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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Mark S. King

My Fabulous Disease


The Irony of Aging: The HIV/AIDS Seniors Conference
March 22, 2017

Thirty-two years ago this month, I received a phone call from a nurse at my doctor's office telling me that I had tested HIV positive. We didn't schedule a follow-up visit or begin a treatment plan, because there wasn't a single medication approved for the virus, which had only been identified the previous year.

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32 Years Ago Today, Everything Changed
March 15, 2017

Thirty-two years ago today, a friend called me. He worked as a nurse in a doctor's office and had administered the brand-new HIV antibody test to me after hours, all very hush-hush. There were no treatments for the new virus, only fear and mortality. And my friend told me I was HIV positive.

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That Time 37 Years Ago I Won a Car on The Price Is Right
February 24, 2017


When I was nineteen years old, I vacationed to Los Angeles and won a car on The Price is Right.

In the following years, if I really liked you and wanted to impress you -- or give you a small, wacky glimpse of my life -- then at some juncture I'd say "So hey, have you ever been to Los Angeles?" Or, "Did I ever tell you about the car?"

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What If I Told You the Project Inform Staff Was Hilarious?
February 22, 2017

Throughout the earliest years of the HIV/AIDS crisis, I deeply admired the fierce intellect of the late Martin Delaney, the researcher and advocate who, among many other historic accomplishments, founded Project Inform, the HIV treatment advocacy group with intimate ties to the community.

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Bruce Richman Is Totally Hot and Other HIV Activism Truths
February 7, 2017

My friend Charles Sanchez is the creator of the musical web series Merce, about an HIV positive New Yorker. But enough about him. Charles and I constantly argue about which one of us has spoken to Bruce Richman most recently, and for how long. Bruce also lives in New York so Charles appears to have the upper hand, but I'm convinced my calls with Bruce are more intimate and consequential.

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Examining Death, Including the One I Caused
January 25, 2017

My memorial service will be fabulous, I can assure you of that. I first outlined it during the initial, deadly wave of AIDS in the 1980s, and have edited it here and there over the years, updating the songs I would like played or the video footage shown.

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Fighting Trump: HIV Advocates to Watch in 2017
January 10, 2017


Donald J. Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are a threat to everything HIV advocates have been fighting for during the last thirty years, and that includes access to healthcare, HIV prevention programs like PrEP, and the dignity with which we treat those who are most vulnerable to HIV infection.

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Activists Maintain Pressure After Chase Brexton CEO Resigns
December 29, 2016


Here's some news that might make our transition into the new year a little more satisfying.

Richard Larison, the embattled chief executive officer of Chase Brexton, Baltimore's largest provider of health care to the city's most vulnerable communities, has resigned after months of upheaval and staff discontent. It is a clear victory for community activists who have demanded his resignation, even while more work must be done to reform the agency.

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Five Reasons 'HIV Undetectable' Must Equal 'Untransmittable'
December 15, 2016

How wonderful that something many of us have assumed for years has been proven to be true. So now we can spread the news and encourage people with HIV to seek treatment and stick with it. And hey, there's nothing like a little intercourse a la natural with your partner to reward yourself for being undetectable, am I right?

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New Short Film Unmasks Fear Behind HIV Criminalization
December 8, 2016

The making of the new short documentary, HIV Criminalization: Masking Fear and Discrimination, began in exactly the right place: with people living with HIV themselves, and their personal stories of being prosecuted because of their HIV status.

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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

Reader Comments:

Comment by: TonyDewitt (Newark, NJ) Fri., May. 23, 2014 at 7:22 pm UTC
Mark,

I just wanted to say that I recently saw your television ad for HIV advocacy, you look great! Please keep up this very important work.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Michael (Hawaii) Thu., Jul. 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm UTC
If you're a Kaiser patient and considering facial fillers, the time has come. Kaiser Hawaii, and possibly California, has approved Sculptra for lipoatrophy. My sessions cost me only the $15 copay! I'm exited after my first injections and (needles aside) looking forward to the subsequent sessions. It's already making me feel and think better about myself.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Danny W (Bradenton, FL) Mon., May. 31, 2010 at 3:21 pm UTC
Mark,
I saw your youtube video on POZIAM, you really seem to have it together. I too am in recovery (alcohol) "Gin will make you sin." I was diagnosed in November of 2008 and lost my job of six (6) years the following day that same year I also lost my Mom, we were really close. I put myself in a 35 day treatment program and it was the best thing I've ever done to date!

I speak at the treatment facility about my HIV, I am "the face of HIV & recovery." It's not a paying job, but I do get to have lunch with the residents and provide them with encouragement, experience, strength and hope.

Additionaly, I am the co-chair on our county's advisory board for HIV/AIDS. In my county one in every five people is infected and has no clue!

I've said this before and I'm sure I'll say it again, I'm not an activist but I do have a voice!

I would love to follow your blog, I think you are facsinating and an inspiration.

Keep up the awesome work!

Danny W
Reply to this comment


Comment by: David Treadaway (Jackson, GA) Mon., Jul. 6, 2009 at 8:51 pm UTC
I found your blog through my church newsletter. I happen to go to Virginia Highland Church in Atlanta and am fortunate to have Chris Glaser as my pastor. He is a wonderful friend to have!

I am happy to say that I have a partner now of 25 yrs.! So far, we are both HIV free.

That was not the case, so to speak, in 1996. I developed a serious illness that landed me in the hospital. My doctor knew that I was gay and it seemed like I was railroaded down this path. I got diagnoised with full blown AIDS! The treatment back then was gruesome! Nobody wanted to touch you...the attending nurses were actually scared of being around you and the equipment they wore was to make sure they did not in anyway get exposed to something. How isolated we felt! Our lives were sent to Hell and back to say the least.

Thank God treatment has improved and the stigma of the disease has lost the luster of fear of the individual that might have it.

Our best friend is HIV+. That does not stop us or him. We continue to encourage him and ourselves through this. The journey continues.

We are happy to be where we are in life now and look forward to many years ahead, not only with our best friend, but together.

People hurt each other and do not mean to do so. I felt isolated and alone although I had my partner during my hospital stay in '96. Nobody knows unless they have been there the hurt, pain and fear that one feels. It was a false diagnosis but we have been there.

We are very supportive of our fellow friends with HIV. To you all... there is hope, life and support. It is no longer a death sentence but a wake up call to living life a new and exciting way.

Choose your friends carefully, find your creator that you belive in...whomever that may be, trust those of influence, listen, learn and be healthy.

We thought our lives were broken and over. I was supposed to be dead 10 yrs. ago. Still healthy and doing well, HIV free.

Thanks for listening!

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Comment by: pauley may (detroit) Tue., Jun. 9, 2009 at 8:05 pm UTC
hang in there, you are not alone and you look great!!!
Reply to this comment


Comment by: cadillac (md-usa) Thu., Mar. 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm UTC
my trust in the lord that's how i've been getting terrible diease, but also i have been focusing on other people i truly forgot about my status. and oh by the way i've been hiv positive close to 30 yrs.
Reply to this comment


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BLOG:
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

View an excerpt of Mark's book

To read PDF, click here


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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