kearns to LA city council: observations on the medical cannabis dialog in my absence (0092)

[november 24, 2009] good morning president pro tem perry, distinguished council members. i have given the clerk copies of my prepared remarks.

my name is richard kearns. i am a 58-year-old gay man living with AIDS in los angeles for more than 20 years — a long-term survivor & AIDS activist, a medical cannabis patient & advocate, a poet & journalist. an angelino.

my intent in addressing you this morning is to
comment on the character of the meetings i
missed last week: monday’s joint PLUM &
public safety committee meeting & the city
council meeting that followed it wednesday.

i was too sick to make it downtown last week
— i wish medical cannabis cured everything,
but it doesn’t. however, i did listen & watch
on the internet (thank you for making that
possibility available).

first, i must note how proud i am of the
character & conduct & thoughtfulness &
overall growth of my community over the last
couple of years in its advocacy. that change,
that growth was clearly reflected over the
course of those two meetings as i listened by
my laptop.

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local clinical trials network: VA in LA recruits vets over 50 for HIV/AIDS & aging study (0091)

Aging & HIV/AIDS Neurocognitive Sequelae and Functional Consequences


keep an eye peel for this.



Study ID NCT00675766
Status Recruiting
Started Sep 1 2005
Last Updated Jul 27 2009
Estimated Completion Jul 27 2009


While the numbers of HIV infected veterans under the age of 50 are declining, the percentage of HIV infected veterans over the age of 50 is increasing with the largest percentage increases in the 50-59 age group and the 70+ age group. With increasing incidence rates of new cases among individuals over 50 years of age and the longer life expectancies of the current HIV-infected population, it becomes increasingly important to better understand the impact of the aging process on the clinical and behavioral manifestations of HIV/AIDS.The project seeks to determine the effect of age on neuropsychological performance in HIV+ persons. This objective seeks to determine the degree to which older age represents an independent risk factor for neuropsychological impairment in HIV infected persons, with a particular emphasis on those cognitive processes that are preferentially impacted by both the normal aging process as well as HIV infection. Additionally, another aim of the study is to determine the impact of neuropsychological decline on everyday functional abilities among older vs. younger HIV+ adults. This objective seeks to determine the effects of advancing age and neuropsychological impairment on the ability of HIV+ persons to discharge more demanding requirements of independent living (e.g., driving, financial management, medication adherence). The project will last for a duration of 5 years. Subjects will be followed for 4 years, those who are enrolled in Year 1 will complete the study in Year 4 whereas those who enter in Year 2 will complete the study in Year 5.

housing works post at the body: david frank talks about NY mag’s HIV/AIDS & aging story, challenges NYC’s PLWHA count (0090)

Behind the Story: David France Discusses New York Mag Aging Story; Casts Doubt on NYC HIV Statistic
November 16, 2009

“Being an AIDS journalist makes me one of the loneliest journalists around,” David France lamented. “I know how difficult it is to get an AIDS article published in this day and age. Everyone thinks AIDS is over.”

Despite the fact that the mainstream media isn’t focused on AIDS issues, France keeps plugging along, doing work that he thinks activists are neglecting. His most recent article Another Kind of AIDS Crisis in New York Magazine about the health complications of aging with HIV hit a nerve with readers.

The article is the first mainstream feature article focusing on the health issues people aging with HIV face. Three weeks after its publication, it still tops’s list of most e-mailed articles.

France, a veteran writer and AIDS activist (and former Housing Works board member), said the story came about when he noticed his friends with HIV and AIDS developing a myriad of health problems, including memory loss, osteoporosis, stuttering, kidney failure and cancer.

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gus cairns, aidsmap-nam: european AIDS clinical society (EACS) 2009 guidelines address HIV/AIDS and aging (0089)

New EACS guidelines address co-morbidities and diseases of age
Gus Cairns
Monday, November 16, 2009

The 2009 Treatment Guidelines published by the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) are considerably longer and more detailed than the last set, published in 2007. The 80-page booklet adds a number of guidelines for treating 14 different co-morbidities and co-infections.

Dr Nathan Clumeck of Brussels University, presenting the guidelines at the 12th European AIDS Conference, commented that most of the co-morbidities included in the new sections were diseases associated with age.

The last guidelines were published in 2007 – see this report– and their new sections on management of metabolic issues and on hepatitis co-infection were innovations in HIV guidelines at the time.

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gus cairns, aidsmap-nam: french study finds most causes of death in elder HIVers attributed to aging-related conditions (0088)

Surviving to die of something else: AIDS is a rare cause of death in old people with HIV
by Gus Cairns
Wednesday, November 18, 2009


the findings of this report raise as many questions about the influence of stigma in attributing the causes of death for elder HIVers as it does about the epidemiological/medical demographic significance of those deaths. in other words, is it “better” to die of pneumonia or heart disease than it is to die of AIDS?




A French study of a group of people with HIV aged over 60 has found that over a four-year period, one in seven of the group died – but not a single death was attributable to an AIDS-defining illness.

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mike barber, u waterloo researchers issue HIV/AIDS alert to older citizens visiting florida (0087)

Snowbirds told to beware of HIV/AIDS in Florida
call for testing

NOVEMBER 18, 2009

Canadians who spend their winters in Florida [nicknamed “snowbirds” —rk] are being warned about the rising rates of HIV/AIDS among the state’s older residents.

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thomas carlyle: first use of the term “fourth estate” (0086)

text follows jump

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