Justin's HIV Journal

Thursday, March 5, 2020

****BREAKING*** Gov. Hogan declares a State of Emergency in Maryland to deal with Coronavirus & Corona Virus and HIV




#MarylandStateofEmergency | ****BREAKING*** Gov. Hogan declares a State of Emergency in Maryland to deal with what he calls:

"the rapidly evolving nature of this threat to public health, it is critical that we have the flexibility to access rersources," regarding Coronavirus. Three known Coronavirus cases have been discovered in Montgomery County, MD.

Potential school closures and other continuity plans are being reviewed by state agencies at this time. Hogans says Marylanders should not panic, but instead be prepared and informed. The Governor also says mass gatherings and other events may need to be postponed.

Updated info @ https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx


This is a rapidly evolving situation and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will provide updates as they become available.

COVID-19 Testing and Confirmed Case Counts in Maryland

Number of patients tested for COVID-19: 31
Number of COVID-19 tests pending: 14
Number of negative COVID-19 tests: 17
Number of positive COVID-19 tests: 0 ​




Background

In December 2019, Chinese health officials announced they were investigating a pneumonia outbreak of unknown etiology (cause) in the city of Wuhan, China.  At that time, it was reported that many of the cases were linked to a seafood and animal market in Wuhan.  Since then, health officials have reported that the outbreak was caused by a novel coronavirus, and the illness has been named "coronavirus disease 2019" (abbreviated "COVID-19").  

Since then, thousands of cases have been reported and some cases have been fatal.  Cases of COVID-19 have been identified elsewhere in China, and in other countries, including in the United States. 

About Coronaviruses

There are many viruses in the coronavirus family that can cause illness in both humans and animals.  Several coronaviruses commonly circulate among people all of the time, and cause mild to moderate illnesses, such as the common cold.  Other coronaviruses commonly circulate only in animals.  Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people as has been seen with MERS and SARS.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia​​

While the exact incubation period for this coronavirus has not yet been determined, it is believed that most infected people will develop symptoms 2-14 days after they were exposed.

Transmission

Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by COVID-19 in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, person-to-person spread is now widely occurring.

Prevention

There is no vaccine available for COVID-19.  In general, people can protect themselves and others against respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:
  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap & water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice good health habits.
It's not too late to get your flu shot!  While the influenza vaccine does not protect against coronavirus infection, it can help keep you healthy during the flu season.

Diagnosis

Currently, testing for COVID-19 can only be done at certain public health laboratories.  Clinical laboratories do not have the ability to test for this particular virus, though they do have the ability to test for the other, more common coronaviruses that circulate in people all the time.​

Treatment

People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care. There is no specific antiviral treatment for this illness. 


Guidance for people who recently traveled to China 

Public health authorities have implemented travel procedures for travelers from China arriving in the United States. 

  • Guidance for travelers from other parts of China (outside Hubei Province) in the past 14 days includes:
    • ​If you have fever, cough, or trouble breathing: CDC staff at the airport will evaluate you for illness. You will be taken to a medical facility for further evaluation and care. You may not be able to complete your travel itinerary.
    • If you do not have symptoms: You will be allowed to reach your final destination. After arrival at your final destination, you will be asked to monitor your health for a period of 14 days from the time you left China. You will receive a health information card that tells you what symptoms to look for and what to do if you develop symptoms. During that time, you should stay home and limit interactions with others as much as possible. Your state or local health department will contact you for further follow up.
  • Guidance for travelers from the Hubei Province, and other resources for returning travelers are available on the CDC Information for Travelers website​.  

Guidance for people who recently traveled to other countries with community spread of COVID-19
Monitor CDC Travel Health Notices webpage for important travel notifications.

Travelers returning from countries outside of China with community spread of COVID-19 are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, and call their healthcare provider if symptoms develop.  


Saturday, January 25, 2020

Justin builds muscle healthily and goes from 130lbs to 165lbs in 2 years (Uses MRE) !!

Justin builds muscle healthily and goes from 130lbs to 165lbs in 2 years (Uses MRE) !!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

NEW SURVEY UNCOVERS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIV AMONG MILLENNIALS AND GEN Z


NEW SURVEY UNCOVERS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIV AMONG MILLENNIALS AND GEN Z


Murray Penner- Executive Director, North America, Prevention Access Campaign (PAC)
Peter Sklar M.D., director, clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories

BACKGROUND:
While enormous strides have been made since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, the crisis is far from over. In fact, rates of HIV diagnoses among young adults in the U.S. have surged in recent years – accounting for more than half of new diagnoses – despite overall new diagnoses remaining stable.

In partnership with the Prevention Access Campaign (PAC), Merck launched Owning HIV: Young Adults and the Fight Ahead, a new campaign featuring results from a new survey to better understand young adults’ perceptions and beliefs about HIV.

The survey, fielded by Kantar Group between June 17 and August 5, 2019, was a cross-sectional, one-time online survey of approximately 1,600 US-based Gen Z (18-22) and millennials (23-36) who were self-reported HIV positive, or self-reported HIV negative/unknown, including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight individuals. The goal of this study was to uncover attitudes and perceptions around HIV among young adults in the U.S. To date, this is the first survey to focus on the beliefs and perceptions about HIV among Generation Z (Gen Z) and millennials in the U.S.

Survey findings show a jarring trend of general confusion and insufficient knowledge of HIV and transmission, along with the existence of high-risk sexual practices, poor disease management, and stigmatizing behaviors among young adults.

Key Survey Findings Include:

•Survey findings showed a profound lack of accurate sex and HIV education among all participants, however the trend worsened in Gen Z

oMore than two-thirds of HIV-negative young adults said they were most concerned about getting HIV as compared to other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

o54% of HIV-negative respondents did not report using condoms or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to protect themselves against the HIV virus and other STIs

•Although millennials and Gen Z did not experience the start of the HIV epidemic firsthand, they still perpetuate the stigma seen in the early days of HIV

oMore than one quarter of HIV-negative millennials said they have avoided hugging, talking to or being friends with someone with HIV, and 30% said they would prefer not to interact socially with someone with HIV

oPeople with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load (or stay virally suppressed) have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partners. The survey found that respondents had varying perceptions about what it means to be undetectable and the risk of transmitting the virus to another person.
o84% of Gen Z and 65% of millennials living with HIV who are abstaining from sex do so because of their HIV-positive status.

Murray Penner- Executive Director, North America, Prevention Access Campaign

Murray Penner is the Executive Director, North America of Prevention Access Campaign. He has a strong personal interest in helping people living with HIV achieve sexual health and well-being and reducing HIV stigma and shame. Prior to joining PAC, Murray served as Executive Director at NASTAD from 2015-2018 and served as NASTAD’s Deputy Executive Director and director of its care & treatment program from 2001-2015.

About Peter Sklar, M.D. director, clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories

Dr. Peter Sklar is a practicing physician who treats people living with HIV and maintains a clinical practice at the Partnership Comprehensive Care Program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sklar joined Merck in 2007 to advance the clinical research of new drug candidates for infectious diseases and has made significant contributions to the company’s virology portfolio. Dr. Sklar has also published numerous abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals and has served as the principal investigator on many clinical research protocols, including serving as site-PI of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's HIV Research Network.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Justin goes on Rosuvastatin AKA Crestor.



Hey everyone, I hope all is well. This is Justin B Terry-Smith and I will have to go on Rosuvastatin AKA Crestor. My cholesterol is high and family genetics for me plays a big role.  Through the years I’ve always had an issue with it since the age of 10.  Well now that I’m older it has gotten harder to get it down to a safe level.  My doctor has prescribed on Rosuvastatin AKA Crestor in November of this year. My cholesterol levels have gone up and down throughout the years, but recently it’s been harder to get control over. 

Date
Value
10/04/2019
188
08/09/2019
178
05/03/2019
179
11/02/2018
145
05/18/2018
143
09/25/2017
168
07/10/2017
131
11/08/2016
126
08/15/2016
137
05/10/2016
137
01/29/2016
151

I personally was a little uncomfortable to take new medication because one never knows how new medication will affect one’s body. I have only had one side effect and that was a little bit of dizziness but that was the only one.  Here are some side effects that some of you may feel headache, muscle pain, abdominal, pain, weakness, nausea, dizziness, hypersensitivity reactions (including rash, pruritus, hives, and swelling), and. pancreatitis.



I’ll be going to my doctor in a month to see if the on Rosuvastatin AKA Crestor has worked, please wish me luck. Here is more information on Rosuvastatin AKA Crestor.

Taken from the interwebs

Before taking rosuvastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, especially when combined with rosuvastatin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially muscle problems.

This medication must not be used during pregnancy. Rosuvastatin may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
This medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Justin presents Polyamory and Leather 101




One of the most interesting relationship models and types is polyamory.  Poly means many and amor means love.  One could conclude that polyamory is the act of having many loves.  Or relationships with multiple, mutually consenting partners.  There are many dynamics to polyamory.  There could be a Triad where there are three partners that are all mutually romantic or involved with each other, or something all a V formation where there is one person dating or romantically involved with two other people, but those two other people are not dating or romantically involved with each other.  Polyamory can have many designs and formations.  I personally know many men and women involved in such relationships that are both HIV positive and negative.  What I want to do here and now is dispel some myths when stigmatizing persons who are polyamory.  After interviewed some polyamorist, I found some of the answers very interesting. 

Polyamory is not about sleeping with everyone:  I spoke to persons that were in a poly relationship who were HIV positive and one of their many responses had to deal with persons thinking they spread Sexually Transmitted Illnesses (STIs).  Most poly relationship use safer sex because of the level of trust that is needed when being in a poly relationship.  For thoughs people that think that promiscuity is the basis of polyamory, they are wrong.  Safety should be your priority to all of your partners.

Communication is key when talking about medical issues:  In any relationship it is important for people to have an open line of communication.  It is even more important because there can be more “moving parts” to a poly relationship (see what I did there lol).  It is paramount that everyone be on the same page when it come to discussing medical issues.  People that would like to start having a poly relationship should definitely have a condom talk or a PrEP discussion.  Basically, you want to talk about how you want to protect yourself and your other partners.  In a article by Alex Williams (2008) he interviews Ed Vessel, a cognitive neuroscientist who lives in Brooklyn who stated, “Toothbrush disputes are the least of it. In the era of safe sex and cellphones, a life that seems to promise boundless sex in fact involves lots of talking. And talking. And talking”.

 It’s not a free for all: It’s not about orgies or about people inviting all that want to have sex with them with their partners.  Basically, if your interested in an already existing polyamorous relationship ask to see if they are even interested in adding another partner, being sexually involved with someone else or even if one of the partners would like to go on a date.  Either direction that is pursued a talk has and probably will happen on medical history, as it should. 

Poly people are more likely to spread HIV/STI:  Polyamorist are more likely to play safer than most.  They are committed to their partners and know the stakes at risk for everyone involved.  There are people that are both HIV positive and negative in polyamorist relationship.  A lot of the people I spoke with were on PrEP and/or used a condom.  According to the The Journal of Sexual Medicine article written by Justin Lehmiller (2015), “Although consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships are presumed to be far riskier for partners' sexual health compared with monogamous relationships, the disparity between them may be smaller than assumed. A growing body of research finds that many partners who have made monogamy agreements cheat, and when they do, they are less likely to practice safe sex than CNM partners”

Poly relationships can stand the test of time: Ever seen the movie, “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)”? The movie is about Dr. William Moulton Marston the creator of Wonder Women and his relationships with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and their partner Olive Byrne.  They were in a romantic Triad for years and stood against discrimination and bigotry.  Dr. Marston died of skin cancer Olive would die at age 85 and Elizabeth at the age of 100.  The point is that they stayed together happily for the rest of their days.  There is also the story of Bob, Don and Keith, which was a story published by ImFromDriftwood (2015) Bob met Don in 1966, and then met Keith five years later in 1971. After being together for 46 years, they had to say goodbye to Don, but he and Keith remain.  HIV does not have to define our relationships, we define though relationships for ourselves and by who we are with. 

Most people have a little apprehension contemplating taking the first step into a community that celebrates Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, submission, Sadism and masochism but the reality is that the people in our kinky community are some of the most caring people I have ever met.
The quality of the information available about the BDSM Lifestyle varies radically. As you seek out information about "what it is we do", I have this advice for you:

The most accurate and generally accepted information will be found in traditionally published books by recognized authors.

The next best information will come from dedicated and well-recognized websites, and in educational offerings at conventions that are well regarded by the community.

Less accurate and often contradictory information will be found in group discussions, social networking sites, and local educational offerings. This information is seldom vetted and is more likely to be someone’s opinion, conjecture or untested hypothesis rather than generally accepted fact.
The best education is often found in a relationship with a good mentor in your local community. Finding a good mentor is like the problem of finding a good mechanic when you don't yet know much about cars. Take the time to educate yourself about our lifestyle first, starting with the many books available.


Ultimately, you want the knowledge and skill that will allow you to practice BDSM safely, and to build the type of relationships you desire.
Publications (online or in print)

Leatherati explores our unique lifestyle of contests and titleholders, travel and events, dining and drinking, entertainment and shopping and of course, news and opinion. Leatherati is based in LA.
The Leather Journal reports on events and news about the lifestyle
LetherViews by Jack Rinella 

bannon.com Intelligent information, ideas and insights about the adventurous side of sex and relationships.

Social Organizations

The Eulenspiegel Society (TES) is a NYC based, not-for-profit organization which promotes sexual liberation for all adults. Especially for people who enjoy consensual BDSM. It is the oldest such organization in the nation.

The Society of Janus is a San Francisco based, not-for-profit education and support organization. It is the second oldest such organization in the nation.
Black Rose is a Washington, DC based, not-for-profit organization which provides a forum for the many different expressions of power in love and play. This can include dominance & submission, bondage & discipline, sadism & masochism, fetishism, cross-dressing, to name a few.

The Arizona Power Exchange (APEX) is a not-for-profit corporation that provides education, social opportunities, and support for adults who are interested in Bondage and Discipline
Desert Dominion is an educational and social group whose focus is providing information and education for people interested in the BDSM lifestyle
Avatar is a LA based private non-profit educational and social club established in 1983 for gay men with an interest in BDSM. We teach safe, sane and consensual BDSM techniques to anyone interested in learning.

smOdyssey is a membership organization located in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Club X, Inc. is San Diego's largest pansexual leather/ BDSM fetish group. Our primary goal is that of education with secondary goals of activism and social activities
Masters And slaves Together, International (MAsT) exists as an education, support and resource group for individuals involved in, or interested in, the Master/slave lifestyle. The local chapters list will direct you to the many local chapters of MAsT.

Informational Websites

DomSubFriends is an East Coast members only pan-sexual group, who share interests in the S&M, BDSM, D/s, and B/D scene.
Comprehensive Internet Directory maintained by DomSubFriends group; many of the links are dated but there is a wealth of information here.
Sexuality.org maintained by Society for Human Sexuality has a variety of sexual resources including some BDSM information

The BDSM Events Page Lists local and national events
LeatherWeb states that it is a lifestyle site "for the curious and the committed" it is not an easy read but there seem to be many nuggets of value including notes from classes and presentations. I am sure it will continue to grow and develop.

Educational Offerings

The Butchmanns Experience is an intensive educational weekend designed to provide an opportunity for self-discovery in pursuit of self-actualization. The event includes hands-on training in basic SM practices, protocol and rituals, and a view of leadership and obedience through the lens of Master/slave dynamics.
Kink Academy is a comprehensive library of sex-ed videos for adventurous, consenting adults. Whether you’re new to kink or an experienced player, there’s something for everyone to learn on KinkAcademy.com.

Social Action Organizations

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) fights for sexual freedom and privacy rights for all adults who engage in safe, sane and consensual behavior.
Kink Aware Professionals Directory (KAP) is a service offered by NCSF dedicated to providing the community with referrals to psychotherapeutic, medical, legal and other professionals who are knowledgeable about and sensitive to diverse expressions of sexuality.
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance has been hard at work to combat the prohibition of pleasure, the rollbacks on hard-won freedoms and protections and to advance an agenda that recognizes the wonderful diversity of sex, sexuality and our rights to make informed, consensual choices in our lives.

CARAS is dedicated to the support and promotion of excellence in the study of alternative sexualities, and the dissemination of research results to the alternative sexuality communities, the public, and the research community.
The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University works towards advancing sexual health and knowledge worldwide. For over 60 years, the institute has been a trusted source for investigating and informing the world about critical issues in sex, gender and reproduction.
The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country
The Carter/Johnson Leather Library is a collective history of various communities who have chosen to live and love differently.
Leather Archives & Museum mission is the compilation, preservation and maintenance of leather lifestyle and related lifestyles [including but not limited to the Gay and Lesbian communities], history, archives and memorabilia for historical, educational and research purposes.
The Leather Leadership Conference (LLC) is an organization dedicated to strengthening the Leather/BDSM/Kink/Fetish community through the development of the leadership skills of community members and fostering a greater sense of connection between and within community groups

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Historical Society (GLBTHS) collects, preserves, and interprets the history of GLBT people and the communities that support theCenter for Sex and Culture provides judgment-free education, cultural events, a library/media archive, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum. From our San Francisco home we promote creativity, information and healthy sexual knowledge.
Links below open in another window or tab.
Fetlife.com --- FetLife is free and one of the larges of this kind of site. It is said that to keep from deteriorating into a meat market as other similar sites have, they decided to restricted searches for other users.

Recon.com --- Free to join but requires payment for many features
Collarme.com --- Free site has good search and free mail
Bondage.com --- Free to join but requires payment for many features
Alt.com --- Free to join but requires payment for many features
Kinkyspace.com A free Social Networking Site for Kinky Friends
Twitter.com --- Run searched for BDSM, Bondage, Shabari
BDSM.com --- Free

References:
ImDriftwood (2015 January 28) Polyamorous Relationship Lasts 46 Years. "We Shared So Many Memories Together." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgMtSQtV1j8
Lehmiller, J. J. (2015). A comparison of sexual health history and practices among monogamous and consensually nonmonogamous sexual partners. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 12(10), 2022-2028.
Williams, A. (2008). Hopelessly Devoted to You, You and You. The New York Times, October 3, 2008.


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