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Mark S. King

My Fabulous Disease

AIDS 2012 Farewell: The Voices of the World
July 27, 2012

The seven foot Mexican drag queen handing out condoms springs to mind, of course. And escape artists Daniel Bauer's highly personal show mixing magic with confessions from his life as a gay man living with HIV. Seeing presentations by mentors I admire, such as Sean Strub and Edwin Bernard. The Australian chief justice with a gay partner of 43 years, giving me suggestions on maintaining a long marriage ("give in," he advised).

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AIDS2012 Day Four: The Global Village
July 26, 2012

It's time for a tour of the heart and soul of the International AIDS Conference in D.C.: The Global Village. This massive hall is the only part of the conference open to the public, and it has a grassroots feel, crafted from the love and devotion of hundreds of community groups that are doing "the work on the ground" in cities and small towns throughout the world.

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AIDS 2012 Day Three: The March on Washington
July 25, 2012

The people included in the video can speak for themselves, and quite eloquently. Maybe it was the emotions of the event -- anger, nervousness, pride -- but it was an exhausting day. I felt the residue of grief for lost friends in a way I haven't experienced in years.

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Day Two at AIDS 2012: Singers, Stigma and Subways
July 24, 2012

Day Two of the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) roared through its first full day on Monday, and there are sights to behold. I spent some time in the exhibit hall critiquing the fashions (and the issues) of various attendees with fashion maven Jack Mackenroth; started a YouTube rivalry with inspirational singer Jamar Rogers ("The Voice"); and learned about HIV again from an expert with UK HIV organization the Terrence Higgins Trust. And, with all the talk at the conference about the devastating effects of HIV stigma, I found validation of my own HIV status in the unlikeliest of places: the Gallery Place subway station.

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Day One at the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012)
July 23, 2012

On the first official day of AIDS 2012, the schedule is light but the party is rolling, with an outdoor concert steps away from the AIDS quilt, dancing dignitaries, and a somewhat surprise ending!

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"Gay Day" at AIDS 2012 in Washington, D.C.
July 22, 2012

Since less than 5 percent of the programming for AIDS 2012 is targeting to MSMs (Men who have Sex with Men), a special one-day pre-conference is held the day AIDS 2012 convenes to address the needs and issues of this population.

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Bridging the HIV Viral Divide With Friendship
July 18, 2012

Lynne Rhys and I were never supposed to become friends. It was just too unlikely.

She is a divorced woman raising a teenaged daughter, and was barely aware of a "gay community" until she stepped tentatively out of the closet in midlife. She has a quiet and soft-spoken grace. She has manners. She readily burdens the blame if it means saving your feelings. She's one of those people who apologizes when I miss a turn while driving us somewhere, as if it must have been her fault.

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Is "Dawson's 20-Load Weekend" the Most Important Gay Porn Film Ever Made?
July 9, 2012

The annual Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco is noted for its unbridled embrace of every star in our sexual constellation. Even the fearless leather community that founded the event can sometimes appear tame amidst the outlandish kinks and clothing -- and lack thereof -- on display along the city's tilted streets.

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The Stupid Question: "Are You Clean?"
June 21, 2012

I took a shower this morning. I am clean. I might work out at the gym later, or maybe the trash bag will break on the way outside and I will scoop up coffee grounds and put them back into the bag. I will then be dirty. I will shower again. And I will be clean.

Anyone who questions whether or not HIV stigma is on the rise need look no further than online profiles and hookup sites, in which "Are you clean?" is asked with infuriating regularity. Or perhaps you have suffered the indignity of someone asking you "The Stupid Question" while negotiating a tryst. The sheer ignorance boggles the mind.

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Donna Summer, Coming Out, and How AIDS Changed It All
May 21, 2012

The music my friends liked when I was a teenager intimidated me. It was the head-banging rock of the early seventies, and it felt alien and unappetizing. Most of all, it just felt ... straight, in a way I knew I could never be. Alone in my room, I listened to my beloved Broadway musicals, and resigned myself to the fact that popular music would never really speak to me.

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See Also
Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS and Young Men Who Have Sex With Men
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More Personal Views on HIV Prevention for Gay Men


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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)

For the rest of Mark's articles, click here.

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