Thursday, October 19, 2017
Rosacea My Story
5 years ago, I made a blog video on my struggles with Rosacea. If you missed the post let me first tell you about what Rosacea is a chronic disease and skin condition. It causes inflammation and visible strained blood vessels in a person’s face. In my face it caused redness and small, red, pus-filled bumps. Eye problems. About half of the people who have rosacea also experience eye dryness, irritation and swollen, reddened eyelids. I also have eye issues. In some people, rosacea's eye symptoms precede the skin symptoms. Rarely, rosacea can thicken the skin on the nose, causing the nose to appear bulbous (rhinophyma). This occurs more often in men than in women.
However, evidence appears to be mounting that an overabundance of Demodex may possibly trigger an immune response in people with rosacea, or that the inflammation may be caused by certain bacteria associated with the mites. But every person carries these mites on their face. But people with Rosacea have more mites on their facial skin surfaces than most. Also let me make sure I tell you that Rosacea is NOT CONTAGIOUS.
Rosacea comes in outbreaks that are usually triggered by something. Some of the triggers that cause Rosacea outbreaks are emotional stress, sun exposure, Drugs that dilate blood vessels, spicy food, hot drinks, including some blood pressure medications, hot and windy weather, exercise and alcohol consumption.
It hurt me so much physically and definitely hurt my self-esteem (mentally and emotionally). I would sometimes not want to go to functions because I had an outbreak. People would point it out as if I didn’t see it, it was somewhat horrifying. I had to turn down photoshoots because I was ashamed of what I looked like. Let’s just say photoshop became my friend.
Rosacea treatment that works
For 5 years I would get outbreaks. At first, I used something called Metro Gel and it dried up my skin. The Metro Gel was uncomfortable and wasn’t strong enough. The second try at treatment was a topical medicine called Rosacea Treatment Gel that can be found over the counter. This did help my Rosacea better than the Metro Gel ever did. I was speaking with a friend of mine Debbie, and I had no idea that she suffered from Rosacea as well. I asked how she did it because I had never seen her have an outbreak at all. She told me about Oracea (Doxycycline) and that I should talk to my doctor about it. So, I called my doctor asked if it would interfere with any of my HIV medication (Odefsey) and he said if should be fine. You have to take a lot of water and decrease your exposure to the sun. Currently, there is no cure for Rosacea BUT I haven’t had an outbreak since being on Oracea this year. Since I started the medication and have not had any issues.
Sometimes people living with HIV have to worry about being susceptible to more infection, illness than people who are not infected with HIV Rosacea is no exception.
Justin's HIV Journal: Panel Discussion HIV in the News & Meeting Jeanne White-Ginder (Ryan White's Mother) (Video)
I was invited to Speak on a Panel called, “HIV in the News” by Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers for their End AIDS: The HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit during AIDS Education Month. I found that it was very informative because there were different prospectives on the panel. Cherri Gregg who is a reporter for KYW Newsradio and Christopher “Flood The Drummer” Norris CEO of Techbook Online were also on the panel. and from Philadelphia FIGHT the moderator was good friend and colleague, Chip Lewis. There were several questions that were fired at the panel. Sensationalism played a big part of the conversation between the panelist. I came from the place of making sure we as people who put news out on HIV put it out for the right reasons. The opinion was very mixed. Also, the story of Charlie Sheen came up and I said it was both good and bad. With Charlie coming out (forcibly) of the HIV closet there was a spike in HIV testing. But then as he became more vocal it became a shit storm, especially with him and his crazy doctor. All in all, I loved the panel and we may have had different opinions on some issues we all respected each other because we know what an important role we play in the HIV realm.
I wanted to not only focus on the panel, but also check on other things that the summit had to offer. I walked about a looked at the portion of the AIDS Quilt that they had. It seems to not matter what part, where or when I see a portion of the quilt it touches me and sometimes I cry. It sometimes puts my own mortality in prospective. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I will have a panel someday. Of course, what I would like is that there is a cure for HIV and I live long enough to not only see it but take it. A lot of us that work in the world of HIV wouldn’t know what to do next if there a cure but until we get to 0 infections we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Another highlight was meeting Ryan White’s mother, Jeanne White-Ginder. I had never formally met her but I had always wanted to. I have heard her speak on some occasions. Every time she speaks at an event she played a video and it always touches me. It a video of her son Ryan White and the late Michael Jackson's song, Gone to Soon.
Ryan White was the poster child for AIDS when he challenged his local school when they ban him from going to school after his diagnosis was widely known. Important dates on White’s activism and legal battles are on June 30 Superintendent James O. Smith denies White admittance to school. Aug. 26th First day of school. White is allowed to listen to his classes via telephone. Oct. 2School principal upholds decision to prohibit White. Nov. 25 Indiana Department of Education rules that White must be admitted. Dec. 17 The school board votes 7–0 to appeal the ruling. Feb. 6 Indiana DOE again rules White can attend school, after inspection by Howard County health officers. Feb. 13 Howard County health officer determines White is fit for school. Feb. 19 Howard County judge refuses to issue an injunction against White. Feb. 21 White returns to school. A different judge grants a restraining order that afternoon to again bar him. Mar. 2 White's opponents hold an auction in the school gymnasium to raise money to keep White out. April 9 White's case is presented in Circuit Court. April 10 Circuit Court Judge Jack R. O'Neill dissolves restraining order. White returns to school. July 18 Indiana Court of Appeals declines to hear any further appeals.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Just*in Time June 2017
HIV/STI advice Column
Okay, now there are many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that we have to be conscious of and herpes is no exception to that rule. As most of you know I tend to put a little humor in my columns so bear with me…or not; it’s going to happen anyway. So, I’m just going to go right into to it. Here are my top 7 things about the gift that keeps on giving that you need to understand:
For the 7 facts on Herpes Click here or the link below
An HIV diagnosis changes your life. Even so, these HIV blogs can help you keep an upbeat mindset. While there’s no cure for HIV, treatment can extend your life and possibly delay the onset of AIDS. You may have ups and down, but it’s possible to live a relatively healthy life. The key is taking care of yourself and educating yourself.
Talking with your doctor, family, and friends can provide emotional support. It also helps to seek support from those who empathize with your situation, like these blogs below.
The Body: HIV/AIDS Blog Central
The Body is a comprehensive resource for HIV. You’ll find a variety of articles about treatment, diagnosis, prevention, and living with the virus. The blog also features a variety of personal stories about healthcare issues, imprisonment, and advocacy. The Body also encourages patients to continue in their fight.
Tweet them @TheBodyDotCom
Staying up-to-date on new developments in the HIV world is a key component to managing your health. This blog offers information on upcoming HIV events, statistics, news, and trends. They also offer health management tips, like the effects of drinking alcohol when you have HIV.
Tweet them @pozmagazine
Justin’s HIV Journal
Justin B. Terry-Smith
Justin B. Terry-Smith isn't afraid to open up about his diagnosis of HIV. He uses his blog as a platform to educate others on the importance of safe sex with the hope of helping at least one person. His words are honest and informative. Despite his diagnosis, he's committed to celebrating life.
Tweet him @JustinBSmith79
My Journey with
Kenn Chaplin received an HIV diagnosis in 1989. Despite some serious setbacks with his health, he enjoys sharing experiences related to his health, family, and personal life. His openness and positive attitude can empower and give strength to readers who are in similar situations.
Living in the Bonus Round
Steve Schalchlin received an HIV diagnosis in 1996. As a way to cope with his diagnosis, he started journaling about his health and writing healing songs. Read about his experiences rehearsing for shows, his thoughts on the current state of the political scene, and about the people and musicians who inspire him.
The blog operated by AIDS.gov provides a wealth of material and resources. Whether you're searching for information on AIDS research, global news, or trending topics, it’s here. Read about an HIV program for improving long-term care for youths or make a mental note of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day and learn more about antiretroviral therapies.
Tweet them @AIDSgov
I’m Still Josh
Josh Robbins received an HIV diagnosis in 2012. Although receiving a diagnosis can be upsetting, his optimism is contagious. He doesn't think of HIV as a death sentence, nor does he allow the disease to define him. Josh encourages other people living with HIV to live in the moment. His blog features HIV news stories and words of encouragement to uplift readers.
Tweet him @imstilljosh
My Fabulous Disease
Mark S. King has lived with HIV since 1985. After receiving his diagnosis, he became an advocate for others living with HIV. His blog is a tool for bringing awareness and inspiring others. In recent posts, Mark highlights the top HIV advocates to watch in 2017 and brings attention to a film unmasking the fear behind HIV criminalization.
Tweet him @MyFabDisease
NEJM Journal Watch
Dr. Paul E. Sax is the clinical director of the HIV Program and Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He has a strong interest in HIV research. His blog offers a series of informative posts related to treatment, management, and clinical trials. He shares the latest HIV research and news stories as well as experiences from his personal life.
More Than HIV
Brian Ledford acknowledges how receiving his diagnosis in 2010 changed his life. He started blogging to share his story and experiences and motivates others to live life. His posts reveal his personal struggles and give attention to others living with the virus.
Tweet him @MoreThanHIV
HIV/AIDS Advice by Verywell
This blog is an excellent resource for finding satisfying answers to questions about symptoms, treatments, and associated conditions. You'll find interesting articles like what to do if you have HIV and diarrhea as well as information on eye problems associated with HIV.
A Girl Like Me
If you're a woman living with HIV, this blog by The Well Project is a wonderful resource. Read personal stories of other people living with the same questions, challenges, and daily experiences, from healthcare issues to dealing with uninformed comments. Share your story and find inspiration and motivation from the multitude of perspectives represented here.
Tweet them @thewellproject
HIV Negative Spouses
HIV can affect an entire family, even if only one person actually lives with the virus. This blog puts the spotlight on HIV-negative people who have HIV-positive partners. Read about their low points or check out their experiences with PrEP, an anti-HIV medication.
HIV and Hepatitis
This blog covers a host of topics pertaining to HIV and AIDS. Here, you’ll find information on the latest developments in research, treatment, and management, as well as advice on common concerns among people affected by HIV, such as using PrEP.
Tweet them @HIVandHepatitis
This blog was founded by Brian Finch, who’s been HIV-positive for over 25 years. As an informational source for issues and topics related to the virus, the blog offers a wealth of lifestyle pieces, news stories, health advice, and general tips for living with HIV. It’s an excellent place to increase your knowledge and receive support.
Tweet them @PositiveLiteCom
This blog is dedicated to providing education and helping readers gain a better understanding of HIV treatment and management. Read HIV-related articles written by individuals knowledgeable in the field. The blog’s contributors include researchers, advocates, and health professionals.
Knowledge is crucial for those living with HIV. This blog has no short supply of educational material and news stories, like one article on how people with HIV can have impaired respiratory health even when viral load is undetectable. Learn about HIV basics like symptoms and life expectancy or take advantage of their resources that include fact sheets, apps, and booklets.
Tweet them @aidsmap_news
Justin B Terry-Smith Ranked #3 on STD Test Express' list for the Top 8 Online Resources for Men's Sexual Health
click here or the link below
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Justin's HIV Journal: Justin at the END AIDS: The HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit in Philadelphia
Panel Discussion HIV in the News
Hey everyone, it's Justin from Justin's HIV Journal. June is AIDS Education Month and I have some great news. Philadelphia FIGHT, an ASO has asked me to join a panel for Philadelphia’s AIDS Education Month Summit on 6/7/2017 in the morning at the PA Convention Center. The panel discussion will be around the subject matter of HIV in the media/news. Right now, this is a hot topic and I will explain using parts of the e-mail that was sent to me by Philadelphia FIGHT.
“In this era of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, media outlets are always looking for new story ideas, and there are some great examples out there of important, in-depth and well-researched HIV news coverage, but as we know, today the coverage of HIV news can be sparse, and sometimes sensationalized (i.e. some of the coverage of the Charlie Sheen story revealing he is HIV-positive). Our panel of media experts will share some examples of positive coverage and some inspiring stories about the HIV epidemic, as well as provide valuable tips and guidance on how to get your story told, and how to advocate for more of the types of stories you'd like to see.”
Panel discussions like these are really important because they start a dialog about HIV media can help and hinder our efforts to get to 0 infections. I will also answer questions from the audience as well. Panelist will consist of CBS-3 reporter & reported for KYW Radio Cherri Gregg, STI/HIV author, advice columnist and activist Justin B Terry-Smith, and CEO of Techbook Online & co-host of “Pushback” a social-justice podcast, Christopher “Flood The Drummer” Norris and moderator Chip Alfred Director of Development and Communications Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers. Please check the flyer above for information and bios of the panelist and moderator. (10:30 - noon is the approximate time slot).
Click on the link below for more information about the summit https://www.aidseducationmonth.org
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
So, you want to be an HIV Activist…
There are several things that you should be aware of or put in place so that you can become a HIV activist. When I became an HIV activist I had to keep in mind that there are different ways for one to become an HIV activist. There is a virtual activist, who is more of a present-day phenomenon; this kind of activist uses social media such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., to spread their message. There is the more traditional activist, who will organize a protest in numbers and bodies to put up picket signs and yell slogans. In this country and world, we need both and more allies to join causes even if it doesn’t affect them directly
Click here or go to the link below to find out the
TOP 5 tips on becoming a successful HIV Activist
Saturday, May 20, 2017
We are now Empty Nesters Good luck to both of my sons Lundyn and Tavis. They are in separate cities adulting. They are both good boys and now I can say, young men. A part of becoming a parent is learning how to let go. I’ve had to learn that it even though it was a hard thing to do I had to. Being a Dad means everything in the world to me not only because I’ve helped raise two awesome individuals but because I’m letting them go out into the to be awesome individuals. After they moved out my hubby and I moved into a bigger house.
Odefsey and Complera basically have all the same drugs, except it (Odefsey) replaces disoproxil fumarate (TDF) with tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). TAF and TDF can directly affect the kidneys and bones, but the dose of TAF is lowered in Odefsey than the TDF in Complera. Therefore, one can conclude the Odefsey will be a lot softer than Complera when it comes to the long-term effects on the body. Bone density loss can become a problem or long term effect of being medicated for HIV. With Odefsey unlike Complera bone density loss is less of a concern, along with toxicity in the kidneys.
Odefsey has been approved by the FDA for treating HIV infections in persons who have HIV but have suppressed it with antiretroviral (ARV) and those who are 12 years or older with no past ARV therapy history and viral load less than or equal to 100,000 copies/mL.
I will continue to complete my regime with Complera and then switch over to Odefsey which should happen in about 2 months’ time. Just remember everyone is different so I’m not sure how my body will react to the change in medication.
I’ve switched medication 4 times in 9 years. The first medication gave me Jaundice. The second medication didn’t do much for me the third medication put me to sleep but with Complera I felt so much better. I wasn’t tired all the time and since it was one pill a day it was much more convenient for me. I’m not too worried about switching to medication again because it seems as if science and medicine are always coming up with new ways to make HIV medication a little less harsh on the body because of long term use.
Anyone want to share their experience please do comment below I would love to hear from you
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Proud to announce that Justin's HIV Journal has made Top 50 HIV Blogs And Websites on the Web along with thebody.com, Mark S King, Josh Robbins, Aaron Laxton etc., by Feedspot.com
To see the other blogs who made this list go to
To see the other blogs who made this list go to
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Justin—Been a while since we last chatted. I am really interested in surrogacy, as I want a child of my own. As I explained before I am positive, undetectable for many years. Can you advise me where I can go to get this done at an economical cost? Based on my research there are a few organizations that do it, but I would rather get a referral than take what I hear online. Any advice?
For Justin's response to this question Click here: http://www.aumag.org/2017/01/20/justin-time-january-2017/