Posts Tagged: aids

What It's Like to Be a Woman with HIV/AIDS

There’s still a lot of stigma; HIV’s related to sex and drugs, which are two things that make you “not a good person.” But really, really? Bullshit. Own your humanity and don’t judge people. I don’t care if I slept with 13,000 people and did heroin every day; I’m still a person. And, I might be a better person than you.

Yesterday was the 26th World AIDS Day, a number that both seems frighteningly long and curiously short, given that I, and so many others, have never known a world without AIDS. I often worry that the anxious awareness of the past has now grown stale and the cultural [...]


He's So Unusual

The other day at Barnes & Noble they'd just set up a new endcap display of musicians' autobiographies. Patti Smith's was there, Rod Stewart's was there, and so was Cyndi's. In my family, when you say "SIN-dee," you're referring to one of three people: Aunt Cindy, Aunt Cyndi, or Cyndi Lauper. The aunts haven't written their books yet, so obviously this one was by the latter — the one my uncle helped create. Once upon a time, many careers and homes and friendships ago, Patrick, my mom's older brother, was Cyndi's makeup artist, hairdresser, and stylist, through her screaming rise to fame in the '80s. Upon seeing the book, and [...]


Peanuts and Oscars

Since 1986, when he quit his job in Dallas as a licensed electrical contractor, he's made this trip across the unpredictable Mexican border 300 times, he says. He is careful, but it never gets easier. You sweat a lot and your hands feel like fish. You live in a low-rent motel while waiting for your connection. You worry about federales, informers, the Drug Enforcement Administration and people who would kill you for your drugs or money.

"I've never been shot,' he says. "Yet.

"Under normal smuggling conditions, I probably commit six felonies and God knows how many misdemeanors,' he smoothly offers. He waves his hand dismissively: "I gave up trying [...]


"The Photo That Brought AIDS Home"

Today is World AIDS Day and a nice/sad way to spend part of it is with this LIFE photo essay about one of the most iconic images of the epidemic. (Be sure to click "Read more" under the photo descriptions.)


The Sexual History of Jared Sabbagh, Part 3

Jared is a 31-year-old man who lives in Chicago. This is the last of three installments in his story. Here's part one and part two if you'd like to catch up. 

So you know the exact incident in which you contracted HIV.

Yeah. It was at this bathhouse in Portland.

Up till then you'd been getting checked regularly?

Totally. No more than six months between tests since I was 16.

So tell me about the encounter and how you figured it out.

It was August of 2005. I'm 23, and I'd had a few experiences of getting with HIV-positive dudes without a condom, [...]


Girls on Tape

Before you listen to her story, you should know that Thembi died a few years ago. Her audio diary, produced by Joe Richman, of being a young person in South Africa with a boyfriend, a baby, and AIDS is something to take a moment out of the day for. Run a bath, if you have one. We went shopping at Filene's Basement one time and she picked out the cutest jean jacket and wore it to meet Bill Clinton.