A Mother’s Love.

a positive mommy

“It’s not about what happens to you, it’s how you react to it.” These words hit me hard like a gentle but firm punch in the gut. Of all the information Founder and CEO of Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention Marion Bunch shared with me in less than 20 minutes, these words impacted me the most. They’re words from a woman who has gone through the nightmare of losing a child to a disease that was still misunderstood at the time.

Marion lost her son to AIDS in 1994. A year after his passing, better medication for the virus was produced, and more patients began managing their HIV, living longer, and thriving with the disease. HIV was becoming less of a death sentence and more of a condition.

Nevertheless, Marion had lost her only son, and worse yet, no one wanted to talk to her about it.


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HIV-positive ruling: Outcry should be directed at Qld lawmakers

The High Court ruled on Wednesday this week that HIV-positive Godfrey Zaburoni was not guilty of intentionally transmitting the virus to his (now ex) partner, despite his knowledge of his HIV-positive status and the transmission risks of unprotected sex.

The prosecution did not have the evidence of intention beyond reasonable doubt that is required under Queensland’s criminal laws for a conviction. Therefore, in the eyes of the law, Zaburoni is instead only guilty of the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm.

Zaburoni concealed his HIV-positive status from the victim and had unprotected sex with her on many occasions during their 19-month relationship in 2007-08. A grade 5 sex education class could tell that Zaburoni either knew or could have predicted the HIV transmission, but that is not the test here. Proving he knew or could predict that he would transmit HIV to his partner is not the same as proving he actually intended that outcome. It’s close but not close enough under the current laws.

Some public outcry over the High Court decision has been misdirected towards the judges, when it belongs squarely at the feet of Queensland lawmakers. Judges are bound by the law, and in this case the law requires the prosecution to prove intention beyond reasonable doubt. There’s no point shooting the messengers.

Queensland’s criminal laws on HIV transmission don’t pass the sniff test, the pub test or the law of bloody common sense test. It doesn’t make sense that intentional transmission of HIV is somehow worse than where the transmitter has full knowledge of their HIV-positive status and the risks of unprotected sex, yet blatantly deceives and recklessly exposes the victim.

More than six years after Zaburoni’s victim was diagnosed with HIV, Queensland’s nonsensical criminal laws on transmission have finally made it to the country’s highest court. That leaves no legal options for the victim to pursue, other than suing Zaburoni for compensation.url (2)

The one positive from the controversial High Court ruling is that Queensland’s absurd necessity to prove intention of transmission beyond reasonable doubt has been thrust into the public spotlight, hopefully for the last time. Changes to the law are long overdue, before the next transmission occurs.

For More Information…..


Moderate alcohol consumption may be more harmful for people with HIV

Safe drinking limits for people living with HIV may need to be lower than the recommendations for the rest of the population, according to a large American study. The drinking habits and health outcomes of over 18,000 men living with HIV were compared with those of over 42,000 men who didn’t have HIV. Most participants were in their forties, fifties and sixties.HIV

Alcohol contributes to a wide range of cancers, liver disease, stroke and heart disease.

Looking at deaths from any cause, the researchers found a strong relationship between the amount people with HIV drank and their risk of death. After adjusting for other factors that could influence the results, men who had 30 to 70 alcoholic drinks a month (i.e. one or two a day) had a 30% higher risk of death than men who hardly drank at all. Men who drank more than this (70 or more drinks a month) had a 50% greater risk.

In contrast, only the higher level of drinking (70 or more a month) made a difference to deaths in HIV-negative men.

There were similar results when looking at results of blood tests, liver function tests and other markers of poorer health – there wasn’t any level of alcohol consumption which was ‘safe’ for men with HIV.

One limitation of the study is that it only includes data on men. Nonetheless, the greater harm caused by a unit of alcohol in women is well established. The overall findings probably apply to women, but at lower levels of alcohol consumption.

Some other studies suggest that a person living with HIV who consumes the same amount of alcohol as an HIV-negative person would have higher levels of alcohol in their blood than the person without HIV. This effect may be especially pronounced in people who aren’t taking HIV treatment.

The researchers concluded that people with HIV who drink more than 30 alcoholic drinks a month are at increased risk of health problems. This was an American study, using American standard drinks – for example, one drink is a small can of beer, a small glass of wine or a shot of whisky. No more than 30 drinks a month would amount to no more than one drink a day.

UK health authorities calculate alcohol quantities differently, but recently released advice from the Chief Medical Officer is consistent with the recommendations of the American study. One “unit” of alcohol in the UK is roughly half of a standard drink in the US. The UK government now recommends alcohol consumption below 14 units a week, which is the same as 8 American standard drinks a week – i.e. roughly one drink a day.

However, very few people in the general population and even fewer people with HIV drink this little. But this is the first major study to show that there are particular advantages for people living with HIV to cut back on alcohol.

Source: http://www.aidsmap.com/HIV-update-17th-February-2016/page/3036620/

Spanish Doctors Believe They’ve Found a Cure for HIV

Source From hivplusmag.com: Doctors in Barcelona, Spain, announced earlier this month that they believe they’ve found a cure for HIV, according to the Latin Post. But don’t hold your breath, it’s not going to be available overnight.

Similar to the report published by Harvard researchers, the Spanish research team hypothesize that a blood transplant from a donor with a genetic mutation could prevent HIV from entering cells and replicating.

The announcement is based on results of an experimental treatment given to a 37-year-old man who contracted HIV in 2009. The “Barcelona Patient” developed lymphoma in 2012. He received chemotherapy and a transplant of blood from an umbilical cord of a donor who had a genetic mutation that gave the donor a heightened resistance to HIV.

“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, explained to Spanish news site The Local.

People with the CCR5 Delta 35 genetic mutation that leaves them without CCR5 cellular receptors, which act like doorways to the cell. HIV uses CCR5 receptors to enter white cells for replication. This heightened resistance to HIV occurs in about 1 percent of the population.

Spanish HIV Doctor

The Spanish medical team sought to replicate the results of Timothy Brown, an HIV-positive man dubbed “the Berlin Patient,” who received an experimental bone marrow transplant from a donor with the mutation. Brown had leukemia and HIV but six years later shows no signs of the virus.

The treatment seemed to work, as the Barcelona Patient was HIV free after three months, but unfortunately died due to cancer. The development spurred Spain’s National Transplant Organization to back the world’s first clinical trials of umbilical cord blood transplants for HIV patients with blood cancers, according to the Latin Post. Javier Martínez, a virologist from the research foundation Irsicaixa, is quoted as saying that while their trials are aimed at helping HIV-positive cancer patients but it could “allow us to speculate about a cure for HIV.”

Wendell Hicks: Removing Stigma from HIV/AIDS

News Source from tucson.com: How do you destigmatize a disease when the actual people who are affected by it would prefer to pay millions in blackmail rather than own it?

Charlie Sheen announced this very thing on NBC’s Today Show: He is HIV-positive. He said he had paid off people to keep his status quiet.

It is almost 25 years since Magic Johnson stood up and announced he had HIV, and he did not consider this a death sentence. As someone who was working with this population I thought that maybe this very public person and beloved athlete would help destigmatize HIV and AIDS. But here we are hearing about millions of dollars being paid to keep the public from knowing.

If actors and athletes fear the stigma of contracting HIV then what chance does the general population have? After hearing the results of a positive HIV test, sometimes a person begins living in the shadow of life.

Suddenly a wall of shame goes up, and the person with the diagnosis is held hostage by a code of silence, and by the stigma.

Wendell HIV News
The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation offers HIV testing at different events and in our office. You can get tested at the Pima County Health Department or your doctors’ office. It is all confidential. We can get you referred to the right place so you can get medications and myriad other services.

We can give you your HIV status, but we can do nothing to help you with the stigma that still exists if you test positive.

Is it connected to ways one contracts HIV? There are still about 50,000 new infections reported each year. Most are from men having sex with men, some are new cases transmitted via unprotected heterosexual sex and some are by intravenous drug use.

Why should it matter how the virus was acquired?

Once you get the disease, all that matters is getting it under control and avoiding passing it on.

We must talk about this disease openly. These things happen in any family. Let’s have frank discussions with our kids — early and in an honest manner — about keeping them safe.

Many people live with HIV for many years and remain relatively healthy with regular medication. But make no mistake this disease is still a menace — with a stigma.

HIV/AIDS latest news from: http://tucson.com/news/opinion/wendell-hicks-removing-stigma-from-hiv-aids/article_2cb4465e-667e-59c6-8c1b-8fda0b19260a.html

Facts Sheet On World AIDS Day 2015: The Time to Act Is Now

What is World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day is held on the 1st 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, held for the first time in 1988.



15.8 million people accessing antiretroviral therapy (June 2015)
36.9 million [34.3 million–41.4 million] people globally were living with HIV (end 2014)
2 million [1.9 million–2.2 million] people became newly infected with HIV (end 2014)
1.2 million [980 000–1.6 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses (end 2014)

Here are some facts about AIDS in 2015 with data from the World Health Organisation, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF, and UNAIDS:

1. Globally about 36.9 million people are living with HIV including 2.6 million children

2. An estimated 2 million were infected in 2014

3. An estimated 34 million people have died from HIV or AIDS, including 1.2 million in 2014

4. The number of adolescent deaths from AIDS has tripled over the last 15 years

5. AIDS is the number one cause of death among adolescents in Africa and the second among adolescents globally.

6. In sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest prevalence, girls account for 7 in 10 new infections among those aged 15-19

7. At start of 2015, 15 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy compared to 1 million in 2001

8. Despite widespread availability of HIV testing, only an estimated 51 percent of people with HIV know their status

9. The global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million deaths since 2000

10. In 2015, Cuba was the first country declared to have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV.