How to Opt Out of HIV Mail-Order MedsStarting this month, United Healthcare patients can now say no to mandatory mail-order requirements for their HIV/AIDS medications. This is thanks to a huge national class-action lawsuit filed in 2013, alleging that the company mixed up meds, delayed deliveries, spoiled shipments and violated serious privacy concerns for their HIV+ customers. So, without further ado, here’s how to do it.

How to Opt Out of HIV Mail-Order Meds

Starting this month, United Healthcare patients can now say no to mandatory mail-order requirements for their HIV/AIDS medications. This is thanks to a huge national class-action lawsuit filed in 2013, alleging that the company mixed up meds, delayed deliveries, spoiled shipments and violated serious privacy concerns for their HIV+ customers.

So, without further ado, here’s how to do it.

jewsee-medicalstudent
jewsee-medicalstudent:

Where did HIV come from?
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the causative agent of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). There are actually two types of HIV; HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the dominant virus worldwide, whereas HIV-2 is largely confined to West African countries and those with links to this area such as France and Portugal. 
According to a 2005 survey of African Americans living in the US, almost 50% of the respondents believed that HIV was manufactured in a lab. Furthermore, over 25% believed that this was done by the government. A significant number also believed that it was created in order to control the population of black people/homosexuals.
There is absolutely no evidence in support these theories and a lot of evidence to suggest they’re baloney. Some of the earliest documented cases of HIV were in the late 1950s; it’s absurd to think that scientists would have had the knowledge or technology to create viruses back then. We only identified the structure of DNA in 1953. We’ve only just managed to create the first synthetic bacterial genome, let alone create a virus from scratch. Creating a virus would require knowledge of genetic manipulation. We simply did not have the expertise to be able to achieve something like this at that time 
There are a few different theories about how these viruses got into the population. The simplest explanation is that humans came into contact with the blood or other secretions of infected primates which is perfectly plausible since, for example, sooty mangabeys were both kept as pets and slaughtered for bushmeat in West Africa, the same region that HIV-2 is most prevalent. It would be easy for infected bodily fluids to come into contact with broken skin during the bitchering process.
Given the fact that medical resources are costly, it is plausible that during immunization programs in Africa, healthcare professionals would have shared needles, providing ample opportunity to spread infection through the population. This, coupled with an increase in international travel alongside sexual promiscuity and intravenous drug use, seems a logical explanation for the emergence of HIV.
Another theory is that humans became infected from contaminated oral polio vaccines. The vaccine in question was called CHAT which required the use of living tissue for production. The idea was that the kidney cells used in the production line came from SIV infected chimps and thus a large number of people were exposed. However, this theory falls down because as we have seen, not all of the HIVs came from chimps. It’s also extremely unlikely that oral vaccines would result in transmission since, unless compromised, the mouth is a pretty good barrier to infection. Furthermore, researchers found stocks of the vaccine used and when it was tested, no traces of SIV were found. This theory has therefore largely been refuted.
In sum, while it is difficult to definitively prove where HIV came from, we can make assertions based on the best available evidence. This evidence points to a simian (monkey or ape) origin, not the government. Everyone loves to hear about a good conspiracy theory, but it really does not add up here.
(Source: I fucking love science).

jewsee-medicalstudent:

Where did HIV come from?

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the causative agent of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). There are actually two types of HIV; HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the dominant virus worldwide, whereas HIV-2 is largely confined to West African countries and those with links to this area such as France and Portugal. 

According to a 2005 survey of African Americans living in the US, almost 50% of the respondents believed that HIV was manufactured in a lab. Furthermore, over 25% believed that this was done by the government. A significant number also believed that it was created in order to control the population of black people/homosexuals.

There is absolutely no evidence in support these theories and a lot of evidence to suggest they’re baloney. Some of the earliest documented cases of HIV were in the late 1950s; it’s absurd to think that scientists would have had the knowledge or technology to create viruses back then. We only identified the structure of DNA in 1953. We’ve only just managed to create the first synthetic bacterial genome, let alone create a virus from scratch. Creating a virus would require knowledge of genetic manipulation. We simply did not have the expertise to be able to achieve something like this at that time 

There are a few different theories about how these viruses got into the population. The simplest explanation is that humans came into contact with the blood or other secretions of infected primates which is perfectly plausible since, for example, sooty mangabeys were both kept as pets and slaughtered for bushmeat in West Africa, the same region that HIV-2 is most prevalent. It would be easy for infected bodily fluids to come into contact with broken skin during the bitchering process.

Given the fact that medical resources are costly, it is plausible that during immunization programs in Africa, healthcare professionals would have shared needles, providing ample opportunity to spread infection through the population. This, coupled with an increase in international travel alongside sexual promiscuity and intravenous drug use, seems a logical explanation for the emergence of HIV.

Another theory is that humans became infected from contaminated oral polio vaccines. The vaccine in question was called CHAT which required the use of living tissue for production. The idea was that the kidney cells used in the production line came from SIV infected chimps and thus a large number of people were exposed. However, this theory falls down because as we have seen, not all of the HIVs came from chimps. It’s also extremely unlikely that oral vaccines would result in transmission since, unless compromised, the mouth is a pretty good barrier to infection. Furthermore, researchers found stocks of the vaccine used and when it was tested, no traces of SIV were found. This theory has therefore largely been refuted.

In sum, while it is difficult to definitively prove where HIV came from, we can make assertions based on the best available evidence. This evidence points to a simian (monkey or ape) origin, not the government. Everyone loves to hear about a good conspiracy theory, but it really does not add up here.

(Source: I fucking love science).

plannedparenthood

plannedparenthood:

image

Someone asked us:

My boyfriend has HIV and we always wear condoms as a result, but we’ve always wanted to have children together and have danced around the fact our condom use prevents that. Is there anything we can do to have children with IVF while still keeping me (and our future…

Aundaray Guess: Those Were the Days

"It’s sometimes difficult for me to believe, but as I come upon my 28th year of living with HIV, I’ve come to realize I’m part of a special group. Not only am I considered a long-termer but I also consider myself part of what I call, the generation of ‘First Wavers of HIV’.

As crazy as it may seem, for those who experienced those early days, we can sit back and reminisce and affirm on how fortunate those who are exposed today have it easier than we did.

dotHIV: Joining the Fight Against AIDS, One Website at a Time
by Michael Bouldin There were days when you could not turn around without seeing a red ribbon on the lapel of celebrities at any awards show or on millions of backpacks or bags. We don’t see much of that any more, but today there’s a new virtual red ribbon. It allows anyone on the Internet to actively help create resources for groups fighting the ongoing epidemic. That virtual red ribbon is dotHIV.
When you buy a .hiv address, the money goes in a pool for the fight against the virus. When someone clicks on your site, they trigger a microdonation for the same purpose; in a space the size of the global web, well, you do the math. Nothing like this has ever been done before, but all the geek glamour aside, what you’re really looking at is a brand new revenue stream unlike any other. Revenue, not governmental spending subject to arbitrary cuts or political grandstanding. From those who care and are able to join the fight in a way that mirrors the visible nature of the classic red ribbon in the digital world.

dotHIV: Joining the Fight Against AIDS, One Website at a Time

by Michael Bouldin

There were days when you could not turn around without seeing a red ribbon on the lapel of celebrities at any awards show or on millions of backpacks or bags. We don’t see much of that any more, but today there’s a new virtual red ribbon. It allows anyone on the Internet to actively help create resources for groups fighting the ongoing epidemic. That virtual red ribbon is dotHIV.

When you buy a .hiv address, the money goes in a pool for the fight against the virus. When someone clicks on your site, they trigger a microdonation for the same purpose; in a space the size of the global web, well, you do the math.

Nothing like this has ever been done before, but all the geek glamour aside, what you’re really looking at is a brand new revenue stream unlike any other. Revenue, not governmental spending subject to arbitrary cuts or political grandstanding. From those who care and are able to join the fight in a way that mirrors the visible nature of the classic red ribbon in the digital world.

POZ Book Club: One Virus, Two Memoirs, Endless InsightsPositive by Paige Rawl — Born with HIV, the Indiana Native always considered herself a normal girl, interested in beauty pageants, cute boys and cheerleading. A popular go-getter, she didn’t expect anything to change when, in sixth grade, she told a friend about her HIV status. Wrong! The resulting bullying led to stress-induced seizures, a lawsuit against her school and, finally, a suicide attempt. But there’s a happy ending!The Nearness of Others by David Caron — Instead of traditional narrative, this professor of French and women’s studies at the University of Michigan offers thematic essays, provocative vignettes and academic ruminations about living Positive in a post 9/11 world. By invoking Barbara Stanwyck, Nazi Germany and our sense of tactfulness, Caron shows us new ways to think about life with HIV.

POZ Book Club: One Virus, Two Memoirs, Endless Insights

Positive by Paige Rawl — Born with HIV, the Indiana Native always considered herself a normal girl, interested in beauty pageants, cute boys and cheerleading. A popular go-getter, she didn’t expect anything to change when, in sixth grade, she told a friend about her HIV status. Wrong! The resulting bullying led to stress-induced seizures, a lawsuit against her school and, finally, a suicide attempt. But there’s a happy ending!

The Nearness of Others by David Caron — Instead of traditional narrative, this professor of French and women’s studies at the University of Michigan offers thematic essays, provocative vignettes and academic ruminations about living Positive in a post 9/11 world. By invoking Barbara Stanwyck, Nazi Germany and our sense of tactfulness, Caron shows us new ways to think about life with HIV.

Back in May, Daniel Tietz was appointed as Chief Special Services Officer at the Human Resources Administration (HRA) in New York City. In his new role, Tietz oversees a broad range of programs, like rent that will provide assistance to the city’s most vulnerable residents.  He’s an LGBT and HIV/AIDS activist who brings years of experience to the agency. Here, he shares with POZ his vision for ending the epidemic in NYC:
HIV is just one bit of the story and often times the other needs are very complex. For the last 20 years, the past administrations, from Bloomberg to Giuliani, found ways to say no and found ways to limit access and turn people away. I don’t think that’s what we have in mind.

Back in May, Daniel Tietz was appointed as Chief Special Services Officer at the Human Resources Administration (HRA) in New York City. In his new role, Tietz oversees a broad range of programs, like rent that will provide assistance to the city’s most vulnerable residents.

He’s an LGBT and HIV/AIDS activist who brings years of experience to the agency. Here, he shares with POZ his vision for ending the epidemic in NYC:

HIV is just one bit of the story and often times the other needs are very complex. For the last 20 years, the past administrations, from Bloomberg to Giuliani, found ways to say no and found ways to limit access and turn people away. I don’t think that’s what we have in mind.