Commentary & Opinion
Talking, Writing About Living With HIV/AIDS Difficult, Valuable, Journalist Says
May 15, 2006
"[E]ven 25 years into the HIV/AIDS pandemic," talking and writing openly about living with HIV is difficult for many men who have sex with men and "can get a person killed in some parts of the world," John-Manuel Andriote, a journalist who has written about HIV/AIDS and who was diagnosed HIV-positive last year, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. Andriote writes that even though he researched "every aspect" of the pandemic and had many friends who died of AIDS-related complications, he "never truly knew what [he] was writing about" until he contracted the virus. He said he kept his HIV status "secret" from his family for months even though he "never believed" that living with the virus was "something shameful." Now "I understand what I've seen and heard from others," Andriote writes, concluding, "I can only try to make those without firsthand experience understand -- not by writing as a detached observer, but by writing straight from the heart" (Andriote, Washington Post, 5/14).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.