God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

From Transgender to PrEP – good to know…

It’s time again to suggest some reading for the interested parties to get more insight in HIV and AIDS related matters:

Violence against women is not only in the USA but also in South Africa a very hot topic. The “Well-Project” has written about it and I am sure we all can learn from the extensive knowledge of these articles:
Violence against women and HIV

The CROI conferences are always a good source of new information. Here are the most important HIV research news from the 2015 conference:
6 important HIV research findings

The Body.Com is providing news and information about HIV on different levels. To download the app go here:
TheBody.com in the palm of your hand

The question of transmission between sero-different partners are often of great concern, read about the results of studies regarding gay sero-different couples:
No HIV transmission between serodifferent couples if undetectable load – preliminary results

PrEP – Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) works very well at preventing HIV transmission. Even if that is from a costing point still utopia for South African it is worth to read about it and its obstacles of perception:
How to overcome the challenges of accessing PrEP

Transgender people are having a difficult time – read about how transgender people fighting stigma and injustice:
How Transgender People fighting Stigma…

Starting early treatment gives you advantages – so get tested in times:
Starting HIV treatment early leads to better health..

Enjoy reading!

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Infected!? – an interesting approach…

Reading through several blogs I came across the following lines:

Infected! Oh, My!
April 5, 2014
From TheBody.com

I'm not 'infected' with HIV ... I'm 'living' with HIV!

How many of you remember being told that you had tested positive for the antibodies which cause HIV? I remember it like it was yesterday! The results were shocking, nothing would EVER be the same! I was filled with dread, I was filled with shame, and I was filled with fear. Took me a few years to get comfortable in my skin. And so, as most of us activists/advocates take deeper looks at words, I found a word which is offensive to me, particularly in the HIV platform — but could very well fit any situation. The word “infected” bothers me. Dictionary.com gives these few definitions of the verb ‘infected’:

  • contaminated
  • tainted
  • corrupted

These are not words most of us would like to be associated with, whatever our medical condition. I believe that one of the first steps to living a more positive life, begins in how we think about ourselves. We cannot be healthy or begin on a holistic journey, if we think of ourselves as contaminated or tainted or corrupted.  By the same token, if society puts that label on us, it is no wonder they would feel they need to distance themselves from us or place us in boxes which stigmatize us.
The truth of the matter is: I am not tainted. I am not corrupted. Nor am I contaminated.
That being said: neither are you.
“As you think, so shall you become” — Bruce Lee
(copyright TheBody.com )

I never thought about it that way, but while reading I sense it has its merit to have such a point of view.  Stigmatization has many levels – it started on the caring level in Primary Health Care Facilities in the beginning of the pandemic, when there was the certain bench people had to wait, the special door to receive counseling and advice, the milk products handed out in full view of other patients, which clearly identified mothers being HIV positive.  And it continues in our days still when HIV positive people want to travel or they are looking for employment . It even continues in our churches when we priests or communities fail to appreciate the blessings of somebody going through the life changing experience of discovering to be positive.

I personally like the word “positive” – it opens up the horizon of  hope and light and a chance to change life to the better.

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Treatment, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

And another thought of being undetectable & on treatment

Chronic Disease

Chronic Disease (Photo:tamahaji)

Dave R. from TheBody.com is reflecting on the question of undetectable and what it would mean for those being infected. There are recommendations but there is no certainty. There might be certainty after further studies and in the moment it looks good for those who say that being undetectable, on treatment and no STI’s are not infectious anymore. Have you ever thought what this would mean for those being HIV positive? It would mean that HIV treated proper would be equal like having cancer, being a diabetic and having any other chronic disease.  If, after indisputable proof, it would be widely reported that people on successful treatment are not in danger of passing on the virus, then there is no reason for every sexually active person on the planet not to get tested and if necessary treated because treatment will make you a safe person to have sex with. It would be a great argument for getting tested and on treatment. And it would diminish the stigma attached still to this condition. Undetectable = not infectious: this would change perception and consequences of HIV and AIDS. To read the interesting reflection of Dave R. click here.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , ,

Exercise and HIV

Gym

Gym (Photo credit: ivywoodavenue)

 

Even HIV can be combated by highly potential medication, there are indeed many side effects which a person living with the virus has to deal with. Within all the tools to reduce such side effects, going to the gym and exercising is one of the most successful one to keep body and mind in shape. To get some tips how and what to do best, read the article from Michael Mooney and Nelson Vergel here.

 

 

 

Filed under: HIV Treatment, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

Aging with HIV?

Since the introduction of HAART treatment for people living with the virus, the first generation of retired positive people starts to emerge. But what are the consequences of being HIV positive in older age? Does it affect the life quality being HIV positive, cut life short, gives an extra burden? What to look for when infecting oneself with 60 years or older? People affected and infected need to know more and the resource center “thebody.com” has produced quite some information on the topic which one can find here.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , ,

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