July #49 : Walk the Talk - by Gabi Horn

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The Power of One

The Power of One: Senegal

The Power of One: Uganda

The Power of One: Zimbabwe

The Power of One: Zambia

World Weary

South Africa's Moment of Truth

Back to the Roots

Chain Reactions: Medicine Woman

Chain Reactions: Poetic Justice

Chain Reactions: Ray of Hope

Chain Reactions: Reluctant Witness

Guest Editor's Letter

To the Editor

Bath Sides Now

Walk the Talk

Rubber Suit

Memo Demo

Dread Locked

PWAs vs. Y2K

Jail Break

Say What

Gender Agenda

Simon Nkoli


POZarazzi: Spring Sprung

License to Kill

Keep HOPE Alive

POZ Picks

Show & Tell

The Holistic Truth

Get Over It

Sugar on Top

Cheer to Adhere

Gene Pool

Cream Puff

The Protease Prison

Out in Africa

Where to Find It

Grandma’s Recipe

Grace Under Pressure

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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July 1999

Walk the Talk

by Gabi Horn

Academic puts rubbers to road

At 5-feet tall and 260 pounds, Dr. John Chittick isn’t your average marathon man, but for the next year the academic, who wrote his 1994 Harvard PhD thesis on teens and AIDS, will cover five continents preaching prevention to youth. On the road since February, Chittick, 50, estimates that by July 2000—when he’ll cross the finish line in Durban, South Africa, to attend the 13th annual World AIDS Conference—he’ll have walked 1,800 miles. When POZ caught up with Chittick in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, he was just hitting his stride.

How do you get people’s attention?
I’m a walking billboard. People think it’s funny when they see a short, fat guy in a bright Hawaiian shirt coming down the road, and always ask what I’m doing here. Then they see I’m a foreigner who respects their culture rather than trying to tell them that America is No. 1.

You’re on quite an odyssey. What inspired it?
My colleagues read papers and talk to each other, but with young people you have to get out and talk to them. Professional AIDS workers must take their knowledge to the street. If I can do it—a guy in my physical shape who had quadruple bypass surgery five years ago—anyone can.

What’s your outreach style?
I joke around a lot, and use psychology. I ask teens about their plans for the future, then tell them, “If you get HIV, you’ll have fewer opportunities to make those dreams come true.” That tends to work.

What’s paving your way financially?
Private donations—government money comes with too many strings attached. Sometimes police aren’t so keen on an American wandering around with a satellite phone, sometimes I’m denied permission to enter a school. When that happens, I just keep walking.

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