January/February #141 : Editor's Letter-January/February 2008 - by Regan Hofmann

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Growing Pains

A Stirling Example

You’ve Come a Long Way, Babies

My Generation

Can We Talk

Raw Hide

Parent Trap

Homing Devices

The Insure Thing

Birds, Bees and HIV

Pass the Mike

Sugar Rush

Cambodia Manhunt

Girl Talk

Iowa Rocks

Download This!

Angels in Africa

They Clicked

Raven Reviews

Fifteen Candles

Editor's Letter-January/February 2008

Mailbox-January/February 2008


Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

Scroll down to comment on this story.

email print

January 2008

Editor's Letter-January/February 2008

by Regan Hofmann

Back on the Horse

When I saw the cover photograph for this issue, I was struck by two things—the beauty of the children and the odd irony of the horses beside them. Soon after we started working on the issue, in early November, my horse fell on me and broke my ankle. I’ve been riding for 34 years—it was just one of those silly accidents. One moment, my horse was trotting quietly in the ring; the next, he shied and tripped. Suddenly we were falling together. After three decades in the saddle, I’ve had my share of spills and broken bones. I know how to tuck and roll, and little scares me anymore. But as I hit the ground, my foot still in the stirrup, I was very afraid. I lay on my back watching my horse fall, praying that he wouldn’t roll all the way over as he hit the ground—and crush me. His weight snapped my ankle, but my scream sent him scrambling to his knees, sparing the rest of my bones.

Ever since I was a kid, my parents have warned me about the dangers of competitive riding. I know it’s been hard for them to stand on the sidelines over the years and watch me on seemingly countless horses, thundering around courses, galloping in all sorts of weather over all sorts of jumps. Somewhere along the line they accepted that the joy I get from the horses overshadows the occasional injury. My horses have been with me throughout my entire time with HIV. Their unconditional love, the tactile pleasure I get from grooming them—the strength riding brings to my body and mind and the feeling of freedom and power I have when sailing over a jump at 30 mph on my horse’s back—far outweigh the annoyance of my cast and crutches.

So although I am not yet a parent myself, I can image how hard it is to watch your children make decisions that involve risk. That’s exactly what Suzan Stirling, HIV positive herself, had to do when her 17-year-old HIV-positive daughter, Alee, told her that she wanted to go public with her HIV status. Suzan was worried that disclosure, though freeing, could in some circumstances bring more pain than joy to her daughter’s life. My own mom and I went through that when I told her I was going to tell the world my status. Her maternal instincts kicked in when I said I was ready to take that huge jump. For me the decision—which has not been without a certain amount of fallout—was absolutely the right one, and it has made my life a thousand times more joyful.

I hope that people applaud the bravery of the Stirlings as I hope people all over the world compassionately support those HIV-positive people who decide to share their status. Those who do can certainly challenge the world’s view of what HIV is and looks like. When the ambulance crew picked me up at the barn after my fall, they asked whether I had any other health concerns. I told them I’m HIV positive. The medic paused a second (he was touching my ankle with gloved hands) and said, “OK, don’t worry; we’ll make sure they don’t broadcast that information around the ER.” I looked at him and said, “Don’t worry; the world already knows.” He stared at me incredulously, and I lay back on the gurney with a huge sigh, marveling at how sometimes big risks can bring even bigger relief.

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Hide comments

Previous Comments:


[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.