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Harold R. "Scottie" Scott

Positive and Beyond: A Rural Perspective

While We Wait for an HIV Cure, Don't Forget to Live
February 3, 2017

It was once said that there have always been survivors of cancer, HIV and other potentially life-threatening conditions. So, as HIV/AIDS is what I personally live with, should I and others look beyond our situation and consider the possibility of a life without it?

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With HIV, It's Easy to Impose Beliefs on Others Instead of Offering Compassion, Care and Inclusion
January 16, 2017

I have been lucky in one respect: I've been able to be open about my life and my HIV/AIDS status and to know people who treat me no differently, and for that I am grateful. On the other hand, I have dealt with my share of stigma, due in part to a lack of education, religious and moral beliefs or, possibly, just plain ignorance on the part of those who direct their words, actions and Bible scripture quotes at me, even to the point of telling me: "I wish you were dead," or "You deserve to burn in hell," or "You should be ashamed to even show your face in public for living your life as you do and for being so public with your status, as if it's something to be proud of."

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Challenging the Thought Process of HIV Stigma
January 12, 2017

In today's world of HIV/AIDS, there is much talk about stigma and how or if it has changed for those of us who live with the condition. It still exists.

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Train of Thought, Then and Now
December 7, 2016

Many of us, of a certain age, may recall the scene in some cartoons or movies of a woman tied to a train track with a train coming from a distance. The scene depicts the "damsel in distress" being saved, just in the nick of time, by her hero.

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World AIDS Day Is My Personal Disclosure Anniversary and a Day for Us All to Honor and Remember
November 30, 2016

On this eve of World AIDS Day 2016, I, as a 27-year survivor of the epidemic, am thinking back over the years and about how HIV continues to impact my life.

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Being Thankful for a Blessing in Disguise
November 22, 2016

As you are reading about someone living with HIV/AIDS, you may be saying to yourself, how can that be a blessing, and how on earth can he be thankful. Being infected is not itself a blessing, nor is it something I am thankful for -- in the sense of being happy I am infected. However, had it not been for HIV, I, like most who are not infected, would likely not be as thankful or feel as blessed to have a life and a purpose that touches others.

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As Old As You Feel, Aging With HIV
November 9, 2016

For many of us, learning to incorporate living with HIV/AIDS and adhering to a daily routine of taking meds to treat the condition, along with dealing with possible side-effects of those meds, are just normal parts of everyday life. As a long-term survivor of 25 years, I am faced with not only keeping the virus in check, but also dealing with cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, triglyceride issues and now lipodystrophy and stage 3 chronic kidney disease. This is all due in part to HIV/AIDS, the meds used to treat it, aging (I will turn 55 on Feb. 2) or a combination of these things.

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The Balancing Act of Surviving HIV With Limited Resources
October 27, 2016

Having lived with HIV/AIDS for twenty-five-plus years, I have seen and experienced many changes. I, like so many other long-term survivors, have learned to be creative when it comes to my everyday living. Many of us left the workforce years ago to live out our remaining years, never having planned to reach old age, yet, all these years later, we are still here.

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'The Look' of HIV/AIDS: I Bet You Think This Song Is About You
October 27, 2016

As a society obsessed with aging and looks, whether or not we admit it, when we meet people our appearance is often a major factor in the opinion they form of us. We try to show ourselves in the best possible way, but often what others think or say about us can cause us not to be our best. This is how we become insecure when, actually, we should be comfortable in our own skins. Literally!

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Through a Journal, a Long-Term HIV Survivor Looks Back at the Early Years
September 17, 2016

In 1991 when I was 29, I learned I was infected with HIV. I was devastated, and for the first several months, it was not a good place to be. But, in the midst of my sadness, anger, depression and a whole range of other emotions, I again began to journal my thoughts. I had been told that I had maybe five to seven years before I would succumb to AIDS. It was due to this that I felt the need to record my journey in my own words. I am now sharing some of my journal entries to allow a glimpse into my struggle to come to terms with the news I had received.

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Positive and Beyond: A Rural Perspective

Harold R. 'Scottie' Scott

Harold R. "Scottie" Scott

Harold R. "Scottie" Scott grew up on the family farm in rural Jackson County, Tennessee, which has a population of less than 10,000. On October 24, 1991, he learned he was infected with HIV via a phone call while at work. This set into motion a personal journey, which would include a very public announcement that he was living with HIV while a featured speaker at a 1994 World AIDS Day program. He has since gone on to volunteer in various capacities, representing the rural person's voice on HIV/AIDS and the issues that are sometimes unique to rural versus urban life. Among other roles, he is a speaker/educator who lives openly with his status while serving as a resource for the newly diagnosed in rural Tennessee. He currently resides some 30 miles east of Nashville, Tennessee.

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