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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Mark S. King

My Fabulous Disease


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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BPM (Beats Per Minute) is the Sexiest Damn Film of 2017. Period.
November 13, 2017

In the new film BPM (Beats per Minute), set in Paris in the early 1990s, ACT UP activists invade a high school to do what public health officials will not: dispense condoms and AIDS education to the students. Watching these renegade sex educators shout out guidelines for safe anal and vaginal intercourse to classrooms of wide-eyed teenagers is hilarious and subversively triumphant.

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This HIV Survivor Quit Smoking to Vape. Don't Judge.
November 6, 2017

My years of smoking are much more likely to kill me than HIV. I suppose that's progress, and testament to how far we have come in my 32 years living with the virus. So why am I so defensive about my switch to vaping?

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After Louie Film Review: An AIDS Survivor, Barely Surviving
October 23, 2017

Sam Cooper, a shell-shocked gay veteran of the 1980s, has invited Braeden, a much younger man, out for a hamburger after their sexual tryst. Braeden has been mindlessly chattering about his life and friends and how he negotiates casual sex outside his relationship. Hookups carry no more weight for Braeden than the phone he uses to find them.

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Review: The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson Is Trans Film Noir
October 9, 2017

Victoria Cruz, a dogged crime-victim advocate in New York City, has taken on one last case before retirement. She wants to solve the mysterious 1992 death of Marsha P. Johnson -- a trans woman like Cruz herself -- who's body was pulled from the Hudson river after disappearing the evening before.

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USCA Plenary Halted by Trans Activists
September 9, 2017

The United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), celebrating thirty years of teaching practical skills to HIV service providers, found itself the target of old-school activism on Friday when transgender activists stopped the plenary program to voice their frustrations about being underrepresented by the organizations in attendance and by the conference itself.

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As Much as I Can Lifts Up Black Gay Men ... and Blows Your Mind
September 5, 2017

George (PJ Johnnie) gets an HIV test, setting the multi-track action of the play into motion (Courtesy of Harley & Co.)

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DaddyBear App Hooks Up Gay Men 'Not Living With HIV'
September 5, 2017

The entire concept of the DaddyBear dating app -- rich daddies are waiting by their iPhones to shower lonely bears with gifts and romance -- is pathetic and hilarious. Their stated position on the HIV status of those daddies and bears, however, is frightening.

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Y'all Look! It's the First Redneck HIV Prevention PSA!
August 29, 2017

The good people at Thrive Alabama has been working their butts off for years, covering twelve counties in northern Alabama with five free clinics and vans that travel country roads you would never find on your GPS just to fetch clients for appointments and get them home again.

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The Terrifying Crystal Meth Story I Have Never Told
August 22, 2017

When my guard is down, it comes to me. It flashes across my mind, an uninvited assault, sometimes when I am beginning to drift off to sleep or, more cruelly, when my mind is enjoying a pleasant reverie. It is then that the dark memory rushes in like a raid.

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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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