Endorse the START Study

Greetings Everyone, as you are getting ready for the Catalyst Forum, here's a taste of what you can expect next week. As a testiment to the collective power of community advocacy, the sign on statement we've posted here on the website on the ADAP crisis and drug pricing negotiations garnered 226 organizational and 601 individual endorsers. The letter is now being sent to all the HIV drug companies letting them know that we are watching their negotiations with ADAP in May. There will be several skills building and affinity group sessions at the Catalyst Forum addressing treatment access and drug pricing issue and what more you can do to help end the ADAP crisis.

We've now posted a second sign on statement, this one concerns the recent change in when to start treatment recommendations issued by the antiretroviral guidelines panel, and its potential negative impact on enrollment in a critical treatment strategy study called START. Click on ACTION2 in the menu above. The statement has already garner over 100 endorsers after the first 24 hours. Please help by distributing the sign on information to your contacts, networks, doctors, clinics, and AIDS organizations you work with. We expect this to become a big story in the next few months as more people take notice of this critical issue.

Looking forward to meeting you all in Baltimore!

Lei Chou, Treatment Action Group

A Twitteree tries Bloggin !

I'm so thrilled & excited to have more then 160 characters to write my thoughts in...

Gotta love today's fast turn out of information on twitter and facebook...

Back when I started working as an HIV Clincial Nurse Specialist in 1983 in Toronto, Canada information was scarcely available..there was no treatment ..let alone a cell phone to tweet !

We started advocacy work at the grassroots level ...we use to meet in cognito..(Thank heavens to my Adminstrator at the Psychiatric Hospital who saw fit to give us a safe place to meet)

Ive been blessed in this life so many times by being able to share at so many levels in the lives of so many people both affected and infected by HIV from working experiences spiritually to medically with Inuit Aboriginals of Canada's Arctic , across the various states of the US to Mexico and hofefully Africa in the future.Diagnosed with HIV in 2001 made it all real for me...A fight for my own life ...

Now just 1 month shy of FIFTY still blessed ( OMG did i write that ...42 is young now ..LOL) a ton of new medications and Tx's ....the Apple Ipad, Toyota Priruses accelerating all around me and here I find myself just so thrilled to be attending this conference.

Hello all I'm thrilled to learn and share with so many of y'all that I know and see and have read thousands of emails from over the years ...

Wow for a Twitteree this 1st blog feels like my memoirs.....

PS: Where the spell check on this ?

How do you deal with an HIV prognosis? Has this information in your life been a positive experience or a spiral downward?

Think back to that fateful day that you were told of your HIV diagnosis.  Where were you?  What did you feel?  My personal experience in hindsight is rather odd now.  I was taken into a small room in the University's Medical Center and told that I had to hear some bad news.  I was in my second year of law school.  When the doctor told me I had tested HIV positive, I actually laughed out loud.  This was definitely not the expected reaction to a 68 year old doctor who was telling me that the rest of my life was to be changed for an enternity.  This had been the eighth doctor I had seen about my illness which had gotten progressively worse without an actual cause.  In my mind, I suppose, I may have actually decided many years ago that this was the exact year in which I was to die.  My heroes - superstars from the past - all had their lives cut short at this young age.  I was 27.  The heroes I am referring to are Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Hendrix.  Up until this point I had been like Fortunato in the Cask of Amontillado; people around me were seeing my inevitable demise and yet, I was desperately unaware.  I know this sounds like a paradox - that I knew and yet did not know, but that is the only way I can explain it.  read more »

Check out the HIV Research Catalyst Forum program book now online

Greetings! The Prgram book is now available as a pdf. Click HERE to download a copy.

We are excited to add two Documentary Screenings on Thursday night. 7:00pm ~ 9:00pm

  • SEX IN AN EPIDEMIC, a documentary by Jean Carlomusto, 2010 (70 minutes)
  • FIGHT BACK, FIGHT AIDS: 15 YEARS of ACT UP, a documentary by James Wentzy, 2002 (75 minutes)

Spectrum Health supports bill to remove separate consent form for HIV testing

Dr. Mimi Emig

GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan’s largest health system wants to repeal a state mandate requiring patients to sign a separate consent form to be tested for HIV, saying it creates barriers to treatment.

But some advocates for HIV/AIDS patients fear a slippery slope.

“The goal is to remove the testing barrier because the earlier we can diagnose the easier it is to treat the disease and the less likely people unknowingly transmit the virus to other people,” said Dr. Mimi Emig, an infectious disease physician for Spectrum Health Medical Group. read more...

What is your opinion? Consent for HIV testing in medical facilities...

An Old Queen Advocate!

Hello everyone in blogland this is my first blog posting ever! Im always on facebook or twitter telling all of my business like a star! welll a lil bit about myself. First and Foremost I want to thank the HIV Research Catalyst Forum for choosing me to recieve a full scholarship to attend the forum that is truly a blessing since over 2,000 people applied for scholarships. I guess that I am apart of the crem le crem of tired ole queens of HIV advocacy and prevention & treatment. I am 36 years old I am a long term survivor of living with AIDS since 1994. I have done numerous HIV volunteer efforts and some paid peer mentorship positions. My advocacy debut started in 1994 at Childrens Hospital in LA, CA thanks to my best friend and doctor Marvin Belzer!!!!! Thanks my man you instilled in me the courage to be whom I am today! I have won and recieved many accolades for my tireless efforts to win the war on finding a cure and advocating for the unheard and unseen.  I am a single openly gay male living on the jersey shore and I am very  excited about returning to be more or balamore as the locals call it for some new ideas, new friendships, and new beginings to winning the WAR on combating a diease that is still taking lives today! I look forward in meeting all of you and the ones that are willing to hear my rants on this blog!!! see ya!

Hello from Seattle!

Hello there my fellow advocates and future friends, I’d like to take a moment to tell you a little about myself.  My passport says I’m 36, I’m not sure I agree just yet.  I currently live in Seattle with my 11yr old daughter and her wonderful mother. I am a father, partner, student, activist, and community volunteer.  In the past few years I have focused much of my time on being more active within the HIV+ community.  Having lived with HIV for nearly 12 years now I have a bit of experience with the day to day dealings related and a some personal interest on the treatment front.  I currently volunteer weekly with a local nonprofit group facilitating a peer support group for individuals who are newly diagnosed/dealing with HIV.  I also volunteer my time to speak to local schools about life with HIV when called upon.  I am very excited to be attending the upcoming forum and look forward to meeting you all.

Mother-Baby pack delivers infant HIV prevention in a box...

Mother-baby HIV pack

25 March 2010 [MediaGlobal]: A new Mother-Baby pack for HIV positive women aims to revolutionize the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) in several African countries.

Components of the color-coded Mother-Baby pack contain antibiotic and ARV medications for HIV-positive pregnant women and their newborns.

Many women in developing countries are unable to access formal health centers throughout their pregnancy and delivery due to logistical difficulties and lack of infrastructure. Historically when women visited a health center, they would be tested and told to return for further PMTCT services. However, many women have to travel far to reach health centers and some cannot afford the transportation costs, so many are unable to return. read more...

Clear Channel Makes a Bold Commitment to HIV/AIDS

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clear Channel Communications, Inc. has announced a bold new effort to broadcast information about HIV/AIDS and promote HIV testing as part of Greater Than AIDS, a coordinated response to AIDS in the United States. Leading up to National HIV Testing Day (June 27), Clear Channel Radio’s Urban, Urban AC, and Inspirational/Gospel radio stations in more than 60 markets will air new public service announcements (PSAs) which will direct listeners to targeted online resources that provide lifesaving information about HIV/AIDS and local testing resources. Additionally, Clear Channel and Greater Than AIDS will debut a 30-minute radio program in June as part of the partnership. In conjunction with the effort, Clear Channel Outdoor has placed more than 1500 Greater Than AIDS billboards and other outdoor ads in 19 markets hard-hit by HIV/AIDS across the country. read more...

being a part of change...

... just wanted to take a moment and introduce myself before they let me loose on the streets of Baltimore. I'm a Prevention Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator currently residing in Lexington, KY. I'm originally from Richmond, VA and I've held many job titles in my life. The career I have chosen for myself at this point is by far the hardest I've ever had, but definately the most important. I'm looking forward to meeting people as passionate as I am about not only encouraging change in the world around us, but being instrumental in the process by which it happens. I hope to see you all soon and please forgive me if there is a camera between us when we first meet. The eyes are the window to the soul and I'm merely attempting to capture what my soul has seen.


Become A Catalyst Forum Blogger!!!

Welcome and congratulations for your participation in the upcoming HIV Research Catalyst Forum! We are all very excited about the beginnings of a reinvigorated HIV prevention and treatment activist movement in the U.S.  With over 200 community activists from the US and Canada attending the Catalyst Forum, our blog will be the hub of community voices who are reporting, sharing information and ideas, strategizing and networking before, after and during the Forum.

If you're interested in contributing to the Catalyst Forum as a blogger, please complete this application and submit it to as soon as you can. We will set you up with a blogging information and account to get you started. All other blog related question or comments can be directed to the above email as well. Hope to see you blogging soon!

HIV Research Catalyst Forum Scholarships Awarded!

We're pleased to announce that 150 scholarships have been awarded nationally along with 20 to local applicants (more scholarship winner demographics included in the graphic below). Thank you to everyone who took time to apply, we received over 1,000 submissions in three weeks and regret that we could not accommodate more people; we appreciate your interest and will do our best to maximize the availability of information from the conference via this website. For those who won't be attending the Catalyst Forum, webcasts and powerpoint presentations from several sessions will be posted online during the conference, so be sure to check them out then.

HIVRCF Scholarship Winners - DemographicsGeographic distribution of scholarship winners

Scholarship winner demographic breakdown

Blogging for the Catalyst Forum!

Lynda DeeWelcome to the Catalyst Forum blog, an independent community resource from the cosponsors of the 2010 HIV Research Catalyst Forum. In the lead up to the conference this blog will serve as a resource for community members to post on relevant information and topics that we will delve into further during the Catalyst Forum. If you're interested in contributing to this blog or have any questions or comments please email

As many of you know, one of the world’s premiere HIV research meetings - the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) just wrapped in San Francisco. For those for you who weren’t able to attend I highly recommend checking out CROI's Website and scrolling through some of the fascinating webcasts and podcasts from the conference. There you will find one of the Catalyst Forum’s most prominent steering committee members, Lyndee Dee, a former NATAF participant and long time activist with AIDS Action Baltimore and the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition giving a fascinating and rousing speech about Community Involvement in AIDS Research: Past, Present, and Future. Dee’s speech is a must listen to for anyone attending the Catalyst Forum- so be sure to check it out and tell us what you think.

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