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The Viral Truth


Do You Know Who My Father Is?
By Mathew Rodriguez
September 3, 2013

Before I was 22, I rarely talked about HIV. After the summer of 2012, I began working at APICHA Community Health Center. I now work for TheBody.com, I am on the HIV Prevention Planning Group at the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, and I am an active member of ACT UP. This is probably solely due to my dad.

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Having the Awkward Conversation
By Becky Allen
August 22, 2013

Let me set the stage for you: It's almost seven years ago. Our heroine, a young'un of about 23, has recently moved to New York City, is working at a bookstore, and embarks on her very first post-college, grown-up-type relationship. There has been some smooching. Perhaps even (gasp!) some snuggling. She and her love interest are enjoying a nice evening in, watching TV on the couch, when they have the following exchange:

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5 Years and Running: How I Quit Smoking
By Warren Tong
August 15, 2013

Aug. 2 marked five years since I started out as an intern at TheBody.com. I remember those early days of transcribing interviews and ordering lunch for the staff. Now look at me -- transcribing and conducting interviews ... and still ordering lunch for the staff. (We do company lunch every week. It's a real morale booster. Don't take it away from us!)

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An Award for the Days in Our Lives
By Myles Helfand
August 7, 2013

We got word late last week that we won an award with significant meaning to us. The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) announced the winners of its annual Excellence in Journalism Award on July 31, and we snagged the Excellence in Multimedia Award for our A Day in the Life video series.

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"1 in 2, Could Be Me": On Being an HIV Statistic and the Violence of Numbers
By Mathew Rodriguez
July 30, 2013

When I was in college, my best friend and I used to get into a lot of spirited, friendly debates. He was a sociology-oriented person who always extolled the virtue of macro-scale studies with numbers and data, while I was a literary person who would rather read a work of fiction to learn about people. He would claim that my literary pursuits were too myopic, and I would warn about the violence and judgment that lie behind the numbers of many major studies. We were constantly stalemated.

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Obama, Trayvon, HIV and the Problem of Empathy
By Olivia Ford
July 23, 2013

This past Friday, President Obama held a press conference to share his reactions to the Trayvon Martin verdict. His speech has been heralded by some as among the most important he has ever given and lambasted by others as too little, too late at best. I encourage you to listen to the speech, if you haven't already, and form your own opinions. I had my own cascade of thoughts, but I'll get on to what all this has to do with HIV.

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On Grief, and Connecting to a Community
By Becky Allen
July 16, 2013

I was raised by parents who didn't just tell me that it was important to do good things and help my community, they demonstrated it in the way they lived their lives. Dad was a volunteer firefighter. Mom was a nurse. Together, they helped cofound our tiny town's emergency rescue squad in upstate New York. They were often first responders -- the kind of people who don't rubberneck at accidents, they pull over and help.

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The HIV Cure Chatter Is Real, but It's Only Part of Our Story
By Myles Helfand
July 10, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to have trouble telling apart one HIV cure story from another.

Just one short year ago, it was all so simple: Whenever anyone talked about a person being cured of HIV, we knew exactly who they referring to. How could we not? There was literally only one guy they could be talking about.

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I See Why HIV Testing Can Make You Nervous
By Warren Tong
June 25, 2013

In light of this year's National HIV Testing Day, I got tested last week at GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis) here in New York City. It wasn't my first HIV test (I routinely get tested at my annual physical checkup), but it was my first time going to a free testing site.

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A Brazilian Lesson in Body Positivity
By Mathew Rodriguez
June 11, 2013

I have five tattoos. My first one, an Aries symbol in rainbow, I bought myself as a high school graduation present. It was to remind myself that I should remain true to myself and never apologize for the way I was born (both as a gay man and a stubborn Aries). My second is an homage to my favorite author Flannery O'Connor. My third is an homage to my favorite film Hedwig and the Angry Inch. My fourth is a poem by E.E. Cummings, and my fifth is a quote from To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

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