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Two Minutes of Advice on Testing HIV Positive

A Video Blog

September 29, 2013

This is a clever social media campaign: Healthline, an online health community, has asked people who have been living with HIV to create videos for those who have recently tested positive, known as "You've Got This." Think of it as "It Gets Better" for those with HIV.

Of course, I had to create a video in my own peculiar way -- something that demonstrates the sense of humor that has served me well over the course of 30 years living with HIV. Maybe my video will help someone you know.

To be honest, I barely remember testing positive in 1985, when the test became publicly available (my doctor and I estimate my infection occurred as far back as 1981). I was already self-medicating with a growing drug addiction -- it was Los Angeles, I was young and stupid, and people started dying; cocaine seemed like a reasonable response at the time -- and the test result felt like my license to continue using.

Today, it's hard for me to recall a time in which I was afraid of becoming infected. I only know a life living with the virus, and my fears of HIV itself are long past. So I should probably approach any advice for the newly infected with care. They are experiencing a profound event that happened to me a lifetime ago. I hope my light touch will give them a needed lift or bring them a smile.

It's easy for me to make the mistake of assuming new infections only happen to younger people, and I even make an apologetic joke in the video about my being "old." The fact is, most new infections in the United States happen to people over 30, not under. We might want to check ourselves when we bemoan infections among "these kids today," (although of the various age groups with new infections, those under 30 remains the largest).

To participate in "You've Got This" with a video of your own, visit the Healthline site for details. Or leave your own word of advice in the comments section below!


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See Also
Day One With HIV: Finding Out Your Status, in Your Own Words's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed
More "Just Diagnosed" Stories

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Peter (Perth, australia) Tue., Feb. 17, 2015 at 6:00 am UTC
Just diagnosed, thank,you
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Comment by: Daddy Bearby (B'ham Al.) Sat., Oct. 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm UTC
Being disgnosed as poz or having aids is no longer the " death sentance" it was once known to be .
Having gone from just poz to having aids was devistating yet here I am still thriving because I refused to give up or give in to a disease now considered as some thing like diabetes ( of which I am very familiar since both my parents and soon to be legal husband all have diabetes ) .
Now it's a task to remeber taking meds on time every time and dealing with some of the side effects of them yet it's some thing that needs to be done to curb the diseases spread .
Having gone from a cd4 count of zero to over 1000 in the past few years I am living proof that a person can come back and be a viable member of the community and having outed my self publicaly was in it's self uplifting because I no longer felt the need to hide in the shadows of the world outside and could go back into the light of life and once again join the world of the living :) .
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Comment by: love life (Dayton, Ohio) Thu., Oct. 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm UTC
That's is a beautiful video Mr.King.Thanks for been candid and giving hope to those who get the dreaded news.I am negative but I have to live with the fact that some one dear to my heart and came from my loins are.He is happy,married,and working.It is not the end of the world and as you rightly say, after you have gone through the shock of the diagnoses you need to move on.Support is going to be very important because rejection from family and friends can be equally devastating.Mr. King,keep doing what you are doing.God bless you.
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My Fabulous Disease

Mark S. King has been an active AIDS activist, writer and community organization leader since the early 1980s in Los Angeles. He has been an outspoken advocate for prevention education and for issues important to those living with HIV.

Diagnosed in 1985, Mark has held positions with the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, AID Atlanta and AIDS Survival Project, and is an award-winning writer. He continues his volunteer work as an AIDS educator and speaker for conferences and events.

Speaking engagements: Mark King is available to speak to groups. Contact Mark about speaking at your organization or event!

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A Place Like This by Mark King

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Interviews With Mark:

Mark King Looks Back at the AIDS Epidemic's Darkest Hour in the U.S. (May 14, 2008)

This Month in HIV: Crystal Methamphetamine and HIV (August 2007)

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