Justin's HIV Journal

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) NEW HIV PREVENTION PILL

According to the CDC (2014) Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV to help prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day.  The pill contains two medicines that are also used, in combination with other medicines, to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, PrEP can help stop the virus from establishing a permanent infection. 

In 2012 the Food and Drug Administration approved the HIV prevention measure, but it is still not widely known.  PrEP is a one pill a day named Truvada, which is produced in California from Gilead Sciences.  Severe and sometimes fatal lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood) and liver problems have occurred with Truvada.  Symptoms of lactic acidosis include unusual weakness or tiredness; unusual muscle pain or cramps; fast or difficult breathing; stomach pain with vomiting, nausea, feeling cold, especially in the arms and legs; dizziness or light-headedness; fast and/or irregular heartbeat. Symptoms of liver problems include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, nausea, and/or stomach pain.

BUT NOT TO WORRY:  An insider has told me that researchers are developing another 1 pill a day HIV prevention regime that is less harmful to humans for consumption.

This is a great breakthrough.  I’m very glad for this as long as we put things into prospective.  This discovery can help us get to zero and can help the gay community combat HIV and hopefully we will never be put down by HIV again. 

"If something comes along that's better than condoms, I'm all for it, but Truvada is not that," said Michael Weinstein, President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Let's be honest: It's a party drug."  After his reaction to the drug many people were in uproar and wanted him to resign as president of AHF.  "There's an element in the gay community that espouses 'anything goes,' that is for sexual freedom and not giving an inch," he said. "But demonizing me or AHF isn't going to shut us up."  I think I understand what he was trying to say, but I don’t think it was the best way to put it. 

The concerns that steam from this are that the gay community will use this as an excuse to have more sex without condoms.  I don’t think that will be the case but I do understand his concern.  The concern that people will stop using condom and use Truvada is a big concern amongst doctors as well.  They have started to see people the beginnings of people asking for a prescription for it.  One major concern is that when using Truvada for HIV prevention that people will forget about the things it doesn’t prevent like, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Vaginitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Human Papillomavirus (HPV) or Genital Warts, Hepatitis, Trichomonas etc.  I don’t say this to scare you but reality is reality.  #thetruth. 


I’m in FULL support for PrEP.

CDC (2014), CDC Fact Sheet: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention, Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/PrEP_fact_sheet_final.pdf

Justin's HIV Journal: HIV Infections in DC Decrease

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2014) estimates, that 35 million people around the world are infected with HIV and 1.1 of them live in the United States (WHO, 2014).
There was a decline in Men, Women, White, Black, Hispanic/Latino, heterosexual, Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs) and most age groups, except young gay and bisexual men. 

In 2006 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all Americans from the ages of 13 to 64 should be tested for HIV because it should be a common as having one cholesterol tested.  In 2000 37% of the population was tested and in 2010 that number increased to 45%.  In the United States in the year 2002, 24 out of 100,000 people were diagnosed with HIV and in 2011 that number decreased to 16 out of 100,000. 

According to the Washington Blade (2014) the Washington DC 2014 Annual Epidemiology & Surveillance Report the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the District of Columbia decreased to 680 in 2012, a decline of 42 percent from the 1,180 new cases reported in 2008, that is an overall 42% decline.  Men who Sex with Men (MSM) also saw a slight decrease in the DC area.  In 2008 in the DC area there were 443 MSM diagnosed with HIV and in 2012 there were 313 MSM diagnosed with HIV.  Heterosexuals saw a drop, in 2008 there were 335 heterosexual diagnosed with HIV compared to 215 in the year 2012 (Washington Blade, 2014).
There were no baby born with HIV compared to the 1 out of 10 babies with HIV were born in the DC area

And Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs) diagnosed with HIV dropped 81%, which are primarily and directly contributed to Needle Exchange Programs. 

Washington Blade (2014) Report shows new HIV cases in D.C. continue to decline Retrieved from http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/07/02/report-shows-new-hiv-cases-d-c-continue-decline/

World Health Organization (WHO) (2014) HIV/AIDS Retrieved from www.who.int/hiv/

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: 2014 Top HIV Voices

TOP HIV Voices badge
trialreach.com lauched the first in a series of ‘#TopVoices’ to honor the best bloggers and online resources for patients. Part of their mission is to provide support and help to patients when they are making critical decisions about their health. The people and sites they will be awarding their ‘Top Voices’ badge provide immense value; from providing practical advice to connecting patients with others who are going through the same journey.
The ‘#TopVoices’ awards was inspired, in part, by one of their very favorite bloggers, HIV activist Josh Robbins who founded I’m Still Josh. Josh has been helping them to choose the award nominees, starting this month with the HIV community.
TOP HIV Voices 2014 badge
They hope you find this useful and please let them know if there are any blogs or sites that you would like to nominate for a ‘#TopVoices’ award.
Over to Josh:
These “Top HIV Voices for 2014″ embody the passion that it requires to build a community from a fundamentally limited beginning— sharing a personal story or contributing in a small but grand way to the global conversation surrounding the HIV community, HIV activism and the reduction of new HIV infections; advocating for increased awareness, decreased stigma, and the chance eventually to an AIDS-free generation.  
Josh Robbins, the founder of I’m Still Josh
As an HIV blogger myself and founder of “I’m Still Josh”, the blogs and digital HIV destinations below continue to inspire me, challenge me, encourage me and offer wisdom that words alone could never explain. In addition to this very short list, there are many more blogs and publications that inspire me and that I find great comfort.  

Congratulations to the following TrialReach.com’s 2014 Top HIV Voices:
Rise Up to HIV - Founded by Kevin Maloney
Volttage Buzz - Founded by Jack Mackenroth
Poz Life of Patrick - Founded by Patrick Ingram
My Fabulous Disease - Founded by Mark S. King
Shawn & Gwenn - Founded by Shawn Decker & Gwenn Barringer
A Marine and HIV - Founded by Brian Ledford
OpenlyPOZ – Founded by Rob Quinn
POWER - Founded by Nelson Vergel
HIV Blogger: Living Positively - Founded by Michael Carchrie Campbell
HIV/AIDS Activism & Advocacy Report - Founded by Aaron Laxton
The STD Project - Founded by Janelle Marie
UK Positive Lad - Founded by Tom Hayes
Justin’s HIV Journal - Justin B. Terry-Smith
My Journey With AIDS - Founded by Kenn Chaplin
Christopher vs HIV - Founded by Christopher Myron
My PrEP Experience - Founded by AIDS Foundation of Chicago
My Coming Out… Take Two - Founded by Frankie Frank
Dave’s Life Living With HIV - Founded by Dave Jones
Diva Living With AIDS - Founded by Rae Lewis Thornton
Sean Strub - Founded by Sean Strub