Her Family Ignored Her Uncle's Life as an HIV-Positive Gay Man; Her Film Exposes It

Rich Juzwiak · 04/22/16 04:50PM

We know the world is becoming a more accepting place for queer people, despite visible disparity and virulent backlash. But until we achieve equality for all, how do we reconcile the surviving traditionalist mindset with that of today’s progressive youth? Cecilia Aldarondo’s documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart suggests, if not an answer, then a method for telling stories along our way.

Talking With Edmund White: His New Novel, Gay Looksism, Dick Size, and Hooking Up at 76

Rich Juzwiak · 04/06/16 09:00AM

At a certain point while preparing for my interview with the novelist, memoirist, and editor Edmund White, I had to ask myself: What could I possibly say about a certain segment of gay life that Edmund White hasn’t already said beautifully or unflinchingly? “What we desire is crucial to who we are,” he wrote in his 2009 memoir City Boy. “People also like to slur someone who’s very good-looking; beauties are often branded ‘sluts’ or ‘whores,’ though these words make little sense in a sexually permissive age. What, in fact, do they mean? That someone likes to have a lot of sex with a lot of people? What’s so bad about that?” he asked in the ‘Beauties’ entry in the original 1977 edition of The Joy of Gay Sex, which he edited. And then there’s this astounding paragraph from his 1980 travelogue about regional gay culture, States of Desire:

Hillary Clinton's Reagan AIDS Revisionism Is Shocking, Insulting, and Utterly Inexplicable

Sam Biddle · 03/11/16 03:04PM

In an interview conducted at Nancy Reagan’s funeral today, Hillary Clinton recounted a version of history that didn’t happen, lauding the former first lady’s “low key advocacy” for the cause of HIV/AIDS awareness. “Low key” is one way of putting it. In fact, the Reagan White House is infamous for its lengthy, deadly silence on the epidemic.

Doctor of Man Who Contracted HIV on PrEP Discusses His Findings, and What They Mean

Rich Juzwiak · 03/03/16 11:10AM

“Because we’ve always suspected that this potentially could happen, and now we’ve shown that it can happen, people need this information to make decisions about their sexual health that feel right for them,” Dr. David Knox told me by phone yesterday. “The more information, the better. And that’s the bottom line.”

Don't Give Up on PrEP

Rich Juzwiak · 02/26/16 03:42PM

A few people that I talked to yesterday, in the wake of the news of the first documented case of a supposed daily PrEP user who nonetheless contracted a strain of HIV with drug resistance, worried about an almost gleeful, “See, told ya so!” sentiment they were seeing in some gay men’s responses. At this point in my life, I am actively trying to avoid the unreasoned opinions of strangers, particularly when these opinions come with the smell of disregard for the community to which those who voice them belong (if not outright self-hatred). That’s to say that I didn’t really interact with any of that. But it is plausible that because PrEP is a discursive lightning rod, its detractors feel justified and some sense of happiness or pride over what many have taken to be solid evidence that PrEP is not 100 percent effective in eliminating HIV—something, by the way, that no expert I’ve ever read has ever attempted to argue. In fact, every doctor or researcher or activist or counselor that I’ve ever talked to has been extremely careful not to claim 100 percent PrEP efficacy.

Man on Daily PrEP Regimen Contracts HIV, According to Study

Rich Juzwiak · 02/25/16 01:20PM

The first case of HIV contraction in a person taking PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or a antiretroviral drug cocktail used to protect people from contracting HIV) daily has been documented and presented by David Knox, MD, an HIV specialist at the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic, at the 2016 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston, according to Benjamin Ryan at Poz. Ryan reports:

More Than Just Sex: A Conversation About an Alternative History of Gay Men in the '70s

Rich Juzwiak · 02/25/16 12:18PM

“Falling into the easy trap of foregrounding sex has the effect of erasing the nuance, the richness, and even the messiness of people’s lives,” writes professor of history at Connecticut College Jim Downs in his new book Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (out March 1). The book exists to highlight the nuance, the richness, and even the messiness of people’s lives by offering an alternate history of gay life in the ‘70s. Though the years leading up to the AIDS epidemic are largely thought of as a sexual free-for-all (as depicted in the 2005 documentary Gay Sex in the ‘70s, and Larry Kramer’s 1978 novel Faggots), clearly there was more going on than just fucking, and that’s where Downs comes in. He doesn’t negate the idea that lots of men had lots of sex in the ‘70s, he merely supplements it.

MTV Shines Light On Dating While HIV Positive and Stigma 

Rich Juzwiak · 02/11/16 05:38PM

Last night, MTV’s True Life featured two people in their 20's who are HIV positive and dating. The picture was at once bleak and hopeful—both Jonahs, 22, and Lexi, 24, are undetectable and yet face other people’s reservations (if not outright bigotry) regarding their status. And still they persevere. In the clip above Jonahs gets rejected after disclosing his status to a guy he met online.

Dr. Oz Airs Debunks Claims Charlie Sheen's Former Quack Made on Real Time

Rich Juzwiak · 02/10/16 03:30PM

Today’s episode of Dr. Oz returned to the subject of Charlie Sheen’s HIV and the experimental treatment he received from a “doctor” who practices in Mexico, Sam Chachoua. Chachoua allegedly injected himself with Sheen’s HIV positive blood and more recently discussed his treatment of arthritic goat milk on Real Time with Bill Maher, on which Chachoua received 10 minutes of airtime with virtually no scrutiny from Maher.

Charlie Sheen's Blood Returned to Detectable Levels of HIV After He Went Off His Meds and Visited a Quack in Mexico

Rich Juzwiak · 01/12/16 04:55PM

On today’s episode of Dr. Oz, Charlie Sheen revealed that he had gone off the live-saving cocktail of antiretroviral drugs he was prescribed to treat his HIV, which predictably caused the level of HIV in his blood to become once again detectable. Sheen said when he came out as HIV positive, he began to receive offers of alternative medicines that he then explored. At one point he said of his antiretroviral therapy as “amazing for the [viral load] number, but I don’t know how amazing it’s been for me, ya know?”

The HIV-Positive College Wrestler "Tiger Mandingo" Never Had a Chance in Court

Gabrielle Bluestone · 12/01/15 06:29PM

When the criminal trial of the HIV-positive college wrestler Michael Johnson began, BuzzFeed reports reports, his lawyer immediately fumbled her words, advising the jury her client was “guilty until proven innocent.” It was an inauspicious start to a trial that seemed, in retrospect, to have been stacked against the defendant in every way possible.

How Is It Possible To Be HIV Positive and "Absolutely Healthy"?

Rich Juzwiak · 11/19/15 12:45PM

When Charlie Sheen announced earlier this week on the Today show that he is HIV positive, he added that through antiretroviral treatment, his viral load is now undetectable. “My medical team could only shake their heads as each and every blood test returned levels revealing a state of remission,” he wrote. In going public with his status, Sheen introduced the country at large to the emerging reality of what it means to be HIV positive in 2015.

Report: Charlie Sheen to Announce He's HIV Positive

Gabrielle Bluestone · 11/16/15 01:30PM

According to reports, Charlie Sheen will go on the Today show tomorrow to announce he’s been diagnosed with HIV—just one day before a National Enquirer report discussing his sex life is scheduled to drop.

Rich Juzwiak · 07/14/15 03:38PM

As expected, Michael Johnson (aka “Tiger Mandingo”) has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. In May he was found guilty on one count of recklessly infecting a partner with HIV, one count of attempting to recklessly infect a partner with HIV, and three counts of recklessly exposing partners to HIV.