|People Living With HIV/AIDS|
|Khafre Abif: Freedom Rider||Tree Alexander: Tree House Talk (All Strength No Shade)|
"Believe me when I say that I know how to share," writes Khafre, a longtime HIV survivor and father of two; "I have been in support group meetings all across the East Coast." A librarian by trade before he became a full-time advocate, he thrives on sharing useful information and providing guidance.
A 23-year-old Chicago native, Tree was a fitness trainer before he was diagnosed with HIV. Now he lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is a case worker at one of New York's premier HIV/AIDS organizations.
|Alive2: The Knowledge I Didn't Want||
||Robert Breining: The Positive Pitch|
Alive2, a married dad of four, never thought HIV could touch him. Now that he's positive, he's learning all he can about living with HIV, raising a family and taking care of his health -- and reflecting on each step.
Sports fan and self-proclaimed "cyber-activist" Robert Breining used to be in the closet about his HIV status. Now he hosts his own online radio show and social-networking Web site for HIV-positive folks.
|Richard Cordova III: Positive Indeed||Shana Cozad: Mother Earth|
"We have advertisements for HIV medications telling us that you can live a full and active life," writes Chicago-based health educator Richard; "but ... I want to show that someone living with HIV/AIDS can be OK not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually."
A full-blooded Native American, mother of three, long-term AIDS survivor, HIV advocate and proponent of complementary therapies in addition to HIV meds, Shana's got a unique take on a variety of topics -- from health and parenting, to grief and death, to love and relationships.
|Philip D.: A Positive Spin||Brooke Davidoff: Voice of ONE|
Writes Philip D.: "I'm a recovering pessimist. Since testing HIV positive in 2007, each time I've been presented with an obstacle or challenge, I also received some help ... I have grown so much, it has made it impossible for me to call the past three years 'bad.'"
Brooke was diagnosed HIV positive in January 2010 -- two months married and 11 weeks pregnant with her first baby -- and has already begun to educate others about HIV.
|Thomas DeLorenzo: Who Knew So Few T Cells Could Accomplish So Much?||Ria Denise: Lyfe Positive|
Long-term HIV survivor, career publicist and HIV/AIDS treatment advocate Thomas DeLorenzo refuses to accept any limitation, recently adding a harrowing law school application process to his list of achievements.
"This blog features the randomness of my psyche, realities of living with HIV, things I find interesting and the afrocentricity of me," writes Ria Denise. Ria tested HIV positive in 2004; now she's ready to let her voice be heard. "Welcome to my rediscovery."
|Teniecka Drake: Enough Negativity!||Ellisya: Live Life Like You Were Dying|
Since her HIV diagnosis in 2001 -- and her marriage, and the recent births of her three children -- Teniecka really has been taking life for more fun! She blogs to encourage other HIV-positive people in times when they might need a boost.
In a world that's full of ignorant people," says Ellisya, "life is about fighting and fighting all the time." An orphan and rape survivor, Ellisya became a mom on her own at 16; at 21, she and her daughter tested HIV positive. "I am here to share about my life ... hoping that everyone can learn from my real life experience.
|David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.: Riding the Tiger: Life Lessons From an HIV-Positive Therapist||fogcityjohn: Outlier: My Unusual Journey With HIV|
David Fawcett has been a social worker and therapist since the mid-1980s -- and he's been living with HIV for nearly that long. In his writing, as in his therapy practice, he draws important links between physical health and emotional resilience -- between how we feel and how we view our lives.
Fogcityjohn is a thoughtful, passionate author whose main themes are friendships, relationships, self-care and self-regard among gay men in the age of HIV/AIDS.
|Enrique Franco: A Brighter Vision||River Huston: A River Runs Through It|
Enrique was discharged from the U.S. Army for refusing to hide that he was gay. He also tested HIV positive at that time. Enrique draws strength and inspiration from all his experiences -- from walking his dog to musing about God.
There are few things River hasn't done. She's got a list of goals to meet before she dies -- which after more than 20 years living with HIV is clearly not going to be soon -- and she's clicking them off one by one.
|Ibrahim: A Poz Salam||Rev. Andrena Ingram: Is the Ribbon Enough?|
What's it like to be an HIV-positive Muslim man living in a Middle Eastern community in the U.S.? Ibrahim pulls no punches in his portrait of his life since being diagnosed in 2009.
"With all that I have been, and all that I am, I am not fake," writes Philadelphia-based pastor Rev. Andrena Ingram -- mother of three, addict in recovery, anti-stigma activist and longtime HIV survivor. "I speak my mind. I don't pretend to be 'holier than thou.' ... Heck, I may even let fly a few cuss words every now and then!"
|Bernard Jackson: How Did I Get Here?||Mark S. King: My Fabulous Disease|
When Bernard Jackson writes, as when he speaks and sings, his goal is to make audiences feel and empathize. He shares wise and unique perspectives on love, laughter, work and life, in hopes of helping readers to see things a little differently.
He's a gay, HIV-positive recovering meth addict in his early 50s with an informative, hilarious video blog. What's not to like?
|Aaron Laxton: My HIV Journey||Bob Leahy: Northern Lights|
"I am simply a guy who on June 6, 2011, received the news that over 33 million people have received: I am HIV positive." But unlike most guys, St. Louis dweller Aaron Laxton picked up a video camera to record and share his new journey with others.
HIV is "no picnic for many," says this banker turned AIDS activist and prolific, thoughtful writer. "For some of us though, the lucky ones, HIV has been a good thing. ... It's made us make something of our lives."
|Sherri Beachfront Lewis: HIV DIVA||Rae Lewis-Thornton: Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks|
Twenty-five-year HIV survivor and former pop star Sherri sure does get around town! Whether she's filming an HIV/AIDS community event, writing about appearing on CNN or sharing her love of good food, this "straight girl in a queer world" knows how to live -- and tell about it.
Rae was the first African-American woman living with HIV/AIDS to tell her story on the cover of a national publication. Since then, she's spent nearly two decades sharing her life, unique style, hopes, dreams, and disappointments with a worldwide audience through interviews, ministry, public speaking and, most recently, social media.
|Jimmy Mack: A Long Night's Journey Into Day||Kevin Maloney: Rising Up and Speaking Out About HIV and Hepatitis C|
Jimmy says: "I think that someone needs to be out there saying, 'Look, I'm HIV positive. I have a full-time job. ... I have a healthy, normal sex life with an HIV-negative partner. ... There's so much hope."
When Kevin was diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis C in March 2010, he got right into care for the viruses and treatment for his meth habit. Now he's dedicating his time to raising awareness and sharing the stories of people affected by HIV and/or hep C.
|Maria T. Mejia: Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away||Rusti Miller-Hill: Advocacy Outside the Walls|
When Maria was diagnosed with HIV at 18, her mother said: "You will not die from this, but you will tell the family you have another disease." Now, after years of silence, this Miami resident is more than ready to open up to the world about living with HIV.
Rusti began her HIV/AIDs advocacy in the early 1990s, as a peer educator in the prison where she herself was incarcerated. Now this mother, grandmother, wife and long-term survivor fights for incarcerated women's health from outside the walls.
|B. Osten: Positive Thinking||Frankie Ninja: The Ninja Report|
"Every now and then the past creeps back," B. Osten writes. It's a past where he's dealt with meth addiction and mental illness. "When it does I take a moment and compare it to where I am today" -- on treatment, free of meth and not taking even "the smallest of things" for granted.
Frankie Ninja -- San Francisco resident, divorced dad, former pilot and Overall Father of The Legendary House of Ninja for the Western U.S. -- hopes that his words will "inspire some to give back, and others to push back."
|Ed Perlmutter: An Accidental Activist||Sarah and Carmen Anthony Sacco: What's Normal Anyway?|
"I can't believe no one offered me an HIV test" was Ed's mantra following his HIV diagnosis -- after almost two years of unexplained illnesses, during which an HIV test was never proposed by his doctors. This experience turned Ed into a fierce activist for routine opt-out HIV testing.
Carmen Anthony's music brought him healing after his diagnosis with AIDS in 2000. Sarah was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 at the age of 23. They met at a support group and embarked on life's adventure together. Then, along came their daughter, Abbi -- a precious gift free from HIV.
|ScotCharles: Life Is a River||Reggie Smith: RISE4WAR -- Focusing on Wellness, Awareness and Recovery|
ScotCharles has had many successes and struggles since testing HIV positive in 1984 -- including battling AIDS-related neurological issues. ScotCharles describes his experiences with clarity and poignancy.
"We need more heterosexual couples to share their strength, hope and experiences with the world," writes Reggie Smith. He and wife Dionne -- parents of four, and now grandparents -- have been living with HIV since Reggie's diagnosis in 1988, and they're committed to fighting all forms of HIV stigma.
|Scott Simpson: HIV+ Triathlete: Til I Drop||Justin B. Terry-Smith: Justin's HIV Journal|
You'd never know HIV-positive triathlete Scott Simpson was once a "fat bastard, pack-a-day-plus smoker and party animal extraordinaire." In his blog, Scott shares the regular trials and triumphs of competitive triathlon training.
In his candid video blog, Justin talks about his HIV advocacy, his husband, his role in the leather community -- and how he's learning to take better care of himself and avoid stress.
Photo credit: Don Harris
|Nelson Vergel, B.S.Ch.E., M.B.A.: Outsmarting HIV: A Survivor's Perspective||Loreen Willenberg: Life as an Elite Controller|
A former chemical engineer-turned-HIV treatment advocate from Venezuela, Nelson Vergel has been living with HIV since 1983. He's the founder of several organizations and the author of numerous works on HIV/AIDS, fitness and wellness. He has helped thousands of people live better with HIV/AIDS through his Web sites and public appearances.
Loreen has been living with HIV since 1992 -- and has never had a detectable viral load. She's an "elite controller" -- one of a tiny percentage of HIVers whose bodies control HIV in different ways without HIV meds. Loreen has devoted her life to finding others like her and getting them involved in research studies that could lead to a cure for HIV.
|Jermaine Wright: PozLyfe09: Raw Talk on Life With HIV||Jeannie Wraight: Hints and Allegations|
Why is Jermaine Wright juggling parenthood, prevention outreach for a busy Midwest ASO, and a video blog about the finer points of living with HIV, all in his early-mid 20s? Because it's his mission to reach out to other young HIV-positive black folks like himself.
Profound identification with the pain of others was what first drove Jeannie Wraight to the numbing effects of heroin abuse. Since her HIV diagnosis in 1995, Jeannie has found a new way to apply her empathy: as a passionate international HIV treatment activist.
|Betsy Yung: My Evil Hitchhiker|| |
"[HIV] hopped on and began his nasty business in about the year 2000," writes Betsy Yung, who describes herself as "just your average, hard-working, middle-aged lady living with AIDS." "He never showed himself until I was laying in the hospital on life support ... in July of 2010."
|Gary Bell: Transition to Hope||Catherine Hanssens, Esq.: HIV Law & Policy|
Gary Bell is a longtime HIV/AIDS advocate and executive director of BEBASHI (Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues), the first HIV/AIDS service organization in the U.S. to target urban communities of color.
Catherine Hanssens has been active in HIV legal and policy issues since 1984. She is the executive director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy, the first national legal resource and strategy center for people with HIV and their advocates.
|Marc Kolman, M.S.P.H.: The Ins and Outs of HIV/AIDS Stigma||Elizabeth Lombino: Spread Hope: A Therapist's Guide to Living and Laughing With HIV/AIDS|
Marc Kolman is a long-term public health administrator and HIV/AIDS advocate living in the southern U.S. Marc has a passion for social justice and a particular interest in exploring, and eliminating, HIV/AIDS stigma.
Social worker and HIV advocate Elizabeth writes: "Living with HIV/AIDS can be a daily struggle with many unique challenges. My goal with this blog is to provide a sort of cyber therapy space for you to learn some skills and tools to better cope with these challenges."
|Barbara McGovern, M.D.: Making Progress on HCV Treatment in HIV-Infected Patients||Candace Y.A. Montague: D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner|
Barbara McGovern, M.D., is an experienced physician, a widely published researcher and a frequent lecturer on HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) coinfection. She breaks down the latest developments in HIV/HCV treatment research and explains their significance.
Washington, D.C., native Candace is fed up with HIV/AIDS in her hometown. So she's using her master's degree in Community Health Education and her love for writing to sound the alarm.
|Aless Piper: Flaming Red||Positive Policy|
For activist and Eastern Canada resident Aless Piper, HIV/AIDS entered her life in the form of a grade-six school project -- and an HIV-positive man nearly three times her age who became a lifelong friend.
Positive Policy is a multi-blogger forum for sharing developments in law, policy and activism relevant to people living with, working in and otherwise affected by HIV/AIDS.
|U.S. Positive Women's Network||Dave R.: HIV and Neuropathy: How to Avoid Becoming a Nervous Wreck|
The U.S. Positive Women's Network (PWN) is a network of HIV+ women and allies organizing and advocating for our rights -- and blogging all along the way.
When Dave R. realized "there simply isn't a cure for neuropathy, in the same way that there isn't a cure for HIV," he started educating himself, and others, on how to manage the mysterious condition that he -- along with about 30 percent of HIVers -- was facing.
|Race Across America: Team4HIVHope Cycles to Raise Awareness and to Win||TheBody.com: The Viral Truth: Making Sense of HIV/AIDS News|
The Race Across America is a grueling, 3,000-mile, 24-hour-a-day bicycle race. Team4HIVHope, whose international riders and crew include many people living with HIV, is in it to win it. Follow the team as they ride from California to Maryland in June 2011, breaking down HIV stigma and advocating for expanded HIV med access as they go.
The Viral Truth is TheBody.com's team blog. Our writers and editors offer their analyses of news and research stories that matter to the HIV/AIDS community.
|Volunteer Positive Reports From Field -- Chiang Mai, Thailand|
A small group of travelers made history in January 2012: They became the inaugural team of people living with HIV to serve openly as international volunteers as part of Volunteer Positive -- an international service agency created by and for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Many of the organization's volunteers share their stories and experiences in this blog.
|In Loving Memory|
|Brandon Lacy Campos: Queer, Poz and Colored: The Essentials|
When Brandon encountered self-stigma, silence or fear, he faced it head-on in his blog -- sharing his experiences with openness, urgency and more than a little humor. He also had a face filled with wisdom and mischief; a laugh you could not help but join with your own; a presence that could best be described as radiant. After his death in November 2012, at 35 years of age, the loss was suffered acutely throughout many communities, including Brandon's international online community on social media. Read Brandon's memorial.
|Bob Frascino, M.D.: Life, Love, Sex, HIV and Other Unscheduled Events|
Robert "Dr. Bob" Frascino, M.D., TheBody.com's long-time friend and expert, was a brilliant immunologist who was working in HIV well before he became HIV positive in 1991. He started working with TheBody.com in May 2000 as a host in our Q&A forums. Until his passing on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, from bacterial sepsis, he touched millions of people with his humor and spirit through his Q&A forums on HIV prevention and HIV-related fatigue and anemia, as well as his blog. Read Dr. Bob's memorials by TheBody.com community members and by his husband, Dr. Steve.
|Bonnie Goldman: On My Mind|
Bonnie Goldman was TheBody.com's editorial director from its founding in 1995 until January 2010. No one word sums up Bonnie better than "passionate." She was passionate in everything she did and said -- from fighting for the rights of people living with HIV to raising awareness of HIV in underserved communities. Bonnie passed away due to breast cancer on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. Read Bonnie's memorial.