While more people are educated about AIDS/HIV very few really understand what being HIV+ means for patients. The social stigma on AIDS continues to be a challenge. Fortunately, we have good news to share about the advocates and voices who speak for these patients.
HIV doesn’t spare anyone either, popular or not, and we also share news about actor Charlie Sheen being found HIV positive.
College Campuses receive HIV Awareness from Love Heals Advocates
A lot of people associate HIV mostly with male patients. So Love Heals, an HIV advocacy organization, chose speakers Maya Brown and Kimberly Canady-Griffith to share a different perspective on HIV/AIDS to their audience.
Brown has worked on HIV/AIDS prevention and education for 10 years and is a Program Coordinator at the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center. Canady-Griffith has been HIV-positive since birth and is a trained health educator. With their personal first-hand experiences and knowledge, they shared more than the usually published information about HIV. Lesser known facts were discussed and they highlighted the understanding of key things like:
- HIV is transmitted only when in contact with four fluids mainly: Blood, Semen, Breast Milk and Vaginal fluids
- PEP and PREP benefits and access, both new medical regimens, can significantly reduce the likelihood of transmission (to even 0%)
- HIV is no longer an infectious disease but a chronic illness. So they noted this for Pre-Med and Nursing students that they will probably be taking care of HIV patients in the future and need to be equipped with the right knowledge about how to properly take care of HIV patients while taking precautions for themselves.
Canady-Griffith shared her inspiring story of courage and perseverance. She was diagnosed at 9yrs old and lost her parents to HIV. She shared a different perspective of how HIV affects the life of a patient and how more difficult it was to live with it emotionally than it was physically. She shared how life and relationships were a challenge more because of how people perceived HIV rather than how the symptoms of HIV affected her life.
CHOICE members Baum and Pedulla acclaimed both advocates for the unique experience and new perspective on AIDS that they have shared with the audience.
Find our more about Love Heals here: http://www.loveheals.org/
HIV Progression spotted on Charlie Sheen from Facial Skin Lesions
It was 4 years ago when actor Charlie Sheen admitted he was HIV positive. As new sites started searching for photos showing how this reflected on the actor, a lot of the evidence showed in how his skin has aged and formed lesions. Though his aging was initially attributed to his lifestyle of heavy drinking and smoking, he later admitted in an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer from “Today” about being HIV positive.
His ex-wives were aware of this and fortunately, his children did not contract the infection. He still, however, received complaints from women who claimed to have had protected and unprotected sexual contact with Sheen and were apparently uninformed of his condition. These women plan to file a lawsuit against him for emotional distress and sexual battery. TMZ also shares rumors that the actor has allegedly had sexual contact with up to 200 women in the last 2 years and so could expect the number of lawsuits against the actor to rise.
Recent Progress against Aids Marked in World AIDS Day at Palm Springs
CEO David Brinkman and the Dessert AIDS Project (a nonprofit organization) has line-up a series of events as they work to achieve control, prevention and treatment of HIV. They have lined up their events as they join countries around the globe who have adopted the mission to fight against AIDS and end this epidemic by 2030. The overall theme in this fight against AIDS is to “ACT NOW”, even the white house has asked this of Brinkman, and said that “the end of this epidemic starts now”.
Brinkman also shares important information to note on AIDS and HIV like the progress in preventive medical regimens such as PEP (medication for possible HIV exposure) and PREP (infection preventive daily medication). He shared how the strategy to fighting this battle includes treatment of HIV-positive mothers so the virus isn’t transmitted to their babies, mitigating infection risks through PEP and PREP, and treatment of already HIV positive patients to prevent further spread.
United Nations has marked December 1 as World AIDS day, and so activities and awareness programs lead by DAP are lined up towards this day with the Everyday Heroes Celebration as the main event on December 1st to be held at Camelot Theatres. It is also on this day that Brinkman will be at the White House to discuss another DAP initiative “Get Tested Coachella Valley”. DAP is truly remarkable in its efforts to end AIDS in this light and we can only hope more and more join in their cause to put an end to this epidemic.