HIV is not the end. Never.

Life has it’s ways of throwing you a curve ball. This is something I got to know last year, and while I would’ve normally hit that ball back with a firm swing over the fence, I guess you could say things went quite different this time around…

It was August 2014 that I got to know my boyfriend. We met via Tumblr almost a year before, and during his trip through Europe in the summer of that year, we actually met in person for the first time. I knew from the very first second he stepped of that train that this would be the man I’d grow old with – no doubt about it. We immediately hit it off and over the course of his travels, he returned multiple times to spend time with me, my friends, and my family.

All good things come to an end, and so did his holidays. When he got back home in Germany in time for university to start, he popped in at the STD clinic first chance he got. I had already gotten back into the grind at my job, working with social media for a huge A brand, and rocking a promotion to a managerial position I had just gotten. Life was going great and I couldn’t be happier. 

Cut to to the 22nd of September. WhatsApp. On the train from Utrecht to Amsterdam.

“Jeff. I fucked up. I fucked up so hard.”

Keep reading

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VANGARDIST - the Vienna based progressive men’s magazine just published their #HIVHEROES edition:

In Europe and Central Asia, there were 80% more new cases of HIV in 2013 compared to 2014.

“HIV doesn’t sell anymore. It doesn’t make the headlines anymore.”

People stay uninformed about this issue, and are full of judgemental thoughts and misinformations.

VANGARDIST now mixed the blood of HIV+ patients with the printer ink of their magazines, and published 3000 issues, that you can purchase sealed in a plastic bag. With ripping apart the plastic bag, VANGARDIST wants to symbolize ripping apart the stigma. 


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FARAGE: There are 7,000 diagnoses in this country every year for people who are HIV-positive. Which is not a good place for any of them to be, I know. But 60% of them are not British Nationals. You can come into Britain from anywhere in the world and get diagnosed with HIV and get the retroviral drugs that cost up to £25,000 per year per patient. I know there are some horrible things happening in many parts of the world but what we need to do is put the National Health Service there for British people and families who, in many cases, have paid into this system for decades.

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Talk with your partner about when you were last tested and suggest getting tested together. Open communication with your partner is essential to staying healthy and stopping the spread of STDs. These conversations may also bring you closer together.

You can start with something like, “I’m a little nervous to bring this up… but I want us to be healthy and I think it’s important. What do you think about getting tested for STDs together?” 

The only way to know if someone has an STD is to get tested. So do yourself a favor and get tested TODAY!

We also suggest watching this gif with this musical accompaniment –>Mystikal Danger Instrumental 

Things a 62 Year Old Poz Gay Man Told Me About the AIDS Crisis
  • He had to start a new address book every year because he couldnt look at all the crossed out names anymore
  • There was only one funeral home in the whole city that would bury HIV+ poz people (NYC)
  • That lesbian separatists left their colonies to take care of the gay men because barely anyone outside of the community would 
  • He met the love of his life, but sabotaged the relationship because he was negative and was in the mindset that he would eventually infect him and cared about him too much to go on (even though the guy was aware of his positive status) and that if that happened today, he would never do that again
Because you’re more than your disease.

Chad is only 25. He is gay, and has been with his partner for 15 months. 

He was last tested for HIV a year ago, and the results were negative. 

He came to my ER last Thursday with back pain - but the back pain didn’t concern the physician. The red plaques on his body did. He reported having them for 5 months or more.

These red plaques are tell tale signs of Kaposi Sarcoma, tumors that themselves are telltale signs of AIDS and a severely throttled immune system. 

Chad admitted to knowing this, but not seeking help. 

His back pain came from meningitis. He had fungus in his blood, in his spinal cord, and in his brain. He had to be placed on extreme forms of anti-fungals. We had to medicate him for the fevers, chills, and spasms the treatment caused. He had panic attacks.

And his nurses, myself included, were angry to some extent. Who would let this happen to themselves? We said in the hallways. Who grows red scales on their bodies, has every warning sign of HIV, but doesn’t seek help?

I got my answer that day. His mother came to visit as I was calming him from a panic attack. He couldn’t stand the thought of another round of amphotericin B that night. After a small dose of ativan, I plunked him in a wheelchair, and we made a point to get out of the unit for a bit. He’d been in that room for 7 days straight, growing weaker. He hadn’t seen or heard from his partner since his diagnosis. 

His mother asked me why he was so weak and he pulled me down before I could answer. “I don’t want her to know what I have,” he whispered in my ear. 

And it hit me. He is all alone. 

He is an island in the middle of nurses and doctors who are fighting hard for him, but who do not - can not - truly understand what he is going through, or why he made the choices he did in delaying treatment. 

I told his mother he has an infection in his blood and spine. I carefully avoided words that could hint at HIV; but in truth, if she had wanted to really know, less than 5 seconds googling the rash on her son’s body would have lead her to an answer. 

After she left and we returned inside, I helped him into bed. 

“Why didn’t you find help earlier?” I asked as I helped him get his weakened legs onto the mattress. 

“I didn’t think anyone would care. I thought I’d have to beg for help, and…I don’t know. I didn’t think I’d get the help. I’d be shunned.”

I was speechless for a moment. I hate that, in 2015, someone would avoid life saving treatment because of the shame society places on diseases. 

He continued “My boyfriend is the best thing that’s happened to me in years, and I knew he’d leave. My mom knows I’m gay but doesn’t ever talk about it. My dad hasn’t talked to me in years. I saw the signs and I felt like…well, my life is over. I only came in because the pain got so bad.”

I hate to think of how many more days you will spend in that room, listening to us badger you into eating hospital food, into just one more dose of amphotericin, just one more lap around the unit. I hate to think that those days may only stop because we lose the battle against the raging infection in your immunosuppressed body.

I hate to think that you may not live to see the year 2016.

You are so much more than your disease, Chad. You are more than your sexual orientation. You are more than your mother’s opinions and your fathers silence. 

I hope you’ll see it before it’s too late. 

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Hello, everyone.

I am so proud to be on the cover of The Scientist for their May issue: Chipping Away at HIV. Lisa Modica (AD) and I considered the progress being made in identifying HIV reservoirs in the body. We also focused on HIV vaccine progress. Overall, we wanted the image to evoke how scientists are working hard at figuring out how to target and eliminate HIV – and the accumulation of these efforts are in sight. Thank you for another fantastic collaboration AD Lisa Modica!


- Molly

Indiana shut down its Planned Parenthoods and is now facing an HIV crisis 

March was not a good month for Indiana. With all the attention on the fallout over the controversial passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), you might have overlooked that the state is currently fighting the worst HIV outbreak in its history. By the end of March, dozens of new cases had been reported in the small city of Austin, Indiana. Not that they could even get tested.

Scott County, Indiana, the center of an exploding HIV outbreak, has been without an HIV testing center since early 2013, when the sole provider – a Planned Parenthood clinic – was forced to close its doors. The clinic did not offer abortion service…


“The clinic did not offer abortion services.“

How very “pro-life” of these republican dipshits. 

In 2008, something incredible happened: a man was cured of HIV. In over 70 million HIV cases, that was a first and, so far, a last. Worldwide, scientists are working to make these odds a bit better. One research approach involves using a drug to activate all cells harboring the HIV genetic information. This would both destroy those cells and flush the virus out into the open, where our current drugs are effective. Another is looking to use genetic tools to cut the HIV DNA out of cells genomes altogether. And while one cure out of 70 million cases may seem like terrible odds, one is immeasurably better than zero. We now know that a cure is possible, and that may give us what we need to beat HIV for good.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why it’s so hard to cure HIV/AIDS - Janet Iwasa

Animation by Javier Saldeña

Australian researchers have found a treatment for as-yet incurable hepatitis B
The new drug could also help treat HIV, herpes and dengue fever.

CHRIS PASH, BUSINESS INSIDER

A potential cure for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections has been found by Australian scientists. Australian patients are now the first in the world to have access to the treatment – a combination of an antiviral drug and an anti-cancer drug – which is in clinical trials in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.

Researchers at Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute developed the treatment using birinapant, a drug developed by US biotech company TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals for treating cancer. Hepatitis B is a chronic viral disease which is currently incurable.

Marc Pellegrini, Greg Ebert and colleagues at the institute used their studies of the behaviour of hepatitis B virus in infected cells as a basis for the treatment. Their research is published today in two papers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) (you can read them here and here).

Pellegrini said the treatment was successful in curing infections in preclinical models, leading to a human trial which began in December.

“We were 100 percent successful in curing HBV infection in hundreds of tests in preclinical models,” Pellegrini said. “Birinapant enabled the destruction of hepatitis B-infected liver cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. Excitingly, when birinapant was administered in combination with current antiviral drug entecavir, the infection was cleared twice as fast compared with birinapant alone.”

More than two billion people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B and about 400 million have a chronic HBV infection. The virus infects liver cells and can lead to complications including cirrhosis and liver cancer, resulting in more than 780,000 deaths a year.

Treatments that enable the host cell to rid itself of the virus, rather than targeting the virus itself, may prevent drug-resistant strains of HBV emerging, Pellegrini said.

“It is relatively easy for an organism to adapt to a drug, but it is very difficult to adapt to a change in the host cell,” he said. “The virus relies on the survival mechanisms of the host, so if it can’t exploit them, it dies. Such a monumental change in the virus’ environment may be too big a hurdle for it to adapt to.”

Pellegrini and colleagues will now investigate if the same strategy could be applied to other chronic infectious diseases. “Pathogens that infect and reside inside host cells, including viral diseases such as HIV, herpes simplex and dengue fever, and bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, could all potentially be cured in a similar way,” he said.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

through Science Alert

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Hey Tumblr!

On the top left, is a picture of my mother & I in 1998. My first birthday party. My father infected her with AIDS and abandoned us. I was lucky to be born without it. This is how she looked when she was first infected with virus, she always tells me how she was so close to death but God has brought her back to life for a greater purpose. She could have stayed in the hospital, but she decided to come to my party. And the one on the top right, is us last year. 16 years later. Today I’m 20 & today she is 56! We’re holding on strong. She’s eating so healthily that the AIDS virus is undetected. I love you so much mom & you make me so proud to be your son. You deserve the world & I’m going to give you just that…..

I normally don’t do stuff like this, but it would mean the world to my mother and I if you could help donate to our campaign (link below) my mother is trying to start up her own organization to help youths in her county Haiti to get educated and stay safe in regards to the HIV/AIDS virus that’s plaguing the community. We don’t have much, but together we can make a change. Honestly anything helps, grateful wouldn’t even be the word to describe how we would feel if we completed this goal! A simple reblog can go a long way. Thank you for reading. 

BLACKOUT! Shout out to all the Black Queens across the world.

Donation Link: gofundme.com/qsdhss

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HIV’s hiding places at last revealed

It’s like using heat cameras to catch criminals on the run, but it finds HIV instead. A novel scanning technique is enabling researchers to pinpoint where in the body HIV is lurking.

“This could really help with the research for a functional cure,” says Alan Winston of Imperial College London, who was not involved in the study.

Today’s potent drug treatments can eradicate HIV from the blood, but the virus must survive elsewhere in the body, because it returns when people stop taking these drugs.

It has been assumed that the virus hides out in immune cells at various “sanctuary sites”, either replicating very slowly or becoming completely dormant. Supporting this, biopsies reveal the virus in sites such as patches of immune tissue in the gut.

Sanctuary sites

One strategy to eradicate HIV completely might be to somehow wake up the hiding virus and then kill it. Research into this “kick and kill” strategy is ongoing, but little is known about which sanctuary sites are the most important, what the virus is doing there and whether existing drugs can reach the sites.

Francois Villinger of Emory University in Atlanta and colleagues wondered if a PET scanning approach, which is also used to show the spread of cancer, could reveal the location of the virus. This idea was prompted by the discovery of an antibody that binds strongly to SIV, the monkey version of HIV.

To test the idea, the team injected radioactive antibodies into three monkeys with SIV that were being treated with antiviral drugs. PET scanning, which can detect the location of radiation sources within the body, revealed the viral protein, called gp120, in a range of sites including the nose, lungs, gut, genitals and lymph nodes in the armpits and groin. The antibody could not get into the brain, however, which is thought to be another sanctuary site.

The scans were not detailed enough to reveal which specific cells the virus protein was in, but tests after the monkeys were killed confirmed that the virus was present in the immune cells of the areas identified by the scan.

Kick and kill

Although the technique won’t show up a virus that is completely dormant, just being able to see where there is low viral replication is a major advance, says Winston. “It’s the first paper that has allowed us to visualise viral reservoirs.”

The next step would be to develop antibodies that can recognise the gp120 protein made by the human strain of the virus. Scans made using these could aid researchers working on kick-and-kill strategies, and help investigate the rare cases where people seem to have been cured of HIV.

This has been claimed for a handful of people who were given bone marrow transplants from donors whose immune cells are resistant to HIV, as well as for an infant who was given antiviral drugs straight after birth.

Initially after that child – the so-called Mississippi baby – was taken off the drugs, there was no virus detectable in her blood, and her doctor claimed a cure. Unfortunately, after four years the virus returned and she had to restart drug treatment.

The PET scanning technique could help in such cases, Villinger speculates, by revealing if the virus is present in sanctuary sites.

Journal reference: Nature Methods, DOI: 10.1038/NMETH.3320

Source

In and out of jail, 23-year old Michael Johnson feels targeted. His body and blood are seen as weapons.

Johnson, a former college wrestler who went by the nickname “Tiger Mandingo” on social media and in the black LGBT ballroom scene, faces a triple blow of discrimination in the U.S.: He is black, gay and HIV-positive.

Arrested in October 2013 and charged with “recklessly infecting” a white student with HIV, Johnson now spends 23 hours a day in a jail cell under “administrative segregation” — the term the St. Charles County Department of Corrections in Missouri uses to describe solitary confinement. He is allowed out of his cell, alone, for just one hour each day.