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River Huston

A River Runs Through It

Poetry: From The Bones of Susan
December 30, 2010

On the second day I cried / I could not hold it in any longer / I was strong, brave and courageous / on the first day

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AIDS: A Love Story
November 21, 2010

It is 6 a.m. and I am sitting on my porch drinking my first cup of coffee of the day. This is absolutely the best part of my day. I empty my mind and listen to the birds with my little poodle mix (which you could call a porkie or a perrier -- they used to be mutts; now they're labradoodles and shitles). I feel his warm little body settled in next to my hip and all is well with the world. No e-mail, texts, phone calls. I don't think about schedules, contracts or packing for the next trip, what I will wear today, and the long list of to-do's sitting in my office. This is the time of day when unsolicited thoughts settle into my consciousness like a fresh blanket of snow. Maybe it's a new way of looking at a painting, the right turn of a phrase for a poem or an idea for a book, blog or column.

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Oh Vienna: A River Runs Through the XVIII International AIDS Conference
July 23, 2010

Hello from Vienna! It is the last day of the International AIDS Conference and I have survived! I came here to perform my one-woman show, Sex, Cellulite and Large Farm Equipment: One Girl's Guide to Living and Dying, as well as present a short film I made on women and HIV, A Positive Life. Both went very well.

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Get Sex(Ed) on TV in the Afternoon: Vote for River to Host Her OWN Show!
June 1, 2010

I was sitting in my hotel room watching TV after a long day on the road. It is the only time I watch TV and like a good addict I watch it till it hurts! I know I need to go to sleep to get up for a flight or a performance but I can't seem to turn it off!

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I'm Smart, I'm Talented and People Like Me
April 21, 2010

I recently watched the movie The Bucket List [in which Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, as two terminally ill guys, do all the things they wanted to do in life before they "kick the bucket"], and it made me laugh. Been there, done that. Okay mine was not as extreme but it was my "Bucket List". What I have found more challenging -- and have written about in the past -- is living after HIV treatment with the reality that I have as many years ahead of me as any healthy 50 year old woman.

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Answering Questions About Sex
October 21, 2009

Since I started speaking in 1992, it seems that everyone wants to take me aside and ask me questions about sex. It doesn't matter where I am, from the office of the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to the Archdiocese of Paterson, N.J.; people have questions about sex, love, relationships, body image and plumbing. My mailbox is full of questions every day. After lectures I often find little slips of paper with inquires hastily scribbled out.

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Banned From YouTube!
August 5, 2009

The said video, which you can view below, describes how to put a condom on with your mouth. It is done in a very direct and candid manner, but is in no way obscene. But this kind of thing has happened to me before. I was indicted in 1996 by the district attorney of New Jersey for doing the same thing at Hillsborough High School. (I had permission and I was using a demonstration penis, not a student) In the end, they had to drop all charges because it was not against the law to educate. It did not stop me from being banned from high schools for about a decade.

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Panama Adventure
July 1, 2009

Since I found out I was HIV positive, my whole life went into high gear. I had things to do before the final goodbye. Eighteen years passed without a vacation. I work seven days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day on the books, articles, shows, lectures, art and all the details to keep it running. When I am not in the office, I am on the road.

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Body Shape and HIV
June 24, 2009

For the first time in my life, I let myself eat without recrimination. Anything glazed, cream filled and deep-fried. I put vanilla ice cream into the microwave and used it as dip for Doritos.

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Surviving HIV
June 17, 2009

You know how people like Tony Robbins will ask, "What if you had only six months left to live? Are you satisfied with the direction of your life? Are you living your dreams?"

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A River Runs Through It

River Huston

River Huston

River Huston is an award-winning poet, journalist, performer and activist. She travels through the United States speaking on issues related to sexuality, communication, overcoming challenges and change. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Showtime, Nightline, CNN and ABC Up To The Minute. River has written three books of poetry as well as The Goddess: A Guide to Feminine Wisdom and A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living With HIV. She wrote and performed a one-woman show, Sex, Cellulite and Large Farm Equipment: One Girls Guide to Living and Dying off off Broadway and is currently working on a second show, The Dominatrix Next Door. For more information about River you can go to

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Articles by River:

Sex, Cellulite and Large Farm Equipment: One Girl's Guide to Living and Dying (October 15, 2008)

I Feel Good! Attaining Survival Through Illness (March/April 2008)

Goddess in a Muumuu: AIDS Changes Sexual Self-Image (December 1999)

A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living With HIV (October 1999)

Interviews With River:

White Women and HIV (April 1999)

A Brief Disclaimer:

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