What's the Buzz? The Top 10 Stories on TheBody.com in 2011
December 2, 2011
As an action-packed year for the HIV/AIDS community draws to a close, TheBody.com takes stock of 2011 in a new series of articles, "2011 HIV/AIDS Year in Review." Read the entire series here.
Every year, we here at TheBody.com hope to outdo ourselves: We aim to provide more news and more research, and highlight more community voices than ever before. Whether we're successful or not might be entirely in the eye of the beholder (though in my completely unbiased, neutral, not-at-all personally involved opinion, I'd say 2011 turned out spectacularly), but one thing we can say is that a handful of our articles stand out as having gotten a lot of responses from our readers.
Here are the 10 pieces on TheBody.com that generated the biggest buzz in the last year, garnering huge responses on Facebook, Twitter and in our comments.
In September, we in TheBody.com offices were shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Dr. Robert Frascino, who'd been our resident safer sex expert for many years, as well as a blogger, vocal community member, and all-around fantastic voice for people living with HIV. Our grief was shared by thousands worldwide, and when his death was announced, hundreds of people left comments to pay their respects, comfort one another and share stories of how Dr. Bob helped them.
We still miss Dr. Bob terribly, but as his husband and partner of 18 years, Dr. Steve, reminds us, Dr. Bob lives on in the 30,000 forum posts he left behind, and the people he helped will never forget him.
Earlier this year, we launched a slideshow of the 10 biggest HIV-positive celebrities -- but the comments quickly overflowed with people noting our oversights, and the list had to be expanded. From movie stars to athletes, musicians to models and more, these are only 15 of the many stars brave enough to come forward with their status, or whose HIV status was announced after their death.
Although the HIV community knows it to be untrue, the idea that Magic Johnson was cured remains in the world at large. In his video blog, Justin B. Terry-Smith tackled this myth, writing:
A lot of Black heterosexual people think that Magic Johnson has been cured of HIV and sometimes that can lead to dangerous behaviors. Some people say that, "Oh so Magic Johnson's been cured of HIV so I can have unprotected sex again" ... NOT. This is not the truth at all. My wish is that people keep protecting themselves against HIV. Prevention right now should be one of our top priorities since there is no cure at the moment.
This year also marked the 20th anniversary of Magic's disclosure. Aside from Justin's blog entry, our news editor, Kellee Terrell, posed the question "Will This Generation's Magic Johnson Please Stand Up?" in an important editorial. We also gathered memories of and reactions to the disclosure from members of the HIV community in a slideshow: "20 Years of Magic: How One Man's HIV Disclosure Inspired Others."
Early this year, blogger Mark S. King discovered a video of bawdy robots who met online and are about to get it on, but stop to discuss HIV and condoms. When one robot admits he has HIV, the other flips out -- even though he's willing to have sex with strangers, trusting that they'll know their HIV status and will tell the truth about it. If this banter sounds absurd when robots say it, imagine how it sounds when it happens in real life.
The lesson in all this, of course, is not to put your life into the hands of someone you've known for five minutes. Or five months. The responsibility not to get exposed to HIV (and hepatitis and other STDs) is entirely yours. And another thing: If you're a sexually active "man about town" and your last HIV test was months ago, the results don't really matter anymore. Go get a new one.
And, as he added at the end: "Sometimes the truth hurts. In this case, it's also hilarious."
This article was provided by TheBody.
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