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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Mark S. King

My Fabulous Disease


Gay Collective: 'The Virus Divides. It Doesn't Have To.'
July 7, 2016

In a cramped meeting room in New York City on May 27, 2016, a dozen gay men, HIV positive and negative alike, came together to answer a vexing question: How do gay men bridge a divide that has been forged through decades of HIV stigma, distrust, and mutual blame? Or, at the very least, what might be done to start a conversation about the divide and begin to heal the wounds?

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There's More Room in a Broken Heart
June 7, 2016

When Will Armstrong emerges from heart surgery in just a few days, he will have weeks of hospitalization ahead. He will also have expensive new hardware in his chest and a devoted animal waiting anxiously at home.

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Surviving Life Itself: Reflections of a Longtime Survivor
June 5, 2016

"I know someone who died," she says in the hushed tone reserved for tales of mortality. Her friend looks up from his phone. "He was a good friend of my brother," she goes on. "He was killed in a motorcycle accident a few months ago. It was just awful." As her friend offers words of comfort, my own thoughts produce a rueful smile and a nagging question.

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Checking Privilege at 'HIV Is Not a Crime' 2016
June 2, 2016

The issues of race, gender and privilege crackled through the recent HIV Is Not a Crime (II) conference like a live wire, throwing sparks at every turn. From the main stage to the hallways, attendees called out white classism, the utter failure of the criminal justice system (unless its purpose is solely to imprison black men), and what it truly means to be an ally of marginalized communities.

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The Nearly Naked AIDS Advocate
May 22, 2016

When Benjamin "Ben" Ryan began taking dance classes ten years ago, the personal venture was a complete whim. After all, he was in his late twenties at the time -- ancient for a beginning dancer -- and by his own admission, was "just awful" for the first few years of classes. And nothing about his vocation as a writer specializing in the science of HIV suggested that Gene Kelly was trapped inside.

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Into the Desert, After the Bomb
May 12, 2016


Daniel Cardone's essential but relentlessly grim documentary about longtime AIDS survivors, Desert Migration, is fascinated with the bodies of the gay men it profiles.

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The Comfort of Blaming Other People for New HIV Cases
April 27, 2016

The college student had real concern in his eyes when he asked me a question during a recent presentation at American University. "Isn't it true," he asked, "that the HIV epidemic continues because people who know they are positive keep infecting other people?"

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Mr. Gay World Entry Gets Personal on PrEP and Testing Poz
April 18, 2016

When Sadiq Ali heard about a clinical trial for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) happening in the United Kingdom in 2013, the athletic 26-year old hesitated. He worried about what starting PrEP might say to people about his sexual behavior. The stigma he associated with being on the prevention pill was just too much for him.

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The Sound of Stigma
April 12, 2016

Stigma is insidiously quiet. It is conjured in the mind, born of discomfort and fear, and then it is projected at "the other" among us. It judges them and isolates them. And it happens without a sound.

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AHF Offers Loans to Louisiana Agencies They Are Suing!
April 8, 2016

In a bizarre press release issued by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the $1 billion dollar agency has offered "no interest loans" to assist Baton Rouge HIV non-profits who are suffering financially as a result of being sued by AHF. Yes, their circular logic is exactly that absurd.

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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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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)


Articles by Mark:

Meth Burial (May 2008)

Outliving My Father (May 22, 2001)
Mark recounts how years of caring for friends dying of AIDS prepared him for taking care of his dying father
From The Advocate

AIDS Always Benefits from What We Don't Talk About (April 2001)


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


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