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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

HIV/AIDS Blog Central: Perspectives From the HIV/AIDS Community

Please Help Lark Lands, an Old Friend of the HIV Community, Now Battling Cancer
By Nelson Vergel
August 23, 2017

I remember clearly when I met Lark Lands, Ph.D., for the first time in 1994. I saw her coming into a room full of activists in Los Angeles to speak about options to live healthy and survive HIV. This was a time of despair for many of us, as our health was declining and our friends were dying. With her long black hair and great smile, she spoke with urgency, wit and authority about several nutritional and lifestyle choices that could help us improve HIV-related health issues that were robbing us of our lives. Her message was full of hope as she infused her survival skills and resilience into the room. I became a great fan, and we started collaborating while I was lecturing along with Michael Mooney on the use of hormones to reverse wasting syndrome.

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The Terrifying Crystal Meth Story I Have Never Told
By Mark S. King
August 22, 2017

When my guard is down, it comes to me. It flashes across my mind, an uninvited assault, sometimes when I am beginning to drift off to sleep or, more cruelly, when my mind is enjoying a pleasant reverie. It is then that the dark memory rushes in like a raid.

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The Curse That Has Many Blessings
By Shelia Crockett
August 21, 2017

I really didn't understand what a dysfunctional family was until I was around 10 or 11 years of age when my grandmother passed. She and my aunt were my very best friends. I noticed I started to shut down emotionally. I started putting up walls to keep me safe from any more pain. At the sweet age of 13, I had a teenage crushes on my childhood best friend (Tammy) and a favorite older cousin who was a professional football player for the New York Giants and was 15 years my elder. Yes, I knew I was in heaven here on earth and in love for the very first time. Every time the Cowboys played the Giants, we were on the 50 yard line watching the games. We cheered our little hearts out for the Giants to win the game. He would always send us gifts if they won.

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A Good Summer: Still Undetectable, and My Biological Family Wants to Be a Part of My Life
By Tim Hinkhouse
August 21, 2017

Hello there readers: I wanted to update you on my life from behind these prison walls. Recently, I had some blood work done, and I found out my CD4 count is over 700 and my viral load is still undetectable. This brings peace to my soul. My liver, however, is another story. I have cirrhosis with about 20% of it scarred over. My diet has been changing to become the best it can be in prison.

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Getting Ready for Year 25 With HIV!
By Lynda Arnold
August 14, 2017

Goodbye summer, hello early fall 2017! I'm not sure where the time goes these days. I've been meaning to blog. I want to check in, and then life hits! I'd have to go back and see where I left off before these long days began. That just feels unnecess …

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After Uproar, UnitedHealthcare Reverses Truvada Prescription Policy
By Mark S. King
August 5, 2017

When it was revealed a few days ago that insurer UnitedHealthcare, Inc. (UHC) had rejected a patient's pre-authorization claim for the drug Truvada as PrEP due to "high risk homosexual behavior," all hell broke loose. Advocates and organizations sprang into action with petitions and requests for meetings. And now, the insurer has reversed themselves -- and then some.

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Insurer Denies Truvada Due to 'High-Risk Homosexual Behavior'
By Mark S. King
August 3, 2017

Discrimination against LGBT people is often once-removed, shielded under double-speak and fraudulent intentions. So, it's refreshing, really, when a company comes right out and says in black and white that gay men aren't worthy of the same protections as everyone else.

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Revisiting the Most Influential Gay Porn Film Ever Made
By Mark S. King
July 31, 2017

The annual Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco is noted for its unbridled embrace of every kinky star in our sexual constellation. Even the fearless leather community that founded the event can sometimes appear tame amidst the outlandish costumes and clothing -- and lack thereof -- on display along the city's tilted streets.

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We Demanded U Equals U! We Demanded the Truth and We Got It in IAS 2017
By Maria T. Mejia
July 27, 2017

Today is a historic day! What was hidden from us came to the light today! It was hidden for almost 10 years. We pretty much joined together and put pressure. This was demanded by us and the whole world has to know. I have been undetectable for 18 years and living with this condition for 29 years. Why wasn't I considered responsible enough (18 years of adherence and undetectable) to be told the truth? I knew about the Swiss statement for 5 years and no one would confirm it here in the USA or other areas of the world! I had the right as a very adherent person to know the truth!!! To know and understand that I wasn't a risk to any of my partners for 18 years!!!! To suffer just with the thought that I could hurt the ones that I love was horrific and depressing. I feel happy today, but I also feel upset and just like the doctor that gave the Swiss statement, had all of these questions to the panel at the International AIDS Society in Paris.

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My HIV Diagnosis Became My Opportunity to Say 'Yes' to HIV Activism
By Sherri Lewis
July 25, 2017

I left New York in 1987, three weeks after my diagnosis. I had just gotten married, and my husband and his son lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, so it was part of the plan. That was about the only thing that went as planned. As a newlywed and now stepmother who was newly diagnosed, I just wanted to relish the time I had left to experience being a wife and a mother. My career as an entertainer seemed impossible now. But, in front of me was a gangly, pimply-faced, six-foot-four teenage boy with a scar causing his eyelid to droop, which made him look even sadder than he was. Since his mother had left him as an infant to be raised by his father, he was waiting for a mother and there I was. Though the terror and trauma of suddenly being handed a death sentence, I often wanted to jump out of my husband's moving car as we drove across the Longfellow Bridge. He would reach across my chest, like my mother used to when I was a child before seat belts, to keep me inside and safe. I kept going to my recovery meetings, hoping to stay alive long enough to see my stepson graduate high school.

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