Justin's HIV Journal

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) NEW HIV PREVENTION PILL

According to the CDC (2014) Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV to help prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day.  The pill contains two medicines that are also used, in combination with other medicines, to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, PrEP can help stop the virus from establishing a permanent infection. 

In 2012 the Food and Drug Administration approved the HIV prevention measure, but it is still not widely known.  PrEP is a one pill a day named Truvada, which is produced in California from Gilead Sciences.  Severe and sometimes fatal lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood) and liver problems have occurred with Truvada.  Symptoms of lactic acidosis include unusual weakness or tiredness; unusual muscle pain or cramps; fast or difficult breathing; stomach pain with vomiting, nausea, feeling cold, especially in the arms and legs; dizziness or light-headedness; fast and/or irregular heartbeat. Symptoms of liver problems include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, nausea, and/or stomach pain.

BUT NOT TO WORRY:  An insider has told me that researchers are developing another 1 pill a day HIV prevention regime that is less harmful to humans for consumption.

This is a great breakthrough.  I’m very glad for this as long as we put things into prospective.  This discovery can help us get to zero and can help the gay community combat HIV and hopefully we will never be put down by HIV again. 

"If something comes along that's better than condoms, I'm all for it, but Truvada is not that," said Michael Weinstein, President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Let's be honest: It's a party drug."  After his reaction to the drug many people were in uproar and wanted him to resign as president of AHF.  "There's an element in the gay community that espouses 'anything goes,' that is for sexual freedom and not giving an inch," he said. "But demonizing me or AHF isn't going to shut us up."  I think I understand what he was trying to say, but I don’t think it was the best way to put it. 

The concerns that steam from this are that the gay community will use this as an excuse to have more sex without condoms.  I don’t think that will be the case but I do understand his concern.  The concern that people will stop using condom and use Truvada is a big concern amongst doctors as well.  They have started to see people the beginnings of people asking for a prescription for it.  One major concern is that when using Truvada for HIV prevention that people will forget about the things it doesn’t prevent like, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Vaginitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Human Papillomavirus (HPV) or Genital Warts, Hepatitis, Trichomonas etc.  I don’t say this to scare you but reality is reality.  #thetruth. 


I’m in FULL support for PrEP.

CDC (2014), CDC Fact Sheet: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention, Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/PrEP_fact_sheet_final.pdf

Justin's HIV Journal: HIV Infections in DC Decrease

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2014) estimates, that 35 million people around the world are infected with HIV and 1.1 of them live in the United States (WHO, 2014).
There was a decline in Men, Women, White, Black, Hispanic/Latino, heterosexual, Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs) and most age groups, except young gay and bisexual men. 

In 2006 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all Americans from the ages of 13 to 64 should be tested for HIV because it should be a common as having one cholesterol tested.  In 2000 37% of the population was tested and in 2010 that number increased to 45%.  In the United States in the year 2002, 24 out of 100,000 people were diagnosed with HIV and in 2011 that number decreased to 16 out of 100,000. 

According to the Washington Blade (2014) the Washington DC 2014 Annual Epidemiology & Surveillance Report the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the District of Columbia decreased to 680 in 2012, a decline of 42 percent from the 1,180 new cases reported in 2008, that is an overall 42% decline.  Men who Sex with Men (MSM) also saw a slight decrease in the DC area.  In 2008 in the DC area there were 443 MSM diagnosed with HIV and in 2012 there were 313 MSM diagnosed with HIV.  Heterosexuals saw a drop, in 2008 there were 335 heterosexual diagnosed with HIV compared to 215 in the year 2012 (Washington Blade, 2014).
There were no baby born with HIV compared to the 1 out of 10 babies with HIV were born in the DC area

And Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs) diagnosed with HIV dropped 81%, which are primarily and directly contributed to Needle Exchange Programs. 

Washington Blade (2014) Report shows new HIV cases in D.C. continue to decline Retrieved from http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/07/02/report-shows-new-hiv-cases-d-c-continue-decline/

World Health Organization (WHO) (2014) HIV/AIDS Retrieved from www.who.int/hiv/

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: 2014 Top HIV Voices

TOP HIV Voices badge
trialreach.com lauched the first in a series of ‘#TopVoices’ to honor the best bloggers and online resources for patients. Part of their mission is to provide support and help to patients when they are making critical decisions about their health. The people and sites they will be awarding their ‘Top Voices’ badge provide immense value; from providing practical advice to connecting patients with others who are going through the same journey.
The ‘#TopVoices’ awards was inspired, in part, by one of their very favorite bloggers, HIV activist Josh Robbins who founded I’m Still Josh. Josh has been helping them to choose the award nominees, starting this month with the HIV community.
TOP HIV Voices 2014 badge
They hope you find this useful and please let them know if there are any blogs or sites that you would like to nominate for a ‘#TopVoices’ award.
Over to Josh:
These “Top HIV Voices for 2014″ embody the passion that it requires to build a community from a fundamentally limited beginning— sharing a personal story or contributing in a small but grand way to the global conversation surrounding the HIV community, HIV activism and the reduction of new HIV infections; advocating for increased awareness, decreased stigma, and the chance eventually to an AIDS-free generation.  
Josh Robbins, the founder of I’m Still Josh
As an HIV blogger myself and founder of “I’m Still Josh”, the blogs and digital HIV destinations below continue to inspire me, challenge me, encourage me and offer wisdom that words alone could never explain. In addition to this very short list, there are many more blogs and publications that inspire me and that I find great comfort.  

Congratulations to the following TrialReach.com’s 2014 Top HIV Voices:
Rise Up to HIV - Founded by Kevin Maloney
Volttage Buzz - Founded by Jack Mackenroth
Poz Life of Patrick - Founded by Patrick Ingram
My Fabulous Disease - Founded by Mark S. King
Shawn & Gwenn - Founded by Shawn Decker & Gwenn Barringer
A Marine and HIV - Founded by Brian Ledford
OpenlyPOZ – Founded by Rob Quinn
POWER - Founded by Nelson Vergel
HIV Blogger: Living Positively - Founded by Michael Carchrie Campbell
HIV/AIDS Activism & Advocacy Report - Founded by Aaron Laxton
The STD Project - Founded by Janelle Marie
UK Positive Lad - Founded by Tom Hayes
Justin’s HIV Journal - Justin B. Terry-Smith
My Journey With AIDS - Founded by Kenn Chaplin
Christopher vs HIV - Founded by Christopher Myron
My PrEP Experience - Founded by AIDS Foundation of Chicago
My Coming Out… Take Two - Founded by Frankie Frank
Dave’s Life Living With HIV - Founded by Dave Jones
Diva Living With AIDS - Founded by Rae Lewis Thornton
Sean Strub - Founded by Sean Strub

Monday, June 30, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: HBO’s “The Normal Heart” Review

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: Named One of The Best HIV/STD Health Blogs of 2014 by Healthline

The 16 Best HIV/STD Health Blogs of 2014

MY BLOG: Justin's HIV Journal was named one of The Best HIV/STD Health Blogs of 2014 by Healthline. Thank you HIV Awareness: Healthline.‪#‎Healthline‬ YAY!!!!! Thank you to all who believe in and support my work and the work of other HIV/STD blogs. Others named on the list were NEJM Journal WatchTheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Blog Central, The STD Project, POZ.com, My Journey with AIDS, Shawn and Gwenn, Hep B Blog, Living in the Bonus Round, Go Ask Alice, HCV Advocate News & Pipeline, Blog.AIDS.gov, I'm Still Josh, Volttage Buzz, Patrick Ingram's Poz+ Life of Patrick, Mark S. King's My Fabulous DiseaseSean Strub's blog, A Marine and HIV, and Ending the Stigma. CONGRATS TO ALL.

Website with all awardees

Justin's HIV Journal: Positive Parenting Moment A Son Surprises His Dad

There are many things that I want to teach my son as he goes into adult hood.  He is 17 years old and sorry to say for him that he has to grow up fast.  He has to understand that when you're an adult that are thing that are expected of you.  There is one thing that I wanted him to especially understand, which the consideration for what things people might hold dear.  Growing up I don't think that he had that.  December 27th was my birthday and as most of you know that is two days after Christmas.  My family has always been respectful of that and I love them for it.  I'm going to guess that after having a talk with my son about planning around that time he understood what I meant.  He actually did something that was so creative and loving it surprised me and most of you know I'm almost never surprised, check out the video.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: HIV Plus Launches One-of-a-Kind Mobile HIV Treatment App

HIV Plus, the brand dedicated to helping people with HIV lead their fullest life possible, invites readers to celebrate the New Year by living their healthiest life possible. The most trusted brand in HIV and AIDS news today has launched a free Treatment Guide mobile application providing an easy, user-friendly way for people to get information at the tips of their fingers. The new mobile Treatment Guide is currently available for free and downloadable on all mobile platforms through Google Play Store and iTunes.

“We’re thrilled to launch the Beta version of the HIV Plus Treatment Guide Mobile App, an extension of our annual treatment guide—the most comprehensive HIV treatment guide available, with breakdowns of every single medication approved by the FDA to treat HIV, AIDS, or HIV/AIDS-related conditions, as well as current drug trials, upcoming medication approvals, and the lowdown on complementary medicines,” said Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor in chief of HIV Plus magazine. “The mobile version offers things that our print and digital treatment guides couldn’t: a pharmacy finder and map at your fingertips, health tracking, and medication and appointment reminders. It’s got all the bells and whistles people in the U.S. and other developed nations expect in a mobile app, but it can also be accessed from anywhere the world, including resource-limited settings, where over 90 percent of the world's HIV-infected population resides.”

The free HIV Plus Treatment Guide mobile app offers the most comprehensive information on every FDA-approved medication for the treatment of HIV and HIV-related complications. The app allows users to easily set daily pill and appointment reminders, find an HIV specialist pharmacy nearby, and access articles from the trusted health editors of HIV Plus magazine. This app is simple, secure, and powered with essential HIV treatment information.

The comprehensive Treatment Guide mobile application includes:

• Medication Listings: Dozens of medications with photos for easy identification, dosage, side effects, precautions and interactions, and recommendations.

• Daily Pill Reminders: Set up the reminders along with photos and other info so you never forget your meds.

• Appointment Reminders: Never miss a doctor’s appointment again! You can set the reminders for both doctor and pharmacy visits as well as ADAP recertification.

• Tracking Viral Loads and CD4 Counts: You can see how your health is doing in graph form, so you stay on track month to month.

• Daily Dose:  Constantly updating health articles from the editors of HIV Plus magazine

• Pharmacy Finder: The GPS-enabled app will help you find a Walgreens HIV-specialist pharmacy near you wherever you are in the U.S.

• A detailed list of current clinical trials.

• Descriptions of complementary or alternative medicine options and their effectiveness.

Download the new Treatment Guide now and celebrate the New Year with a healthy you! For more information on the HIV Plus Treatment Guide, please visit HIVPlusMag.com/TreatmentGuide.

About HIV Plus

HIV Plus is the country’s largest publication aimed at people with HIV and those who care about and for them. We reach more than a quarter million readers each month with print and digital magazines, our website, and through the HIV Plus Treatment Guide mobile app. We’re dedicated to offering empowering stories about people with HIV or AIDS, interviews with celebrity advocates, investigative articles on health disparities, and information and news on treatment, research, stigma, and more.

With a controlled circulation of 225,000 and 5.2 readers per issue, HIV Plus reaches more HIV-positive people than any other publication in the U.S. HIV Plus is distributed to top clinics, doctors, specialty pharmacies, and over 1,000 top ASOs in all 50 states. HIVPlusMag.com reaches more than half a million unique visitors each month.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: Foster Parent Moment A boy and his chores

When a boy becomes one with his chores it’s amazing the change you will see.  My son was given a chore list to begin his chores every weekend.  There were about 10 chores he could do on Saturday thru Sunday.  When I was growing up I did just that.   He complained so much I decided to make sure that he would do his chores and broke them up into one chore a day.  Now he has no excuse on doing his chores.  Laziness does not a Terry-Smith make.  Of course I was a lot softer in explaining it to him, but I’m known for my tough love. ;-) <3 p="">

Monday, February 10, 2014

Justin's HIV Journal: Ebony Magazine's The Real Faces of HIV/AIDS Issue

LOCAL DC HIV ACTIVISTS in Ebony.com (Ebony Mag) (Patrick Ingram, Guy Anthony, Shane B Johnson and I) Way to go and way to represent for Feb. 7th National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

The Real Faces of HIV/AIDS [PHOTOS]

In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, advocacy journalist Kellee Terrell talked to survivors about what HIV/AIDS has taught them

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/photos/wellness-empowerment/the-real-faces-of-hivaids-photos#ixzz2sw1qYEOf
Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook

To commemorate National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day we reached out to those diagnosed with the disease and asked them one question:  What has living with HIV/AIDS taught you?
Here are their amazing and heartfelt responses. —Kellee Terrell

Eric Bartley
Diagnosed: 1981 New York, N.Y.
To embrace the disease and no longer fear it.  HIV stigma ends when I'm proud to be HIV-positive. Finally after living with this chronic illness now for 32 years, I'm proud to be and say, "I’m a Black HIV-positive man!"

Guy Anthony
Diagnosed: 2007 Washington, D.C.
To be selfless in the fight to eradicate stigma. I could be silent, but what good would that do? I hope that my transparency allows for others to see someone who has experienced the same shame, hurt and pain that comes along with having this disease, so they know that they are not alone.

Justin B Terry
Diagnosed: 2006, Washington D.C.
How to be a strong Black man by helping others that can't help themselves or who feel alone. Being open about my status has given me internal strength to reach out to my community by speaking publicly and with my blog “Justin's HIV Journal.”

Michelle Anderson
Diagnosed: 1999 Dallas, Texas
After accepting my diagnosis, HIV taught me how to live out loud in spite of adversity. HIV is a small facet of my life and doesn't have to dictate my life's outcome or devalue my existence!

Sophie Mubvumbi Jayawardene
Diagnosed: 1989 New Zealand
That if you are not seen, spoken to or heard, you are a prisoner. Death is the scariest thing if it is the only thing you think about!

Patrick Ingram
Diagnosed: 2011 Fredericksburg, Va.
Being HIV-positive is continuing to teach me that resilience, patience, and affirmations can get you through difficult life changing events.  Living with HIV has also enlightened me of the need for the Black community to be more engaged and active in the fight to end this epidemic.

Sharon DeCuir
Diagnosed: 2002 Baton Rouge, La.
To love myself, which was the hardest lesson to learn after my diagnosis because I felt so much shame. In time, I became empowered to live openly with HIV, so others can know that for me HIV was only the beginning of living life. This lesson was well learned because today I’m FREE to live!

Elizabeth Fernandez
Diagnosed: 2000 New York, N.Y.
To advocate for my life more than ever before! Since being diagnosed, I have endured a lot of stigma, which has taught me to stand up and fight for myself and people like me. I do this through my work as an HIV educator and an activist. I believe that I live with HIV so that many of you won’t have to.

Reggie Smith
Diagnosed: 1988 Atlanta, GA.
That positive people can be loved and have wonderful sex lives with negative people. Through God's grace, after over 25 years of marriage and protected sex, my wife Dionne remains HIV negative and I remain healthy and alive!

Rusti Miller
Diagnosed 1991 New York, N.Y.
To appreciate what life has to offer and regret nothing. If I died tomorrow all of this would have been worth the fight because today I live out loud for the whole world to see.  I have lived with AIDS for the past 20 years and just staying alive was my day-to-day battle. But in that, I married my best friend who is HIV-negative and we made a beautiful baby from LOVE!

Shane Johnson
Diagnosed: 1998, Washington D.C.
The virtue of forgiveness, especially when forgiving myself. At the time I was diagnosed, I was in the middle of the application process for medical school and was on the MD-PhD track. I was quite depressed for years. It took the better part of 8 - 10 years to move from shame to acceptance, but when I did it was like I had never missed a beat.

Shyronn Jones
Diagnosed: 2001, Atlanta, Ga.
That I will never be alone. Yes, there are those who will slander and stigmatize us, discriminate and criminalize us, BUT there are also so many people who are either affected by or infected with HIV who are waiting with opened arms to provide me with compassion and love.

Monique Moree
Diagnosed: 2005 South Carolina
SELF-DIGNITY and SELF LOVE. When I was first diagnosed, I was pregnant and serving in the U.S. Army. I didn’t know what to do, so I started hating myself and became worried about what others would say. I’ve seen a lot of African-Americans with HIV hide and give up. Thankfully, I learned to love myself for who I am. Then nothing else really mattered!

Andre Johnson
Diagnosed: 2005, Atlanta, GA
Being diagnosed at the age of 17 with a "chronic illness" is never easy. Yet, being an HIV-positive Black gay man, HIV has taught me the importance of self-care. Nobody else matters when it comes to my health. And part of that is teaching myself about the disease and my medication. In the end, I see that I am no different than anyone else with another illness.

Khafre Kujichagulia Abif
Diagnosed 1999 Atlanta, GA
That I am walking in my God's purpose for my life. As an openly bisexual HIV positive activist, blogger, author and father, my visibility has become a blessing for those who have yet to find their voice. My personal sacrifice is far outweighed by the work as people reach out to me support their journey or the life of a friend or loved one.

Cassandra Whitty
Diagnosed: 2000 Baton Rouge, La.
“Now, I have no issues letting a man know you gotta’ strap it up or we can use a female condom. I never did that when I was negative, which is what put me at risk for HIV in the first place. I try to relay these messages to negative women in hopes to help empower them to take more control of their sex lives.”

Ennis Jackson
Diagnosed: 1989/1990 Oakland, CA
When I die it won’t be because of HIV. I have learned that being in care and taking my meds is keeping me alive and well. I have come to learn and believe that I shall live with HIV and not die from it. It’s been almost 25 years, and I haven’t died yet!

Lynn T. Kidd, M.Ed.
Diagnosed: 1996 Columbus, Ohio
To accept myself, but also recognize that HIV is not ALL of who I am.  Over time, it’s been easier to deal with my diagnosis, love myself more, live somewhat of a normal and healthy life and not allow others to dictate who I should be.

Millicent Y. Foster
Diagnosed: 2002, Baton Rouge, LA.
To be more accepting and cautious of my health. I’ve learned the importance of education and the importance of using condoms to keep myself protected from [other STDs]. Also, it has also taught me that my diagnosis does not define who or what I am. I choose to live positively everyday!

Larry Bryant
Diagnosed: 1986 Brooklyn, NY
Black. Heterosexual. HIV. Words I didn’t hear together in the 1980s --until I was diagnosed HIV positive in 1986 while I was a student athlete at Norfolk State University. Through my 28 years of living with HIV the most enduring lesson is that life is a gift that should be lived out loud.

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/photos/wellness-empowerment/the-real-faces-of-hivaids-photos#ixzz2sw1qYEOf
Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook