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The Tree of Life

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My name is Tom Samuels and in my search for a place of acceptance, in respect of my status, my journey has become easier by reflecting on resilience and optimism. As World AIDS day approaches the season moves towards festivity with trees being sought and bought amid discussions about real or artificial, green, silver or…

A View From The Tyne Bridge

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A View From The Tyne Bridge

Returning to my native Tyneside, after many years living and working in London, one evening I partook of a vodka and tonic with a friend in “the throbbing heart of Newcastle’s gay village”. It wasn’t long before we both began mourning the almost total loss of gay bar cruising. There wasn’t a single person doing…

Excerpts from my Treatment Diary

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Excerpts from my Treatment Diary End of week one: ‘Where it feels like the battle has begun. I went to see my friendly Clinical Nurse Specialist, who was pleased to see me smiling during the first week of treatment. Though, behind that smile is a survivor, it does not mean I’m happy. This is a…

Co-existing with Hepatitis Co-Infection

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From the lessons my life has taught me so far, being silent about aspects of my identity or health that carry stigma just turns the volume up on unwanted ‘shame’. I wanted to get halfway through my hep C treatment with the knowledge that the medication is before I wanted to write about my experience…

My Hep C Journey

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My Hep C Journey February 27th 2014 will always be a day that I’ll never forget. It was a Friday and I had an appointment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to pick up my blood-work results after asking for blood tests as I had been feeling very tired in recent weeks. I had…

A day in the life of

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Tell/Told – Winner of the BASELINE Short Story Competition His voice had the optimistic and disjointed intonation of a railway announcer. “One test came back positive. It’s for HIV.” Final stop. All change. Shit. “What’s life expectancy?” “Normal. Eighty to eighty-five.” There followed something about viral load, CD4 count, oral swab test, false negative, flu-like…

Cortisol

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Cortisol is produced by the adrenal cortex in response to stress.. It is essential for life, facilitating survival of stressful events by: Raising blood glucose via glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis Breaking down muscle protein and fat (for additional energy sources) Suppressing inflammation Increasing responsiveness to the effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline Stimulating cardiac output Facilitating muscular…

Testosterone

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Testosterone

Testosterone, the male sex hormone, helps maintain : muscle mass libido erectile function spermatogenesis mood facial/body hair distribution bone mineral density Low testosterone (hypogonadism) is a debilitating condition. If age related, it is often termed ‘andropause’. Irrespective of the name, low testosterone can cause : Decreased muscle mass and strength Increased fat mass Reduced bone…

AIDS resources

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UK Links International Links AEGIS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV Aids Aids Committee of London Aids Information Switzerland Aids Coordination Bureau International University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library Aids Education & Research Trust World Health Organization Association Francois-Xavier bagnoud Australasian Society for HIV Medicine Inc. British HIV Association Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

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