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Monday, June 11, 2012

A DRUG THAT FLUSHES OUT HIV






The issue with long term HIV
treatment is drug resistance, side effects and the high cost of medications. As
more health care providers and both poz and negative people view HIV as a
lifelong, but treatable illness, much of the focus has been on controlling the
virus within the body.

Like cancer, we are accustomed to thinking of a cure for HIV as both improbable
and impossible. We hear the words "cannot be cured" over and again
until the idea of eradication becomes a distant wish we only hope will come
true by the end of our lifetime.

The issue isn't with overall pessimism or the science community's lack of
progress. Quite the opposite is true. A number of significant advances have
been made, especially in the last few years. What has prevented a cure is HIV's
ability to not only mutate cells, but hide in the body. HIV plays a viral game
of hide and seek. And like the childhood game, you can't tag what you cannot
find. Knowing this, researchers attempt new strategies to help prolong HIV patient
survival in the form of current antiretroviral therapies while they look for
the convert cells. These therapies control viral levels, but don't eradicate
the virus.

This may soon change with new findings from a team of researchers at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that give new hope to the battle
for a cure. Researchers found that the biological mechanism that keep HIV
cloaked can be targeted with the use of the oncology drug, vorinostat.

According to the study, vorinostat attacks the enzymes that keep HIV hiding in
certain CD4+ T cells.These are the cells that HIV uses to replicate.
Within hours of being given vorinostat, six clinical trial patients had a
significant increase in HIV RNA in these cells. The study's author, professor
of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and epidemiology Dr.David Margolis,
says this is evidence that the virus was being forced out of its hiding. The
results were presented March 8 at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and
Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, Washington. 



More study is needed, but if the drug proves viable it could shed light on
HIV's resting place. Once there, science can turn from defense to offense and
work to eradicate the virus completely.





SOURCE: GAY LIFE

TRUE BLOOD: SEASON 5, EPISODE 1 - TURN, TURN, TURN





As
much as things changed during last night's season premiere, much returned to
the status quo. For example, Eric certainly changed his tune quickly, no?
Straight from "F--- Sookie" to f---ing his sister. Yes, Truebies,
Eric Northman is back to his old tricks, so to speak. And in the throes of a
bromance with Bill. Who saw that coming? Then again, vampires
are nothing if not opportunists. Which brings us to where things began...






We picked back up right where we left off:
Blood everywhere. Specifically, seeping from a shotgun dent in
Tara's head and all over King Bill's office walls. He and Eric made quick work
of the clean-up, which was all for naught since The Authority had already
arrived to capture them for murdering Nan Flanagan. More on that later... A
shop, skip, and a jump away, Lafayette ran down to Sookie's kitchen to find
Sookie cradling Tara. Pam, thinking Sookie could mend her relationship with
Eric, stumbled on this scene. She was ready to dip out, but Lafayette
devised the brilliant (read: desperate) idea for Pam to turn ol' hole in
the head Tara into a vamp. Naturally Pam was less than into the idea, but
Sookie promised to use her "magic hands and super snatch" not only to
bring Eric back to Team Pam but also for an indeterminate future favor. That is
going to come back to haunt Sookie, for sure. Opportunists, see.





Sookie and Lafayette buried Pam with Tara,
but of course Pam didn't go into the ground quietly. When Sookie accused her of
not trying hard enough, she snapped, "I am wearing a Wal-Mart sweatsuit
for y'all. If that's not a demonstration of team spirit, I
don't know what is." Oh yes, my friends. Said sweatsuit was lemon yellow
and adorned with a picture of a kitten batting at butterflies in a flower bed.
It was glorious. After the last patch of dirt was spread over the vamp cocoon,
only the waiting remained.





Back to Eric and Bill, who were trapped in
the trunk of an Authority Wagon. Whether the silver netting or the speakers
blasting "Silly Love Songs" was greater torture, it's hard to tell.
Either way, they had to escape, so they grabbed an umbrella and jiggered a way
to blow up the car. Of course the Authoritarians caught up with them almost
immediately, but the male Authority figure was ambushed by his associate and
delivered some swift True Death. The rogue agent, it turned out, was Eric's
"sister" Nora. He greeted her with the special handshake of Godric's
progeny -- a kiss that looked like he was eating her face and the kind of sex
you'd have if the world were ending. (Bill: "Might want to keep the noise
down in there. New Orleans is only 60 miles away.") Family bonding time is
important, y'all!



Meanwhile,
over at Jason's place, Newlin had come a-callin'. Jason compared Newlin's fangs
to "twin hard-ons... nothing but trouble" and refused to let him in,
so the manipulative son of a gun concocted a sob story so Jason would establish
eye contact. Then he glamoured Jason -- who spent the bulk of the episode
naked, obscured by doors and blankets and whatnot -- to let him in the house.
In an emerging theme, the strapping Stackhouse found himself tied to a chair
(an echo of Eddie Gauthier?) as Newlin professed his undead love. Yes, the
Rev. Steve Newlin is a "gay vampire American." Despite the fact
that Jason banged the Born Again out of Mrs. Newlin, the Rev. couldn't quite
come to terms with the reality that Jason prefers lady parts. His rage at
Jason's rejection was pretty ridiculous. (Yeah, this was totally payback for
Eddie.) That said, hint to Newlin: If you have to tie someone down and tape his
mouth so he can't respond to your love confession, you're probably not going to
hear the answer you want.



Also completely ridiculous? Newlin's
conveniently shifting morals -- he claimed his murderous sociopathy was
symptomatic of his homosexuality, yet also deemed his sudden immortality a
blessing. It was a pitch-perfect indictment of the rationalizations of certain
sects of not just Christianity but all religions. I'm a Christian and a firm
believer in "everything happens for a reason," but that kind of
philosophy can go in lots of different directions, and Newlin's is the most
repulsive bastardization. It's an interesting turnabout since the show began
with a very pointed vampires-as-gays metaphor. Now that Newlin is both of
those, he's the worst example imaginable. Tricky, show. Tricky.



On the upside, it gave Jessica an
opportunity to return and pull rank. She swooped into the house and declared
Jason hers, unlocking Jason's glamour so he could disinvite Newlin. Then they
had some "Why the hell not?" sex. This confused Jason, which ended in
Jason turning up in an unfortunate attempt to rekindle their lust. (He was
particularly hurt after Hoyt mocked and rebuffed him at Merlotte's earlier that
day). Jessica wasn't interested. She had a sassy blue streak in her hair and
house full of vamp-friendly co-eds. Ever oblivious, Jason invited himself in
for a round of 
Rock Band, and they "ch-ch-ch-ch"-ed to
the rather appropriate "Cherry Bomb" (related: has everyone in the
writing room abandoned Jessica's hymen regeneration dilemma?). A few hours
later, Jess and Jason had both used the video game foreplay to score hook-ups
for the night, but their heartsick glances at one another (and their
inabilities to pull the trigger with the co-eds) made it obvious they really
wanted only each other.



Elsewhere,
Sam lied to the Wolf Pack that he had killed Marcus. He called it loyalty -- he
wanted to save Alcide's life (and also Luna and little Emma's). I call it
stupidity. Despite hours of werewolf brutality, Sam refused to submit. In
came the deliciously terrifying Martha (
Winter's Bone's Dale Dickey),
who told Sam they needed Marcus's body to honor their werewolf grieving
rituals. Much like werepanther mating, these rituals are something about which
I am happy to remain ignorant. To be continued...



While Sam was being tortured on his behalf,
Alcide went to Sookie's house. Upstairs, Lafayette considered killing himself
with a pink plastic razor after going to Jesus's house and discovering that his
dead 
brujo lover's body had gone missing. Downstairs, Alcide's
wolf-y sense of smell inspired him to note how clean the house was:
"Like lemons on top of ammonia on top of bleach." His construction
know-how also prompted him to wonder why Sookie had removed some of her cabinet
fronts (those which we know were splattered with skanky werewolf
blood). Unfortunately, his common sense as a person didn't tip him off to
the fact that Sookie was acting like a shifty crazypants and that Debbie's
tooth was 
right there on the floor. Alcide is many things. A MENSA
member is not one of them.



They sat down, and Alcide alerted
Sookie that Russell had escaped his concrete crypt. He offered to hide her out,
but Sookie knew Alcide wouldn't want to protect her if he knew everything. Of
course she didn't tell him that she'd blasted Debbie into oblivion.
Practically, the delay was because Lafayette burst into the room to keep Sookie
from incriminating herself. Narratively, it was because that information needs
to come out when it can hit Alcide for maximum hurt and betrayal.



After he left Sookie's, Luna told Alcide
about Sam's self-sacrifice. They showed up in the nick of time -- not only to
declare that he was Marcus's murderer but also to witness Martha and the others
eating Marcus's innards. (So much for my plan to remain ignorant.) Has this
episode been particularly disturbing -- what with the sister f---ing, the
werewolf intestines buffet, and the poly blend sweatsuit -- or am I just
hyper-aware after nine months away from Bon Temps? At any rate, Sam lived to
shift another day, and Alcide became the de facto pack master because he
was the one who killed Marcus. Obviously, it was a job he did not want. He
growled and galumphed away as the wolves continued to cannibalize their fallen
pack mate.



In
Bellefleur also-rans, Andy and Holly moved beyond hugging --
specifically, on her son's sofa bed. He also continued being crooked as a
dog's hind leg, Sheriff-wise. As for Terry, the arrival of his old war buddy
Patrick (Scott Foley) made Terry's PTSD compartmentalizing a lot more
difficult. It also brought up the troubling notion that the Bellefleur-Fowler
house fire wasn't an isolated incident. In fact, Patrick lost his house in a
fire, and two of their friends lost their lives. After Patrick insisted they
were linked by "what happened that night in Iraq," Terry grabbed his
pal by the neck. Arlene walked in on this scene and suddenly 
ghost RenĂ© was
starting to make a lot of sense. Long story short, Patrick pushed back, then
pushed off... for now.



Back to Bill and Eric. They hadn't been
given the True Death yet, but Nora warned that they would be if they ever
returned to Bon Temps. It was a compromise they claimed they could honor, but I
had my doubts. After hiding out for a day, Nora's extraction team arrived with
new papers. Bill was dubbed Marcellus Clark. Fair enough. On the other hand, the
definitively Aryan Eric was naturally renamed... Ike Applebaum? It didn't
matter, though, because they whole lot of them were immediately surrounded by
 The Authority.



The episode closed where it began --
Stackhouse Shack. Night had fallen, and Lafayette and Sookie were
waiting by the vamp mound. She wondered idly, "When was the last time
we ate something?" While he went inside to rustle up some grub, Pam
emerged from the ground: "There is dirt... 
in my bra."
She guzzled Tru Blood, and Sookie frantically began digging up the soil.
Underneath, she found a completely still, seemingly unturned Tara. Lafayette
came back to find Sookie crying and joined in. Then 
WHOOSH! Tara
burst from the ground and lunged at Sookie. The end. And the beginning!



Your turn. Will Tara's new bloodlust finally pull her out of her victim complex?
Was naked Andy's physique a lot better than you expected (or was that just me)?
What are the werewolves going to do with a belly full of pack master innards?
Why does Arlene have such terrible taste in men? And could Rev. Steve
Newlin be any creepier? (Why yes. Yes he could.) Moving forward, are you ready
for some Russell and Meloni already?








SOURCE: EW










REVIEW OF PROMETHEUS














ABOUT THE MOVIE:



Prometheus is
a 2012 
science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and
written by 
Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof.
The film 




stars Noomi RapaceMichael FassbenderGuy PearceIdris ElbaLogan Marshall-Green and Charlize Theron.
Set in the late 21st century, the story centers on the crew of the
spaceship Prometheus as they follow a star map discovered
among the remnants of several ancient Earth cultures. Led to a distant
world and an advanced civilization, the crew seeks the origins of
humanity, but instead discovers a threat that could cause the
extinction of the human race.







WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT THE MOVIE:






Ridley Scott
set new standards for big sci-fi storytelling, this is jumbo-size science fiction, with a handsome, impermeable
titanium gleam — and a thick coating of creationism lite; with actors such as 
Michael FassbenderIdris ElbaLogan Marshall-Green (LOVE this cutie btw) and Charlize Theron, how could it not? The visual images were impressively polished and VERY pleasing to the eye. Prometheus teaches us that the gods must be crazy to 'create' us only to leave us without any knowledge of who they/we are. 




I TOTALLY feel Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) joy/pain as she 
 hoping to literally meet her maker. She was the surprising element of the movie that I found interesting, there was a scene where she under the harrowing
surgical conditions that mark one of the movie's ick-factor high points. 


The other stand-out element of the movie for me was supercilious robot David (played by Michael Fassbender).
David is a
student of old movies, taking grooming and elocution cues from Peter O'Toole in 
Lawrence
of Arabia
.) His actions makes you ask yourself is he benevolent or malevolent? Nonetheless, I give Fassbender the movie's MVP award, he TOTALLY won me over.





WHAT IS BAD ABOUT THE MOVIE:






I have MANY unanswered questions about this movie and when I am contemplating them on my drive to the food store I know they can't go unanswered. I want to know about the engineers, why did David infect the good ole doctors, did he know what the outcome was going to be? Did God, or gods, or higher beings create humans, and are they messing with us still?


OVERALL GRADE:
A- (it will be an A+ when I get a sequel and some explanations)















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