"The best way I can describe our predicament to someone outside our culture is to call up the sensation of orgasm. You lose control of your destiny, and you are grateful for the loss. Time dissolves. Nothing that came before matters. You lose all sense of consequences and would sacrifice anything to safeguard the moment. Then, just seconds later, the blighted past and an uncertain future rush back in to drown you." Michael Harris writes in Walrus Magazine about coming of age in the long shadow of the AIDS epidemic. via utne. [more inside]
Magic Johnson still beating HIV 20 years later 2 decades after being diagnosed with HIV - the virus that causes AIDS, Magic Johnson is still going strong. His foundation is helping others, giving them hope while educating people about the disease.
University of Rochester's libraries curate a vast collection of AIDS education posters from around the world, with almost 1500 available to view online. (via)
"In the last few years, the rise of free online porn — content-rich sites that tease viewers to subscribe for more — and pay-site juggernauts like Brazzers have put the L.A.-based adult-video industry against the ropes. Its answer, in part, has been the high-dollar parody, designed to attract ComicCon nerds, science fiction fans and other pop culture aficionados who must collect everything within their target oeuvre." -- The troubled US economy affects pornstars too, so "Porn Defends The Money Shot" (NSFW) [more inside]
Researchers have apparently found a way to prevent HIV from damaging the immune system. Johns Hopkins and Imperial reseachers have developed a chemical that breaks down the cholesterol membrane around HIV. This stops the virus intererfering with immune response, and may allow a vaccine that prevents infection. [more inside]
Foldit - Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players
Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists. The structure of a protein causing AIDS in rhesus monkeys had not been discovered in 15 years of attempts. Players of a videogame did it in ten days. Foldit, the game in question. Abstract. Previously, previously.
Yeah so here are some kittens we made that glow in the dark something something cure for AIDS science.
Sexy Fingers [NSFW funky French 2011 AIDS prevention PSA]. And if that touched you the right way, you'll definitely want to poke around sexyfingers.org [also NSFW but loads of Flash Friday fun]. [more inside]
Four years ago, Katie Davis was homecoming queen at her high school in Brentwood, Tenn. She had a yellow convertible and planned to study nursing in college. But those plans changed just a little.Today, she's in Uganda, sharing her home with 13 orphaned or abandoned girls, ages 2 to 15.(second link has sound)
In 2009, Ctrl.Alt.Shift, the "youth initiative of Christian Aid," held a national competition in the UK for aspiring filmmakers aged 18 to 25. Their mission: create a short film treatment based around three key issues: "War + Peace," "Gender + Power" and "HIV + Stigma." The results were then screened to an audience at the 2009 Raindance Film Festival. The films: 1000 Voices, HIV: The Musical, Man Made, No Way Through and War School. (All YouTube links. Vimeo links and descriptions of each film are inside this post.) These films deal with adult subject matter and may be disturbing for some viewers. Some may also be nsfw. [more inside]
An NIH clinical trial has shown that early treatment of HIV with antiretroviral drugs reduces the odds of the virus being transmitted to an uninfected sexual partner by 96%, with only one new HIV case recorded out of the 1,763 couples participating in the trial.
Grandmothers are agitated to the point of singing K’naan songs. This basically concerns the frustration over the Canadian Senate killing Bill C-393 (a law to facilitate production of cheaper life saving HIV/AIDS drugs for developing countries). With the new election looming, the “Grannies” would like to see folks use aidsaction.ca to email their candidates and ask them about their Access to Medicines stance.
Either the Best or Worst AIDS Awareness Video you'll ever see features "Smutley", a silent-era-style animated cat having sex with everything in sight, to a soundtrack of Joan Fucking Jett's "Bad Reputation". Kinda obviously NSFW although lacking any cartoon genitalia. And where's the message? Wait for the end. From the French non-profit organization AIDES, which has been even more NSFW in the past, like a year ago with an animation which was, well, all genitals. Coming next: a site about "a better way to talk condoms" at BlahBlahBlahBlah.org. Oh, those French! (via Adrants)
"Anyone who was around New York City in the late 1980s and early '90s couldn't have missed the work of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, better known as ACT UP. Its group's activism reached a fever pitch during the early '90s, when the iconic black 'Silence=Death' posters and t-shirts seemed ubiquitous downtown and served as somewhat more defiant symbols for the Gay community than the rainbow flags that took over to serve that role slightly later. ... So what were we to think as we wandered through Barneys Co-op in Chelsea yesterday when we spied a whole shelf full of T-shirts featuring ACT UP's famous imagery [priced each at $50 ... 'a portion of that price tag will go to the activist group'] as if they were magically transported there from 20 years ago?" [more inside]
Introducing The Real Reagan. "There is much to appreciate and even like about America's 40th president, and his two terms in office were not without significant achievements. But Ronald Reagan and his presidency are also badly misunderstood. To mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, we are offering what we hope will be a respite from the hagiography that has taken hold elsewhere -- a critical, but fair and respectful, exploration of the real Ronald Reagan." [Via]
There is Housing Works in NYC, which raises money for community based AIDS/HIV treatment and housing for the homeless. Here in Chicago we have Open Books, who uses the money raised from selling donated books to run literacy programs and tutoring programs for children. Now Minneapolis is getting Boneshaker Books; an all volunteer run radical bookstore that will house the Women's Prison Book Project and offer bike book delivery.
Stem cell transplant has cured HIV infection in 'Berlin patient', say doctors. Doctors who carried out a stem cell transplant on an HIV-infected man with leukaemia in 2007 say they now believe the man to have been cured of HIV infection as a result of the treatment, which introduced stem cells which happened to be resistant to HIV infection.
Bowing to pressure from right-wing critics, the National Portrait Gallery has decided to remove David Wojnarowicz's film "A Fire in My Belly" from its groundbreaking exhibit "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture". [more inside]
There is no question that HIV is an ugly virus in terms of human health. Each year, it infects some 2.7 million additional people and leads to some two million deaths from AIDS. But a new album manages to locate some sonic beauty deep in its genome. Sounds of HIV (Azica Records) by composer Alexandra Pajak explores the patterns of the virus's nucleotides as well as the amino acids transcribed by HIV, playing through these biologic signatures in 17 tracks. [more inside]
Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of International AIDS Awareness Posters 1985–2010... (possibly NSFW) [more inside]
The HIV ancestor virus, SIV, has been around much longer than previously thought. The NY Times notes: "And that assumption in turn complicates a question that has bedeviled AIDS scientists for years: What happened in Africa in the early 20th century that let a mild monkey disease move into humans, mutate to become highly transmissible and then explode into one of history’s great killers, one that has claimed 25 million lives so far?" [more inside]
A team of researchers from the Hebrew University has developed a treatment that completely destroys HIV-infected human cells in laboratory cultures, according to an article published last month in the scientific journal AIDS Research and Therapy. The full text of the article is available here as a PDF: Specific eradication of HIV-1 from infected cultured cells. Previously.
She agreed to be filmed for 90 days. A woman with AIDS is filmed briefly, every day, for 90 days, and the changes she undergoes are dramatic. The very end may make you weep, but perhaps not for the reasons you expect... [Link is a single video hosted on Vimeo.]
The list of New York artists who died of AIDS over the last 30 years is countless, and the loss immeasurable. Last Address uses images of the exteriors of the houses, apartment buildings, and lofts where these and others were living at the time of their deaths to mark the disappearance of a generation. The film is a remembrance of that loss, as well as an evocation of the continued presence of these artists work in our lives and culture. (via)
A summary of two papers on newly-discovered antibodies that can neutralize 91% of HIV strains: "Structural Basis for Broad and Potent Neutralization of HIV-1 by Antibody VRC01" and "Rational Design of Envelope Identifies Broadly Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibodies to HIV-1"
BBC World Service has over 500 audio documentaries you can download. The subject matter is incredibly wide ranging, for example, internet cafés, the influence of Islamic art on William Morris, South African female AIDS activist Thembi Ngubane, Yiddish, the importance of cows, novelist Chinua Achebe, financial risk management, Obama as an intellectual, the physical and emotional effects of a car crash and many, many more. If the quantity and variety are overwhelming, you can subscribe to a podcast, which delivers a new documentary to you every single day.
Diseased Pariah News started in 1990 as "a patently offensive publication of, by, and for people with HIV disease (and their friends and loved ones). We are a forum for infected people to share their thoughts, feelings, art, writing and brownie recipes in an atmosphere free of teddy bears, magic rocks, and seronegative guilt." It ran for 11 issues over the next 9 years, 8 of which can be found here. (NSFW, irritating interface) [more inside]
With AIDS, Time to Get Beyond Blame. Criminal laws related to exposure to or transmission of HIV are on the books in 32 American states, and in many other countries. In January, Darrin Chiacchia was charged with knowingly exposing a partner to HIV without warning him beforehand. He faces up to 30 years in prison. The high profile case has drawn criticism of the laws from those who believe they discourage testing, increase stigma, and intentional infections are sensational but rare and difficult to prove. Others have argued the laws do little to protect vulnerable populations and are bad legal policy. In the sensational but rare category: Nushawn Williams, who completed his sentence last week but remains incarcerated.
"In May, 2002, Jerome Mitchell, a 17-year old college freshman from rural South Carolina, learned he had contracted HIV. The news, of course, was devastating, but Mitchell believed that he had one thing going for him: On his own initiative, in anticipation of his first year in college, he had purchased his own health insurance. Shortly after his diagnosis, however, his insurance company, Fortis [now Assurant Health], revoked his policy. Mitchell was told that without further treatment his HIV would become full-blown AIDS within a year or two and he would most likely die within two years after that." [more inside]
Eileen Myles on ACT UP-New York in Artforum Myles' review of an ACT UP NY art retrospective at Harvard's Carpenter Center is a thoughtful essay in its own right. A more straight(?)-forward review of that exhibition from Frieze Magazine. And, for good measure, "The ACT UP Oral History Project is a collection of interviews with surviving members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York." The Oral History Project is on special display at the Carpenter Center.
Petition against Anti-Gay Bill Delivered to Ugandan Parliament. Fierce debate continues in Uganda over the Bahati Bill, a controversial anti-homosexual law currently under consideration by the Ugandan government (prev). [more inside]
Luna Commons is a database of sixteen free digital image collections built using Luna Imaging's Insight software. And there's a lot of cool stuff, well over a hundred thousand images all available for download in good resolution. Here are some of the collections featured: Pratt Institute Fashion Plate Collection, The Farber Gravestones Collection, Maps of Africa, Cornell Political Americana Collection and the The Estate Collection of art by HIV+ artists. The advanced search allows you to search across all collection, for example seeing everything across all collections about animals or New York or your birthyear. Whatever you look for, it's gonna bring up a boatload of interesting images.
All you need is love - from 156 countries, all at the same time. Join in the chorus; each video leads to a 5-cent donation from Starbucks to the RED Global Fund for AIDS in Africa.
Anyone who was moved by Zelda Rubinstein's performance as the eccentric medium in "Poltergeist" will be dismayed to hear that she is seriously ailing. What you may not be aware of is her role, first in Los Angeles (way back in 1984), and later internationally, in gay rights and AIDS education advocacy. [more inside]
The Ugandan government is considering a law that would criminalize homosexuality, advocacy for gay rights, or even failing to report homosexuals to the govenment. And death for HIV+ gays. And who is behind this? An American group with purported ties to the administration called the Family. [more inside]
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 is the 21st annual World AIDS Day An estimated 33.4 million people worldwide worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. Take a moment today to think about those you've lost, those who are still living with the disease, and how you can prevent yourself or others from becoming infected. [more inside]
San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter, together with the GLBT Historical Society, are making available all of the gay newspaper's AIDS obituaries in an on-line searchable database. The database, to be unveiled on December 1, 2009, World AIDS Day, contains the obituaries for about 10,000 people. [more inside]
A new HIV vaccine is showing promising results, reducing the risk of contracting the virus by 32 percent. While further tests are still needed, the vaccine is a combination failed HIV vaccines AIDSVAX and ALVAC, based on the Canary Pox virus. The study itself faced criticism from the outset.
The Circumcision v. HIV debate rages on. [previously and previously-er and previously-er still] The debate has been rekindled due to new findings. It is expected to be one of the main topics during the CDC's National HIV Prevention Conference this week, as the CDC is considering endorsing routine circumcision. The American Academy of Pediatrics is also considering revising their circumcision policy, thus making it covered under Medicaid. Naturally, there is a lot of criticism of the evidence. In related news, it appears that there is a modicum of the so-called 'Birthers' who believe Obama's citizenship can be proven by his penis.
After one performer tested positive this week, 16 previously unpublicized cases of HIV in the porn industry have emerged. Last time this happened, government officials called it an outbreak and porn production grinded to a halt for two months.
Live Hope Love — Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica.
Intended Consequences. It is estimated that 20,000 children were born as the result of rape during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide that claimed the lives of over 800,000 Tutsis. Many of these women also contracted HIV/AIDS as a result. Not only do the mothers have to live with memories of this incredibly horrible event, but they along with their children are shunned by other Tutsi survivors. [more inside]
"If you’re ever looking for a warning sign that you’re on the wrong side of an argument, suing Medecins Sans Frontieres is probably a pretty good clue." Science journalist and blogger Ben Goldacre has released the missing chapter of his book, Bad Science, telling the story of Matthias Rath, vitamins and the AIDS crisis in South Africa. [Previously. Also.]
According to Senior Harvard AIDS Prevention Researcher Dr. Edward Green, condoms not only are not helping to prevent the AIDS crisis, but are actually making the problem worse.
Professor Luc Montagnier, 2008 Nobel Prize Laureate for Medicine, is no stranger to controversy. Recently, he has been touting his approval for the ignominiously debunked "water memory" theories of the late French immunologist Dr. Jacques Benveniste. This is not altogether surprising, given that Montagnier has filed a patent application for a method for characterising "biologically active biochemical elements" based on Benveniste's more outlandish theories. But there's more... [more inside]
What if we could rid the world of AIDS? The notion might sound like fantasy: HIV infection has no cure and no vaccine, after all. Yet there is a way to completely wipe it out - at least in theory. What's more, it would take only existing medical technology to do the job.[more inside]