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PEOPLE WITH A SEXUALLY ACTIVE LIFE MUST BE AWARE OF THIS SILENT KILLER

All things considered, we as a whole realize that having a sexual coexistence is not in the least a wrongdoing! Yet, (yes, there’s a BUT) having it with different men/ladies will lead you to a dangerous stage. Indeed, this implies all of you should know about the term HIV that ends the life of a man gradually and step by step. You even should know about the explanation behind the contamination, however you should not know about the means to keep the infection at an a safe distance. Simply investigate the article beneath and discover more about this!

  • Should know which body liquids convey HIV

In the first place, you ought to realize that any uninfected individual can get HIV on the off chance that he/she comes into the contact of any tainted individual through their rectal liquid, pre-fundamental liquid, bosom milk, blood, semen, and vaginal liquids.

  • Have legitimate test before approaching

Tragically, numerous individuals around the globe surmise that they are free from HIV be that as it may, you never know your accomplice is additionally free from the infection or not. Along these lines, it’s ideal to have HIV test before having intercourse. Particularly, then, when you are going to have sex with another accomplice.

  • Stay away from Sex with obscure accomplices

The specialists say that it’s generally better to have closeness with trusted and less accomplices as it diminishes the danger of dangerous infection.

  • Use securities while vaginal sex

Yes, and the specialists say that the most secure thing you can use to shield yourself from getting tainted with the infection is a latex female condom and a typical condom.

Maintain a strategic distance from unfaithful manufactured craftsmanships

This is what you have to know – dependably favor authorized craftsmen for a body improvements like piercings or tattoos as unapproved specialists may utilize debased gadgets that may contaminate you.

  • Utilize crisp needle and clean gear

Continuously utilize crisp needle and clean gear, and ensure the infusion that you are going to utilize is not utilized by any other individual before and it will be ideal on the off chance that it’s new one. What’s more, clean gear will decrease the danger of the infection.

  • Begin utilizing pills like Prophylaxis

Do you know what’s Prophylaxis? Indeed, this is the pill that is taken by the no-contaminated individual just to battle the infection if at any point it comes into contact. Furthermore, utilize the pill just if recommended by a specialist. We truly trust you discover this article supportive and keep in mind to impart it to your loved ones. Much obliged to You and have a decent one!

SOURCE: healthandfitnesslady.com

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British Man Is First To Recover From HIV, Gives Hope To Millions Suffering From The Disease

The 44-year-old British man is actually the first person in the history to be cured of HIV! Scientists told The Sunday Times that presently the virus is completely undetectable in the man’s blood and if it remains that way it will be the first complete cure.

A team assembled from five UK universities is currently conducting experiments on 50 people. “We are exploring the real possibility of curing HIV. This is a huge challenge and it’s still early days but the progress has been remarkable” said Mark Samuels, managing director of the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure.

HIV is not that easy to treat because it targets the immune system, joining itself into the DNA of T-cells so that they not only ignore the disease, but turn into viral factories which reproduce the virus. Currently, anti-retroviral therapies can target active T-cells which are infected with HIV but they cannot treat dormant T-cells. This means that patient’s body continues to produce the virus.

The new therapy works in two stages. Firstly, a vaccine helps the body recognise the HIV-infected cells so it can clear them out. Secondly, a new drug called Vorinostat activates the dormant T-cells so they can be spotted by the immune system.

“This therapy is specifically designed to clear the body of all HIV viruses, including dormant ones,” Professor Sarah Fidler, a consultant physician at Imperial College London, told the Times.

Fiddler told times “We will continue with medical tests for the next five years and at the moment we are not recommending stopping Art but in the future, depending on the test results we may explore this.”

source: indiatimes

Meet the Woman Who Cared for Hundreds of Abandoned Gay Men Dying of AIDS

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HIV Functional Cure: STEM Cell Treatment Breakthrough After Berlin & Barcelona Patients Cured

Barcelona – Research using man-made, blood-forming stem cells has shown great promise in animal experiments in suppressing HIV.

But now a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has funded a clinical trial using those bio-engineered stem cells to treat HIV patients who have lymphoma, a deadly cancer that eventually kills people with AIDS.

Timothy Brown was the first patient to ever be cured of HIV after a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia received. He is known as the ‘Berlin patient’.

By using blood transplants from the umbilical cords of individuals with a genetic resistance to HIV, Spanish medical professionals believe they can treat the virus, having proven the procedure successful with one patient.

Now, a 37-year-old man from Barcelona, who had been infected with the HIV virus in 2009, was cured of the condition after receiving a transplant of blood.

While unfortunately the man later died from cancer just three years later, having developed lymphoma, the Spanish medical team is still hugely encouraged by what it considers to be a breakthrough in the fight against HIV and related conditions, according to the Spanish news source El Mundo.

Doctors in Barcelona initially attempted the technique using the precedent of Timothy Brown, an HIV patient who developed leukemia before receiving experimental treatment in Berlin, the Spanish news site The Local reported.

Brown was given bone marrow from a donor who carried the resistance mutation from HIV. After the cancer treatment, the HIV virus had also disappeared.

According to The Local, the CCR5 Delta 35 mutation affects a protein in white blood cells and provides an estimated one percent of the human population with high resistance to infection from HIV.

Spanish doctors attempted to treat the lymphoma of the so-called “Barcelona patient” with chemotherapy and an auto-transplant of the cells, but were unable to find him a suitable bone marrow.

“We suggested a transplant of blood from an umbilical cord but from someone who had the mutation because we knew from ‘the Berlin patient’ that as well as [ending] the cancer, we could also eradicate HIV,” Rafael Duarte, the director of the Haematopoietic Transplant Programme at the Catalan Oncology Institute in Barcelona, told The Local.

Prior to the transplant, a patient’s blood cells are destroyed with chemotherapy before they are replaced with new cells, incorporating the mutation which means the HIV virus can no longer attach itself to them. For the Barcelona patient, stem cells from another donor were used in order to accelerate the regeneration process.

Eleven days after the transplant, the patient in Barcelona experienced recovery. Three months later, it was found that he was clear of the HIV virus.

Despite the unfortunate death of the patient from cancer, the procedure has led to the development of an ambitious project that is backed by Spain’s National Transplant Organization.

March 2015 marked the world’s first clinical trials of umbilical cord transplants for HIV patients with blood cancers.

Javier Martinez, a virologist from the research foundation Irsicaixa, stressed that the process is primarily designed to assist HIV patients suffering from cancer, but “this therapy does allow us to speculate about a cure for HIV,” he added.

Despite the joy and ululation, those who think its time to celebrate may have not done their research. The process of curing HIV referred to by the doctors is called Stem Cell Transplant. Whilst it has worked on this one patient, there is a lot more information about its viability and use as a cure for all people affected with HIV / AIDS.
 
To begin with, getting a Stem Cell Transplant is much more dangerous than living with HIV.
 
To successfully complete an SCT you have to completely destroy the stem cells in your bone marrow using intense conditioning resulting in:
 
1. Low/No white blood cells – [no ability to fight off infection, meaning even something as small as flu could kill you]
 
2. Low Platelets – [heavy risk of uncontrollable bleeding- a nosebleed would most likely result in death)
 
3. Low hemoglobin – [you will need many, many blood transfusions]
 
4. Graft vs Host disease – [which can cause really poor quality of life or kill you]
 
5. A long time spent in hospital – [weeks to months, if not a year plus].
 
Stem Cell Transplants do save lives, but judging by the risks state above, they only make sense for people who have specific life threatening conditions such as acute leukemia. These conditions would imply that loss of life is almost guaranteed, and certain, leaving SCT as the last hope or only option.
 
From a sensible perspective, HIV is now a manageable chronic condition in most cases. This “CURE” is certainly interesting but probably not applicable for almost all HIV positive people.
 
HIV is a minor inconvenience in the world of modern medicine. It is easily controlled with 1 pill (ARVs) taken once a day, typically with no complications or side effects.
 
However, dying from a bone marrow transplant because of the risks mentioned before is, by comparison, a major inconvenience.
There is great reason to be excited however, discoveries like these are a major breakthrough and can allow medical personnel to build on them for a more constructive and less intensive cure.

Trials are already underway to gather more information. They started in March 2015.

To decide if it could be done or not a trial, it was necessary first to note that Spanish banks umbilical cord had samples that will carry a key mutation that is responsible for transferring protection against HIV. This is the genetic mutation CCR5 Delta 3 , a variation that acts as a shield against the AIDS virus. Cells carrying this variant areimpermeable to the pathogen.

That’s what was discovered, almost by chance, with the Berlin patient, ie, if a person receives bone (or cord blood) from another subject that carries this positive change, will renew your blood cells they are immune to HIV, the body that will end disappearing.

“We knew that Spain is a world power in number of cords and cellularity, because the collection protocol makes us samples with many cells needed for transplants in adults. So we decided to analyze those cells rich laces, 25,000 . To this end, we agreed with all the autonomous communities and cord banks, “he told WORLD Rafael Matesanz, director of the National Transplant Organization, which has funded the search with about 100,000 euros.

After one year evaluating cord by cord to see which of them carried the mutation , said Rafael Duarte, who was director of Hematopoietic Transplant Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and is now head of Hematopoietic Transplantation Oncohematology and the Hospital Puerta Iron, “we have managed to identify this feature 157 units, representing 0.6% of the Spanish population.”

That elite cords, and a solution for those offers that require a transplant for hematologic problem, an option to cure HIV to those who, besides being HIV positive, develop a cancer of the blood. “This is not a therapy for any patient with HIV. Only is intended for those who in addition to the virus develop leukemia, lymphoma, etc,” explains Matesanz.

With antiretroviral treatments available, a general therapy umbilical cord blood is not viable. First, because there are few units worldwide who carry the mutation makes the infallible cells against the virus, and secondly because this type of transplantation is not without risks. According to overall figures in Europe the expected mortality from complications of transplant is between 20% and 25%.

This is only acceptable in patients with very serious blood disease , which if not treat them in a short time, to death. Furthermore, according a study of over 100 patients, those with HIV who have undergone a bone marrow transplant have a higher risk of complications than for people without HIV. Therefore, there is a therapy for all HIV-positive people but to very specific cases, “says Duarte.

For all this is important to test this treatment in the context of a clinical trial, said the hematologist, because the protocols are the same in the various hospitals where it is made, monitoring will be equal and once the results are available, allow you to learn from experience experts worldwide.

The trial, which will involve the Puerta de Hierro Hospital, the Gregorio Maranon (both in Madrid), the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), and the Hospital La Fe de Valencia, along with cord blood banks and the ONT, It aims to recruit patients in two to five years. “The first patient is already in. It is discussed in Madrid not until later this year or early next, because previously required to go through a chemotherapy [to kill tumor cells in their bone] and a conditioner that take several weeks. This is a person with a type of lymphoma and HIV we do not want to give more information, “said Duarte, who is the principal investigator of this trial.

157 cords mutation CCR5 Delta 3 identified in Spain continue to be part of the international registration, REDMO, but is an advisory committee (formed by doctors in hospitals, banks cord and ONT) through a protocol established to decide what to do with them if they are claimed by researchers from another country well for an HIV-positive patient with a hematologic or problem for a person without carrying HIV, consistent with the cord and requires a medical problem as a leukemia or lymphoma.

The trial, scheduled for three years and with a budget of 150,000 euros provided by the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, is within an experimental framework. “It is looking for a high amount of healing but the proof of the hypothesis that this transplant can make HIV disappear. The implications are qualitative rather than quantitative.”

The same view Josep Maria Gatell, co-director of the XV European AIDS Conference being held these days in Barcelona, is shown “is interesting in terms of research, no practical way for the current treatment of patients with HIV.”

Source: Thesoutherndaily.co.za

One Mom’s Awesome Way of Showing Kids How Cool Their Hearing Aids Are- Life Insurance Program

By Veronica An

Sarah Ivermee’s son, Freddie, was diagnosed with profound deafness and hearing loss when he was 3 months old. In 2014, he received cochlear implants, surgically-implanted hearing devices.

“Having a cochlear implant fitted for your child is no easy choice, and it isn’t right for everyone,” Ivermee, 29, told The Mighty. “But it has made Freddie’s world a much bigger place.”image

When a friend expressed to Ivermee that her daughter, who wears hearing aids, didn’t like them because they made her feel different from her friends, Ivermee offered some nail stickers from home to decorate the aids to see if it would make a difference.

It did.

“She loves them and loves the fact that she can have fancy designs and her friends don’t,” Ivermee said.

In 2014, Ivermee, who’s based in the U.K., started Lugs, a company that sells low cost, custom-made hearing device decorations.

“I thought there would be a lot of families struggling with children who don’t want to wear their [hearing devices], and I felt I had to help,” she told The Mighty.

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“Lugs” is another word for ear lobes/ears, according to Ivermee. She hopes her designs will encourage children to wear their hearing devices with confidence. Current styles include Angry Birds, Batman, butterflies, bows, Hello Kitty and more. Ivermee also plans to add a special occasions line.

The company is already attracting international attention — Ivermee was pleasantly surprised when her first five orders came from the United States.

“I get emails from professionals to thank me for what I’m doing; it just amazes me,” she told The Mighty. “People all over the world are wearing the little kits that I make in my living room; it’s unbelievable!”

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“Knowing children are not just happy to wear their hearing aids and cochlears but that they are proud to show them off makes it all worth while,” Ivermee told The Mighty. “We just hope we can help as many children and adults as we can and have fun and creative devices that they are proud of.”

For more information, you can visit Lugs’ website here.

haha copy

 

Source: Themighty.com/

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Researchers Try Grindr App to Give Out H.I.V. Self-Testing Kits

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Home H.I.V. self-testing kits on sale in a pharmacy. CreditÁngel Franco/The New York Times

Grindr, the gay dating app, is an effective way to get gay black and Hispanic men to try home H.I.V. self-testing kits, according to a recent study.

The small study was confined to Los Angeles, and fewer than 400 test kits were distributed, but the idea has broader potential. Grindr is used by at least five million men in 192 countries, according to its developer.

In the United States, young gay black and Hispanic men are the groups most likely to be infected with H.I.V. and the least likely to be tested for it, because they often lack health insurance and fear being rejected by their families.

In some other countries, gay men may be harassed, jailed or even executed.

The study used banner ads on Grindr to offer free test kits. Recipients received a kit in the mail, a voucher that could be redeemed for a kit at a pharmacy, or a code that would produce a kit from a vending machine in the parking lot of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

The test requires no blood; a swab of the gums produces results in 20 minutes.

Of the 56 black and Hispanic men who requested kits and were willing to answer survey questions, 69 percent had not been tested in the last six months; medical experts recommend that gay men who do not always usecondoms get tested every three months.

Two men learned from the kits that they were infected.

Researchers at the medical schools of Indiana University and the University of California, Los Angeles, chose Grindr rather than other gay dating apps like Scruff and Jack’d “because it was the oldest and biggest,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. Klausner, an H.I.V. specialist at U.C.L.A.’s David Geffen School of Medicine and one of the authors of the paper published in Sexual Health.

The idea of using the app to encourage home testing is “ripe for expansion” to other cities, and possibly to other countries, Dr. Klausner said.

source

15 SHOCKING SYMPTOMS that Could Mean You Are HIV Positive

Hiv symptoms , HIV , HIV Positive , hiv aids , hiv , aids , virus , flu , symptoms , hiv positive , hiv virus

15 SHOCKING SYMPTOMS that Could Mean You Are HIV Positive

Within a month or two of HIV entering the body, 40% to 90% of people experience flu- like symptoms known as acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).

But sometimes HIV symptoms don’t appear for years, sometimes even a decade, after infection.

“In the early stages of HIV infection, the most common symptoms are none,” says Michael Horberg, MD, director of HIV/AIDS for Kaiser Permanente, in Oakland, Calif. One in five people in the United States with HIV doesn’t know they have it, which is why it’s so important to get tested, especially if you have unprotected sex with more than one partner or use intravenous drugs.

Here are some signs that you may be HIV-positive.

Fever

One of the first signs of ARS can be a mild fever, up to about 102 degrees F. The fever, if it occurs at all, is often accompanied by other usually mild symptoms, such as fatigue, swollen lymph glands, and a sore throat.

“At this point the virus is moving into the blood stream and starting to replicate in large numbers,” says Carlos Malvestutto, MD, instructor of infectious diseases and immunology in the department of medicine at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. “As that happens, there is an inflammatory reaction by the immune system.”

Fatigue

The inflammatory response generated by your besieged immune system also can cause you to feel tired and lethargic. Fatigue can be both an early and later sign of HIV. Ron, 54, a public relations executive in the Midwest, started to worry about his health when he suddenly got winded just walking. “Everything I did, I got out of breath,” he says. “Before that I had been walking three miles a day.” Ron had tested HIV positive 25 years before feeling so tired; fatigue during acute, or newly contracted, HIV might not be so obvious.

Achy Muscles & Joint Pain

ARS is often mistaken for the flu, mononucleosis, or another viral infection, even syphilis or hepatitis. That’s not surprising: Many of the symptoms are the same, including pain in the joints and muscles and swollen lymph glands. Lymph nodes are part of your body’s immune system and tend to get inflamed when there’s an infection. Many of them are located in your armpit, groin, and neck.

Sore Throat & Headache

As with other symptoms, sore throat and headache can often be recognized as ARS only in context, Dr. Horberg says. If you’ve engaged recently in high-risk behavior, an HIV test is a good idea. Get tested for your own sake and for others: HIV is most infectious in the earliest stage. Keep in mind that the body hasn’t produced antibodies to HIV yet so an antibody test may not pick it up. (It can take a few weeks to a few monthsfor HIV antibodies to show in a blood test). Investigate other test options such as one that detects viral RNA, typically within nine days of infection.

Skin Rashes

Skin rashes can occur early or late in the course of HIV/AIDS. For Ron, this was another sign that he might not have run-of-the-mill allergies or a cold. ”They were like boils, with some itchy pink areas on my arms,” Ron says. The rashes can also appear on the trunk of the body. “If [the rashes] aren’t easily explained or easily treated, you should think about having an HIV test,” Dr. Horberg says.

Nausea, Vomiting & Diarrhea

Anywhere from 30% to 60% of people have short-term nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in the early stages of HIV, Dr. Malvestutto says. These symptoms can also appear as a result of antiretroviral therapy and later in the infection, usually as the result of an opportunistic infection. ”Diarrhea that is unremitting and not responding at all to usual therapy might be an indication,” Dr. Horberg says. Or symptoms may be caused by an organism not usually seen in people with healthy immune systems, he adds.

Once called “AIDS wasting,” weight loss is a sign of more advanced illness and could be due in part to severe diarrhea. ”If you’re already losing weight, that means the immune system is usually fairly depleted,” Dr. Malvestutto says. “This is the patient who has lost a lot of weight even if they continue to eat as much as possible. This is late presentation. We still see a lot of these.” It has become less common, however, thanks to antiretroviral therapy.

A person is considered to have wasting syndrome if they lose 10% or more of their body weight and have had diarrhea or weakness and fever for more than 30 days, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dry Cough

Have a bad cough that Benadryl, antibiotics, and inhalers don’t seem to fix? This symptom—an “insidious cough that could be going on for weeks that doesn’t seem to resolve,” Dr. Malvestutto says—is typical in very ill HIV patients.

Night Sweats

About half of people get night sweats during the early stages of HIV infection, Dr. Malvestutto says. These can be even more common later in infection and aren’t related to exercise or the temperature of the room. Similar to the hot flashes that menopausal women suffer, they’re also hard to dismiss, given that they soak your bedclothes and sheets.

 

Nail Changes

Another sign of late HIV infection are nail changes, such as clubbing (thickening and curving of the nails), splitting of the nails, or discoloration (black or brown lines going either vertically or horizontally). Often this is due to a fungal infection, such as candida. “Patients with depleted immune systems will be more susceptible to fungal infections,” Dr. Malvestutto says.

Yeast Infections

Another fungal infection that’s common in later stages is thrush, a mouth infection caused by Candida, a type of yeast. ”It’s a very common fungus and the one that causes yeast infections in women,” Dr. Malvestutto says. “They tend to appear in the mouth or esophagus, making it difficult to swallow.” Ron woke up one day to find white patches on his tongue. He had thrush. For him, “It was not bothersome other than I didn’t like having it.” The infection was hard to get rid of, but finally cleared up after Ron started taking drugs to combat HIV.

Confusion or Difficulty Concentrating

Cognitive problems could be a sign of HIV-related dementia, which usually occurs late in the course of the disease. In addition to confusion and difficulty concentrating, AIDS-related dementia might also involve memory problems and behavioral issues such as anger or irritability. It may even include motor changes: becoming clumsy, lack of coordination, and problems with tasks requiring fine motor skills such as writing by hand.

Cold Sores or Gen’ital Herpes

 

Cold sores (oral herpes) and gen’ital herpes can be a sign of both ARS and late-stage HIV infection. Having herpes can also be a risk factor for contracting HIV. This is because gen’ital herpes can cause ulcers that make it easier for HIV to enter the body during se’x. And people who have HIV tend to have more severe herpes outbreaks more often because HIV weakens the immune system.

Tingling & Weakness

Late HIV can also cause numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. This is called peripheral neuropathy, which also occurs in people with uncontrolled diabetes. ”This is when the nerves are actually damaged,” Dr. Malvestutto says. These symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and antiseizure medicines such as Neurontin (gabapentin).

Me’nstrual Irregularities

Advanced HIV disease appears toincrease the risk of having men’strual irregularities, such as fewer and lighter periods. These changes, however, probably have more to do with the weight loss and poor health of women with late-stage infection rather than the infection itself. Infection with HIV also has been associated with earlier age of menopause (47 to 48 years for infected women compared to 49 to 51 years for uninfected women).

source: 3jamaica.com

A Word With: Javier Muñoz, the New Hamilton on Broadway

There is a new Hamilton in “Hamilton,” although President Obama and Beyoncé have seen him already.

On Monday, Javier Muñoz replaces Lin-Manuel Miranda, and steps into the title role of the biggest Broadway show in years, playing the nation’s first Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton.

He is not exactly new to the role. Over much of the last year, Mr. Muñoz has relieved the star once a week, and on other days watched the production from a stool just offstage, waiting in case Mr. Miranda ever took a tumble. (He did not.)

Already, he has a reputation and a fan base. He’s been described as the sexy Hamilton because of the swagger he brings to the role, and Mr. Miranda bestowed on him a hashtag-nickname, Javilton, that has stuck.

Mr. Muñoz has some obvious similarities to the man he is replacing — both have parents from Puerto Rico, graduated from New York City public schools and encountered Broadway as children, becoming passionate about theater. And their careers have been entwined for years — Mr. Muñoz was Mr. Miranda’s alternate, and then his successor, on “In the Heights,” and has been his alternate throughout the development of “Hamilton.”

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Javier Muñoz at the Richard Rodgers Theater. CreditAlex Welsh for The New York Times

But Mr. Muñoz brings his own life experience to the role. The son of a doorman, he grew up in a housing project — the Linden Houses, in East New York, Brooklyn, which he recalls as scarily violent and dangerous. “I can’t lie — I’m still afraid of it,” he says. “It was so much fear growing up there.”

He is 40, openly gay, H.I.V. positive and a cancer survivor — he had surgery and radiation last fall, missing weeks of performances in “Hamilton,” but has been back in the cast for months. He said he feels strong — the virus is undetectable, the cancer screenings negative — and is raring to go. “I had my first follow-up in March, and all green lights,” he said. “I’m good.”

Last week, as he prepared to take over the role full-time, he sat down to talk about his life and “Hamilton” at Candle 79, a vegan restaurant on the Upper East Side where he has repeatedly worked as a host between acting jobs. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Continue reading the main story

What’s it like to step into the lead role of the biggest musical in memory?

I was on Facebook the other day, and Lin released that little teaser of his song with Jennifer Lopez, and I sort of sat there and went, “I’m taking over for this guy?” That just feels incredible. [But] it comes down to the work, right? I’ve been jumping in there every week, and I’ve helped build this character. So it’s like, I’m just enjoying this, man. This is just fun, and glorious.

Did you ever feel as if people wished they were seeing the other guy?

I felt that way with “Heights.” It would take a lot to earn the audience — to be like: “Really, I’m good. I don’t suck. Just come with me. It’s going to be O.K.” But with “Hamilton,” we were at the Public, and we mapped out three shows that I was going to go on, and the days varied. It was a test, and it started with such a positive impact because of the history I have with Lin.

Going on when President Obama was in the audience must have helped.

That’s the turning point. And it helped me feel more confident, too. To know I had their trust. I knew, but that gesture was so generous and really made me feel O.K.

Why ‘Hamilton’ Has Heat

What’s the story behind a show that’s become a Broadway must-see with no marquee names, no special effects and almost no white actors? Erik Piepenburg explains, in six snapshots, why “Hamilton” has become such a big deal.

Why are you an actor?

I decided in high school — at Edward R. Murrow in Brooklyn. I just fell in love with the idea that theater can be a mirror, theater can be a commentary, theater can be powerful and can start a conversation that needs to happen. I started working for a children’s literacy organization that used theater to teach literacy in after-school programs, and that was another powerful thing — suddenly the kid who really had trouble reading in class, or was embarrassed to speak out loud because of their accent, was inhabiting a character, using their imagination, reading and writing. That blew my mind.

Did you go to Broadway when you were growing up?

I did — school trips. The first thing I saw was “Me and My Girl.” And I loved it so much — I was singing “The Lambeth Walk” for weeks. After that, any time there was a school trip to Lincoln Center, or anything that was arts related, I was so into it.

What happened with your health last fall? How did you know you had cancer?

I have been living with H.I.V. since 2002, and I’m undetectable. I’m healthy, I’m strong and I’m very out about that because of the stigma still attached to it. But I’ve had a healthy fear about my health since I tested positive, and I asked how to test myself for lumps, because both my parents had cancer. And very early on in my learning how to do a self-examination, I found the lump. I wasn’t immediately worried because of where it was — and I do want to keep that private because that’s the only thing that’s mine in this. But I brought it up to my doc, and that’s what led to further testing and discovery.

You didn’t want to tell anyone at “Hamilton”?

I was filling myself with disappointment, as if you can blame yourself for cancer. But that’s a thing, you know. I had to reveal it, and then I had to own that I needed help, and I had to ask for help, and that was the hardest thing in the world.

You express a lot of gratitude on social media.

I have this joke — if it’s funny or not funny, I don’t know — but the joke is that I have died several times already, and that’s how it feels. My life completely and drastically changed in 2002 when I was diagnosed with H.I.V., and then again last year with cancer. And you can’t unknow what you know. Life is not the same after that. But I’m alive, and I’m for all intents and purposes healthy and well. And I’m grateful for that.

You planted a garden on the roof of Richard Rodgers, the theater where “Hamilton” is performed.

There’s so much energy on the stage, there are so many things we’re doing day in and day out, and I needed something there that felt still and calm, and gardening gives me that stillness and that calmness. Also, I’m growing something. And it may sound cheesy or corny, but it’s really not. The fact that life is created in that little garden bed heals me. It just does.

How many shows a week will you do?

Seven. It’s the same structure. [For the eighth performance] someone else gets to be sexy — I’m going to go eat pizza.

Source: Nytimes.com

Atlanta HIV Rates Are Like That Of A Third World Country

HIV/AIDS Awareness ribbons against a black background

Despite Atlanta being a city that is leading the way with African American businesses, philanthropy, entertainment and politics, there is one aspect that is tearing the city down: its HIV rate. It’s gotten so bad that it is a public health emergency.

Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that the HIV/AIDS rates in Atlanta, particularly in the downtown area, are as bad as some third-world African countries, according to Atlanta Daily World.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 51 Georgians will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. As of 2013, Atlanta’s metro population accounted for more than half of Georgia’s total population, with 5.6 million people.

“Downtown Atlanta is as bad as Zimbabwe or Harare or Durban,” via a statement from Dr. Carlos del Rio, co-director of Emory University’s Center for AIDS Research.

Since starting a routine testing program in 2013, the nationally-renowned medical center, Grady Hospital, has diagnosed an average of two or three patients with HIV every single day.

In 2014 it was reported that Atlanta had the fifth highest rate of new HIV infections. Atlanta area zip codes with highest HIV rates are 30302, 30303, 30308, 30309 and 30310.

Other data in the study suggests that the Southern region of the United States as a whole presents the highest risk of contracting HIV. Men who have sex with men had a 1 in 6 risk of getting the disease while heterosexual men possessed a 1 in 473 risk.

“Atlanta is like New York was in the ’80s in the need to develop a public health response to a serious [HIV] epidemic,” said Devin-Barrington Ward, an advocate based in Washington, D.C., who helped organize the Georgia symposium.

The issue is particularly acute for young gay and bisexual black men. One Emory University study followed a group of Atlanta-area men ages 18 to 39 who had sex with men during 24 months and found that 12.1 percent of the black men under 25 contracted HIV, compared with only 1.0 percent of the white men under 25 — “one of the highest figures for HIV incidence ever recorded in a population in the resource-rich world,” according to the National AIDS Manual. What’s more, AIDS is the leading cause of death among black people in Georgia ages 35 to 44, according to the state Department of Public Health.

A lack of knowledge about the disease is also to blame for the high numbers. Nearly 20 percent of Georgians said in a recent survey that they thought HIV could be transmitted by sharing a drinking glass, for example.

There’s also the fact that Georgia has a county-based health department system, and with 159 counties, the state is second in number of counties only to Texas, which has 254. This makes it hard to coordinate and monitor public health efforts.

Please keep in mind that these rates for Atlanta are specific to HIV only. There are many other lists out there that outline states and cities who have higher rates for STD’s. But speaking to HIV in America among those 18 – 39 years old, Atlanta is leading.

Source: Blackdoctor.org

Remembering Ryan White, the teen who fought against the stigma of AIDS- Life insurance pogram

Caption:Ryan White and Elton John during Lester Cohen Archives in Los Angeles, California, United States. Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage

Today we celebrate one of the great heroes in the war against AIDS: a quiet, unassuming and brave young man named Ryan White. He was only 18 when he died of the disease on April 8, 1990.

Ryan was born with hemophilia A, a rare, inherited disorder in which the blood system does not clot normally because of an inability to produce “factor 8,” a prosaically named protein related to this critical process. When a hemophiliac suffers a blunt or bruising injury to the body, internal bleeding often occurs, which causes damage to one’s organs and can be life-threatening. Of particular risk is bleeding within the knee, ankle and elbow joints, which can be severely damaged over time.

circa 1989: American AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) activist Ryan White (1971 - 1990). Born with haemophilia he accidentally contracted the AIDS virus during medical treatment. His legal struggle to continue studying at public school made national headlines. Photo by MPI/Getty Images

AIDS activist Ryan White, circa 1989.

Although there is no cure for hemophilia, doctors treat the bleeding episodes with injections of factor 8 to help the clotting process along. But in the years before the threat of HIV/AIDS became widely understood, this substance was pooled and isolated from thousands of anonymous and untested blood donations. What no one knew back then was that every time a pediatrician administered this seemingly life-saving elixir (and I was one of those pediatricians), there was a real risk of administering an HIV-contaminated dose. Hence, we doctors were unknowingly infecting our hemophiliac patients with the human immunodeficiency virus. Virtually every hemophiliac I treated in the mid-1980s has since died from AIDS. This was the way Ryan White became infected with HIV sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Ryan’s path was not an easy one. Diagnosed in December of 1984, he was initially predicted to live only six more months. After he overcame his first serious bout of illness, however, Ryan wanted to return to the Western Middle School in Russiaville, Indiana. Sadly, the superintendent of the Western School Corporation (which included his town of Kokomo, Indiana) would not let him return and Ryan was forced to listen in on his seventh grade classes via the telephone. Several school officials, teachers, parents and students erroneously (and cruelly) insisted that Ryan might transmit his HIV by casual contact, such as a handshake, from using the public restrooms or even from handling the newspapers Ryan delivered on his paper route.

After winning a lengthy court case allowing him to return to his classes, Ryan was taunted and shunned by other students. Vandals broke the windows of the White’s home, and cashiers refused to touch his mother’s hands when making change at the supermarket. Not everyone in Kokomo was so vituperative, of course, and there were many families who supported Ryan’s desire to attend school. Nevertheless, life there was a harrowing experience for the White family.

In 1987, the Whites moved to nearby Cicero, Indiana, and Ryan enrolled at Hamilton Heights High School. There, the principal welcomed him with a handshake and encouraged the student body to engage in accurate and informative discussions about HIV/AIDS.

When the nation was still grappling with homophobia, unsubstantiated fears of how the virus was transmitted, and a great deal of prejudice towards a growing number of terribly sick individuals, Ryan White’s case became a national antidote. During this period, Ryan served as an eloquent spokesman about AIDS to his classmates, journalists and, through the wide reach of television, the American public. He valiantly fought against a battalion of bigots who saw AIDS as some kind of divine retribution against gay men and intravenous drug users (two of the largest groups stricken with AIDS during this time). He also demonstrated how the national blood supply needed to be fixed so that every donation was tested for evidence of HIV. AIDS, he declared, is an infectious disease, nothing more, and it had the power to infect and harm any human being unfortunate enough to have contracted it.






Actress Marlee Matlin, Ryan White and actor Charlie Sheen attend For Love Of Children AIDS Benefit Gala on July 8, 1988 in Century City, California. Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Actress Marlee Matlin, Ryan White and actor Charlie Sheen attend For Love Of Children AIDS Benefit Gala on July 8, 1988 in Century City, California. Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

A television film was made about his life, “The Ryan White Story,” which aired on national television in 1989. Many celebrities and political leaders feted him, including Elton John, Michael Jackson, Nancy and Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. But Ryan often said he would gladly trade in his fame for a clean bill of health and that his greatest desire in life was “to be a regular kid.”

By early 1990, his health plummeted. Ryan was able to attend the Academy Awards in Los Angeles in March of 1990 but a few days later, he developed difficulty swallowing and was rushed back to Indianapolis’s Riley Children’s Hospital. His respiratory condition worsened and he died on April 8, only one month before he would have graduated.

On August 18, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed an important and bipartisan bill into law known as “The Ryan White CARE Act.” This legislation provided more than $2 billion to help cities, states, and community-based organizations to develop and maintain coordinated and comprehensive systems of diagnosis, care and treatment, especially for the poorest Americans contending with HIV/AIDS.

Today, modern medicine is making great strides in treating HIV/AIDS with a host of anti-retroviral drugs that allow patients to lead long and productive lives. Doctors and scientists are developing better means of diagnosis and the means for preventing infections. That said, there are about 1.2 million people in the United States infected with HIV and 1 out of 8 of them do not even know their HIV status.

More than 36 million people around the globe are living with HIV. Since the global pandemic began, nearly 79 million people have contracted HIV and more than 34 millionhave died from AIDS. The awful fact of the matter is that AIDS remains one of the world’s leading causes of death and, even at this late date, many AIDS patients still experience stigmatization and psychologically damaging bigotry.

Yet, at least for today, we should celebrate the life of a courageous young man who helped reduce such ugly impulses. Despite being dealt two bad hands — hemophilia and becoming infected with HIV from the very medication used to treat his blood disorder — Ryan White made a lasting and noble difference in the world.

Source: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/remembering-ryan-white-the-teen-who-fought-against-the-stigma-of-aids/