Love Conquers All
In the Feature “Two of a Kind” (March 2015), Ademola Bello profiled a transgender couple living in New York City who are transcending HIV to find love and create their own modern family.
Well-written. It renewed my belief that people should not be judged by their sexual orientation but by the strength of their humanity and integrity as human beings.
What a powerful and heartbreaking article. We women have to come together to make our voices heard for ALL women. Cisgender women need to support transgender women. As much as the mainstream narratives of feminism—reproductive rights, equal pay, etc.—are important, these lesser-known issues are of equal merit.
I thought this was an excellent topic to discuss. Maybe in the future an article can be done on intersex people, too, who are HIV positive. I can think of a few!
The POZ Q&A “Sisterhood in Action” (March 2015) featured Barb Cardell, the chair of Positive Women’s Network USA, and her thoughts on self-empowerment for all women with HIV/AIDS.
Way to go, Barb. I’m so inspired every time I read an article where someone shares their story. You erase the stigma when you disclose. I know for some it is not always possible, but for those brave souls who step up and speak out, it is so empowering.
Women aren’t victims. We’re agents of change. Together, we are an unstoppable force.
Eyes on Prevention
In the POZ Treatment post “As PrEP Use in San Francisco Rises, Hope for Cutting HIV Rates” (March 6, 2015), we reviewed promising stats on how Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis can work in the real world.
PrEP is a great thing, guys. In five to eight years, generic versions of the drugs should appear, and hopefully we can reduce new infections to the point that HIV dies out. If you know you are at risk and don’t want to use other measures to prevent it, or just want to be super extra safe, please, talk to your doctor.
My partner did his PhD studying the toxicology of HIV drugs, including the ones found in PrEP. While he is clear that this will limit your chances of getting the disease, understand that these are mitochondrial-toxic drugs that can affect you systemically. PrEP is an important tool, but it’s not the same as a woman taking oral contraception, as I have seen it compared to. That said, I’m glad we’re working on non-fear-based ways to combat new infections, and I’m glad there are options available.
In the online article “FDA Approves Early Human Trial of Potential HIV Functional Cure” (March 13, 2015), we went over the details of an early-phase gene therapy that seems to make immune cells resistant to the virus.
First of all, if this works, the procedure is many years away. Second, it will be extremely expensive and certainly not without danger. Also, we cannot be sure that the effect will last. Note the words “functional cure.”
Any way to know if participants are needed for the clinical trial?
Now more than ever, we must believe. Years away? So what! Expensive? So what! Even if my children’s children get it, that’s a big win! Believe, people. The universe will hear us.