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Bloggers: HIVers and HIV/AIDS Advocates Share Their Thoughts

TheBody.com's Bloggers | Guest Blog Entries


TheBody.com's Bloggers

Khafre Abif Khafre Abif: Freedom Rider

"Believe me when I say that I know how to share," writes Khafre, a longtime HIV survivor and father of two; "I have been in support group meetings all across the East Coast." A librarian by trade before he became a full-time advocate, he thrives on sharing useful information and providing guidance.
Tree Alexander Tree Alexander: Tree House Talk (All Strength No Shade)

A Chicago native, Tree was a fitness trainer before he was diagnosed with HIV. Now he lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is a case worker at one of New York's premier HIV organizations.
Gary Bell Gary Bell: Transition to Hope

Gary Bell is a longtime HIV advocate and executive director of BEBASHI (Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues), the first HIV/AIDS service organization in the U.S. to target urban communities of color.
Ria Denise Ria Denise: Lyfe Positive

"This blog features the randomness of my psyche, realities of living with HIV, things I find interesting and the afrocentricity of me," writes Ria Denise. Ria tested HIV positive in 2004; now she's ready to let her voice be heard. "Welcome to my rediscovery."
Brandon Lacy Campos Teniecka Drake: Enough Negativity!

Since her HIV diagnosis in 2001 -- and her marriage, and the recent births of her three children -- Teniecka really has been taking life for more fun! She blogs to encourage other HIV-positive people in times when they might need a boost.
Rev. Andrena Ingram Rev. Andrena Ingram: Is the Ribbon Enough?

"With all that I have been, and all that I am, I am not fake," writes Philadelphia-based pastor Rev. Andrena Ingram -- mother of three, addict in recovery, anti-stigma activist and longtime HIV survivor. "I speak my mind. I don't pretend to be 'holier than thou.' ... Heck, I may even let fly a few cuss words every now and then!"
Bernard Jackson Bernard Jackson: How Did I Get Here?

When Bernard Jackson writes, as when he speaks and sings, his goal is to make audiences feel and empathize. He shares wise and unique perspectives on love, laughter, work and life, in hopes of helping readers to see things a little differently.
Rae Lewis-Thornton Rae Lewis-Thornton: Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks

Rae was the first African-American woman living with HIV and AIDS to tell her story on the cover of a national publication. Since then, she's spent nearly two decades sharing her life, unique style, hopes, dreams, and disappointments with a worldwide audience through interviews, ministry, public speaking and, most recently, social media.
Rusti Miller-Hill Rusti Miller-Hill: Advocacy Outside the Walls

Rusti began her HIV advocacy in the early 1990s, as a peer educator in the prison where she herself was incarcerated. Now this mother, grandmother, wife and long-term survivor fights for incarcerated women's health from outside the walls.
Candace Y. A. Montague Candace Y. A. Montague: D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner

Washington, D.C., native Candace is fed up with HIV in her hometown. So she's using her master's degree in Community Health Education and her love for writing to sound the alarm.
Reggie and Dionne Smith Reggie Smith: RISE4WAR -- Focusing on Wellness, Awareness and Recovery

"We need more heterosexual couples to share their strength, hope and experiences with the world," writes Reggie Smith. He and wife Dionne -- parents of four, and now grandparents -- have been living with HIV since Reggie's diagnosis in 1988, and they're committed to fighting all forms of HIV stigma.
Kellee Terrell Kellee Terrell: The Viral Truth

Kellee Terrell, the news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com, is one of the staff bloggers who writes for TheBody.com's Viral Truth blog. She tackles a range of issues such as pop culture, news and policy.
Justin B. Terry-Smith Justin B. Terry-Smith: Justin's HIV Journal

In his candid video blog, Justin talks about his HIV advocacy, his husband, his role in the leather community -- and how he's learning to take better care of himself and avoid stress.
Jermaine Wright Jermaine Wright: PozLyfe09: Raw Talk on Life With HIV

Why is Jermaine Wright juggling parenthood, prevention outreach for a busy Midwest ASO, and a video blog about the finer points of living with HIV, all in his early-mid 20s? Because it's his mission to reach out to other young HIV-positive black folks like himself. Topics of his videos include disclosure, dating, fathering a child after HIV diagnosis, passing on the virus, and barebacking while HIV positive.
View all of TheBody.com's blogs at Blog Central


Guest Blog Entries

Lola Adele-Oso Lola Adele-Oso: What's Housing Got to Do With It?

"Whether our focus is access to adequate health care and lifesaving medication, promoting research and the need for a cure, better HIV prevention messaging, resources for the Global Fund or ending stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, we must not forget one critical component in the fight to end the global epidemic of HIV/AIDS: HOUSING!"
Zina Age Zina Age: It's Time to Remove the Veil

"I have witnessed this experience everywhere from the small rural towns of Mississippi to our headquarters in metropolitan Atlanta. And each time the question is: 'Why haven't these Women of Color disclosed their status?' Well often the answer is: 'You don't put your business all out in the streets,' or 'You don't air your family's dirty laundry.'"
Christopher Ervin Christopher Ervin: To Tweet or Not to Tweet: "Black Twitter," Social Media and HIV/AIDS Awareness

"If not your organization, then you get on Twitter and speak out against the 'isms' of race, gender, sexuality and health. As we promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles, let's make #knowyourstatus, #gettested and #usecondoms trending topics. We must take away stigma and shame with a willingness to #talkHIV and show how we are #greaterthanAIDS."
Ingrid Floyd How Does Poverty Fuel the African-American HIV Epidemic?

"Poverty fuels the epidemic due to its impact on all aspects of life including income, housing, education, nutrition, access to health care and the list goes on. In the African-American communities where poverty rates are even higher there exists a greater gap in all of these areas that fuel the inability to negotiate, feel empowered, get educated on HIV and get tested."
Allen Kwabena Frimpong Injection Drug Use and the African-American HIV Epidemic

"The key thing that I would like to highlight is the health, social and economic costs that African-American communities bear, despite the lower number of HIV infections via injection drug use, and our lower drug use overall. I would like to use my birthplace, the city of Newark, N.J. -- a city whose population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, is 52.4 percent African American -- as a case example of how HIV/AIDS can impact the Black community."
Tracie M. Gardner and Kymsha HenryTracie M. Gardner and Kymsha Henry: Our School System Fails Where Lives Are at Stake

"As it is, school-age students are bombarded with misinformation and myths about sexual health and sexually transmitted infections from peers. Now, with the advent of the 'reality show,' they are also learning about sex from misinformed D-list celebrities. Case in point: the admission from Pauly D and Mike 'The Situation' Sorentino of MTV's Jersey Shore that when they have sex in the hot tub they do not use a condom, because 'hot water kills all the sperm.' Members of the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition encounter this type of nonsense constantly as they try to educate our youth on making healthy choices."
Bernard Jackson Bernard Jackson: If You Let Me Into Your Life, I Will Never Ever Leave You

"If you think that you can't have me simply because you don't hang out with the people who know me and so you'll never have to worry, just let your guard down and I promise you that I will take advantage of that one night you let your guard down. I will be there for you and the only way you will know that I am there is if that busybody OraQuick tells you."
Bethsheba Johnson "Tools for Survival: Staying Relevant and Viable" -- Sharing Resources at USCA 2011

"Panelists worked hard to address such themes as integrated care models, diversified funding, strategic and sustainable partnerships, accountability, adaptability, mentality of leadership and solution-building to a smaller-than-I-would-have-liked audience. This is a topic that needs to fill ballrooms to overflowing as creative solutions are crucial in this changing economic time."
  Bethsheba Johnson: Let's Talk About Safer Sex: A Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Primer for Providers

"Imagine that your health care provider, filled with genuine concern, discussed and broke out examples of how you can have safer sex while making it erotic. Brilliant! Yes, some of you will be mortified and others titillated; but truly, patients want to discuss their sexual practices, but are afraid to bring them up for fear of judgment -- real or perceived."
Gerry Christopher Johnson Gerry Christopher Johnson: What People Really Want to Know

"Knowing is beautiful for those whose results turn up negative, but for people not so lucky, knowing can be absolutely frightening. Ever since the recession rocked the economy off of its hinges in 2008, with jobs, savings and employer-provided health insurance going by the wayside, I have met people who barely want to know the status of their 401(k), let alone their health. Indeed, people are reluctant to find out what they think they can't afford."
Jamaican FlagShane McCarthy: Looking to the Future: Using Information Technologies to Tackle HIV/AIDS Among MSMs in Jamaica

"Official government statistics indicate that the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the MSM population is acutely high at 33 percent; however, Victorian-era laws remain on the books preventing the development and distribution of lifesaving prevention messages ... The quantum of this paralysis can be seen in the absence of a nationally focused campaign surrounding the use of lubricants; or the coven-like atmosphere that surrounds workshops organized by NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) working with members of the community."
Wendell Mosby Wendell Mosby: In Remembrance of My Mother on World AIDS Day

"When I arrived to my mother's bedside, I could see what my grandmother was talking about. My mother was almost unrecognizable and was bedridden because she was in such tremendous pain. She kept saying she felt like she was being poked by needles. Her once beautiful voice was now made up mere fragments of garbled words. And as the days progressed, she only got worse."
Kat Noel Kat Noel: (HIV) Testing Anxiety

"As several questions flooded my mind, I also began to feel a sense of guilt. Here I was working among and interviewing people living with the virus, and I couldn't stop thinking about how much I didn't want to be them. Regardless of how many articles I wrote that encouraged HIV-positive people to take control of their health, I still knew that AIDS is a common killer, second only to heart disease and cancer among women."





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