October 22, 2012
New Orleans' Channel 4 WWL TV reports that a Louisiana State University research team has received a $3 million grant to study long-term health outcomes among people living with HIV who drink alcohol.
The story is notable for two reasons.
The first is its eye-watering title, "New Orleans awarded $3 million in grants to help HIV, AIDS victims." No one should call us "victims," because we aren't; we are people living with HIV.
The second is that we are pleased to see a major-market, mainstream media outlet inform the public about the connection between heavy alcohol use, accelerated development of HIV-related health issues such as loss of bone density, and increased sexual risk behavior. Let's hope the LSU study brings back solid evidence of the connection, so more doctors make a practice of asking their HIV-positive patients how much they drink every day or week.
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