The Men Who Want AIDS?


As written by the staff at POZ: The premise is that some young homeless men–desperate for shelter and food–intentionally get HIV to develop AIDS so they can qualify for government assistance.

This cruel paradox — having to get really sick in order to enjoy a better, more comfortable life — has not gone unnoticed. “I have experienced people [who are] grateful that they have HIV,” says Sage Rivera, a research associate at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has worked with hundreds of LGBT youth. “It’s sort of like a sigh of relief or an extra boost,” he says. “There are a whole bunch of different names for HIV within the [LGBT] community: ‘the monster,’ ‘the kitty,’ ‘the scratch,’ ‘the gift that keeps on giving.’ So people say, ‘I have the kitty — so now I can get my place. Now I can get hooked up; I can get my food stamps, I can get this, I can get that.’

Read more about this attention-grabbing headline by Out magazine.

Machismo and Married Men Spread HIV in Mexico

This is something we talk about all the time when we have workshops with the Latina/Hispanic women of our community! It doesn’t just happen in Mexico but it’s happening here in the US too! It’s not new information but certainly can be something that we become more comfortable talking about and a topic we can bring more awareness to.

Posted by Natasha Hakimi: Selfish, misogynist and uninformed acts have led to many women contracting HIV from their husbands and then being forced to live with the social stigma accompanied with a disease viewed as a result of sexual deviance. On top of this, sexual education campaigns are thwarted due to discrimination and conservatism prevalent in rural Mexico, areas that suffers the most from this combination of machismo and vulnerability to viruses.

Read the article hereel_machismo_mata1

Older & Wiser


Older and Wiser, 3 longtime survivors with HIV share their stories.

Check out the video you aren’t able to see if you read this months magazine front cover of POZ.

The Affordable Care Act and HIV/AIDS


Improving Access to Coverage

Currently, fewer than one in five (17%) people living with HIV has private insurance and nearly 30% do not have any coverage. Medicaid, the Federal-state program that provides health care benefits to people with low incomes and those living with disabilities, is a major source of coverage for people living with HIV/AIDS, as is Medicare, the Federal program for seniors and people with disabilities. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is another key source of funding for health and social services for this population.

Read the article The Affordable Care Act Helps People Living with HIV/AIDS by the CDC.

Mandating Mail-Order Pharmacies


Has it ever happened that your medication has been left with the neighbor, on your porch or they took it back to the pharmacy and now you’re left without your meds for the day? What if this wasn’t your choice, what if you are happy going to your local pharmacy but somehow you’ve been convinced that the best for you or your loved one is having your meds delivered?

Complaints about mail-order pharmacies aren’t new, but they are under greater scrutiny recently because health plans increasingly are mandating them for members with serious health conditions, rather than offering them as an option.

“People need to access the pharmacy services that work for them. For some, mail order is just fine,” says Kirsten Balano, PharmD, an assistant clinical professor at the University of California at San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy who works in the HIV program at a federally qualified health center in Santa Rosa, California. “What I’m advocating for is choice.”

Read more about September’s POZ article, Mandating Mail-Order Pharmacies clicking here.

Adherence and why it is so important

med adherence

If you are taking medications to control HIV, you have been told—hopefully!—about the importance of adherence. In case you don’t know or need a refresher I have looked and found some very helpful sites and information. Just click on the links for quick reference.

Adherence is a word to describe taking your drugs exactly as prescribed. This includes taking them at the right time. It also includes following any special diet restrictions.

“HIV medicines are unique,” Dr. Gallant told us. “Although it’s not good to miss doses or stop medications for diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes, if you do, the medicine will still work when you take it again. It’s not like that with HIV, because missing doses can lead to resistance.”

Terms Used frequently:

Drug resistance: When HIV mutates (changes form), causing one or more anti-HIV medications to be ineffective.

Regimen: A combination of three or more anti-HIV medications from at least two different drug classes.

Treatment adherence: Closely following an HIV treatment regimen — taking the correct dose of each anti-HIV medication at the correct time and exactly as prescribed.

Drug Regimen

When considering an appropriate treatment for someone with HIV, it is important that the patient affected speak to their doctor about their schedule and lifestyle.  Some medications have side effects that need to be dealt with, while others need to be taken several times a day.   Some need to be taken on an empty stomach or with food, while others may need to  be refrigerated.  Considering one’s lifestyle, schedule and ability to  understand and adhere to special instructions related to a particular drug  regimen are ways to improve adherence.

CELL PHONE whether it be IPHONE or ANDROID, Tablets, Ipad, Ipod all aid with pill reminders to help with medication adherence. In you iTunes Apple store or Android store just type key words like Pill reminder, Pill box alert, pill alert there are so many to list and best of all many are free.