Many people know what it is to work an entry-level position. Hourly wages, indifferent coworkers and unpredictable schedules are common, and more often than not, workers are not privy to the institutional process of making decisions about best practices.
Back in 2008, you couldn't turn on the TV without hearing the word "maverick." Presidential hopeful John McCain was a "maverick" who was always willing to challenge party fundamentals. His running mate, Sarah Palin, was a "maverick" because she ate elk for dinner. The Dallas Mavericks just are mavericks.
The holidays can be difficult times for many. Loss of a loved one, distance from family or friends, illnesses, personal struggles, etc. are all things that make the holiday times trying for many while others bask in the joy and warmth that the seasons of celebration can bring.
For me, this past holiday season continued to have me wrapped in the throws of a gut-wrenching depression.
Jacques was an unfathomably vast tree of legal knowledge regarding HIV in the U.S. One of his many branches reached directly into TheBody.com, where he volunteered in our "Ask the Experts" forum on workplace and insurance issues since 2012. There, he answered hundreds of questions with empathy, energy and insight -- 928 questions, to be exact, including hundreds from HIV-positive people in immediate need of nuanced legal information and advice. Yet as this beautiful tribute from AIDS Project Los Angeles makes clear, Jacques' role in our forums represented just a small segment of the services he provided to the HIV community throughout a long (but not long enough) career.
I saw something written on my Facebook timeline that made me shake my head in shame.
I felt a little shame for the statements and shame for the person who wrote it. I thought they were a bit more far along in being supportive of person's living with HIV. The shame I felt morphed into anger. Anger that folks are still using language like this, in 2016.
Being HIV positive, I never would have thought I would have any children at all.
My husband, Phil, and I adopted our second son, Tavis, when he was 17. I couldn't mention the adoption before because of legalities. But he is ours, now.
I'm concerned about Charlie Sheen. Like, genuinely concerned. It's not because he disclosed he is HIV positive. It's not because as of late he looks like a character on The Walking Dead. It's not because he went off his antiretrovirals to take an alternative treatment method (well, I am concerned about that, but not as much).
One of the biggest joys and responsibilities of life is bringing another human into this world. It's a surreal experience that can be filled with joy, anxiety, and fear. Finding out your partner is pregnant can bring even the strongest man to his knees in tears, it's an emotional out of body experience. There are so many unknown factors and risks involved to begin with but what happens when you throw HIV into the mix?
Checking in with my Facebook HIV group and my son asks me, "Do people take issue that you may be spending too much time with HIV stuff?"
Living with HIV can be traumatic on multiple levels. For each person it can be extremely different and the treatments must be adapted to each situation and case.
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