You have to ask yourself if you are truly committed to combatting stigma. If you aren't, if you want to wield stigma as a weapon to impose your point of view, then you are part of the problem. To stigmatize PrEP or the people who take it will only lead to more HIV infections.
I'm proud to say I spent some of the best years of my life being someone else. For ten years, I played Nandipha Sithole, an HIV-positive character on Isindingo, one of South Africa's most loved television dramas.
Each of us can do something right now to help end the epidemic. Get tested, and urge your doctor to adopt HIV testing as a standard of care. Encourage others, especially young people, to get tested, too. Speak out for comprehensive sexual health programming in your schools.
Social stigma, whether it be homophobia in the world at large or HIV-related stigma within the gay community, limits our ability to tackle HIV/AIDS at all levels. This holds particularly true for LGBT Americans. Too often the LGBT community itself has reinforced AIDS-related stigma.
The stigma associated with HIV is only partially to blame. More problematic is the difficulty of reaching the most vulnerable members of the U.S. population who are living with HIV but unaware of their status: racial and ethnic minorities, the poor and disenfranchised, and people who are homeless.
Our report demonstrates that since 2008, Chicago men who have sex with men (MSM) are testing for HIV more frequently, have greater knowledge of their own HIV status and have greater access to HIV antiretroviral therapies. Results are particularly strong and promising for young black MSM.
Beyond a discussion of cost savings and cost effectiveness, the real purpose behind World AIDS Day is saving human lives. The fight against HIV is far from over, but we can observe this World AIDS Day with optimism.
By combining funds, experience and infrastructure we can tackle and defeat some of the most deadly diseases in some of the most impoverished regions. We encourage others to join us, so we may all come together to save lives and promote healthy communities around the world.
Last year, we celebrated 30 years of progress in the fight against AIDS. This year, let's celebrate World AIDS Day by looking forward. We've challenged ourselves by setting an ambitious goal of an AIDS-free generation. Let's examine where we are on our way to that goal.
Female condoms are an opportunity to promote women's rights as much as they are an opportunity to fight HIV, because they can and they do generate important conversations within couples and communities about love, protection, trust and power.
The FDA has approved Truvada, an HIV treatment medication, to be taken by uninfected people to protect against HIV. For men who engage in unsafe sex with other men, is this just an excuse to continue to be irresponsible?
I asked a young friend if he had heard of Truvada, the drug recently approved by the FDA for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, against HIV. It's a pill to prevent HIV transmission. Like most people I know, he hadn't ever heard about PrEP. Sadly, I'm not surprised.
Recently I wrote a blog about how HIV prevention should move beyond handing people condoms. My story wasn't that straightforward, and as I reveal how I became infected with HIV, hopefully you'll see my reasoning.
What was captivating about the 2012 International AIDS Conference was the vision of an AIDS-free generation that was often invoked. We have the tools to get to "zero new HIV infections," though I am not convinced we have the collective commitment yet. And we definitely don't have the money.