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Jimmy Mack

A Long Night's Journey Into Day

Can You Believe We Are Still Alive?
November 29, 2014

In my last blog, I spoke of the "gay family" I established in NYC back in the early '80s and how I had lost all but one to AIDS. Sadly, I lost my last remaining HIV-positive friend from those days when he died in a car crash this past May. His name was Mark Weins, aka Marcus, and we had been best of friends for the past 35 years speaking almost daily. He and I had outlived our close-knit group of gay friends that we considered family and would constantly wonder why we were the ones left alive.

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A Long-Term HIV Survivor on the Premier of The Normal Heart
May 26, 2014

On Monday, May 12, I had the honor of attending the premier screening of The Normal Heart as the guest of my sister Nancy. It was a star-studded event held at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC.

The last movie I saw at the Ziegfeld was Longtime Companion in 1990. After that screening, I got completely drunk and told my best friend Alan my deep dark secret: I was HIV+.

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Honoring the "Gay Family" I've Lost to AIDS
November 15, 2013

"HIV/AIDS both derailed and defined my life."

This one statement sums up the effect this disease had on my adult life.

My parents "outed" me as gay the summer of 1980 and they did it with a great deal of love, dignity and respect and they told me it was perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of! So I got to come out in a big way that summer in my hometown of Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

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Love Heals, Ali Gertz and Me
November 21, 2011

I'd like to dedicate this blog to the incredible work done by Love Heals: The Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education. I have had the great fortune to be a speaker for Love Heals for the past 10 years, which has allowed me to be a part of their effort to educate young people by sending HIV-positive people like me to speak at high schools and middle schools throughout the New York tri-state area.

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Outed With Love
June 23, 2010

My name is Jimmy Mack and I was born gay and an alcoholic. I always knew I was gay, in the same way any heterosexual person will tell you they always knew they were straight. To this day, it offends me when people say "sexual preference" -- as if it was a choice -- to which I always say: "Why in the world would I choose to be part of a group that it is still socially and politically acceptable to discriminate against?"

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Living With Two Diseases: HIV and Alcoholism
July 28, 2009

I've spoken at length on this blog about the disease of HIV and how it affects me and my life. But I live with another disease that is just as devastating and deadly. It is also a disease that has no cure but can be "managed" with proper treatment. The disease I refer to is also one that I'm sure affects many of the readers of, it is the disease of alcoholism/addiction. This is a disease that I believe I was born with, just like I know I was born gay, and both have shaped my life in a big way.

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Setting an Example
June 16, 2009

As many of you reading this know, I just did an interview on I have to say that having my profile on The Body was a trip (around the world) as I got e-mails from Turkey, Costa Rica, Australia, Russia and Canada, as well as the U.S. All of them were so positive and supportive.

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A Long Night's Journey Into Day

Jimmy Mack

Jimmy Mack

When Jimmy Mack discovered he was HIV positive, it was 1987, and an HIV diagnosis was essentially a death sentence. So instead of going to a doctor for treatment, he dived into a different kind of medicine: cocaine and alcohol. His journey out of addiction was difficult, but Jimmy has now been clean and sober for more than 15 years -- and he's got an undetectable viral load to boot. He is now happily partnered with an HIV-negative man, and he's OK with everyone knowing he's HIV positive. "I think that someone needs to be out there saying, 'Look, I'm HIV positive. I have a full-time job. I volunteer as an emergency medical technician. I have a healthy, normal sex life with an HIV-negative partner,'" Jimmy says. "Today you can live a long, healthy, normal life with this disease. There's so much hope."

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Interviews With Jimmy:

This Positive Life: An Interview With Jimmy Mack (June 2, 2009)

Power of Example: Jimmy Mack (December 1999)

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