Time for a Change
By Bonnie Goldman
January 28, 2010
Fourteen years ago, I joined an online startup effort called TheBody.com with a simple goal: to build a Web site that would serve people living with HIV/AIDS and those who care about them.
At the time, I was mourning the death of my brother from AIDS. As his caretaker, I had learned an amazing amount about accessing state-of-the-art medical information (without the Web!).
Building TheBody.com was an opportunity to not only help others affected by HIV, it was also a chance to begin healing from my brother's tragic death.
At that time, the Internet was in its infancy and I was limited in what I could imagine. But I knew that whatever I built would have to provide unquestionably trusted treatment information. Plus, I wanted to address the terrible isolation too many people living with HIV around the world experienced.
In the more than 14 years that I've been privileged to be advocating and working on behalf of the HIV community, I've witnessed the dramatic transformation in HIV treatment in the resource-rich world as researchers successfully struggled to come up with more effective and less toxic HIV medications. HIV miraculously shifted from being a fatal disease to a challenging, yet manageable illness -- millions of people with HIV can now continue to live full lives.
Unfortunately, although treatment options for HIV have improved dramatically, stigma and discrimination are still the rule. Few HIV-positive people can live openly with their illness and get the support they so need. And for far too many people in the U.S., and certainly around the world, lifesaving treatment is heartbreakingly out of reach.
Today TheBody.com is the leader in helping to educate and empower people with HIV/AIDS and those worried about contracting HIV. It's the Internet's most comprehensive HIV/AIDS resource, with an extensive assortment of options for connecting with others and accessing the latest information about living with HIV. From our inspiring group of bloggers, to a huge library of podcast interviews, to our "Ask the Experts" forums -- an exceptional, one-of-a-kind resource -- the site has helped and continues to help millions of people take control of their health and feel less alone.
Fourteen years is a long time to be doing something. So the time has come for me to make a change. However, my commitment to the HIV/AIDS community remains absolutely unchanged. I will continue -- after taking much needed time off -- to work on many projects within the community to educate and inform.
Over the years, I've put together, and have been fortunate to work with, an amazing team at TheBody.com. They will more than fill my shoes and I am extremely grateful for their help over the years.
Beginning Feb. 1, Myles Helfand will become TheBody.com's editorial director. Myles has been working closely with me for almost eight years and is happy to tackle the demands of overseeing the site. Olivia Ford, who has been with TheBody.com for two years and has become such an invaluable and enthusiastic member of the team, will also be on hand.
There are many other people who are part of the dedicated team that puts together this phenomenal site: there's our eagle-eyed copyeditor and proofreader, Rozina, who keeps the site looking spiffy; our amazing, multi-talented Web developer, Becky Allen; and our expert tech and business general manager, Aryeh Lebeau. And of course, also part of this incredible team, is our all-around editorial assistant Warren Tong, and our steady and always reliable freelancers Ken Stockwell (who I have worked with for more than 10 years!) and Barbara Jungwirth -- both of whom have been helping maintain TheBody.com for so many years and are amazing people.
There are so many other people that I haven't mentioned who have worked to maintain our stellar site. It takes a big team to maintain such a large site. I am sure that in their hands TheBody.com can only continue to improve and grow into an ever more helpful resource, empowering and informing almost one million people a month.
Please stay in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/BonnieGoldman.
Copyright © 2010 Body Health Resources Corporation. All rights reserved.
Comment by: Tony Adlam
(Brighton uk )
Fri., Jan. 6, 2012 at 8:24 am UTC
I want to say what a wonderful lady that has helped us so much thank you I wish my own sister had been so understanding my thoughts are with you my darling thank you and god bless x
Comment by: Dave
Fri., Jan. 6, 2012 at 6:53 am UTC
Bonnie Goldman and her team did a wonderful thing. I would be lost without "The Body". And I know thousands of others would also be lost without "The Body". There are pale imitations of this website all around the world, but none can compare with "The Body". Thank you Bonnie and everyone else who is involved. We need you.
Comment by: Michelle
Sat., Feb. 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm UTC
The site has lost its guiding force and it will never be the same. good luck on your next job.
Comment by: Gary Petonke
Thu., Feb. 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm UTC
Bonnie, Ever since meeting you when I went to work at theBody.com, I was truly amazed (and in awe)at your intelligence, and at your ability to put complicated information into eloquent yet easily understandable facts about HIV/AIDS. theBody.com's success is due to your single-handed guidance and determination. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Tue., Feb. 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm UTC
wow! so sad to see you go!
Comment by: Robert
Sun., Jan. 31, 2010 at 11:35 pm UTC
Farewell and thanks so much for your committment. I thought you were The Body!
Comment by: Philip D.
(San Francisco CA)
Sat., Jan. 30, 2010 at 12:17 am UTC
Like so many other HIV+ folks, I use this site to answer so many questions and to stay informed, but more importantly to connect with a community. A sincere thank you for the blood, sweat and tears you undoubtably shed over the past 14 years to help build TheBody and for helping me nurture my "secret writer" side by allowing me to use my voice to help others. I hope you meet you face to face very soon (hint)Best of Luck! Philip
Comment by: Gerald Pierone
(Vero Beach, FL)
Fri., Jan. 29, 2010 at 4:47 am UTC
Bonnie, I want to thank you for your many years of service and outstanding contributions as both an AIDS activist and educator. Your intelligence, inquisitive spirit, and profound concern for people living with HIV have been an inspiration. I so much enjoyed working with you at the conferences and benefited greatly from your thoughtful and kind editing. Bonnie, you will certainly be missed. Your legacy is thebody.com and your mission will be carried on by Myles and the rest of the team. I look forward to hearing about the next chapter in your life!
Comment by: Emily
Fri., Jan. 29, 2010 at 3:17 am UTC
I have been living + for near 16 yrs and have subscribed to TheBody.com for quite fews. I have refered several people living with HIV to this very resourceful site.
I was only 18 yrs when I found out I was infected with the deadly virus by then and in year 2000, I came across this site and never a day has passed by without visiting the site when I have internet access. I have found the site very useful and informative and have learned to lead a positive life although stigma still exist. The site has made it easier for me to disclose my status to my close and family and to my HIV negative man.
I cannot find enough word to say how grateful I am to you in particular and to your team at large for creating this site. I am sure people all over the world who have come across this site will testify with me that, it is the best site for people who are both infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
You have been a blessing to us and I am sure God will continue to sustain and bless you more abundantly.
I am wishing you luck in whatever you are going to take up.
Comment by: George M
(Palm Beach, Fla)
Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm UTC
Can't imagine The Body without you.
Comment by: JIMMY MACK
Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm UTC
Bonnie, I am sad to hear you are leaving as you were a personal inspiration to me. I am one of the "few HIV positive people (who) can live openly with their illness and get the support they need" and you are the one who encouraged me to share my story on this website in the hope that others could do the same. I will miss you!
Comment by: Mark S. King
Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 7:07 pm UTC
Anyone familiar with the cause of AIDS support and education knows the name Bonnie Goldman. As a young writer years ago, it was an honor to have my thoughts on living with HIV included on TheBody. and I have benefited greatly from her thoughtful expertise. She has encouraged so many to speak out, so society might never lose sight of this disease. Her dedication goes beyond mere vocation; she will be well remembered in the history of this pandemic. All my best wishes and deep thanks, Bonnie. You've turned your personal grief into a living monument to help others.
Comment by: Enrique
Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm UTC
You are an amazing person. It is because of you and the team here at TheBody that I have found a home. This was the first website I visited when I was diagnosed two years ago. I am proud to say that TheBody is a part of my foundation. It also is a part of my security blanket.
I am growing because of you and others who genuinely care. I am so grateful to know you. I hope and pray that you are continually blessed throughout your future endeavors. Thank you for giving me some of that glow that shines on you. Keep shining on my friend. I love you. Your friend- Enrique
Comment by: Clyde Wade
Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm UTC
I want to thank you for all that you have done for not only myself, but countless others like myself, who are Living with HIV/AIDS. I am into my 6th year of that Diagnosis, and must say that thanks to my brother who is a Physician,I had your site to lean on and learn from. Your site has proven at times to be my greatest asset. I was and at times still am scared, and unsure who I could trust to either talk to, or seek information from that would be unbias, about who I am, and what diseaase I have. You provided that safe place, and I found and continue to find comfort in my times of desperation and joy. You provide tremendous information to share and discuss with my health care providers, which has helped me understand this disease, and treatment options as situations arise.
I truly believe that your brother lives on in each of our lives, that you have blessed with your tireless efforts, talents, and love.
Thank You and all the people who contribute to making The Body what it has become.
Comment by: Kirk
Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm UTC
Thank you Bonnie for the 14 years of faithful and deligent service to the HIV/AIDS community. I became positive in 2005, somewhere between January and April. I felt absolutely alone, afraid, and without power, at the time of my diagnosis. TheBody.com was THE resource, other than my HIV specialist, that has continued to give me power, hope, and a future. Thank you for helping save me from despair. I still read something on TheBody.com at least every week.
I pray that you have peace and hope because that is what you have given to me.
Comment by: Robert Breining
Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm UTC
I wish you the best on your journey moving forward. Thank you for dedicating yourself to the HIV/AIDS community and for all the hard work you have done an amazing job :)
Comment by: Jeff Berry
Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm UTC
Bonnie, I just want to thank you for all that you have done to help improve the lives of people living with HIV. So many have come to depend upon The Body as one of the most trusted online sources of HIV treatment information and support. Your dedication and professionalism have been tireless, and I'm proud to have known and worked with you through the years. I'll miss our fun dinner conversations and seeing you at various meetings, but I'm sure we'll cross paths soon enough once again. And The Body will be in good hands with Myles at the helm! Congratulations on your new ventures and please keep in touch!
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