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Latest by Tamara Smith

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Personal Stories

Accessing a Safe, Legal Abortion in the South Felt Like A Perilous Journey. It Shouldn't.

Through The Afiya Center, an organization run by black women in Texas, this anonymous writer was finally able to get the abortion she needed.

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Sexual Abuse & Trauma

I Didn't Want to Die

This Positive Women's Network member did what she had to do to survive sexual assault. "Perhaps the greatest irony of all," she notes, "is that I was the one who was violated, but the HIV transmission statute in my state could potentially imprison me...

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Personal Stories

Do You Swallow? (Not What We Typically Have in Mind!)

"Looking back now, after almost two years on treatment, occasionally, I feel a little disappointed with myself.  Should I really have started on the medication so quickly?  Should I have read more, learned more? Am I playing into the hands of big pha...

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The Benefits of Living with HIV

"There is a lot of negativity and heaviness when talking about HIV," writes an anonymous guest blogger. "I want to provide a different side of the dialogue around the epidemic and talk about the benefits of living with HIV. ... As crazy as this may s...

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My Brothers (The Gonzaga Group)

Art by Carlos N. Molina

The time had come at last when I knew I had come to rest in the arms of my brothers. Finally I could lay back and not fall.

When I wanted to stand, I didn't have to try. Phantom arms gently held me up and I knew no one could...

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Anonymous Sex

First, let's define anonymous. There were three definitions in the Webster's Dictionary: 1. without any name acknowledged, as that of author, contributor, etc. 2. not named or identified. 3. lacking individuality, unique character, or distinction.


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"Confidential" (Ms) Information

My mind wanders back in time. Eight years ago, I received a letter from the Red Cross; "You need to contact our office and make an appointment. The blood you donated revealed something that could have a significant impact on your health."

Fear and c...

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Personal Stories

Diagnosis 18 Months Later

To tell...Or not to tell is a burning question for people with HIV infection, especially those who are not part of the gay community.

I've read comments in the news media implying a certain criticism of individuals who make their status a secret, ty...

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Personal Stories

My Virus, My Self

About 4 weeks after I began working as the treatment advocate for Women Alive I received a phone call from a journalist in New York City who was doing an article on women and HIV. As she introduced herself to me, I recognized her unusual name as some...

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Personal Stories

Living With HIV: Mom [and Me]

I'm sitting in the waiting room. The elderly woman in the snow-white beehive to my right is my mother. We are almost inseparable these days. What's more frightening, jokes my lover, is that we lately seem physically indistinguishable.

I fear he may ...