Wednesday, December 15, 2010

J.R. will discuss his LSD trips with you...

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MAPS Sponsors Psychedelic Confab

Posted: 01 Dec 2010 11:45 AM PST

And J.R. will discuss his LSD trips with you.
The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has put together a roster of very big psychedelic guns, as well as a few surprises, for its mini-conference on December 12-13 in Los Angeles. On tap for the convocation are such luminaries as Stanislav Grof of Holotropic Breathwork fame; as well as Charles Grob, professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine and a psychedelic research of long standing who recently studied the effects of psilocybin on death anxiety in terminal cancer patients.
“Catalysts: The Impact of Psychedelics from Consciousness to the Clinic, and from Culture to Creativity” will feature presentations and discussions on “psychedelic science, the current state of psychedelic research, and clinical applications for therapeutic use.”
Other experts among the scientists, physicians, psychologists, writers, and artists expected to attend include Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS, who has specialized in research on MDMA (Ecstasy) as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. Another scheduled attendee, James Fadiman, was introduced to the field of psychedelic drugs by his Harvard undergraduate advisor Richard Alpert, who later became well known as Baba Ram Dass. Fadiman holds the distinction of being the last LSD researcher to be shut down by the U.S. government, when he was at San Francisco State University in 1972.
Also in attendance will be Julie Holland, an assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and the author of “Ecstasy: A Complete Guide,” and Clare Wilkins, director of the Pangea Biomedics Ibogaine Clinic in Mexico.
Special Bonus Appearance:
I can’t imagine that anyone under the age of 55 is likely to know who Larry Hagman is. Long ago, he was on a camp TV show about a Texas oil bazillionaire with nasty habits. Not only was he a big TV star, he was also old enough to have been around when LSD psychotherapy came to the couches of Hollywood analysts for a brief period in the 1960s and attracted some other odd ducks like Cary Grant and James Coburn. Hagman, Star of TV’s “Dallas” and “I Dream of Jeannie,” will discuss his experiences with LSD psychotherapy.
Earlier, he talked about his experiences in a 2003 interview with Rick Doblin, published in the MAPS journal and excerpted below:
Before I tried LSD, I'd been going to a psychologist for a couple of years…. I had been addicted to tobacco and Bontril, a mild form of amphetamine, doctor-prescribed of course….
I was backstage at a performance one time with Crosby, Stills & Nash and I was talking about it to David Crosby. David said, well, shit, man, here. He handed me a handful of little pills. I said what the fuck? He says this is LSD. It was the best going around at that time. This was before Blue Cheer and Windowpane. This was the original Owsley. He gave me about 25 pills. I said, well, how much should I take? He says, well, don't take more than one….
… my first acid trip was the most illuminating experience of my life. I would highly recommend it for people who study and prepare for it and who are not neurotic or psychotic. I don't know what it would do to psychotic people. I know what it does to neurotic people who can't handle that. They get terrified and do crazy things like jumping out of windows and stuff like that. That's happened to a couple of friends of mine.
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World AIDS Day

Posted: 01 Dec 2010 03:09 AM PST

Testing, Testing.

Guest Post By Kevin Fenton, M.D., Ph.D., FFPH, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Every year on December 1, we commemorate World AIDS Day to bring attention to the tremendous impact of the HIV epidemic in the United States and around the world. In observance of World AIDS Day, today CDC launched a special report, CDC Vital Signs on HIV Testing in the United States, in recognition of the pivotal role that HIV testing plays in our national HIV prevention strategy.

Some highlights of the CDC Vital Signs report on HIV testing include:

    •    In 2009, an estimated 82.9 million Americans ages 18-64—45% of this age group—reported they had been tested for HIV.

    •    At least 1 in 3 Americans who test positive for HIV is tested too late in his or her infection to get the full advantage of life-saving treatment.

    •    Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men have the highest rates of HIV, but a 2008 study conducted in 21 major US cities, found that about 40% had not been tested in the past year.

    •   African Americans made up more than half of HIV diagnoses in 2008, but 2 in 5 African Americans have never been tested.

CDC recommended in 2006 that HIV testing become a routine part of medical care, including testing of all adolescents and adults at least once, testing at least annually for persons at increased risk, and testing of women during each pregnancy. Since that time, HIV testing has increased, and more people are being tested for HIV than ever before. However, many challenges remain: 55% of Americans ages 18 to 64 still have never been tested, according to CDC Vital Signs. And of the estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, 1 in 5 do not know they are infected.

More needs to be done. HIV testing is vitally important because it can save lives. For anyone who is infected, it is important to know his or her HIV status in order to access effective life-extending treatment, avoid HIV transmission to partners, and have a better quality of life.

Treatment for HIV is most effective before symptoms develop. It can do much to slow the infection that leads to AIDS and death. Without treatment a person infected with HIV will develop AIDS in about 10 years. With early treatment a 25-year-old adult can survive on average 39 more years.
According to the Vital Signs report, nearly one-third (32%) of the people found with HIV in 2007 were diagnosed late. This means that they likely had HIV for a long time without knowing it because they developed AIDS soon (less than one year) after their HIV test.

Health care providers play a critical role in stopping the spread of HIV as most HIV testing is conducted in health care settings. It is important that patients listen to their doctors and it is important that doctors and other health care providers speak openly and honestly with patients about HIV, and offer routine testing per CDC recommendations.

CDC also plays a critical role. We are committed to strengthening our efforts against the epidemic and working with partners to increase HIV testing. CDC continues to expand its efforts in areas where the burden of disease is greatest. We recently announced an expansion of a successful HIV testing initiative to reach more hard-hit populations, including African Americans, Latinos, men who have sex with men and injection drug users. In 2010, CDC provided more than $60 million to support HIV testing efforts in 30 of the hardest hit jurisdictions in the United States.

In addition, CDC provides funds to all health departments and more than 130 community-based organizations to implement HIV prevention programs, including HIV testing. We are also working to get messages out about testing through the Act Against AIDS  campaign. Of critical importance, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, recently released by the White House, provides a new opportunity to refocus and intensify federal, state, and local HIV testing efforts.

Now more than ever, effective HIV prevention is a critical public health priority for the U.S. and the world, and HIV testing to identify those infected is a vital component of that effort. Working together, we can increase HIV testing. Everyone needs to know how important HIV testing is – it is a simple measure that can literally save the health and lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and help to bring an end to this tragic epidemic.

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