HIV

Project Lazarus

Since 1985, Project Lazarus has provided housing for individuals in New Orleans living with HIV and AIDS. When asked to describe the organization in one word, community members have responded with words like, "compassionate," "loving," and "sanctuary. " For more on the group's vision, NolaVie's David Benedetto invited Director of Programs Jessica Kinnison into the studio.

On this week's edition of All Things New Orleans, we'll chat with Dr. Laura Cheever, the Associate Administrator for the Health Resources & Services Administration's HIV/AIDS Bureau. She'll discuss World AIDS Day and the progress being made for individuals living with the disease.

Then, native Mick Behre talks about his one man show which depicts the life story of The Who's drummer, Keith Moon. Behre is joined by Nancy Carlin, director of Keith Moon: The Real Me which is being performed at the Castle Theatre. 

The Food and Drug Administration has given the first OK for a drug to prevent HIV infection.

The daily pill Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, combines two medicines that inhibit the reproduction of HIV. It's been a mainstay in the treatment of HIV/AIDS for years, and as of today is an approved option for reducing the risk of HIV infection for people at high risk.

Think of this like a snapshot — a few perspectives of HIV-negative 20-somethings.

To start, we posted the following query on NPR's Facebook page:

"Thirty years ago, a positive HIV status was considered a death sentence. As treatments for the disease have advanced over the past three decades, we're wondering how younger people view the disease today."

Hundreds of people e-mailed and commented with their reactions. We also gathered reactions from young folks we met on the street.

Crystal Roberts-Lee has lived a tough life, and her HIV has, in some ways, been the least of her worries.

She was addicted to heroin and cocaine. Her daughter went to prison. A scorpion tattoo crawling across her neck marks the day her husband died from AIDS. Now, at 59, Roberts-Lee is the healthiest she has ever been.

"After I take my medicine, it's just a normal day for me," she says. "I go on with whatever I have to do. If I'm just out and about, I feel like I'm just like the next person."