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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Mark S. King

My Fabulous Disease


Taboo Sex, Racism and Gay Men: A Chat in Black and White
July 5, 2017

In thirty years of HIV work alongside black advocates, I have rarely written on the topic of race. It makes me uncomfortable, or perhaps I feel unequipped, unqualified. But it's that very hesitancy, according to black gay academic Charles Stephens, that only makes racism worse.

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Finally! The Sexy Gay PrEP Video We've Been Waiting For.
June 20, 2017

"PrEP is a prevention strategy that deals with sex, namely bareback sex," says gay film student Chris Tipton-King, "and I got tired of people tip-toeing around that fact." The young Bay Area resident had never seen a PrEP video that didn't somehow sanitize sex or the desires of gay men. "Everything I had seen about PrEP just felt ... awkward."

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Those Offended by #NoJusticeNoPride Should Learn LGBT History
June 13, 2017

When #NoJusticeNoPride blocked the D.C. Pride parade route on June 10, causing an hour delay to an already epic three-hour parade, you could hear the ice cubes impatiently rattling in Bloody Mary glasses for blocks. Revelers at three locations on the route were forced to contend with (mostly black and latinx) protesters, women and trans folks among them, shouting chants about how D.C. Pride was beholden to corporations and institutions and a police state that do not have their welfare in mind.

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The True Love Story Behind Larry Kramer's Novel Faggots
June 2, 2017

The new POZ Magazine feature article, "Finding Larry Kramer," tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the iconic activist found his way back to GMHC nearly thirty years after the organization kicked him out for being such a pain in the ass. It is an intimate look at an American hero and lion in winter.

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AIDS, Love and Desperation at the Louise Hay Ride
May 23, 2017

The hall, an auditorium in a West Hollywood park, was filled to overflowing. Hundreds of people, nearly all of them gay men, were crushed together in folding chairs, seated on the floor, or crowded in overflow areas by the doors. I sat fidgeting in my seat, a first-timer to this event, and beside me was my brother, Richard. His lover, Emil, diagnosed with AIDS for a couple of years now, was busy shaking hands and networking with the throng.

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A Second Chance at Death
May 2, 2017

We all know how this ends.

Despite the avalanche of articles on aging with HIV or advice about how to avoid long-term side effects or even news of progress toward a cure, nothing will change the inevitable. None of us will get out of this alive.

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Sean McKenna: Life With AIDS Isn't So Damn 'Fabulous'
April 21, 2017

Last December I attended the most moving, transcendent World AIDS Day program I have witnessed in years. That's not saying much, of course. These evenings are usually well-meaning but maudlin, featuring tearful eulogies while we hold up candles that drip on our fingers and we revisit personal losses that I put to rest a long time ago. Okay, clearly I have issues with grief.

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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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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
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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!!!
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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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