together, in harmony, to create a greater awareness of the behaviors that put our communities at risk for HIV/AIDS.”

For more information on what you can do to recognize National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, please follow this link:

http://www.itcaonline.com/nshapp/pdf/HIV%20AIDS%20Activity%20Sheet.pdf

Want to know more? Here is a link for more information on HIV/AIDS Awareness Days:

http://www.aids.gov/awareness-days/ .

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Viral load may be related to your transmitting partner

Posted in General, Information on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 by Kelly - 1 Comment

Now this is interesting…

US researchers have found that viral load in individuals recently infected with HIV is closely related to that of the individual who transmitted the virus.

In the online edition of AIDS, researchers noted, “We found a strong correlation between HIV-1 RNA levels in source and recipient partners in HIV-1 transmission pairs”.

The study also provided some insights into the factors contributing to the continuing HIV epidemic. Most notably, they found approximately two-thirds of the source individuals who transmitted HIV had only recently been infected with the virus themselves.

Viral load in early HIV infection has been identified as an important factor in disease progression and individuals who have higher viral loads at this time have a poorer overall prognosis.

Researchers from the UCSF Options Project sought to determine the relationship between viral load in the source partner and in the partner they infected within identified transmission pairs.

Their research involved 24 individuals with evidence of recent HIV infection. The study included total of 23 source individuals (one individual transmitted HIV to two partners). All 47 individuals included in the study were gay men.

The viral characteristics of nine of the transmitting individuals suggested that they had recently been infected with HIV. This finding adds to research suggesting that recently infected (and usually undiagnosed individuals) are a key factor in the continuing HIV epidemic.

The study’s analysis showed viral load in the source and infected partners were closely correlated.

The researchers noted that further study is needed to better identify the viral genetic characteristics associated with higher or lower HIV-1 RNA levels, and to further understand host immune responses that shape viral replication over time.

To read more about this study: http://bit.ly/bjBeZI

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HIV Infection Symptoms/HIV Infection Symptoms

Posted in Information on Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 by admin - 1 Comment

HIV Infection Symptom/HIV Infection Symptoms

The initial HIV infection symptoms, according to HIVInsight.com, may resemble common cold or flu virus’s symptoms. The first HIV infection symptoms can also be similar to the symptoms of other sexually transmitted diseases or other infections such  as hepatitis or “mono,” which are much more easily and more frequently transmitted. Anxiety and stress may produce symptoms in some people, even though they are not carrying HIV at all.

HIV Infection Symptom? Some individuals who have contracted HIV may experience very strong symptoms, but others may not experience any symptoms. Those who do have them generally report having fever, fatigue, and, frequently, rash. Other frequently occurring symptoms might include sore throat, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Such symptoms may be exhibited within days or weeks of the first exposure to the virus during a period of time known as primary or acute HIV infection.  Because HIV infection symptoms can resemble so many other problems of health, the single accurate way of knowing if you have HIV is an HIV test.  As indicated in the above graph, an individual may have been HIV positive for many years without experiencing any symptoms of HIV infection.

Acute HIV Symptoms

How are acute HIV syndromes diagnosed?

Without testing there simply is no diagnosis. Health Care professionals have to recognize acute HIV symptoms and to check for the chance of HIV infection in patients who report vague concerns and known risks to exposure to HIV. The wife of a known injecting drug user, for example, may come to an Emergency Room with diarrhea, a rash, fever, and fatigue. Acknowledging the wife’s possible exposure to HIV through unprotected sex with her husband, the health care provider will be advised to counsel and test the patient for the presence of HIV before a diagnosis of a common illness like the flu is made.

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Symptoms of HIV Positive People

Posted in Information on Friday, January 22nd, 2010 by admin - Leave a comment

Symptoms Of HIV Positive People

You can survive and thrive with HIV. Many others do. Known as “Da Pirate,” or “One Tough Pirate,” Bob Bowers has survived and thrived with HIV and AIDS for over 25 years. In 2005, He founded HIVictorious, Inc. Lecturing as an HIV positive person, Bowers speaks from a first-hand about importance of offering a face to the disease in order to reduce the stigma of AIDS. He is outspoken about the struggles he has had in his life, and the personal choices he made before he was infected. In his public presentations, he shows how HIV disease has assisted him in making better choices and in appreciating the very day-to-day life s simple beauty. “For everything negative I can say about HIV, I can also find something positive to say. It’s all about choices and playing the hand you are dealt.” (onetoughpirate.com)

Bob, and other People living with HIV and AIDS, can celebrate productive and happy lives with treatment and proper care. The following indicate some of the symptoms of HIV:

rapid weight loss

dry cough and shortness of breath

chronic-fatigue

swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, bar, or neck

spots on the tongue, mouth, the nose or on the eyelids

pneumonia

memory loss

lasting depression and other neurological disorders

These additional symptoms may also be associated with an HIV infection:

fever (longer than one month)

night sweats hiv (longer than one month)

diarrhea (longer than one month) (the-hiv-symptoms.com)

image courtesy of petlvr.com

It is important to realize all of these symptoms can indicate other problems or diseases. An HIV test is the only real way to prove an HIV diagnosis.

Night sweats HIV are often a very uncomfortable part of being HIV positive for many who are living with HIV and AIDS.

Night sweats HIV can be so intense a person can soak through clothes and bedding. These sweats are not caused by exercise. They may not occur every evening, but they happen most often when someone is sleeping. If you suffer from night sweats and they become more frequent or more profound, it is important to inform your primary provider.

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The HIV AIDS Pandemic

Posted in Information, News on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 by admin - Leave a comment

The HIV AIDS Pandemic

You may ask yourself–how did this all start?  Where did HIV come from?  According to WebMD.com, “AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981.  That’s about half the number of people who died in World War II.  And it’s not over.  1.1 million Americans are among the 33 million people now living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.”

Somewhere around the start of the 20th century, scientists believe a hunter in West Central Africa killed an infected chimpanzee, and in the process, the virus entered into the hunter’s bloodstream.  The virus spread among human hosts, but the deaths were associated with other diseases.  By 1981, the disease was first identified among gay men in the United States, but the HIV AIDS Pandemic was soon recognized as impacting all genders and sexual orientations.   In 1985, the term “HIV” was internationally recognized as the accepted term for the infection.  Sadly, this is also the time of some of the greatest panic and prejudice directed towards people living with HIV.  In fact, it has only been this year, 2010, that the federal government has lifted the ban against allowing citizens of other nations who are HIV positive,  to freely enter the United States.

image courtesy of healthday.com

Between 1996-1997, a new type of drug intervention reduced the death rate of Americans with HIV by more than 40 percent.  Sadly, the HIV AIDS Pandemic continues to ravage other national populations that cannot afford the new drugs.   By the start of this decade, AIDS became the world wide number one killer of people between the ages of 15-59.

image courtesy of momspharmacy.com

The HIV AIDS Pandemic has also recently been reflected in a soaring of infection rates in the United States.  In 2008, new HIV rates were up by 11 percent from what they were in 2003.

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MyHIVAIDSAWawareness was created to meet the needs of people newly diagnosed with HIV and people who have been living with HIV for a significant amount of time and need to have an easily accessible overview of the current updates and options in living with HIV.

Remember—you don’t have to be infected with HIV to be affected.    Just so, MyHIVAIDSawareness  was also designed for people who care about someone with HIV, even if they aren’t HIV positive themselves.

For everyone, there is a lot to learn, and as science advances, knowledge can change, requiring updates.   This is one of the challenges of the Internet—when you do searches on HIV and AIDS awareness, you may find information that is no longer current or accurate.  MyHIVAIDSawareness has a committed staff active in providing you with useful and accurate information.

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People Living with HIV and AIDS and HIV LIFE Expectancy

Posted in Information on Friday, January 15th, 2010 by admin - 4 Comments

People Living with HIV and AIDS and HIV Life Expectancy

If you were diagnosed as HIV positive, was one of your first questions–How long will I live?”  You’re not alone.  There is an HIV AIDS campaign regarding information on HIV life expectancy.  Before the current medications became available in the late 1990s, many people had the expectation that AIDS was an automatic “death sentence.”  In the terrible “old days,” people who were infected usually developed full blown AIDS within ten years of becoming positive, and then would usually lose their battle in less than two years.  Sadly, this is still the case with many other countries where the newer medications are not readily available.

image courtesy of content.undp.org

However, an HIV AIDS campaign regarding HIV life expectancy will give most people in North America a great sense of hope.  The reality is, most people here who carry the virus will most likely not die of AIDS, but like others who are HIV negative, eventually pass away from human realities, such as heart disease and injuries. 

image courtesy of squidoo.com

Another important teaching for people living with HIV and AIDS, is an HIV AIDS campaign regarding HIV life expectancy will give the good news the same things that will protect those who are HIV  negative—reducing risks—a healthy diet—quitting smoking—regular exercise—will also protect people with the virus.  This emphasizes the importance of looking out for high blood pressure, and for those who also have hepatitis, monitoring liver damage to make certain these non-HIV problems don’t develop into serious health challenges.

image courtesy of treatmentactiongroup.com

While overall, things are looking up, a small number of people are unable to tolerate the newer medications.  For these individuals and for those who do not receive treatment, or are unable to afford it, their life expectancies will be closer to that of patients at the start of the AIDS epidemic.

image courtesy of humorhaus.com

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History of HIV AIDS

Posted in Information on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by admin - Leave a comment

History of HIV AIDS

When did you first hear about HIV/AIDS?  The history of HIV AIDS is still being understood.  Most Americans became aware of the epidemic in the 1980s, but recent scientific research has found the Human Immunodeficiency Virus began infecting African communities between the late 1800s and the early 1900s.  The virus then found in Haiti by the 1960s.  HIV in the American injecting drug and Gay communities of the United States is first recorded in 1981.

In the epidemic’s beginning, there was seldom an opportunity for most Americans to understand the difference between HIV and AIDS, simply because people were often in the acute stages of AIDS before they sought help. In the mid 1980s, a test was created to identify HIV, which helped the scientific world to better understand its transmission.  As a result, the definition of AIDS shifted in 1993 from an official diagnosis because of specific opportunistic diseases, to also include HIV positive individuals whose CD4 T-Cell counts had fallen below 200.

New drug treatments, called highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART, became available in 1996. This drastically reduced the death rate of people who carried the virus.  With the availability of the new medications, the difference between HIV and AIDS became more important, because an increasing number of individuals living with HIV were no longer advancing into a diagnosis of AIDS.  In some cases, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus became undetectable when treated with HAART medications.

In 2009, most Americans no longer think of AIDS as an “automatic death sentence” the way it was frequently seen before the HAART medications.  Then there is a younger generation who “grew up” with an awareness of AIDS, but who were not taught about the incredible AIDS stigma that had existed previously.

For example, a primary American financial source for HIV/AIDS related programs owes its title to Ryan White, an adolescent who was expelled from his school when he was found to have contracted HIV from a blood transfusion.  Individuals from his community fired gunshots into the home of his family, forcing them to move away.  Historians have suggested that since Ryan White did not match the stereotype of a Person with AIDS, he was later accepted in a more supportive manner than if he had been a Gay man, or an injecting drug user.  Part of the AIDS stigma is related to perceiving a difference between those who are infected as a result of their own behavior, and those that were so-called “innocent victims,” who were infected as something outside of their behavior.  An example would be a child infected with HIV from his pregnant mother, or someone like Ryan White, a hemophiliac infected as the result of a blood transfusion.

The AIDS stigma, however, remains part of the reality in other cultures.  The United Nations recently reported:  “People in China living with HIV and AIDS face widespread discrimination and stigma, with even medical workers sometimes refusing to touch them… more than 40 percent of people surveyed in a new UNAIDS report said they had been discriminated against because of their HIV status. More than one-tenth said they had been refused medical care at least once.” (Beijing-Reuters, November 27, 2009)

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AIDS Donations

Posted in Community, Information on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by admin - 2 Comments

AIDS Donations

Where do you think a great deal of the money that supports HIV/AIDS services comes from?  The truth is, the American government did not provide appropriate funding for research and treatment until well into the pandemic.  For this reason, care providers had to first depend on AIDS donations from private citizens to care for people with AIDS.   Historically, since it was the Gay community that so strongly felt the first wave of the AIDS HIV epidemic in the United States, the original AIDS Service Organizations grew out of the GLBTQ population.  Although it may be hard to believe in 2010, in the early 1980s, there was a great prejudice and fear and directed towards Americans diagnosed with AIDS.  AIDS activists urged changes, and helped create organizations to provide information on safer sex as well as the promotion of compassion to those infected with the virus.

One of the first significant organizations to encourage individuals to make donations AIDS related was the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence began in San Francisco, but now have related chapters around the world.  Their instantly recognizable “nun drag” provided them easy publicity and access to bars, churches and synagogues where they conduct fund-raisers, and most Gay related events.

While some have criticized their unusual attire as disrespectful to Catholic nuns, the Seattle based Abbey of St. Joan has officially responded: We are often asked, “Why are you mocking nuns?” Well, we ARE nuns, silly! We recognize what “women of the cloth” have done over the centuries. They raise money for the needy, we raise money for the needy. They tend to the sick, we tend to the sick. They build their communities, we build our community. They have taken vows of celibacy, we… we have raised money for the needy. We are nuns for the 21st Century!

image courtesy of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and many other organizations, have raised millions of dollars in AIDS donations.

image courtesy of Broadway  Bares

Another famous group is Broadway Bares.  This organization sponsors an annual fund-raising event for donation AIDS, starring performers from New York City’s Broadway and the theater community.  These two groups demonstrate how, even under the awful tragedy of the early AIDS HIV epidemic, caring individuals were able to respond with compassion and creativity

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AIDS / HIV Test

Posted in Community, Information, Resources on Friday, January 1st, 2010 by admin - Leave a comment

gettested

image courtesy of utsa.edu

Do you know your HIV status? The medical establishment believes over one million Americans are HIV positive, but only about one in four know their status. Many, who are positive, do not ask for their outcomes, even when they are tested. A 2000 study found that almost one in three never returned to be told their test results.

Understandably, health care providers consider HIV testing to be a major concern. Medical professionals currently say being tested as soon as possible with the expectation of early intervention with medication can prevent or postpone HIV related infections.cdc_national_hiv_testing_day

image courtesy of cdc

1985 saw the first AIDS HIV test to be licensed. The rapid tests,  easily available in 2010, can provide you information in less than 20 minutes. These began to be used in 1992. The first home use AIDS HIV test became available in 1996. This home test needs a self-collected blood sample which will you mail to a lab. The procedure will take approximately 72 hours, and then you can call a central number  to get your results by giving the code that comes with the test.

This secret code allows an anonymous HIV test. A great number of people choose an anonymous HIV test, since they honor their privacy. A number of insurance providers, before the health reform attempts by the Obama administration, will refuse coverage for what is considered a pre-existing condition.

HIV Test Centersknowit_180x150

Are you looking for HIV Test Centers? If you are, it s important to know nine states do not provide anonymous HIV tests. These are Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee. If you call one of these states home, then instead of going to your local HIV Test Centers, you may want to use a home based test, or chose to use the services of an adjoining state.

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