Thursday, May 03, 2007

11th International Carnival of Pozitivities

Today I'm happy to host the International Carnival of Pozitivities, which is a compendium of posts from across the Internet that deal with issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. Most of them are blog posts, but some are videos and some are news items. I hope you enjoy.

Barbra Sundquist presents Drop Dead Happy posted at

"After living 15 plus years with HIV, I am simply happy to wake up each morning healthy and capable of being a positive force in my world - something many of my friends did not have the chance to experience.....gratitude, joy and peace all rolled into one."

Sixteen Candles: Guest Writer Robin Hope Returns posted at 2sides2ron. Robin Hope describes the joy and the struggles of adopting an HIV positive baby:

The ignorance that still floats around is amazing . My daughter comes home from school and relays to me how some kids in her health class still believe that you will get AIDS just from being in the same room. Ashley wants to stand up and scream, but instead she screams silently, afraid of the repercussions if she were to disclose her diagnosis

Forget Imus: What about The Pied Pipers of Sex? Welcome Guest Writer Emanuel Stanley of Philadelphia, PA posted at 2sides2ron. Emanuel Stanley is a Disease Intervention Specialist for the Department of Public Health in Philadelphia. He is also a freelance writer and spoken word/ rap lyricist. In his post, he decries the overt sexual aggression displayed in too many popular songs on the radio, referring to them as the "Pied Pipers of Sex."

“Smashing” or “getting smashed” and “smackin’-sum-cheeks” is the terminology currently being used in the social circles that follow the Hip Hop Culture and in some R&B and rap lyrics; it refers to unaffectionate and reckless sexual intercourse with a partner (straight or gay) who could be a pick-up, anywhere from a local mall to a house party or nightclub, and may be a one time only encounter. This term is also used by monogamous teens and the ones who have multiple sex partners. Many times protection (condoms) is an inconvenience seldom used thus helping to spread Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, the two most common sexually transmitted diseases amongst teenagers, which can cause sterility in both males and females. Not to mention the high teenage pregnancy rate with all the “baby momma drama” which seems to be a “badge of honor”, since so many ‘babies’ are having babies.

Al-Muhajabah's Islamic Blogs: AIDS prevention in Iran posted at Al-Muhajabah's Islamic Blogs details the surprising nature of AIDS education Iran.

One of Iran's most acclaimed advances comes from its notoriously secretive network of prisons, where hundreds of drug-addicted inmates sometimes share the same makeshift syringe to inject heroin smuggled in by guards or visiting relatives. In a startling acknowledgment of sex and drugs even in its most closely guarded quarters, the Tehran administration has made condoms and needles available in detention centers across the country.

"Iran now has one of the best prison programs for HIV in not just the region, but in the world," said Dr. Hamid Setayesh, the coordinator for the U.N. AIDS office in Tehran. "They're passing out condoms and syringes in prisons. This is unbelievable. In the whole world, there aren't more than six or seven countries doing that."

Howard considers ban posted at Suite101: AIDS/HIV blog.
John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia, has said that he would consider banning HIV-positive immigrants and refugees from Australia.

Shawn Decker
blogs about Virginia Tech as he and his wife continue their AIDS education tour. Yesterday Gwenn and I were just about to leave our house and drive to Philadelphia to speak at Drexel University. After I made sure that TiVo was up to speed on our TV-watching needs, I turned on the news

Speakers, you should know, can be fixated on their topics, but I avoided doing any lame kind of tie-in, which would have been disrespectful and inappropriate. I got a little choked up, but spoke as eloquently as possible. After I acknowledged our collective grief and worry, I was left me with only one possible segue into the program: "Now on to the fun topic... of AIDS!"

A Legacy of Mistrust posted at Miss Empowe(RED) examines some very hard questions facing the African American community when it comes to trusting the medical establishment.

Someone enlighten me, aren't there more laws in effect that can prevent the Tuskegee Airmen tragedy from occuring again? Haven't black people in general made a move, made a stance in science and health with new discoveries?

While I personally have dreamed of a cure, I also have reservations in a slight paranoia that our government or people who have their eyes on monetary gain and power, would compromise an entire group of people's health to make a profit. We've all seen it in those Sci-Fi movies where the scientist is willing to sacrfice a portion of humanity to save mankind. I'm not a scientist and I don't think that way, but I understand the logic as this method of thinking has brought many medical breakthroughs, BUT….

Check out the AIDS clock from Myspace user AIDS.

My Life with HIV posted at Marathon Boy describes discovering his HIV diagnosis while training for an AIDS marathon.

Response to Getting a Workout at a Healthclub posted at Rick R. Reed

Sorry the post upset you so much. BUT...number one, this is not a made up story; it's true and I witnessed it at a gym in downtown Chicago. Number two, gay men are still getting infected and bareback sex is becoming more and more prevalent (just go to any gay hookup site and see how many guys are looking for just that; unprotected anal sex is one of the best ways to transmit the virus and if you think that's no longer happening in our community, you're burying your head in the sand). I know that one exposure doesn't automatically lead to infection...the point, though, is that it CAN and ultimately one exposure IS the one that infects. Third, I am not an evangelical Christian. I am an out, proud, and HIV+ gay men who cares about his brothers and doesn't want to see them in the same boat as I'm in, which is why I think stories like this one are important.

My friend, Brian, at ACID REFLUX has been going through a terrible life crisis having slipped back into drug use, but is facing it head-on.

This slip made me realize how much bigger and powerful injecting made drug use. I never fantasized about smoking cigarettes or a pipe after quiting pot. I never wanted to snort something after stopping doing coke or crystal that way. Yet the entire ritual of getting everything together, preparing the drug, cooking it in the spoon, getting the syringe ready, tying off, and then finally injecting was all equally about the high as the drug itself. And in many ways, the drug was almost irrelevant. As one person said to me, “A friend asked me once, ‘If I just inject water, does that count as a relapse?’”

What do you think caused your heterosexuality? is a humorous post by Wesley.

WolfLair Pediatric AIDS posts
a child-friendly kit for HIV/AIDS awareness

A voluntary group of teenagers in India has developed a child-friendly communication kit on HIV/AIDS during a series of capacity building workshops.
The special kit named HAAP will help in creating awareness on HIV/AIDS in India and countering the social stigma attached with the disease.
Developed in four languages namely Hindi, English, Telugu and Kannada, HAAP will enable children to learn about HIV/AIDS. It disseminates information through puppets, comic books, computer games and animation films.

Guest Post: AIDS is becoming feminine - Be conscious!

The following comes from AIDS Combat Zone reader Mohammad Khairul Alam, Executive Director of Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh. You can see other posts by Mr. Alam at his blog. More than half of all new HIV infections occur in women between the ages of 15 to 24 years. The impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls is particularly acute. In many developing or poor countries, women are often economically, culturally and socially disadvantaged and lack equal access to treatment, financial support and education.

Charlie Raver presents Refrigeration and HIV Meds in Resource-limited Settings posted at The AIDS Pandemic.

One of the distinguishing characteristics between the AIDS epidemic in the developed world and that in Africa and the developing world is a simple lack of the infrastructure to deal with the disease. Infrastructure includes everything from roads to electricity to hospitals. One example that most of us rarely think of as a gift, couldn’t dream of walking into a home and not finding, and would be lost without is something to which many in the developing world do not have access. What am I talking about? Refrigeration. Without this amazing piece of technology we would not be able to easily enjoy fresh meats, fish, dairy, and many simple nutritional luxuries that we as Americans take for granted. In addition to problems with food preservation, hospitals and health clinics would be unable to store blood, vaccines, heat intolerant medicines, and many laboratory supplies.

YouTube - The Awassa Children's Project posted at

About an orphanage in Ethiopia that has dedicated itself to fighting HIV/AIDS. Most of these children have lost their families to this pandemic. By using guerilla theater in community market places, these orphans are able to educate and inform a population otherwise ignorant to the disease and it's communicability.


One of the most sweeping anti-gay bills ever introduced in any parliament in the world is in danger of rapid passage in Nigeria in the coming weeks. Although billed as a ban on same-sex marriage, the proposed law includes provisions that would make any expression of homosexuality — not only sexual conduct but any homosexual inclination or reference — in public or in private, a crime.

Ron Hudson for HIVHSN presents Coping skills can boost HIV survival, study shows posted at HIV HEALTH AND SUPPORT NETWORK COMMUNITTY NEWS.

HIV patients live longer if they face stress by venting their feelings, taking a realistic view of threats to their health and keeping a sense of self-worth, a study suggested.

Melody and Martha presents Burial traditions posted at The Nata village blog. This is a fascinating look at burial traditions in Nata, especially relevant in light of the AIDS pandemic.

Dragonette presents Bug life/niets is zeker posted at NotPerfectAtAll. Describes the Dutch insurance system...

Insurance, what a strange concept. My health bill for 2006 came through, it was more than 13,000 Euro. Luckily the Dutch health system reformed. I mean, when I was diagnosed I wasn't even insured, but they changed the law as they do every couple of years and during 2006 no health insurance company is allowed to refuse anyone. So, momentarily, I am safe.

Hélène Hazera of Act-Up Paris, France and Dr. Nicholas Hacher: ARV Therapies and Hormonal Interactions? posted at 2sides2ron. This article discusses hormonal reactions with AIDS therapies, particularly as they relate to transgender persons.

Say Goodbye To The Down Low | posted at Keith Boykin discusses the myths of "Down Low" in the African American community.

Six Years Later -- I've been writing about the down low hype for 5 years now. The good news is that a lot of people have gotten the message. The bad news is that too many others have not. So here we are in 2007, six years after the down low story first surfaced, and there's still not a shred of evidence to prove this myth, but some of us are still talking about it as though it's the most serious threat to black America. It's not.

Stephan Adelson and posted at 2sides2ron. Launched on March 1st, is a unique site that connects all sectors of the HIV/AIDS community. This new social network is a place of free dialogue for people with HIV/AIDS, Community Based Organizations, AIDS Service Organizations, and the family / friends of HIV-positive people.

YouTube - Let's Talk About Sex- WKU Video Project posted at YouTube.

A teen hotline reaching teen's who need to know about sex health and education. This video is here to answer those questions you were afraid to ask in your health class. If you've ever wondered if masturbating gives you hairy palms or if you couldn't get pregnant in the shower this is the video for you!!

YouTube - Let's talk about sex posted at YouTube.

A funny part on Young Americans wherein Jacqueline's (Katherine Moennig) mother asked her if she were really sleeping (having sex) with Hamilton (Ian Somerhalder)

Dissing Disability posted at DJ Miss Money.

In 2004, my neurologists did not give my music career much of a chance. I've always rocked a boy's haircut and one earring so I'm used to folks doubting my ability. What they said didn't matter. To this day, that is how I think and feel. What other people say and think doesn't matter. A magazine recently wrote that I had been "sadly diagnosed". Who sad? I have a bigger audience now than I ever did before!
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