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Welcome to the POZ Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

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Recent Posts

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My opinion is that if your pet makes you happy that is great for you and on the physical side if it means you get more exercise because of your pet that's not bad either, but pet ownership isn't for everyone, so please don't buy a pet because of claimed health benefits or Xmas.

Article in full: https://www.poz.com/article/fuzzy-science-whether-fido-actually-good
June 25, 2024 • By Undark and Michael Schulson

In brief:

Research suggesting that pet ownership improves health is largely funded by the pet care industry. Does that matter?

For more than a decade, in blog posts and scientific papers and public talks, the psychologist Hal Herzog has questioned whether owning pets makes people happier and healthier.

It is a lonely quest, convincing people that puppies and kittens may not actually be terrific for their physical and mental health. “When I talk to people about this,” Herzog recently said, “nobody believes me.” A prominent professor at a major public university once described him as “a super curmudgeon” who is, in effect, “trying to prove that apple pie causes cancer.”

Herzog argues, the scientific evidence that pets can consistently make people healthier is, at best, inconclusive — and, at worst, has been used to mislead the American public.

Few, if any, experts say Herzog is exactly wrong — at least about the science. Over the past 30 or so years, researchers have published hundreds of studies exploring a link between pet ownership and a range of hypothesized benefits, including improved heart health, longer lifespans, and lower rates of anxiety and depression.

The results have been mixed. Studies often fail to find any robust link between pets and human well-being; some even find evidence of harms. In many cases, the studies simply can’t determine whether pets cause the observed effect or are simply correlated with it

The pet care industry has invested millions of dollars in human-animal interaction research, mostly since the late 2000s. Feel-good findings have been trumpeted by industry press releases and, in turn, dominated news coverage, with headlines like “How Dogs Help Us Lead Longer, Healthier Lives.”

At times, industry figures have even framed pet ownership as a kind of public health intervention. “Everybody should quit smoking. Everybody should go to the gym. Everybody should eat more fruits and vegetables. And everyone should own a pet,” said Steven Feldman, president of the industry-funded Human Animal Bond Research Institute, in a 2015 podcast interview.

The problem with that kind of argument, Herzog and other experts say, is that it gets out ahead of the evidence (and that not every person is equipped to care for a pet). “Most studies,” said Herzog, “do not show the pattern of results that the pet products industry claims."

“What happens is we try to compare people with pets, to people without pets, and then we say, ‘People with pets have X, Y, and Z differences.’ It actually is a really invalid way of approaching the research question,” said Kerri Rodriguez, who directs the Human-Animal Bond Lab at the University of Arizona. A study finding that cat owners are more likely to be depressed, for example, may be picking up on a real connection. But it could just be that people already experiencing depression are likelier to get cats.

Herzog agrees that having a pet can have real benefits. At the end of a recent conversation, he reflected on his cat, Tilly, who died in 2022. She used to watch TV with him in the evenings, and she would curl up on a rocking chair in his basement office while he worked. The benefits of their relationship, Herzog said, were real but perhaps hard to measure — among the intangible qualities that are difficult to capture on research surveys.

"If you’d asked me, ‘Did Tilly improve the quality of your life?’ I’d say absolutely,” he said. “My health? Nah.”

POZ.com article that looks at multiple studies published in recent times.

July 9, 2024 • By Liz Highleyman


Does Cannabis Reduce Inflammation in People With HIV?

Marijuana and CBD have anti-inflammatory effects and may improve gut health, but smoking can reduce the benefits

Taken together, these study results suggest that cannabis use—especially by methods other than smoking—might have beneficial effects on immune function and inflammation in people living with HIV. However, randomized controlled clinical trials of cannabis or cannabinoid administration are still lacking. This new research is consistent with the findings of a 2021 review of human and animal studies, which found that cannabinoids, especially CBD, are anti-inflammatory in the setting of HIV, in part due to stabilization of the gut lining. “Cannabis may provide a beneficial intervention to reduce morbidity related to inflammation in people with HIV,” the review authors concluded.

But cannabis is not a panacea. A large study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, which surveyed more than 430,000 mostly HIV-negative people, found that cannabis use was associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Long-term heavy marijuana use can have negative effects on mood, cognition and memory. Some studies have found that cannabis use can interfere with adherence to antiretroviral treatment. What’s more, smoking marijuana, like tobacco cigarettes, can damage the lungs and may increase the risk of cancer, so using edible forms of cannabis or CBD could be a healthier choice.
Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV / Re: Health Insurance in Thailand
« Last post by BKKKevin on July 14, 2024, 09:19:44 pm »
Check out Roojai.com… You can see pricing and option before you buy…
I have my car, motorbikes and accident insurance thru them…
Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV / Re: Health Insurance in Thailand
« Last post by Dream9 on July 14, 2024, 06:37:04 am »
Thank you ! Which company do you recommend for the Motorbike
Do I Have HIV? / Re: Blood Draw at home
« Last post by leatherman on July 14, 2024, 06:01:04 am »
there are two main ways to contract HIV:
through unprotected anal or vaginal sex; or by sharing injection needles.

HIV dies when exposed to temperature or air changes, which means outside of someone's body (unless it's inside an injection needle where it's not exposed to air and shared immediately) you cannot be infected.

You've been told this information multiple times by multiple people. If you continue having these irrational fears about HIV, you really should seek some mental health care to help overcome your phobia with HIV.

Please do not post again unless you have been having sex without a condom or have been sharing syringes to inject drugs.

You have been warned and this is the last time.
Before asking about any other situation ask yourself two easy questions:
Did I have UNPROTECTED anal or vaginal sex with anyone?
Was I shooting up drugs and sharing an injection needle with someone?

If you can say NO to those two questions, you did NOT have a risk for HIV.
Do I Have HIV? / Re: Blood Draw at home
« Last post by sam12345678 on July 14, 2024, 04:18:19 am »

There is lot of confusing information on the net which creates these type of fears. Some say it takes seconds, minutes and hours and even weeks.Some say it takes only one virus to infect and some say quanity.We get confused and person like me more. On the net People have got it with needlesticks and blood contacts. So it confuses me.I am a married and have kids and like everyone have commitments and dont want to pass in to my wife. The gov websites are confusing as they say its low risk but still risk. You are the only person who confidently says yes or no so I have come here.
I have asked for help but its very difficult to get as there a long waiting times in UK. Belive me its difficult to even get appointment with a
GP. I have a cyst in lung and its not cancerous but get infections. I am
waiting for more than 8 months to get referred and still nothing. Its difficult for mental health.I have lost my uncle to AIDS and this had created deep fear in me. I am reaching out for help and will do so. I understand HIV treatement is far advanced now but still there is lot of stigma ingrained for the young people  growing up in 85-90s.
As you explained lancet is not a risk and I cleaned it before use anyways. My concern was more of the blood on the bag because unlike a lancet blood can remain on the bag. Also time was not in favour for blood to dry. So I was worried that blood on bag would get into my finger because lancet can push it by creating a wound as finger was already placed on the bag.But as you explained HIV cannot live outside the body as its fragile and its zero risk. You blunt and confident answers unlike the net  are appreciated and really thankful for that.
Do I Have HIV? / Re: Blood Draw at home
« Last post by Jim Allen on July 13, 2024, 06:55:12 pm »
My apologies for the spelling/grammar in the last post. It's midnight here and it's been a very long day. 
Do I Have HIV? / Re: Blood Draw at home
« Last post by Jim Allen on July 13, 2024, 06:41:45 pm »
If stabbing you with the lacent after chasing you around the room with it after using it myself isn't an HIV risk why would you think the even more indirect concern of blood on the bag and then picking your finger be a risk...

This latest fear you have and the details of it, no matter who had posted it and without taking history into account is already a concern enough to stress considering mental health support to assist with these thoughts. This isn't a judgment, you should consider support and there is nothing wrong with that as far as I am concerned. If I was judging you for some reason, trust me, I am extremely blunt, I don't hold back and you would have known about it without any room for doubt, but I'm not and you asked for an assessment and that is what you got.

Now, if I do take your history into account, you have been warned before and it's been explained how HIV is or is not transmitted including the barriers and that HIV is fragile once exposed outside the confines of the human body.

Your lancet isn't a syringe, it's not a hollow needle, so unlike sharing syringes you are not directly injecting a quantity of blood into the bloodstream that has been short-term stored in what is in essence a vacuum. Touching fluids once exposure outside the confines of the body isn't an HIV risk either and these are just some of the biological and environmental barriers to your fears.

Your concerns essentially lack any of the biological and environmental conditions needed to acquire HIV.

In brief, your adult HIV risks are:

* Sex; Condomless intercourse & a minute (theoretical) HIV risk if you give a blowjob.
* Sharing drugs rigs (Syringes)
* Blood products/ transfusions (Rare nowadays in most nations thanks to screening)

Please do not post again unless you have been having sex without a condom or have been sharing syringes to inject drugs.

You have been warned and this is the last time.
Do I Have HIV? / Re: Blood Draw at home
« Last post by Jim Allen on July 13, 2024, 06:34:49 pm »
Once outside the body, small changes in temperature, and pH and moisture levels all quickly damage the virus and render it unable to infect. For this reason, getting vaginal fluids - even fluids with some blood in them - on your skin or in your eyes is NOT going to put you at risk.

HIV is an incredibly fragile virus that can only be transmitted in certain very specific ways.

It does not remain infectious outside the body.

Do I Have HIV? / Re: Blood Draw at home
« Last post by sam12345678 on July 13, 2024, 06:25:54 pm »
Thanks Jim. Yes I was wrong before and I admit it and fully believe in your assessment. Thats why I seek
This is not about the lancet. It about fresh small qty blood deposited on the outside part of the bag and my finger resting on it and lancet pushing it into my finger as it was triggered from
insise of the bag.
I know this may not be exact spot on the bag where I triggered the lancet but assuming it it you still feel no risk from the blood on the bag. This is my last post.
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