This piece originally appeared on Role/Reboot. Republished here with permission.
An email arrives from an old friend with the name of your ex-boyfriend in the subject line. In the body of the email, just this: “I’m totally shocked. When was the last time you talked to him?” You sigh, what now? Is he getting married? Having a baby? You head to Facebook, the one-stop shop for dirt on old flames. No wedding announcement, no ultrasound. Instead, there’s a video. Same crooked grin, same floppy hair, and this:
“This is a clip of me taking my first dose of Atripla, which is a combination antiretroviral drug. My name is Jake Earl, and on May 13, 2013 I was diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”
There’s chaos in your brain for 30 seconds before you’re able to make some sense of what you’re seeing. Order descends and you start a convoluted march through a series of reactions: Self-preservation. Nostalgia. Anger. Fear. Curiosity. Admiration? Keep reading »
My college best friend and I coined the term “bipolar week.” It was used to describe a week filled with both overwhelmingly amazing events and truly terrible moments: winning a prestigious award and then getting dumped by your boyfriend, or perhaps acing a midterm and losing a childhood pet. When reflecting on this past week, in terms of LGBT rights, I could really only describe it as a week “having or relating to two poles or extremities.” The highs: two cases before the Supreme Court to treat gays and lesbians like, you know, actual people.
The low you ask? Well the low can be found in Kansas. It’s so ridiculous it might as well be a perverse Oz: a bill passed in the State Senate which has language that would quarantine those who are HIV-positive or have AIDS. I would insert a Judy Garland joke about being a gay icon, but this is really not a laughing matter. It’s completely f**ked! Keep reading »
Yesterday, doctors announced that they had, for the first time, cured a baby who was born with HIV, an incredible achievement that could lead to more aggressive treatments used on babies born with HIV and a reduction of the number of children living with the virus that causes AIDS. Dr. Deborah Persaud, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and lead author of the report on the baby, said, “It’s proof of principle that we can cure HIV infection if we can replicate this case.’’ Once the doctors’ report has been confirmed, the baby would be only the second documented case of an HIV patient being cured. (The first was a middle-aged man with leukemia named Timothy Brown, who received a bone-marrow transplant from a donor genetically resistant to H.I.V. infection.) Keep reading »
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed the technology to create the all-purpose condom of the future. This new kind of female condom, made of “electrospinning” micro-fibers, will protect against pregnancy, release anti-HIV medicine (or other STI preventatives), and then, get this … just dissolve over a period of days, or even minutes. Here’s how the researchers describe the “electrospinning” technology:
“Electrospinning uses an electric field to catapult a charged fluid jet through air to create very fine, nanometer-scale fibers. The fibers can be manipulated to control the material’s solubility, strength and even geometry. Because of this versatility, fibers may be better at delivering medicine than existing technologies such as gels, tablets, or pills.”
Holy amazing! I’m far from a scientist, but I think this means they load the fibers with spermicide, anti-retrovirals so that they release within you and then just breakdown in your body. In the scientific abstract that you can read here, the researchers working on this project say that they are hopeful that similar technology can “serve as an innovative platform for drug technology for drug delivery to the lower female reproductive tract.” Really exciting stuff. [io9]
Clever use of Facebook Places, Finnish condom PSA! Too bad you had to resort to slut-shaming to do it. Twenty sexual partners might sound like a lot, but all you need is one roll in the hay with one person with HIV. The number of partners a person has really isn’t the point. (And FWIW, there’s also a male version of this PSA where the dude had 35 sexual partners. Point still holds true.) [Copyranter via Buzzfeed]