(Sean McKenna, as part of a portrait series by photographer David Meanix.) Last December I attended the most moving, transcendent World AIDS Day program I have witnessed in years. That’s not saying much, of course. These evenings are usually well-meaning but maudlin, featuring tearful eulogies while we hold up candles that drip on our fingers and [...]
Thirty-two years ago this month, I received a phone call from a nurse at my doctor’s office telling me that I had tested HIV positive. We didn’t schedule a follow-up visit or begin a treatment plan, because there wasn’t a single medication approved for the virus, which had only been identified the previous year. The [...]
Atlantan Jesse Peel, at 76, is one of those featured in Positively Aware's special issue, "Our Golden Years." Photo: Charles Green My friend Olivia G. Ford (she got that whole middle initial thing from me, I’m convinced of it) speaks even faster than I do. That’s a rare distinction. Olivia is also an [...]
The young woman sitting across from me on the bus is in her mid-20s. She turns to her companion and her voice grows serious. “I know someone who died,” she says in the hushed tone reserved for tales of mortality. Her friend looks up from his phone. “He was a good friend of my brother,” [...]
Daniel Cardone’s essential but relentlessly grim documentary about longtime AIDS survivors, Desert Migration, is fascinated with the bodies of the gay men it profiles. The film begins with lingering shots of each of the subjects as they begin their day. It follows them through their routine, some of them naked, as they prepare breakfast, shower, [...]
Some years ago, I told someone that I was HIV positive before I agreed to his invitation for a date. “Yeah, I know,” he casually replied, and then he looked a little embarrassed, as if he shouldn’t have said it. It was too late, of course; I knew exactly what he meant. He could tell [...]
I was knocked out by these people and their daily courage and fortitude. I really want to thank this group for taking me into their homes and lives and allowing me to share their stories with you.
My dismay over my facial wasting pitted two strong emotions against one another: my pride in being a longtime HIV/AIDS survivor, and my shame for looking like one.
July and August were almost frantically productive for me, and I've followed it by the longest period of, well, nothing, since I began producing this blog. Sorry. Sometimes an HIV guy just needs to lay around and catch up on Top Chef and Real Housewives (God bless you, Bravo). Hopefully you caught my most recent [...]
Several years ago, I told someone that I was HIV positive before I agreed to his invitation for a date. "Yeah, I know," he casually replied, and then he looked a little embarrassed, as if he shouldn't have said it. It was too late, of course; I knew exactly what he meant. He knew my [...]