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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Mark S. King

My Fabulous Disease


When People With HIV Became Suicide Bombers
April 2, 2014

Maybe we should blame the criminal prosecutions of people with HIV on the mythical legend of Gaetan Dugas, also known by his slanderous nickname, Patient Zero. Dugas was a gay flight attendant from Canada who, according to Randy Shilts' 1987 book And the Band Played On, was among the first people with HIV in the United States.

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Will HIV Ever Be Safe Enough for You?
March 11, 2014

There is a classic episode of Oprah from 1987 that can still raise my blood pressure. That year, the tiny town of Williamson, West Virginia, became part of a national discussion about AIDS when Mike Sisco, who had returned to his home town to die of the disease, dared to step into a public pool.

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Our Problem With Being "CURED" of HIV
February 28, 2014

In the late 1980s, I let this odd, fussy man into my office at LA Shanti, my first AIDS agency job. He seemed earnest and harmless and he just wanted a few minutes of my time. "I have the cure for AIDS," he politely announced. Sadly, he wasn't the first person to say that to me, but we practiced more suspension of disbelief during that wretched decade so making such a statement wasn't immediate cause for removal from my office.

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The Sound and Fury of the HIV Prevention Pill Debate (and the Facts to Win It)
January 27, 2014

When the drug Truvada achieved FDA approval in July of 2012 as a medication to prevent HIV infection among people who are negative (a strategy known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP), it's as if the ghosts of naysayers from the 1960s rose from their resting places, delighted and re-energized, and began drilling their mid-century objections into the hearts and minds of contemporary society.

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HIV Treatment Activist Nelson Vergel Faces Down Cancer
January 9, 2014

"You are probably wondering why I have been so quiet the last few weeks ..." the message began. Vergel, a trained chemical engineer who devoted himself to HIV treatment advocacy after testing positive in 1985, had a troubling explanation for his online absence. A diagnosis of cancer.

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Erasing Gay Men From AIDS History
December 17, 2013

Kenneth Cole's appearance on Chelsea Lately last week was meant to promote the documentary he produced about the history of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (The Battle of amfAR). Instead, the shoe designer insulted gay activists everywhere.

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Honoring Our AIDS History -- Without Punishing Younger Gay Men
November 23, 2013

Lesley was my closest friend to become sick in the 1980s, and he fought bravely until his death from AIDS. Today, World AIDS Day is an opportunity to remember Lesley and honor his struggle -- although I call up memories of Lesley, my first friend lost to the epidemic, nearly every day.

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Support on the High Seas: Aboard the 2013 HIV Cruise Retreat
November 12, 2013

Another year, another magical Caribbean adventure with a happy community of people living with HIV and our loved ones. It could only be the annual HIV Cruise Retreat, also known as "the Poz Cruise."

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A New, True Film of AIDS in the 1980s: Dallas Buyers Club
October 22, 2013

In the first minutes of Dallas Buyers Club, the astounding new film about the darkest years of the AIDS crisis, rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof (a gaunt and barely recognizable Matthew McConaughey) is punched in the face. He has it coming. The self-serving crook has a lot of enemies.

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Two Minutes of Advice on Testing HIV Positive
September 29, 2013

This is a clever social media campaign: Healthline, an online health community, has asked people who have been living with HIV to create videos for those who have recently tested positive, known as "You've Got This." Think of it as "It Gets Better" for those with HIV.

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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: 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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VIDEO 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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The opinions expressed by TheBody.com's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of TheBody.com itself.

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