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The Viral Truth


Is AIDS in Black America More About Behavior or Institutional Factors?
By Kellee Terrell
February 28, 2013

It's not a secret that African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most impacted by HIV/AIDS. While we account for a mere 14 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 44 percent of all new HIV infections. And yet when it comes to what we need to do to end this epidemic, we are very much at odds: with ourselves, with those who fund our work and with a general society that doesn't really get it.

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Porn Stars vs. High Schoolers: Who Needs Condoms More?
By Mathew Rodriguez
January 10, 2013

Let me begin by saying that I am a huge condom advocate. I have a box of condoms in my own bedside dresser, and carry around a few with me in my bag at any time. No, not only for myself. I give them out to friends, acquaintances, anyone who asks me for one. The use of condoms has increased significantly since the genesis of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s to the point where they are ubiquitous in all supermarkets and discount department stores. One day, I hope to see them moved out of stores, divorced from the marketplace, and made available, free-of-charge, everywhere. They should be subsidized by a government that cares about the preventative health of its citizens.

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Trigger Warning: Understanding Cicely Bolden
By Mathew Rodriguez
November 3, 2012

I am not a black woman living with HIV, so I have no way of knowing what it was like to be Cicely Bolden, the 28-year-old woman who was stabbed to death by her sexual partner, Larry Dunn Jr., after she disclosed her HIV status to him in early September. Like me, many others have no way of understanding Cicely's life, yet they have seen themselves fit to pass judgment on her. Because I have very little intersection with Cicely's lived experience, all I have to rely on to relate to her is my imagination. I ask that each of you, regardless of status, join me in my exercise of imagination as you read this piece.

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Notes on a Conference: Catching Up; Women and HIV; and Thoughts on the Opening Ceremony
By Kellee Terrell
July 24, 2012

So, I won't lie: Waking up this Sunday morning wasn't easy. My intention to wake up at 6:30 a.m. in order to go running in the hotel fitness center turned into me waking up at 8 a.m. with Becky Allen, our site manager, laughing at me as she left to get breakfast.

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Notes on a Conference: MSMGF Pre-Conference and PWN Reception
By Kellee Terrell
July 22, 2012

I have a secret to share with you all. Despite the fact that I have been writing about the HIV epidemic since 2006, this is the first International AIDS Conference that I have ever attended. Shocking, I know.

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Fire Destroys Office of New Orleans-Based Organization, Arson Suspected
By Kellee Terrell
May 29, 2012

Another day, another attack on women.

In the wee hours of the morning on May 25, Deon Haywood received a horrible phone call from her building's landlord. The office of the organization that she runs, Women With A Vision (WWAV), had been burned down.

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Buffalo Bills Player Tweets HIV Test Results: Over-Share or Encouraging?
By Kellee Terrell
May 25, 2012

Earlier this week, Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Clowney tweeted a picture of his negative HIV test results with the text "Got My HIV Results Back!! Thank God for keeping my body healthy and safe."

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Zimbabwe Leader Believes That Women Making Themselves "Less Attractive" Will Curb HIV Infections
By Kellee Terrell
May 15, 2012

It isn't rare for politicians to put their feet in their mouths when they talk about HIV/AIDS. This past January, Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) told a radio show "homosexuality is harmful," the HIV epidemic came from a single gay airline employee having "sexual relations" with a monkey, and that heterosexual men and women really cannot contract HIV.

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Thoughts on a Roundtable: How to Get Heterosexual Black Men Involved in HIV Prevention, Part 1
By Kellee Terrell
April 25, 2012

I've always been bothered by the fact that heterosexual black men have been kept out of conversations about HIV prevention in the African-American community. A lot can be blamed for this blatant omission, but it's important to point to homophobia and an unhealthy obsession with the down low as major reasons why we haven't included straight black men in the mix.

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Magic Johnson and Larry Bird Talk HIV/AIDS on Letterman
By Kellee Terrell
April 18, 2012

Last week on the Late Show with David Letterman, to promote the new Broadway play about their NBA rivalry, basketball greats Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird discussed how their relationship morphed from on-the-court adversaries to best friends. They also discussed the day that Magic disclosed that he is HIV positive.

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