https://www.thebody.com/category/hiv-stigma-discrimination/tag/personal-stories

The Latest

woman looking at prescription

I Had to Get Past the Stigma of Having HIV. Then I Had to Do the Same for Mental Illness

A Minnesota HIV activist recounts her epic tale of overcoming not one, but two, diseases that can destroy us if we don’t accept—and treat—them.

By Mariah Wilberg
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First PrEP, Now the COVID-19 Vaccine: Why I Faced Medical Mistrust Head On

Black communities have many reasons for mistrust of medical authorities. But getting vaccinated can help us get to a place where we can be together again, safely.

By Michael Chancley Jr., M.S.W.
Hebert Untitled from the Disembodies series 1 2020

I’m a COVID-19 Long-Hauler, HIV Activist, and Artist. Here’s How I Navigated 2020

“I don’t know what healthy looks like anymore,” says Pato Hebert. “I know what I thought it was. I have fantasies of what it could be.”

By Pato Hebert
Mark Milano

How an HIV Long-Term Survivor Sued an NYC Cosmetic Surgeon for Refusal of Service—And Won

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits providers from turning away patients based on their HIV status. When it happened to veteran HIV activist Mark Milano, he fought back.

By Tim Murphy
u

When I Say U=U, That Means You, Too

Undetectable equals untransmittable (U=U) doesn’t mean the burden of staying HIV-free is solely on positive people.

By R. Mason
Esther Kim

Years After Her Diagnosis, Esther Kim Found Her Long (Literal) Road to Acceptance

“Because of my diagnosis and the struggle that I went through, coming to terms with it, I think it has made me a stronger person. I’ve actually accomplished things I never thought I would.”

By Myles Helfand
BLACK LIVES MATTER + Pride

We March in the Same Streets

Pride isn’t cancelled this year—in fact, it’s more inclusive than ever.

By Charlie Grey
positive crosswalk

How I Navigated Dating and Disclosure After My HIV Diagnosis

De Vonté Williamson writes about his journey of self-love and self-acceptance.

By De Vonté Williamson, MPH
SF tent camps in COVID-19 times

Homelessness and COVID-19

In California’s East Bay, activists are bringing food to people experiencing homelessness, while larger nonprofits are unable to provide meals or masks.

By Antwan Matthews
Dwayne Brown (L) and friend, early 90s.

Coronavirus May Have You Feeling Down. But Don’t Give Up Before the Miracle Happens

Even in mass loss, hope springs eternal.

By Jaime M. Grant