Todd sat slumped on the sofa in my office. He avoided eye contact and described a particularly painful experience with stigma. He had recently come around the corner at his part-time job and heard several co-workers speaking about him and his HIV positive status. More specifically, they were discussing how he might have acquired the virus by speculating about the nature and frequency of his sexual activities. It was meant as a cheap laugh among themselves, but for Todd it meant much more. Although he made no effort to hide his HIV status and was "out" at the office about being gay, hearing his co-workers making disparaging remarks about his sex life and his health status in such explicit terms felt like a strong punch in his gut. He had a brief flash of anger, telling them to shut up, and then stormed out, pulling inward and automatically falling into the old habit of numbing himself by detaching from the emotional pain.
The CDC issued its second "Interim Guidance" on the use of tenofovir/FTC as pre-exposure prophylaxis for prevention of HIV, this time for prevention of HIV in heterosexually active adults. The rationale?
Last week's International AIDS Conference in Washington got plenty of media attention, mostly because it was the first time in umpteen years that it was held in the United States, the delay between meetings due to our absurd (and now repealed) immigration laws regarding HIV.
As is typical of these meetings, which alternate with the smaller International AIDS Society Conference from year-to-year, there was plenty going on from a political and activist perspective. Still, there was some notable clinical research.
The early 1990s has potentially many associations -- the break-up of the Soviet Union, the first Gulf War, the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings, The Lion King, Forest Gump, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and the cancellation of the baseball season, to name a few.
But we HIV/ID specialists will always remember that period for something else -- namely, that deaths from AIDS in the United States peaked then, making it an especially challenging time to practice.
With the International AIDS Conference in Washington just starting, the International Antiviral (ahem) Society-USA has revised it's HIV treatment guidelines, updating the 2010 version.
The recent FDA approval of a home HIV antibody test (OraQuick In-Home HIV Test) was covered just about everywhere. It's an oral swab test, takes 20-40 minutes, and will be available over-the-counter.
How big a news story was it?
As I've shared before, I'm no fan of the term "HAART" and do everything I can to stop people from using it.
(I'm a fun guy to have at parties.)
I'm returning to this pet peeve of mine because I realized recently that we've passed a milestone of sorts.
I've written so many times about HIV testing that a complete list of the headlines fills two full web pages.
But since the last entry on the topic was more than a month ago, one might think I've lost interest in the topic.
The single case of HIV cure following allogeneic bone marrow transplant is in the news again, this time because of data just presented at "The International Workshop on HIV and Hepatitis Virus Drug Resistance and Curative Strategies" (formerly known as the "HIV Resistance Workshop" -- how's that for rebranding?).
The sun was gleaming on Miami's Biscayne Bay. Palm trees swayed in the gentle breeze and, in the distance, cruise ships were about to set sail for exotic ports. English, Spanish and a dozen other languages drifted through the air as happy people enjoyed the beautiful day. As perfect as it was, the idyllic scene was not all it seemed.