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Today Monday, 01-16-2012 is Martin Luther King Day.  On August 28, 1963, MLK delivered one of the great speeches in American history, the I Have a Dream speech.   The topic this Wednesday is that speech.  How does that speech affect you?   Are his dreams relevant to us as Gay men and HIV positive Gay men?   What is “your dream”?   Is it to achieve marriage equality or to cure HIV or is to win the lottery.   Each person will be given a piece of paper to write down their dream and we will read them anonomously.   This will allow people to be totally honest and reflect and what their dream is.

To read and hear that speech: Click Here 

Should be an interesting and lively conversation.  Come join us and bring your dream.

Steve

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A Groundbreaking HIV Vaccine Could Be on the Horizon

A unique and potentially landmark vaccine against the HIV virus has been shown to be safe and effective in animals. Now researchers have received the green light to test it in humans.

WEDNESDAY Dec. 21, 2011 — On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Canadian researchers approval to begin testing a potential HIV vaccine in humans beginning in January, according to HealthDay.

University of Western Ontario scientists, backed by the pharmaceutical company Sumagen, have already tested the vaccine in lab animals. These early tests demonstrated a strong immune response and no adverse effects.

The SAV001 vaccine works by using a dead HIV-1 virus that is non-pathogenic — meaning it’s genetically engineered to prevent spreading HIV to vaccine recipients — to trigger an immune response in patients, killing any cells that might become infected with HIV.

Though scientists have attempted to create HIV vaccines in the past, certain genes or proteins from the HIV virus were used instead of the whole virus. The researchers developing the SAV001 vaccine are the first to use this new approach.

Because this potential HIV vaccine uses the whole virus, it is similar to vaccines used for polio and the flu.

“When [researchers] came out with the polio vaccine, polio was eradicated in developed countries. I’d like to see that I can do that against the HIV infection,” says Chil-Yong Kang, MD, a virologist at the University of Western Ontario.

The Phase I trial — which will test the vaccine in 40 HIV-positive volunteers — is set to begin in January. If successful, further clinical trials will be performed to determine the vaccine’s effectiveness.

The Phase II trial will test about 600 HIV-negative people who are at high risk for the virus, and the

Phase III trial will test about 6,000 HIV-negative people who are at high risk for the virus.

To read full article CLICK HERE

 

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1993 World AIDS Day

Dec. 1st is World AIDS Day   Our topic for this date is

“Why is World AIDS Day important to you?”
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

The first World AIDS Day was held on December 1, 1988.
The CDC estimates 1.2 million people in the United States (US) are living with HIV infection. One in five (20%) of those people are unaware of their infection.

Although the annual number of new HIV infections in America (50,000+ per year) has remained relatively stable, it is far too high with all the knowledge we have of how to prevent infection.

In 2009, an estimated 34,247 people throughout the US (50 states and the District of Columbia) were diagnosed with AIDS.

Over the last ten years, the number of AIDS deaths in the United States has continuously remained at 14,000 to 22,000 per year despite the drugs we have to prevent most of those deaths.

Since the beginning of the epidemic in 1981, nearly 600,000 Americans have died from AIDS.

What does World AIDS Day mean to you

Tony will be Moderator for this topic, so come out and support him

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1993 World AIDS Day

Dec. 1st is World AIDS Day   Our topic for this date is

“Why is World AIDS Day important?”
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

 

The first World AIDS Day was held on December 1, 1988.
 

The CDC estimates 1.2 million people in the United States (US) are living with HIV infection. One in five (20%) of those people are unaware of their infection.

Although the annual number of new HIV infections in America (50,000+ per year) has remained relatively stable, it is far too high with all the knowledge we have of how to prevent infection.

In 2009, an estimated 34,247 people throughout the US (50 states and the District of Columbia) were diagnosed with AIDS.

Over the last ten years, the number of AIDS deaths in the United States has continuously remained at 14,000 to 22,000 per year despite the drugs we have to prevent most of those deaths.

Since the beginning of the epidemic in 1981, nearly 600,000 Americans have died from AIDS.

What does World AIDS Day mean to you

Tony will be Moderator for this topic, so come out and support him

 

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          The topic this Wednesday, Novemeber 23, 2011 is Cultivating Gratititude    inspired by this article:

Cultivating Gratitude                          by Peter Waite

Somehow it seems counter-intuitive to feel grateful for having a chronic illness.  After all it can change your life in so many not-so-good ways. That is how I looked at chronic illness before I was diagnosed and for several years after.  There was very little good I could find about it.  But then something gradually changed and it wasn’t my health.  It was my attitude.  I started feeling grateful.
Chronic illness has helped me become a better person than I was before in ways that I would never go back and change.  Ever heard the expression “trial by fire”? Well, that fire can refine us into something as good as gold.  Something valuable.  Helping us reach a higher standard of human and spiritual existence.  The changes were simple at first.  Initially, I started feeling greater empathy, especially toward family, friends and even strangers that were struggling with illness.  I knew from my own experience what they were going through in their personal trials and was able to be more understanding and helpful to them.  Gradually and over time I realized that my own personal capacity for dealing with pain and suffering had increased dramatically.  I was able to “endure” more than I ever thought I could.  This gave me the confidence I needed to face new challenges.  Finally, chronic illness forced me to overcome my own sense of pride and reach out to others for help when I really needed it the most.  This has resulted in great blessings for me and my family in learning how to “receive”.

 Cultivating gratitude amid chronic illness doesn’t just happen, you have to seek it out.  It requires you to be self aware of others and the world around you.  It means focusing on things that really matter, often beyond yourself.  It requires an appreciation for the little things, like a hug from a loved one or the warmth of the sunlight on your skin on a sky blue day.  Eventually you’ll find that gratitude requires less effort on your part and starts to become a subconscious recognition of all that is good in your life.  You’ll find yourself worrying less about your own health as you focus on the welfare of others.  You’ll start to appreciate what you can do, instead of what you can’t.  You’ll begin to feel grateful for life and all the possibilities it still offers you.
One of my favorite blogs is An Attitude of Gratitude.  The subtitle to the blog is even better: “One woman’s journey to learn to live life from a place of gratitude while fighting Rheumatoid Arthritis.” The author, Jules, just reached her 400th blog post!  She will be the first to admit that not every day is wonderful.  In fact, many are not.  But it is the recognition that she determines how she will live with chronic illness, from a place of gratitude, that inspires me the most.  Rather than looking at how chronic illness can limit her life, she looks at how she can live despite it.
I’m not perfect.  And I’m not always grateful.  Recently, after an especially difficult day, I complained on my Twitterfeed that I was struggling with pain and stiffness from my arthritis.  Just after I posted, someone I follow posted this tweet:

“Tomorrow I have to go get labs done to prep for my rheumy app. Blah. But at least I have health insurance to pay for it!!”

This immediately changed my perspective!  How could I be so blind?  It was true.  I too had health insurance and I was certainly grateful for it.  I loved that although she was not excited about her tests, she still managed to be grateful!  I immediately tweeted back that I admired her attitude.  She responded:

“I try 2 believe that no matter what, good things r in my life. I can’t always see the good but I have to trust it is there.”

Now that is cultivating gratitude!

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This Wednesday, November 16,2011 instead of having a topic, we’re having our Thanksgiving Potluck.  So bring a dish, bring a friend and come join us.  Last year this was a tremendous success and we hope to repeat the experience.

 

Steve

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The topic this week is Disclosing your HIV Status. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Possible groups of people to disclose to:

Spouses, Partners, & Significant Others

Dating and Sexual Partners

Family: Siblings, Children, and Other Family Members

Friends

The Workplace: Coworkers, Employers

Medical & Other Healthcare Providers

And some General disclosure tips

 

You don’t have to tell everyone. The choice is yours about whom to tell. Be selective.
Be sure to consider the five “W’s” when thinking about disclosure: who, what, when, where and why. Who do you need to tell? What do you want to tell them about your HIV infection, and what are you expecting from the person you are disclosing your HIV status to? When should you tell them? Where is the best place to have this conversation? Why are you telling them?
Easy does it. In most situations, you can take your time to consider who to tell and how to tell them.
Consider whether there is a real purpose for you to tell this person or if you are simply feeling anxious and want to “dump” your feelings.
Telling people indiscriminately may affect your life in ways you haven’t considered.
Having feelings of uncertainty about disclosing is a very common reaction in this situation.
You have a virus. That doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. You don’t have anything to apologize for simply because you are HIV positive.
Keep it simple. You don’t have to tell the story of your life.
Avoid isolating yourself about your status. If you are still not able to tell close friends, family members or other loved ones about your HIV status, allow yourself to draw upon the support and experience available to you, through organized groups in the HIV community. Consider the AIDSmeds.com community forums for example.
There’s no perfect roadmap for how to disclose. Trust your instinct, not your fears.
Whatever the response you receive in a specific situation, and even if it doesn’t go the way you’d hoped, you’re going to survive it and your life will go on.
Millions of others have dealt with this experience and have found their way through it. You will get through it too.
Choosing whom to tell or not tell is your personal decision. It’s your choice and your right

Read article from AIDSmeds.com;  CLICK HERE

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