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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Mark S. King

My Fabulous Disease


Five Takeaways From the 2018 United States Conference on AIDS
September 12, 2018

The 2018 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), the HIV advocacy, education and networking behemoth produced by the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), is the benevolent and wealthy grandfather of the HIV conference scene. We adore him sincerely, we marvel at his station in the world and the fortitude that got him there, and we tread carefully. And sometimes, to our delight or to our chagrin, Grandpa does the damnedest things.

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Candidate Kevin Mack Includes Life With HIV in Maryland Campaign
June 18, 2018

The garden party fundraising event last month in Montgomery County, Maryland, had all the usual markers of a political candidate on the rise. Well-dressed children frolicked on the lawn of the stately home while guests helped themselves to finger foods and glasses of wine. Several elected officials made appearances. There was even an iconic Olympic athlete in attendance, good-naturedly taking selfies with fans.

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Long-Term Survivors of HIV/AIDS Speak Up About Their Legacy
June 1, 2018

Just in time for the annual HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day on June 5, The Reunion Project has released a new video in which people who have lived with HIV for decades discuss their legacy. It's quite a remarkable thing, to watch a parade of faces filled with history as they consider what they have accomplished since the pandemic began.

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Honoring My Older Gay Brother on 'LGBT Elders Day'
May 18, 2018

It's no surprise to me that the two causes I am most passionate about, HIV and addiction -- the two issues that drive my activism -- are both things that my older brother, Richard "Dick" King, cared about first. He showed me the way.

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Revered AIDS Doctor Gabriel Torres: Redemption After Meth Addiction
May 8, 2018

The article appeared in New York Magazine in 2008. I remember it quite distinctly. Titled "Another AIDS Casualty" and written by David France, the profile of once-famous New York AIDS physician Dr. Ramon "Gabriel" Torres was a heart-wrenching read.

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I Wrote 'The Truth About the 7,000.' Now What?
April 23, 2018

It began with a death and a lingering question. After a friend -- an advocate who knew what to do to stay alive -- died of an AIDS-related cause a few months ago, I was left wondering why. Together with other deaths in the news of people "unexpectedly" dying the same way, it felt like a tragic trend.

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Name HIV Activists Fiercer Than the Positive Women's Network. I'll Wait.
April 20, 2018

You may have heard me sing the praises of The Positive Women's Network - USA (PWN) before, but until now I haven't had the opportunity to show you, up close and personal, why I believe they are the mightiest force of HIV advocacy in the country today. Now you can get a look for yourself.

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amfAR Chair Kenneth Cole Must Be Replaced. Here's Five Suggestions.
December 28, 2017

The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) has been rocked by a scandal this year that involves shoe fashion maven Kenneth Cole, who serves as amfAR Board Chair, and amfAR major donor Harvey Weinstein. (Yeah, that Harvey Weinstein. He's the gift that keeps on groping.)

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The World AIDS Day Anthem We Really Need Has Just Arrived
November 28, 2017

Merce, the web series about a gay New Yorker living with HIV, is a little bonkers. The candy-colored musical comedy, written by and starring the singular Charles Sanchez, has "the low budget appeal of an early John Waters romp," as I wrote when season one hit your computer screens two years ago.

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Antron Reshaud Olukayode Died of AIDS. We Must Say It.
November 21, 2017

This world lost a remarkable young man on November 12th, when Antron-Reshaud Olukayode, a 33-year-old HIV educator, writer, and performance artist from Atlanta died of AIDS. Antron lived with HIV for fifteen years. He died of AIDS. It is enormously important that we say that.

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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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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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