ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Mark S. King Goes Back Into the HIV Closet
"If I am stripped of my HIV identity ... who am I?" wonders Mark S. King. It's a question that Mark, normally proud to speak out about his HIV status, has suddenly been forced to address: His mother-in-law is in town, and she doesn't know he has HIV. Though he's not entirely comfortable keeping his status a secret, he admits: "Every family makes its own choices, and my AIDS activism doesn't trump the valid reasoning for keeping my mouth shut."
Spring Cleaning: It's About More Than Clearing Cobwebs
For many people living with HIV, the idea of "spring cleaning" takes on a whole new meaning: It's often not just about clearing away the physical clutter in your home, but also about cleaning up messiness in your emotional, personal and family lives. As spring blossoms into summer for those of us living in the northern half of the world, check out these stories from four HIVers who've decided to do a little cleaning up in their lives -- and share your own thoughts!
This Positive Life: Living -- and Raising Kids -- With HIV
When Esmeralda was diagnosed with HIV in 1998, she was a widow with a baby to care for, another child on the way, no support and no idea how long she had to live. Twelve years later, she's remarried and expecting her third child -- and it's now her job to support newly diagnosed women, many of whom want to have kids. She's happy to tell them: "Just talk to your doctor and say, 'I want to get pregnant,' and get pregnant. Have a baby, and have a great life."
Robert Breining: My Stages of Pride
"I swore I would never be that gay guy that would have a rainbow sticker on his car, or attend a Gay Pride event. I thought these events and parades were all about flaunting your sexuality," writes Robert Breining. "Now I see Gay Pride in a whole new light."
Robert's blog entry is part of our newly launched Pride2010@TheBody.com feature section. Take a look at some of the other perspectives we're highlighting as part of the feature!
I Want to Accept My Status, but I Just Can't Bring Myself to Do It
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)
"I can't go to counseling because I'm scared to open up to people and can't bring myself to talk about the rape. My current boyfriend doesn't know how I got it. All he ever asks of me is to love him. That's all. But I can't. ... I'm so bitter. I've spent a month in the hospital for headaches and the doctors don't know what's causing them. I was referred to a therapist, but I never went. What should I do?
"I haven't taken my meds for five days now. Help me. Why am I behaving like this? I'm pushing the people who love me away. My boyfriend wants us to get married, but I don't want to. I'm so moody most of the time. I'm not suicidal. I know if I don't take my medication, I'll die and leave my kids alone. As I'm writing this, I'm in tears and feeling so ashamed that I'm even telling anybody my story. I want to delete what I've written, but I want to do this. Why do I feel this way?"
Respond to torre's post now or start your own discussion! (If you're not already registered to post on our bulletin boards, all you need is an e-mail address; click here to get started!)
HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES
ScotCharles: Coping With the Neurological Effects of Long-Term HIV Infection
"Far too many people mistakenly believe that HIV no longer causes chronic illness, because of the potent antiretrovirals available," writes long-term HIV survivor ScotCharles in his latest blog entry. But ScotCharles knows better: Diagnosed with HIV in 1984, it wasn't until 2008 that a neurologist diagnosed his worsening memory loss, wild mood swings and increasingly erratic behavior as symptoms of HIV dementia.
HIV, Hep C and Sex: What's the Link?
Reports of hepatitis C infection among HIV-positive men are raising the possibility that hep C can be transmitted during sex. Do the facts match the rumors? And what can you do to reduce the risk of transmission? The HIV/AIDS organization Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange walks you through what you need to know.
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HIV NEWS & POLICY
Washington, D.C., HIV/AIDS Director Abruptly Resigns
Before Shannon Hader, M.D., took charge of Washington, D.C.'s response to HIV/AIDS in 2007, the city's virus-fighting efforts were widely seen as a disgrace. Hader, a respected HIV physician, appeared to be making at least some strides in rehabilitating the D.C. HIV/AIDS Administration. But this week, she abruptly resigned her position.
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We asked LGBT community leaders and members throughout the U.S. how they'd answer the question:
Is LGBT Pride Still Significant Nowadays?
Some of their answers are contemplative; others are defiant; and all of them are part of an important discussion for our society today. Read people's thoughts on the issue and add your own -- it's all part of Pride2010@TheBody.com!
HIV TRANSMISSION & AWARENESS
HIV/AIDS Groups Slam FIFA for Blocking Condoms at World Cup
One week before the start of the World Cup soccer tournament, HIV/AIDS activists in South Africa issued a statement accusing soccer's governing body, FIFA, of blocking access to condoms and HIV prevention materials at competition venues and fan parks.
Q & A With Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Legislator and Activist
Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, may be one of the HIV/AIDS community's most prominent advocates in the U.S. Congress. In this interview with Black AIDS Institute, she discusses some of the hot-button policy issues of the day, including the HIV/AIDS funding crisis and the challenges of HIV prevention among African Americans.
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HIV/AIDS IN RESOURCE-POOR COUNTRIES
Has Homophobia Worsened Zambia's HIV/AIDS Epidemic?
Like many countries, Zambia is being pulled in two different directions when it comes to HIV. Although HIV prevention requires reaching out to men who have sex with men, Zambia's laws forbid men from having sex with one another. In this release, Human Rights Watch explains why those two facts don't mix: "Promoting intolerance and creating a climate of fear will only sabotage efforts to ensure access to HIV prevention and treatment by driving men underground."
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