A question has always hung over the reaction of gay men to the plague that terrorized and decimated them in the 1980s and 1990s: Why did they not surrender? They came of age in an era of intense stigma; and AIDS, as many Christian fundamentalists gleefully noted, appeared almost as confirmation that the wages of sin are death. They were surrounded by a culture that emphatically believed that they had asked for this, that mass death was, as National Review put it, “retribution for a repulsive vice.” How did they not entirely internalize this? Why, after a brief moment of liberation in the 1970s, did they not crawl back into the closet and die?
David France’s remarkable book tries to answer that question. It’s the prose version of France’s Oscar-nominated documentary of the same name — and somehow manages to pack all the emotional power of that film with far more granular detail and narrative force. I doubt any book on this subject will be able to match its access to the men and women who lived and died through the trauma and the personal testimony that, at times, feels so real to someone who witnessed it that I had to put this volume down and catch my breath.
Last night, Wednesday, November 2, 2016, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) raised more than 3.15 million at its 15th annual An Enduring Vision benefit gala to support HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, supporting services, and advocacy programs across the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean. American Airlines, BVLGARI, Fiore Group, Robert K. Kraft, The Lauder Foundation – Leonard & Judy Lauder Fund, Sands Bethlehem, and Steve Tisch served as the Presenting Sponsors of the benefit. The star-studded evening was held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
In January 1986, then aged 33 and after suffering a number of unpleasant and unexplained illnesses, my long suffering GP broke it to me that I was infected with what was then called ARC (Aids Related Complex).
With the input of more than 100 people living with HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched an updated ad campaign called “HIV Treatment Works.” The message: If you’re HIV positive, get treatment early and stick with it.
Matt Skallerud's insight:
Multiple people living with HIV featured in the HIV Treatment Works campaign talk about how being on HIV treatment has helped them to live well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) HIV Treatment Works campaign for people living with HIV features the stories of individuals talking about how sticking to HIV treatment helps them stay healthy, protect others, do what they love, and live a longer, healthier life.
In the 1980s, when Dr. Jesse Peel was in his 40s, he realized something startling: The gay community organizer and psychiatrist in Atlanta had lost more of his contemporaries than his aging mother at the time.
In late 2014 I received an email from one of New York City's largest sex parties for gay men. Usually, the email would have contained this: a time, an address, a dress code, the price. The party had long been condoms-only, but a new safe-sex provision had just been added: "If you do have condomless sex it is assumed that you are on PrEP/Truvada or undetectable."
When they were diagnosed, HIV/AIDS was seen as a death sentence: the Grim Reaper. But medical science eventually found ways to hold AIDS back. Long-term survivors, some now feeling a survivor’s guilt, recall preparing to die – and remember the many who did.
The launch of MyLife+, the world’s first comprehensive health and wellness phone app specifically designed for people living with HIV, has served to highlight the immense progress made both medically and socially in the field of HIV/AIDS, just ahead of World AIDS Day on the 1st of December.
Developed by ViiV Healthcare, in consultation with the HIV community, and in partnership with the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA), MyLife+ helps people with HIV track their medications, blood results — including CD4 count and viral load — symptoms, and even moods. Hoping to scope the impact the app could have on those living with HIV, SameSame spoke to two HIV+ men with very different stories to tell.
Bringing Together Experts and the Community to Fight Health Disparities
Matt Skallerud's insight:
Equitas Health's Institute for LGBTQ Health Equity and the Ohio AIDS Coalition will host 450 activists, academics, community members, health and social service professionals at a Midwest conference to address health disparities affecting the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS community. The conference will take place at The Ohio State University - Fawcett Center October 20-21st.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of an antiretroviral medication to prevent the acquisition of HIV infection by people who are uninfected. In April 2016, the European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control (ECDC) held a meeting to discuss considerations for PrEP implementation in Europe. In preparation for this meeting, ECDC and the Hornet Gay Social Network collaborated on a rapid survey about PrEP use among men who have sex with men (MSM). The objective of this survey was to examine PrEP use among MSM, including access, health care engagement and likelihood of future use.
Apparently now even AIDS activists are establishment. Where will the purge end?
Matt Skallerud's insight:
The LGBT community wanted a war on AIDS, so Bernie Sanders gave them a war on AIDS activists instead. For the second time in a week, the Sanders campaign has launched an oddly personal attack on Peter Staley, one of America’s top AIDS activists.
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