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It’s been over six months since I began the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship, and now here I am writing my final blog.

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It is three in the morning and Philip, 27, wakes up from a nightmare that he soon forgets. Vivid dreams and dizziness are recurring experiences, side effects he attributes to taking Atripla, a pill he consumes daily because he has AIDS.

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Issues surrounding sexuality can be a difficult topic for many people to openly discuss, but additional cultural barriers can make talking about subjects like HIV/AIDS almost impossible to broach.

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Murray Penner is the Deputy Executive Director of Domestic Programs at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). Penner's primary responsibilities include oversight of the Care and Treatment, Prevention, Viral Hepatitis and Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities programs, including oversight of cooperative agreements with HRSA, CDC and the Office of Minority Health (OMH). Penner also oversees overall responsibility for NASTAD's National ADAP Monitoring and Technical Assistance program, which includes production of the National ADAP Report.

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