Opinion Pieces

‘Blood disgust’ is nothing new to people with HIV

published: July, 12, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Mark S. King

Mark S. King: "Unrealistic fear of HIV blood isn’t limited to the history books. HIV criminalization... preys upon outdated fears and public disgust with people living with the virus."

‘Blood disgust’ is nothing new to people with HIV

It is coursing through our veins, sustaining life and fighting disease, and yet we fear it. The sight of a few drops can make an adult faint. A bucket of it in a movie is the very definition of horror. Even as Donald Trump contributes his perverted, sexist new layer of blood revulsion (through a history of insults that include journalist Megyn Kelly’s bloody “whatever” and his most recent fabrication about a “bleeding” face lift that cable news anchor Mika Brzezinski never had)

We've got the tools right now. Let's end the HIV epidemic.

published: July, 10, 2017 Written by // T.J. Miller Categories // Activism, Aging, Social Media, T.J. Miller, As Prevention , Gay Men, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

"I was on the front lines of the battle in the early days, and I still am on the battle lines today as an advocate." PositiveLite.com welcomes longtime health care provider and HIV advocate T. J. Miller.

We've got the tools right now. Let's end the HIV epidemic.

This was the first article that appeared in the New York Times, that told us about the devastation, the Hell that was to come. 35 years later, while we have treatments, preventative medications (PrEP) and now concrete scientific evidence that persons with HIV who have an undetectable viral load for six months or greater are unable to transmit the virus to sexual partners (Undetectable=Untransmittable/Treatment as Prevention or TasP) we are still suffering with stigma, arguing over funding, de

Restoring life again

published: July, 07, 2017 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Kimutai Kemboi, Mental Health, Health, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

From Kenya, Kimutai Kemboi: "My appeal to people out there, who are stuck in a pool of denial and confusion, is to make a positive decision to start medication."

Restoring life again

"Is it true I am HIV positive?" I asked the lady in the white lab coat. "As per the test, it shows you are HIV positive." She replied.  I left the place immediately immediately. I had no interest in further discussion or counselling. I had drawn my own conclusions and I would decide my next course of action without influence from anybody. This was my life, though it wasn't life anymore, and I had a mandate to do what best suited me in my new condition. Suicide! Suicide! Suicide! Suicide!

Ed Wolf's journal of the Trump years for July: what would Woody do?

published: July, 06, 2017 Written by // Ed Wolf Categories // Social Media, Activism, Aging, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Ed Wolf, Vitamins - Supplements, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

As the Inauguration Day of His Awfulness approaches, Ed Wolf draws on diverse sources of inspiration to help maintain the balance between hope and despair.

Ed Wolf's journal of the Trump years for July: what would Woody do?

Woody Guthrie New Year’s resolutions .  Photo from the internet  Day 53. What Would Woody Do? We’re not going to have to figure out how to resist Trump and his cronies by ourselves. We can always look back at the strategies women and men have used to get through difficult times before. One of my favorites is Woody Gutherie’s “New Years Rulin’s.” Taking number 17 and 33 to heart. Photo of no beginning, no end by Ed Wolf.  Day 54. Happy You Near!   Photo of intensive care s

“I would not have consented to sex had I known of their HIV status.” This statement is problematic and here’s why.

published: July, 05, 2017 Written by // Samantha Categories // Social Media, Conferences, Current Affairs, Mental Health, Women, Legal, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Samantha

"How can the general public insist upon disclosure when they set the tone and grounds for unsuccessful disclosure?" Samantha offers her takeaway from " Rethinking Justice: the 7th Symposium on HIV Law and Human Rights."

 “I would not have consented to sex had I known of their HIV status.” This statement is problematic and here’s why.

On June 15, 2017 the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network held a symposium in Toronto, Ontario, Rethinking Justice: the 7th Symposium on HIV Law and Human Rights. The symposium focused on unjust HIV criminal legislation in Canada. Canada unfortunately has one of the worst records in the world for the overly broad use of criminal laws to address HIV nondisclosure. Panels of experts and those with lived experience of HIV criminalization presented their research and experiences. The legal experts di

Keeping love centre at Pride LA

published: July, 04, 2017 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Current Affairs, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

PositiveLite.com's L.A. Correspondent, Louis Kengi Carr goes to L.A. Pride and is reminded of the things that keep him strong in his advocacy.

Keeping love centre at Pride LA

Full disclosure. Let’s just get this out of the way up front ok? I’ve been gay my entire life and I’ve never once attended gay pride. Well not the mainstream gay pride. It just never felt like something I wanted to attend because as a Black man I’ve never felt welcomed, embraced or celebrated by gay pride. It’s just too white for me and let’s just be honest, West Hollywood doesn’t represent the fullness of gay life and it certainly does not represent the City of Los Angeles eithe

Taboo sex, racism, and gay men: a chat in black and white

published: July, 03, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Mental Health, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

In this interview by Mark S. King, Charles Stephens provides a searing indictment of racism among gay men and within HIV organizations. If you consider yourself a white ally to people of color, the level of your real commitment is about to be challenged.

Taboo sex, racism, and gay men: a chat in black and white

Detail from Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s “Untitled,” courtesy of Autograph, London In thirty years of HIV work alongside black advocates, I have rarely written on the topic of race. It makes me uncomfortable, or perhaps I feel unequipped, unqualified. But it’s that very hesitancy, according to black gay academic Charles Stephens, that only makes racism worse. Charles, the founder of the Counter Narrative Project in Atlanta, proved to be the perfect person with whom to chat about race (and

Life is a puzzle and death is its final piece.

published: June, 29, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "Every day we have left is one more day to dare ourselves to love and be loved."

Life is a puzzle and death is its final piece.

HIV has taught me several things. I actually believe that HIV changed my life forever with a mix of sad and beautiful memories of fighting for my life, after receiving a “death sentence” back in the late 1980s. I mean this literally, I was told over the phone that I had, at the most “6 months to a year to live”. Getting a death sentence is probably one of the most terrifying things I have ever confronted so far. The bleak circumstances surrounding my death sentence were very poignan

Then and now... the transition!

published: June, 26, 2017 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Kimutai Kemboi, Youth, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

Kenya's Kimutai Kemboi: "I am where I am today being whom I am because of opening up, speaking about myself to the people around me."

Then and now... the transition!

I used to hear that situations are not permanent but had not believed it until it happened to me. It has been a long journey but today I confidently say, 'those days'. It was not easy as such but it took a strong heart, believing in myself and keeping a focus on the dreams I had since my childhood! These have been the pillars of my achievement. Sometimes I look at myself and smile, not because I am funny but at how I managed to overcome the situations I was in. Today I am living a free life t

Stigma Stings

published: June, 22, 2017 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Mental Health, Women, Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

From CATIE's Positive Side, Kath Webster speaks to three women who face stigma with courage and resilience.

Stigma Stings

Last January, my partner and I flew to Mexico for a vacation. On Day 1, out of the blue, I was stung by stigma. While swimming in the Pacific Ocean, I put my foot down, expecting to feel the soft sand, and instead stepped on a stingray, which spurred an excruciating sting and deep wound. At the local clinic, I considered disclosing my HIV status, but this was a small Catholic town and I didn’t want to face people’s judgment or, worse, not be treated at all. So I decided against it. The do

What’s happening on the ground: first voice perspectives of the overdose crisis in Atlantic Canada

published: June, 22, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Conferences, Hep B and C, General Health, Current Affairs, Health, Revolving Door, Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Guest author Michael Liddell: "... people who use drugs and their allies are using the mantra of 'nothing about us without us' to organize and demand action."

What’s happening on the ground: first voice perspectives of the overdose crisis in Atlantic Canada

At the opening of the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference in Montreal held in Montreal in May of this year, the Federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott announced that more people have died in the overdose epidemic in the past few years than during the height of the AIDS crisis in the late 80s and early 90s. This fact is made even more tragic considering that it need not happen. This grim reality was on the minds of many and was the catalyst for a workshop hosted by Direction 180

The true love story behind Larry Kramer’s novel ‘Faggots’

published: June, 21, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Aging, Activism, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Mark S. King

Mark S. King with a fascinating glimpse of activist icon Larry Kramer's softer side.

The true love story behind Larry Kramer’s novel ‘Faggots’

Larry Kramer, Kelsey Louie of GMHC, Mark S. King, and Larry’s husband, David Webster. (Photo: Nathan Perkel) The new POZ Magazine feature article, “Finding Larry Kramer,” tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the iconic activist found his way back to GMHC nearly thirty years after the organization kicked him out for being such a pain in the ass. It is an intimate look at an American hero and lion in winter. I had the pleasure of writing the story, which meant meeting both Larry an

How I deal with my problems

published: June, 20, 2017 Written by // Billy Santo Categories // Social Media, Youth, Mental Health, Health, Billy Santo, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

From the Philippines, Billy Santo on the virtues of keeping life simple.

How I deal with my problems

I can get by even if I have no money. It matters, but it’s not everything. I am used to problems because I’ve had enough of them already and I’ve been at my lowest. I can endure a single day without food because I know how it feels to have no food to eat for almost a week. I can sleep in any house without complaint because I’ve experienced sleeping in the streets. I can go out without having to worry about what brand my clothes are because I only had one uniform in college that I bare

Trump doesn't care about HIV. We're outta here.

published: June, 20, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, As Prevention , General Health, Current Affairs, Youth, Newly Diagnosed, Mental Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, Revolving Door, International , Treatment, Legal, Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) have resigned. From Newsweek, Scott A. Schoettes has this report.

Trump doesn't care about HIV. We're outta here.

To read the complete article by Scott A. Schoettes, visit Newsweek, here. Five of my colleagues and I resigned this week from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care. The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks z

The intersection between clinic law and health: responding to issues faced by people with HIV

published: June, 16, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Activism, African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Women, Revolving Door, Legal, Guest Authors, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

HALCO's Ryan Peck:"The fact is that rights, especially for marginalized communities, are constantly under attack."

The intersection between clinic law and health: responding to issues faced by people with HIV

Note: This speech was presented by Ryan Peck, Executive Director of the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) upon accepting the Legal Aid Ontario 2016 Sidney B. Linden Award. Before focusing on what we at HALCO humbly refer to as holistic and revolutionary (or at least incremental reformist) lawyering, as well as on legal injustices facing people with HIV, I pay tribute to the countless who are no longer with us. HALCO was founded in a dark time. Death was an everyday experience and p

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