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Living With Aids

Not-So-Safe Secrets in the Age of No Secrets

Zandile Mqwathi | Posted 07.02.2014 | Impact
Zandile Mqwathi

Having been diagnosed with HIV eight years ago as a young woman, I have learned some lessons in the dating scene, especially the sensitive issue of sharing the secret or hiding it.

Housing Works Is Helping to Heal the Human Race

Rebecca Pidgeon | Posted 06.14.2014 | Impact
Rebecca Pidgeon

Growing up in the eighties, I remember the media coverage about this new disease. A few brave people around that time started speaking out against the marginalization of this epidemic, and soon activist groups were formed.

Coming Out Of The HIV/AIDS Closet

Gary Nelson | Posted 06.24.2013 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Without PWA (people with AIDS) participating in all levels of HIV/AIDS awareness, education, research and support programs, there is no passion and therefore no motivation to move forward. Even if you work behind the scenes, it makes a difference.

How GMHC's Savor Dinner Nourishes People Living With HIV and AIDS

Wilson Rodriguez | Posted 03.20.2013 | Gay Voices
Wilson Rodriguez

Isolation. Stigma. Shame. Words I would have not connected to cooking until I came to work at GMHC 10 years ago. Our clients deserve the best and I purchase the best quality of food I can get.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Epilogue): What I'd Like To Say To Those With HIV/AIDS

Gary Nelson | Posted 12.05.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Try to see yourself as a leader, mentor and teacher. Remind yourself daily that there is no room for shame. You will find allies. We number greater than those who turn away from you and offer no help in eradicating this disease. We will move forward with you.

HIV: The War Still Rages

Charles Karel Bouley | Posted 01.30.2013 | Gay Voices
Charles Karel Bouley

AIDS is still here. It still kills. It is no fun to live with it, and you don't want it. It is not a way off the streets, and it's not worth one night of really hot bareback sex because condoms turn him off. There's not one bit of sex with anyone that's worth the lifetime of complexity that is AIDS.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 15): There's A Witch On My Back

Gary Nelson | Posted 01.16.2013 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

I'm saying goodbye to Robert again as I close this series. I will miss writing about him, because in a weird kind of way, I lived our life over again. But it was easier this time. I think I can spread his ashes now.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 14): Jesus And The Crow Disciples

Gary Nelson | Posted 01.12.2013 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

The visits from Jesus always happened in those lonely hours of the night when Robert was alone with his thoughts. Were they merely hallucinations resulting from the insidious disease chipping away at his brain, or were they manifestations of his faith that our souls go on forever?

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 13): 'He's Got The Shugah!'

Gary Nelson | Posted 01.06.2013 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

I told Robert my patience was wearing thin, and then I asked him why he hadn't followed up on his diabetes diagnosis. He told me he just couldn't see going to the doctor for "every little thing." I didn't respond. My mind was somewhere else. I couldn't understand how this had happened to him.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 12): 'It's Lymphoma'

Gary Nelson | Posted 12.24.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

"It's my bad blood," Robert said. "Look under my arms. There's no muscle." He took off his shirt and showed me his swollen lymph glands. Changing his clothes had become a private ritual for Robert when his health began to fail. He didn't want me to notice the changes in his body.

Queer Ride for the Straight Guy

Joan Garry | Posted 12.24.2012 | Gay Voices
Joan Garry

A straight, private wealth manager from Bergen County, N.J., might seem like an unlikely candidate to get involved in a charity bike ride to benefit New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 11): 'Anybody Who Gets Infected Now Deserves AIDS'

Gary Nelson | Posted 12.01.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

There were some friends of mine who stopped coming to our house, for fear they might catch something. One of them actually told me that they wouldn't be coming over as long as Robert was there. If I wanted to meet him somewhere, that would be fine.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 10): 'I Want To Live'

Gary Nelson | Posted 11.24.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Robert was starting to sweat. His eyes were filling with tears. He was holding the knife in front of his face. His arms and head were vibrating. The knife dropped onto the blanket. Then Robert curled up into a fetal position.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 9): You're Alive Until You're Dead

Gary Nelson | Posted 11.06.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Fevers, an occasional brush with bronchitis, and thrush were common occurrences for Robert over the next few years. Not knowing what was around the corner could be frightful for some, but Robert seemed to take it all in stride.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 8): The Truth Hurts

Gary Nelson | Posted 10.27.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Robert had to look at his options and then make a decision about where he was going to live. I had to make a decision, too. Could I take care of Robert? The only other living being I had ever taken care of was my Persian cat.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 7): 'Thanks For Everything'

Gary Nelson | Posted 10.22.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

When I awoke the next morning, I found Robert asleep in the wing chair. I tiptoed out the door and went to work. Calls home that day went unanswered. That afternoon, when I got home, there was a napkin taped to the kitchen table.

Warrior Or Victim? How Shall We Live In The Face Of The Continuing AIDS Plague?

John-Manuel Andriote | Posted 10.13.2012 | Healthy Living
John-Manuel Andriote

How shall we live, knowing the time of youthful athletic prowess is brief, knowing, as HIV/AIDS reminds us, that life is fragile, precious and short? For me, in my life, with my time, I choose not to be a victim.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 4): Cool Water

Gary Nelson | Posted 09.23.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Loneliness can devour a soul left alone for too long. So, when Robert's case worker called him with an invitation for a Christmas party, he was anxious and started to feel alive again. "Maybe, just maybe," Robert thought, "someone will save me."

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 2): To The Hospital We Go

Gary Nelson | Posted 09.10.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Tootie and Tia sat in the hospital lobby waiting for some kind of news from the attending ER physician. When the physician came to tell Tootie the news about her son, she heard several words, but the only two she recognized were "thrush" and "pneumonia."

Remembering Brian Hughes - Innocence, Prison, Mental Illness, AIDS and Family

Patrick Hughes, Jr. | Posted 07.09.2012 | Chicago
Patrick Hughes, Jr.

My parents discussed with me what it was like to raise a child with mental illness. I am forever grateful to my parents for making Brian part of our lives, and for their extraordinary generosity in sharing his story with people we have yet to meet.

Advice for a Young Man Newly Diagnosed with HIV

Bren Shucart | Posted 01.31.2012 | Gay Voices
Bren Shucart

When I tested positive in the spring of 2005, it felt like the end of the world. HIV was this boogieman that I had been taught to hate and fear since before I really understood how sex worked, and suddenly this monster was inside me.

Outliving Myself: Advice from an AIDS Elder

Robert Levithan | Posted 01.16.2012 | Gay Voices
Robert Levithan

I am 60. I have lived half my life with HIV/AIDS. This is my normal. When I tested positive as part of a study in 1983, no one would have expected me to be here, let alone be thriving. Not many of the first wave are here.

Stopping AIDS Together

Modesto Tico Valle | Posted 01.08.2012 | Chicago
Modesto Tico Valle

These next few years are the most critical yet in our long race to a cure for AIDS. The LGBT community and our allies must sound the alarm again, just as we did nearly 30 years ago.

HIV's Derailment Doesn't Have to Mean HIV's Denial

Thomas DeLorenzo | Posted 12.25.2011 | Gay Voices
Thomas DeLorenzo

AIDS, in spite of nearly taking my life just a few days before, was giving me a new one. AIDS would be the precise reason I would go to law school, for there is nothing like fighting for your life with an insurance company to make you wish you had a J.D.

Miracle Workers

Alexandra Billings | Posted 12.09.2011 | Gay Voices
Alexandra Billings

For my fellow Americans who are ill with whatever they're ill with, and whose time, like mine, is limited, we have to shut out the noise of people on the right who aren't able right now to open their hearts wide enough to hear the call of mercy.