Number 1:Reversal of Fortune
After years of HIVers' being denied new life insurance coverage and even selling preexisting policies to viatical companies to help pay for medical care (or to make their final few months as comfortable as possible), advocates welcomed news that Prudential is now selling at least partial life insurance coverage to HIV-positive adults in the United Kingdom. Can U.S. HIVers have hope that they're next?
Number 2:Broken Promises?
Broken Promises? Despite vowing throughout the 2008 campaign -- and as recently as this spring -- to end the ban on using federal funds to support needle-exchange programs, President Obama appears to have broken that pledge. Although his 2010 budget request for HIV services includes an extra $107 million to support "underserved populations," it ignores injection-drug users by maintaining the ban.
Number 3:Murder, They Wrote
In what is believed to be the first trial of its kind, a Canadian man was found guilty of first-degree murder this spring in the AIDS-related deaths of two women he infected with HIV through unprotected sex. The Ugandan immigrant, who allegedly infected seven other women, is expected to receive a sentence of life in prison.
Number 4:Raising Your Risk
A common sexually transmitted disease can make a gay man's risk for HIV infection skyrocket, according to a new study. Anal infection with human papillomavirus significantly raises HIV risk by causing lesions that easily bleed, creating a portal through which the virus can enter the body, and by increasing the number of immune cells in the blood that the virus targets.
Number 5:Stay Out!
Although Congress overturned the U.S. ban on HIV-positive immigrants and visitors in 2008, the discriminatory policy still remains in place, according to a U.K. AIDS organization. "Everyone entering the United States is still required to state that they have no transmissible conditions, alongside not being a terrorist, a Nazi, or a criminal," warns the Terrence Higgins Trust, which reports that HIVers continue to be turned away by U.S. immigration officials.