Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Knowing, a short film by John Saint-Denis.

From Impulse Group and The Advisorie, comes this artistic and educational short, a sexy portrayal of a couple taking the next step in their relationship, and the influence that knowledge, communication and compassion has on their deeper connection.

Why not know? Why not ask? Why not tell?

Impulse Group teamed up with Tastemaker, John Saint-Denis of the Advisorie Group, Producer, Chris Rallo; and Director, Nino Mancuso; known for their artistic digital short films that bring story to life. This short highlights the journey from a break-up to knowing one’s HIV status to communicating that status. And of course, love and compassion prevail. ♥

Parker, played by Kyle Heinen, finds that love in his unlikely nerdy co-worker, Billy, played by Namir Nasir.

Additional cast includes: Tim Lee, Daniel Del Valle, John Saint-Denis, Eli Davis, Daniel Gradias and Jessica Piersee.   YouTube heartthrob, Eli Lieb of Los Angeles donated his haunting cover of Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ to the film.

What do you think to the movie?

If you’re thinking now about having a HIV test, you should know it’s National HIV Test week from Friday so you’ve got an excuse to visit and take a test.  You can visit LASS for a free confidential HIV test (You’ll get the results straight away)!  Drop in to 53 Regent Road, Leicester, LE1 6YF (Map) or call us on 0116 2559995 if you fancy a chat!

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Scans Show How HIV Attacks Brain

HIV, which attacks the body’s natural defences, also damages the brain, three dimensional medical scans have shown.

The MRI images captured by a US team could show why up to 40% of people with HIV have neurological symptoms.  Compared with healthy people without the virus, the brains of the HIV positive patients studied were 15% thinner.

Scans could be used to spot patients who might benefit from brain-protecting drugs, the authors told Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

HIV experts said more work was needed to check that neuroprotective drugs would be beneficial to HIV positive patients and that these treatments would not be safe to take alongside the powerful anti-HIV drugs such individuals are already on.   As drugs improve, people with HIV are living much longer.

However, at least two in five living with HIV will suffer from cognitive impairments, ranging from minor deficits to dementia, studies suggest.  While researchers are aware of this, the pattern of damage the virus causes in the brain has not been well understood.

Brain thinning

Dr Paul Thompson, from the University of California, Los Angeles, along with colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, used 3D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to see what was going on in the brains of 26 patients with HIV.

We’d need more solid evidence on how HIV can affect the brain in different individuals before we looked at offering neuroprotective drugs

Compared with 14 healthy controls, the +ve patients had 10-15% thinner brain regions, including areas called the primary sensory, motor and premotor cortices, regardless of whether they were taking anti-HIV drugs or not.

This tissue loss shown up by the brain mapping correlated with the cognitive and motor deficits that the Aids patients displayed on a battery of brain function tests.  The brain tissue loss was the opposite of that seen in common dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease and appeared to be related to the individual’s CD4 count – a marker of how far HIV has progressed and how healthy the person’s immune system is.

The researchers said: “With 40 million patients worldwide now living with HIV, detailed biomarkers of [brain] deficits, such as the cortical maps presented here, are increasingly needed to help gauge the success of neuroprotective therapies.

“Here, they reveal how HIV impacts the brain and may also help identify early changes in neurologically asymptomatic patients with HIV who might benefit most from neuroprotective agents.”

Long-term issues

Rod Watson of the Terrence Higgins Trust said: “We do know that some people with HIV could go on to develop Aids-related dementia or other illnesses affecting the brain.

“This study tracking any cognitive decline is interesting but small. We’d need more solid evidence on how HIV can affect the brain in different individuals before we looked at offering neuroprotective drugs.

“In particular, there would have to be detailed research into how useful these drugs would be and how safe in terms of interacting with existing HIV treatments.”

David Simpson, professor of neurology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, told the BBC News website: “This paper is interesting and provocative, and if the value of this technique is validated in other studies, from other centres, this imaging approach may be a valuable surrogate marker of brain function in HIV infection.”

He added: “The increased survival of patients with HIV, due mostly to HAART, has placed greater emphasis on long-term issues affecting quality of life, such as neurological disease.”

Professor Simpson said that, while many neurological complications are more common in advanced Aids, others, including HIV-associated cognitive disorder, may occur in HIV positive people who have relatively high CD4 counts.

Steve Small, deputy chief executive of Mildmay, a HIV charity, specialising in HIV related brain impairment in the UK, said: “This research backs up what most people have known for sometime.

“You have an increased propensity for cognitive decline the more immunosuppressed you are but, whereas before we have thought that this would go away with anti retro virals, this study claims that it will not.”

Original Article via BBC News

Every March, Brain Awareness Week (15 – 19 March) unites the efforts of partner organisations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all agesIt is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

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New Law in Los Angeles – Adult Movie Actor’s Required To Wear Condoms

Actors making pornographic movies in Los Angeles will be required to use condoms while filming, under a new law signed by the city mayor.

The new regulation has been welcomed by health officials but pornography industry leaders say it could force them to abandon the city.

LA’s San Fernando Valley is considered the capital of the multibillion-dollar US adult film industry.

Correspondents say it is not yet clear how the new law will be enforced.

The LA-based Aids Healthcare Foundation welcomed the move saying it was crucial in protecting adult film actors from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The foundation, which has campaigned for the measure for six years, said it would now seek similar condom requirement elsewhere in the US.

“The city of Los Angeles has done the right thing. They’ve done the right thing for the performers,” said foundation president Michael Weinstein.

He said his group would also be vigilant in keeping track of where porn producers might move to.

Several of the industry’s biggest adult filmmakers have said they might consider moving just outside city boundaries.

They insist that adult films featuring condoms are not as popular and that some actors prefer not to use them.

The new law was signed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday.

The city council has now asked the police, city attorney’s office and workplace safety officials to figure out how they enforce the rule, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Industry experts estimate as many as 90% of all pornographic films produced in the US are made in Los Angeles.

Last year, pornographic film productions across the US were temporarily shut down after an adult film performer tested positive for HIV – the virus that causes Aids.

Above article via BBC News

Our message is clear!

Condoms provide the best protection from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.  HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It was identified in the early 1980s and it belongs to a group of viruses called retroviruses.

Normally, the body’s immune system would fight off an infection, but HIV prevents the body’s immune system from working properly. HIV infects key cells in the body’s natural defences called CD4 cells, which co-ordinate the body’s response to infection. Many CD4 cells are destroyed by being infected, and some stop working as they should.

Although HIV can’t be cured, it can be treated. Modern HIV treatment means that many people with HIV are living long, healthy lives and can look forward to a near-normal lifespan.

If HIV isn’t treated, the gradual weakening of the immune system leaves the body vulnerable to serious infections and cancers which it would normally be able to fight off. These are called ‘opportunistic infections’ because they take the opportunity of the body’s weakened immunity to take hold.

If someone with HIV develops certain opportunistic infections, they are diagnosed as having AIDS. The term ‘AIDS’ stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. People diagnosed as having AIDS can become unwell with a range of different illnesses, depending on the specific opportunistic infections they develop. This is why AIDS is not considered a disease, but a syndrome – a collection of different symptoms and illnesses, all caused by the same virus, HIV.

Most people who have HIV have not had an AIDS diagnosis. Also, if someone develops an AIDS-defining illness this doesn’t mean that they are on a one-way path to illness and death. Thanks to HIV treatment, many people who were once diagnosed as having AIDS are now living long and healthy lives.

Have you ever had a HIV test?

If you’re interested in having a HIV test, we offer a completely free and confidential rapid HIV test and you’ll get the results within 60 seconds from a simple finger prick test. We use the Insti HIV test produced by BioLytical laboratories. The test is 99.96% accurate from 90 days post contact for detecting HIV 1 and 2 antibodies. We also have a mobile testing van which is often out in communities providing mobile rapid HIV tests. Appointments are not always necessary, if you would like a test, please contact us on 0116 2559995

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