Category Archives: HIV

A Day With HIV Photo Contest

Now just one week away, Positively Aware is asking people to take a
digital photograph on Friday September 21 to record a moment of their
day that will focus the world’s attention on the daily trials and
triumphs of people living with HIV.

Positively Aware, (,
also announced today that it has named Chuck Panozzo, Sheryl Lee Ralph
and Diego Sanchez to the panel of judges for its “A Day with HIV”
photographic portrait campaign. The judges will make the final selection
of photographs to be published in the November/December issue of
Positively Aware, on the magazine’s web site and on the A Day with HIV
web site (


– Chuck Panozzo (
Bass player for the band Styx

– Sheryl Lee Ralph (
American actress, singer and activist

– Diego Sanchez of Rep. Barney Frank’s office
First openly trans person to work on Capitol Hill and a national
LGBT leader and HIV/AIDS advocate

On Friday, September 21, people everywhere, both HIV positive and
negative, can share an image of coping and care through the lens of a
camera. For the third year A Day with HIV will help remove the stigma of
HIV and to advance an international community of care through this
collective photographic portrait.  On Friday, September 21 anyone can
record a special image, a time with friends and family, at work or play,
or any moment in the day that helps people better understand how HIV
impacts people, loved ones, colleagues and communities. Photos need to
be submitted by Tuesday, September 25 on the A Day with HIV web site.

Follow A Day with HIV’s Facebook page ( or on Twitter ( to see updates and selected photographs, and to share the site and its vision with friends to help spread the word.


AIDS Memorial Quilt Now Online

It won an Oscar and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. At 1.3 million square
feet, it would take up almost half the office space in the new One World Trade Center tower in New
York. It received a “Save America’s Treasures” federal grant to preserve it for future

When the AIDS Memorial Quilt was first displayed on the National Mall in October 1987, it
consisted of 1,920 panels. Now, the quilt is too large to display in its entirety. Parts of it are
being shown throughout the capital this week during the International AIDS Conference here.

Each of its 3-by-6-foot panels — about the size of a human grave — tells the story of a person’s
life with the smallest biographical details: favorite pieces of clothing, stuffed animals, poems,
paintings, photographs.

But sewn together, the quilt’s 48,000 panels convey the enormity of an epidemic that has killed
hundreds of thousands of Americans during three decades — and millions more people worldwide.


NOW the ENTIRE quilt can be viewed online see the  thousands of panels! Enlarge and scroll around to view them.


Jack Mackenroth, Poz Army, and Sexy Underwear

JACK MACKENROTH  has been posting some amazing new photos on Facebook this week, and I just had to share some of them!  Jack has such a stunning look in front of the camera. That body! Those eyes!  Sigh…….

Jack continues to travel the country speaking about HIV education and
fighting the stigma. He will be at this years World AIDS conference in
DC on July 20th with the POZ ARMY. (
Poz Army is a grass roots movement to reenergize the fight against HIV
and AIDS and to push for a cure. Jack is a “general” in the POZ ARMY
joined by fellow celebrity activists like Olympian Greg Louganis, singer
Jamar Rogers from The Voice, Ongina from RuPaul’s Drag Race, the
“Berlin Patient” Timothy Brown, who is the first person cured of AIDS,
and many other activists. You can do your part by following POZ ARMY on
twitter @pozarmy and showing support on Facebook.

Jack is in the
final stages of preparation the launch of a dating/hook-up site and
mobile app for HIV+ guys. HIV+ men often don’t feel welcome on the
existing sites and are tired of having to have “the conversation” or
worrying about when to disclose their status. This new site will cater
to HIV+ men and help combat the stigma through visibility. All the
models are HIV+ and members don’t have to feel the stigma of living with
HIV. It goes live on September 1st after beta testing. Unfortunately the site name is still confidential. Check Jack’s facebook page for updates in August.

the site will be fairly simple in order to build membership. We all 
know sex sells so that’s part of it but it will also have a heath and
resource section. As the site grows and we will to build more of a
community aspect where people can chat in forums and we can partner with
other agencies. We want to have cutting edge information on studies and

We’ve also partnered with Dr. Frank Spinelli who is are go
to guy for HIV education. This could have a massive affect on building a
solid HIV+ community of men who have sex with men.There has never been a
site like this before and we aim to hit a million members.

The site
will be free to sign up and members control their content so Jack
encourages everyone to take a look.

And if you are not following
Jack on Twitter--get on it!! He was voted Best Gay Tweeter of 2011/2012
by National Lampoon and one of the Top 10 Celebrity Tweeters by
Metrosource magazine.

He’s hilarious!
AND  Sexy!

Stunning photos by West Phillips


U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care Reform and HIV

The U.S. Supreme Court took a massive step toward ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic today when it found nearly all provisions of the Affordable Care Act to be constitutional. 

Federal, state and local implementation efforts must continue in order to guarantee hundreds of thousands of uninsured Americans with HIV receive needed high-quality clinical care and treatment.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision will be remembered as a historic victory for the AIDS community and, in particular, for low-income, marginalized people with HIV who struggle to gain access to the very health care and medicine that could save their lives,” said David Ernesto Munar, President/CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC)

“If fully implemented, national health care reform will put us on the road to an AIDS-free generation by dramatically expanding access to medical care, life-saving HIV treatment and screening,” Munar said.

Today, an estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. They need access to high-quality, uninterrupted health care to stay healthy, reduce new HIV infections and cut long-term health care costs.  Recognizing the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land gives people with HIV access to the reliable health coverage that they need to maintain continuous medical care, without worry of interruptions caused by inadequate coverage or an inability to pay. 

“New science has provided the tools to effectively treat HIV and to make significant headway against the AIDS epidemic in the United States,” continued Munar. “Research clearly shows that, with early access to treatment, people with HIV stay healthier and are significantly less likely to transmit HIV to others in the community.” 

Unfortunately, the ruling came with a significant setback as well. The Court ruled that states cannot be financially penalized for refusing to expand Medicaid to all low-income people. The law requires the federal government to pay 90% percent of the cost of expanding Medicaid, and the states just 10%. 

“The Medicaid ruling is a dark shadow on the horizon and significant bad news for people with HIV,” Munar noted. “States now have an opening to drop the Medicaid expansion, one of the most significant provisions for people with HIV.  Geographic disparities in access to care in the U.S. South may persist and could worsen the epidemic in some regions of the country that forgo Medicaid expansion.  The fight will now shift to the states to ensure that all low-income people benefit from healthcare reform.” 

The Supreme Court’s finding that the individual mandate is constitutional is a victory for people with HIV and countless others who have been shut out of the current health insurance market.  This provision, which many observers considered to be at great risk of being stuck down, requires all individuals to have health coverage. National health care reform will level the playing field for people with pre-existing conditions to obtain health insurance coverage, as health insurance companies will be required to sell them coverage under the new law.

“Health reform implementation must now proceed full steam ahead,” said John Peller, AFC’s Vice President of Policy. “We know there will be more law suits and attempts to repeal the law.  Congress should acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land by fully funding health reform and ending efforts to repeal it. Progress must not be held hostage by politics.”

“We also call on Governor Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly to act swiftly to prepare the state for January 1, 2014,” Peller continued. “There’s no time to waste.  Governor Quinn should immediately enact an executive order to establish the state’s health insurance exchange.”

To learn more about the ways health reform will benefit people with HIV, visit, a partnership between AFC and a number of national organizations to educate the community.

Founded in 1985 by community activists and physicians, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is a catalyst for local, national, and international action against HIV/AIDS.


HIV and AIDS Stigma – You Are Not Alone- Living +

 HIV is NOT a death sentence.

 LIVING + is a wonderful 20 minute video that shows HOPE.

Living + is a message of hope, love, and support from HIV positive
individuals to HIV positive individuals. We hope this video can help to
correct some of the misconceptions about HIV and bring us one step
closer to ending discrimination against those people who have been
affected by this disease. Please pass this on. .

For more information, please visit our blog at

Watch the full version of  LIVING  +  and  share it with others.


Robin Hood Tax – PLEASE SHARE This Video

a TINY, simple little tax, can kickstart  the economy with BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

Chris Martin (Coldplay), Mark Ruffalo (Avengers, The Kids Are Alright),
Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and economist Jeffrey Sachs star
alongside ordinary Americans in calling for a Robin Hood Tax.

Robin Hood Tax campaign is calling for a tax of less than half of 1% on
Wall Street transactions that could generate hundreds of billions of
dollars each year.

A Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street will provide
funding to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet by
creating jobs and strengthening public services like health care,
education and infrastructure at home while tackling AIDS, global health,
poverty and climate challenges around the world.

Please  share this video!!!


Donna Summers ACTUP Letter Becomes Public

Remember 1989?  When there was no internet. News DID NOT travel at the speed of light. People used snail mail. It was very hard to get your message out, effectively.

Donna Summer became an instant icon for the gay community
during her 1970s heyday. So when she allegedly made a number of
religion-inspired remarks about the gay community as well as HIV/AIDS
during a 1983 performance, the “Queen of Disco” faced an immediate
backlash.  But, she had no idea the backlash was going on. She was shielded by the people around her.

“It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” Summer was quoted as having said during the Atlantic City performance by the Village Voice, according to The Advocate.
She is said to have also noted, “I’ve seen the evil homosexuality come
out of you people… AIDS is the result of your sins. Now don’t get me
wrong; God loves you. But not the way you are now.”

Now, however, a letter of apology written by Summer to a prominent AIDS advocacy group in 1989 has emerged in its entirety for the first time via POZ Magazine’s blog. In it, the singer, who died of lung cancer at 63 last month,
denies making the remarks about the gay community, but whether or not
it would’ve been enough to appease those sullen fans at the time it was
written is uncertain.

Why this letter was never  made public, who knows.  ACTUPs  media coordinator at the time, knew it existed. And he was able to recover it from the archives, which are now in storage. Was it suppressed from the public by ACTUP because ACTUP wanted to control this whole mishap with Summer?  No one will ever really know.

But thanks  to  POZ Blogs PETER STALEY for this wonderfully insightful story.


House of Boys with Layke Anderson now on DVD

I am in love with Layke Anderson!
 and Benn Northover is pretty delicious as well. 

Finally, after making the rounds at Film Festivals around the world and playing in big cites, HOUSE OF BOYS is now available on dvd!

House of Boys is A glamorous, colourful coming-of-age story that follows the dramatic
journey of Frank, (played by Layke)  a high school kid in 1984 through an exciting world of
sex and music, when his deep new passion is suddenly turned into a
struggle for courage, facing a new disease – the “gay cancer” and
becomes deep, true love in the expectancy of his friend’s horrible death
and beyond…

Written by
Jean-Claude Schlim & Christian Thiry.

This is not one of those low budget gay movies with mediocre acting. House of Boys is top notch with awesome actors!  Anderson and Northover are both quite amazing. And their sexy romance is extremely believable.

 The supporting cast do a wonderful job. Gintare Parulyte is so lovable, and of course, Udo Kier! is Udo Kier! Perfect as Madame!

The NY Times called the film ” a tragedy in three parts” –  but that makes it sound very dark.

It’s a love story.
It’s a coming of age story.
 But true, it ends in tragedy – the story is very reminiscent of Longtime Companion

You can rent it on Amazon
House Of Boys

or buy the directors cut  on Amazon
House of Boys (Director’s Cut)

Read more at HOUSE OF BOYS


Elton John ill with Serious Respiratory Infection

LA TIMES  said this morning,

Elton John spent a day in a Los Angeles hospital for a “serious
respiratory infection” that forced the premature end to the legendary
singer’s Las Vegas show.

John became ill last weekend while performing his show, “The Million
Dollar Piano,” at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, according to a
statement on his website.

“This week the condition worsened, even with medication and rest,” the statement said.

The singer spent Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for
“extensive tests” that resulted in a doctor’s recommendation John take a
week of rest and antibiotics to “cure his respiratory infection and
prevent any damage.”

“The Million Dollar Piano” will  hopefully resume in Las Vegas in October.


HIV Advocacy Organizations Launch to Navigate Affordable Care Act

A leading group of HIV advocacy organizations announce the launch of a new website to serve as the go-to source for information, advocacy resources, and news on what health care reform (the Affordable Care Act) means for people living with HIV and their providers.

The website — — is intended to educate people living with HIV, as well as their medical workers and social service providers, on the benefits and challenges of health care reform for HIV-positive Americans. The website will also provide opportunities to share resources on health care reform implementation and advocacy. is the collaborative product of AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Project Inform, the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School/Treatment Access Expansion Project, the HIV Medicine Association and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The project is supported by a grant from the MAC AIDS Fund.


“Though there’s been plenty of media focus on the Affordable Care Act, it’s been hard to find the facts about what it will really mean on the ground for  those living with HIV,” said John Peller, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s vice president of policy. intends to fill that void by compiling the work of leading HIV health care reform advocates and reporting on new developments at the federal and state level.

“People with HIV stand to benefit tremendously from health reform and they also face unique challenges in the upcoming transition, and this website will help them learn more about it,” Peller said.  “The site aims to demystify health reform for people with HIV, as well as their medical and social services providers to better prepare them for the new landscape.”


The website also encourages discussion and action in local communities. As one example of how the website will share updates, Project Inform and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation have launched a California-specific blog ( that details various implementation efforts that are on-going in that state as they relate to people living with HIV. will further serve as an advocacy resource for activists working to educate key decision makers — particularly those opposing efforts to reduce funding for Medicaid, Medicare or health reform — on the importance of national health reform to people living with HIV.


Visit and its blogs —



Follow us on Twitter — HIVHealthReform — and on Facebook (search ‘’).


HIV Positive – Do you Tell? Do You Ask?

A recent article popped up and all this discussion opened up on Facebook. I thought I would share the discussion here.

The article  was  about the spread of HIV. Daniel Rick was been found guilty of knowingly spreading the HIV virus through unprotected sex with another man. Both consented to unprotected sex. 

Rick is the first person in the county convicted under the crime of
felony assault for “knowing transfer of communicable disease.”

I THINK you should assume EVERYONE
is POSITIVE. It doesn’t matter if he asked – or if the other
revealed his status. When you bareback, you play Russian roulette. The consenting barebacking bottom should have demanded a condom. Mr. Day did not lie to him, and say that he was negative.

Always wear protection with a stranger. Period. Even if he says he is NEGATIVE. Wear a condom. Anyone is STUPID to assume
someone is Negative. Unless you see the paperwork for the HIV test, assume they
are Positive. People need to own up and accept responsibility for

According to the CDC about
54,000 people die in the US from Influenza/pneumonia each year. 16,000
die from AIDS related issues. Prosecuting transmission of communicable
diseases is a very slippery slope. With this reasoning someone with the
flu who goes out in public could be prosecuted for exposing someone to a
potentially life threatening illness. Instead of wasting money on
prosecuting individuals, it should be spent on education, so people can
make informed choices to protect themselves.

This is not a case of rape. Or a lie being told. The bottom consented to unprotected anal intercourse.

What do you think?


Hillary Clinton Names Ellen Degeneres HIV AIDS Special Envoy

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has named talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres as the U.S. government’s Special Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness. The announcement came Tuesday (Nov. 8) at the National Institute of Health during Clinton’s address about AIDS and the HIV virus.

Clinton says of DeGeneres, “[Ellen] is going to bring not only her sharp wit and her big heart, but her impressive TV audience and more than 8 million followers on Twitter, to raise awareness and support for this effort. I know we can look forward to many contributions from Ellen and her loyal fans across the globe.”

“I’m honored to have been chosen by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton as Special Envoy for Global AIDS awareness.  The fight against
AIDS is something that has always been close to my heart.  And I’m happy
that I can use my platform to educate people and spread hope. Now, if
you’ll excuse me, I have to go look up what “envoy” means,” said talk
show host Ellen DeGeneres.

*Envoy – a diplomatic agent of the second rank, next in dignity after an ambassador, commonly called minister.
              aka – an accredited messenger or representative.



No- it’s not April 1st!     It’s December 1st!

Millions of people will be deprived of their favorite celebrity musings later this week as the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Seacrest go dark on Twitter and Facebook. The silence will only be temporary, however, as it’s part of a $1 million fundraiser for World AIDS Day , which takes place December 1.

The project was organized by Alicia Keys on behalf of her charity Keep a Child Alive . According to the Associated Press, the celebs — which also include Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Hudson and Serena Williams — will remain silent in the social media universe until the charity raises $1 million.

The effort will be further supported by dramatic videos featuring the celebs in what the AP describes as “lying in coffins to represent what the campaign calls their digital deaths.” Presumably, those videos will be tweeted out before the celebs sign off to raise awareness.



POSITIVELY AWARE Magazine Announces “A Day with HIV in America” Photo Essay

To commemorate World AIDS Day, POSITIVELY AWARE magazine is compiling a photo essay entitled “A Day with HIV in America.” On September 21, people from all across the country, both HIV-positive and negative, care providers, lawmakers, advocates, families, and friends will take a snapshot of a moment from their everyday life.

The photo essay hopes to present a portrait of our world and to put a face on HIV/AIDS in the U.S., in an effort to de-stigmatize life with HIV. Selected photos will appear in a special section of the November/December issue of POSITIVELY AWARE. Additional photo submissions will be available for viewing at A Day with HIV . Social media users can join others who are involved in the project on the Facebook group “A Day with HIV in America,” and also take part in the conversation on Twitter .

Using a digital camera or cell phone, the photos will capture a scene: Getting ready for work. Hanging out with friends. Spending a quiet moment alone. Caring for someone with HIV. The idea is to come up with the person’s own response to the question, “What does it mean to live with HIV?”

Photos are to be submitted by September 23 to    artdirector @ Submissions must include the person’s name (and the names of anyone else in the photo), phone number (of all participants), HIV status (optional), and a caption describing the scene, giving the location and time of day the picture was taken. Signed release forms will also be required for submissions to be considered.

Photos can be in JPEG, TIF, or RAW file format, and must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at 4 x 5 inches. Photos can be color or black and white. Cell phone camera photos are acceptable, provided that they meet resolution requirements.

POSITIVELY AWARE is an internationally known and respected magazine devoted to HIV treatment and wellness. It has a circulation of over 85,000, and is published bi-monthly by Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN) in Chicago, the only publication of its kind to be produced by a non-profit AIDS agency. Founded in 1987, TPAN is Chicago’s oldest peer-led AIDS service organization and specializes in treatment information, support services, and prevention.

To order copies of the magazine, call (773) 989-9400 or email distribution @ For more information about TPAN and POSITIVELY AWARE magazine visit TPAN  and Positively Aware .

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China Goverment Opens and Backs a Gay Bar



Did you know that up until 2001, homosexuality was a mental illness in China? Now  China’s government is actually financing the opening of a gay bar to help promote AIDS awareness and safe-sex practices, which is totally revolutionary.

China’s first government-backed gay bar has finally opened, very discreetly, after the original scheduled launch was delayed for almost three weeks due to intense media attention.

The bar, which receives government funding from the health bureau in the south-western province of Yunnan, was originally due to open on 1 December to mark World Aids Day, but Zhang Jianbo, the owner, delayed it to protect the privacy of the volunteers and customers after a media scrum.


The opening, attended by more than 60 people, was a cause for celebration for health workers determined to improve outreach to a large gay community increasingly at risk from Aids, and is a sign of China’s increasingly comfortable relationship with homosexuality, which has long been taboo.


“Their arrival gave me great support. Some of them came from outside Dali specially for the opening,” Mr Zhang told the Xinhua news agency. Mr Zhang is a doctor at a local hospital and founder of the Dali HIV/Aids prevention and health association, the organisation behind the initiative.


Yunnan province is home to nearly a quarter of China’s reported HIV and Aids cases. Some 40 per cent of new HIV infections diagnosed were acquired through heterosexual contact, with gay sex accounting for 32 per cent.


Whatever its benefits in terms of health awareness, the bar has another plus: value. The charge at the bar for a bottle of Coca Cola is five yuan, or around 45p, and tea and some snacks are free, according to Mr Zhang.


“The charges are just for what we need to run the bar, and we are not aiming for profits. Customers need not worry about that,” he said.