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Aaron Laxton
My HIV Journey


Ferguson, Missouri, Activism and ACT UP
August 18, 2014

By now, Ferguson, Missouri has gained international attention. Being a 4th generation-resident of St. Louis, I wish the attention was for reasons other than police brutality, riots and the death of an unarmed teenager. Last night, day seven of the movement, I decided to venture down to Ferguson. For those of you who are unaware, Ferguson is in St. Louis County, located about 15 minutes north of downtown St. Louis.

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The Real Casualties in the PrEP-Battle
May 6, 2014

I sit waiting at a coffee shop in the Central West End at the Washington University in St. Louis Medical School. This meeting, like most these days, are spent working on strategic planning for implementing PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), a one-pill-a-day drug regimen that has been shown to be up to 99% effective in preventing HIV infection. People slowly trickle into the working group and we start to address the task at hand. Who could benefit the most from access? Believe it or not, it is not those who are waging a moralistic attack on whether or not it should be used. For the most part, it is not even the people who will read this article or who are on social media. That is because the people who could benefit the most from PrEP are limited on resources. The young, black male who has sex with men or the Latino ages 13-24; that is who are falling casualty of this absurd power struggle.

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Let HIV-Negative People Decide Their Own Prevention!
April 17, 2014

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a proven concept. Regardless of whether opponents want to admit it or not, "bio-medical prevention" IS the key to reducing new-HIV infections in the highest-risk groups where previous risk-reductions methods have failed. Today, thanks to new research and science, we have a new method that can help those who are at the highest risk. We do not need more data; we do not need more trials to look at efficacy and safety ... PrEP is already a PROVEN concept. Anyone who says otherwise either doesn't know how to read data, is pushing their own agenda, or they are simply regurgitating the views of other people who have no clear understanding of the topic.

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Meth, PrEP and What Could Have Been
March 25, 2014

Let me take a second to debunk a commonly held myth: "Meth is not fun or pleasurable." That simply is not true, in the beginning. The fact is that there is something about the experience of using meth that seemed attractive to me. The truth is that there came a point where it became far too much work to achieve the same high that you had the first time I used. This is commonly referred to as "chasing the high" not to mention the toll that my body paid in the process of that futile mission. This mission could best be described as "my love affair with meth."

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I Am Considered an HIV Criminal
March 25, 2014

"Why should I care about HIV criminalization? People who purposely expose others to the virus should face justice." This response is nothing new. By now, I am well-acquainted with answering the question. As an HIV-positive male who is living in a serodiscordant relationship, prosecution under HIV criminal statutes is an ever-present fear. It does not matter that my partner is aware of my HIV positive status or that I am undetectable and on antiretroviral therapy. Conversely, if you are living with HIV you need to be aware that HIV criminalization impacts you.

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Where Would We Be Without AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)?
March 4, 2014

This is a very loaded question and one that is without doubt going to invoke debate and conversation. For all of the negative things that people say and read about AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) there is one simple reality: At least they are doing something. I already can hear people saying, "All they do is create stigma, shame and enemies and that is not what we need." Maybe so, but at least they are doing something.

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The New Battle of New Orleans: Insurer Says "Ryan White No Good"
February 21, 2014

There is a new battle raging in the deep-south that without doubt could have implications for everyone living with HIV/AIDS across the United States. Louisiana has found itself in a battle between those living with HIV/AIDS and insurance providers, namely Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS).

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HIV Prevention and "Click It or Ticket": Are New Devices Safe?
January 27, 2014

After doing research on new safety devices being proposed to protect drivers and passengers of automobiles, I have come to a conclusion: There is no need for an increase in new safety devices.

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"Live Your Life": Thanks and Encouragement to the HIV Community for 2014 (Video)
December 16, 2013

In this special holiday entry, Aaron reflects on his journey -- and the more than 200 videos he's posted since his life-changing HIV diagnosis two and a half years ago.

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Have We Reached a Point Where AIDS Is Funny?
December 6, 2013

I rolled over and completed my morning stretch. The first thing that I reached for, as I always do, was my iPhone. I went through my morning ritual of checking emails, text messages and then making my rounds through social media. My notifications on Facebook indicated that a message was left in the early morning hours and it was as follows: "AIDS helped me lose 35lbs."

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