HIV-Infected Cells May Persist in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Some Patients

HIV-Infected Cells May Persist in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Some Patients

It is well-known that persistence of HIV in reservoir (sanctuary) sites is a major barrier to viral eradication despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART). A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reaffirms this challenge and also brings attention to the problem of neurocognitive impairment in some patients on long-term ART.

Tips to Reduce Fatigue

Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness and lack of energy. Individuals suffering from fatigue may experience a reduction in overall alertness and cognition, causing everyday activities to become difficult. Most adults experience fatigue at some point in their lifetime. Listed below are tips provided by the National Institutes of Health on how to reduce fatigue:

  • Get a sufficient amount of sleep every night.

  • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Find ways to relax (e.g., yoga).

  • Follow a reasonable work and personal schedule.

  • Take a vitamin (with the aid of a credible provider).

  • Abstain from alcohol, nicotine, and drug use.


It is important to note that, while fatigue is a common symptom and generally not indicative of a serious health concern, it may be a sign of a severe illness. If the aforementioned tips do not help to relieve fatigue, contact your physician. Additionally, notify your physician if you experience any of the following: confusion or dizziness, blurred vision, little to no urine, swelling, weight gain, or thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Additional information can be accessed here.


Works Cited

“Fatigue: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003088.htm.


June is Pride Month

It is wonderful to see the celebration of being. With a long history of violence, marginalization, and oppression, the LGBTQ+ community has earned its right to march in the streets for celebration. Nothing is more affirming than seeing allies in the most unlikely place “come out” publicly to support the LGBTQ+ community. No doubt the news of Cody Barlow, a straight man from the small town of Hulbert, Oklahoma who decided to show his support for pride by decorating his truck put a smile on your face. And one wonders if he was subjected to any grief for his outspoken support of the LGBTQ+ community.

There is still a lot of work to be done. This is evidenced by recent news of violence perpetrated on the LGBTQ+ community. Murders of black transgender women in Dallas have put a community on edge. The killings of two gay men and a transgender woman in Detroit and a gay man outside Atlanta have highlighted alarming increases in attacks against LGBTQ people. In January 2018, Blaze Bernstein, an openly gay Jewish college student, was stabbed more than 20 times by an avowed neo-Nazi and member of the Atomwaffen Division. In March 2018, Rio Carson was fatally shot as he left a nightclub in Kansas City, Missouri. That same month, Jared Jacobs was killed after a man drove a car at high speed into a gay couple. Amia Tyrae, a black transgender woman, was found dead in a motel room in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with multiple gunshot wounds.

If anyone asks why there needs to be a Pride parade, just point them here or to any site documenting the history of violence against LGBT people in the United States. There is a need (and tremendous benefit) for visibility and awareness. While Pride celebrations are often advertised as a party that promotes love and acceptance for everyone, it is also a time to reflect on LGBTQ history. It is a reaction to a community being shunned and ostracized for years. It is time to celebrate being alive, and to illustrate the continuing need to remind people that the struggle remains.

Psychosocial Research Can Help the National Institute of Mental Health Reduce the Burden of Mental Illnesses and Psychological Disorders

Article: How psychosocial research can help the National Institute of Mental Health achieve its grand challenge to reduce the burden of mental illnesses and psychological disorders.

Citation

Teachman, B. A., McKay, D., Barch, D. M., Prinstein, M. J., Hollon, S. D., & Chambless, D. L. (2019). How psychosocial research can help the National Institute of Mental Health achieve its grand challenge to reduce the burden of mental illnesses and psychological disorders. American Psychologist, 74(4), 415-431. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000361

This article was published in American Psychologist, and is available in the PsycARTICLES database.

Abstract

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) plays an enormous role in establishing the agenda for mental health research across the country (its 2016 appropriation was nearly $1.5 billion; NIMH, 2016a). As the primary funder of research that will lead to development of new assessments and interventions to identify and combat mental illness, the priorities set by NIMH have a major impact on the mental health of our nation and training of the next generation of clinical scientists. Joshua Gordon has recently begun his term as the new Director of NIMH and has been meeting with different organizations to understand how they can contribute to the grand challenge of reducing the burden of mental illness. As a group of clinical psychological scientists (most representing the Coalition for the Advancement and Application of Psychological Science), he asked what we saw as key gaps in our understanding of the burden of mental illnesses and psychological disorders that psychosocial research could help fill. In response, we first present data illustrating how funding trends have shifted toward biomedical research over the past 18 years and then consider the objectives NIMH has defined in its recent strategic plan (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, & National Institute of Mental Health, 2015). We then note ways that advances in psychosocial research can help achieve these objectives. Critically, this involves integrating psychosocial and biomedical approaches to efficiently relieve the suffering of millions of Americans who struggle with mental illnesses and psychological disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)

New Study Highlights Objectification & Self-Esteem Issues on the Apps

Adonis on the apps: Online objectification, self-esteem, and sexual minority men.

Researchers at Columbia University and University of Texas at Austin examine the relationship between use of dating apps and self-esteem in sexual minority men. Dating apps can play a critical role in how sexual minority men internalize difficult standards of body image. Using objectification theory as a framework, the study tests associations between number of apps used, frequency of use, online objectification, internalization, and self-esteem.

Similar to online dating apps where people swipe left or right to find the best looking prospect, social media and fitness accounts have burgeoned. People present the best of themselves (with filters, hashtags, etc.) in social media. There are a number of accounts dedicated to fitness and weightlifting that is fundamentally changing the way we work out and the expectations we have about our bodies. Many Instagram fitness “celebrities” sell a message of self-love, but post images of thin or muscular bodies that are difficult to attain.

The Columbia and UT Austin researchers suggest future research that explores the long-term affects of online dating apps and online objectification. An interesting finding from their study is the more body-focused images an individual is exposed to, the more likely they are to experience a negative emotional or psychological effect. Online objectification and the perils to self-esteem may be related to the number of apps used rather than frequency of use. Posting pictures where a person’s face is cropped out while highlighting one’s body may have negatively affect self-esteem.

More information is needed to understand the role of online dating apps and social media on our perceptions of self and emotional well-being.

Check out the article in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinities.

Breslow, A. S., Sandil, R., Brewster, M. E., Parent, M. C., Chan, A., Yucel, A., Bensmiller, N., & Glaeser, E. (2019, April 4). Adonis on the Apps: Online Objectification, Self-Esteem, and Sexual Minority Men. Psychology of Men & Masculinities. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/men0000202


What is NAMI's StigmaFree Campaign?

by Bill Nguyen

The StigmaFree Campaign, created by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is in response to rising stigma and misconceptions regarding mental illness. The campaign’s official webpage states that its mission is “to end stigma and create hope for those affected by mental illness.” Through providing insightful reference materials as well as a self-diagnostic quiz gauging one’s susceptibility to stigma, the campaign encourages individuals to learn about the misunderstandings surrounding mental illnesses and take a pledge to educate themselves and their community about the misunderstandings.


The campaign’s official website and all of its content can be accessed here.