September #182 : Midnight Cowboy - by Lauren Tuck

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Features

Healing the Hurt

Hot on the Trail

From the Editor

The Not-So-Weaker Sex

Feedback

Letters- September 2012

The POZ Q+A

The Accidental Historian

What You Need to Know

Not So Sacred Bonds of Marriage

Mo Money, Mo Health

Easing the Pain of Adult Male Circumcision?

Fifty Shades of HIV?

Digital Disease Detector

We Hear You

There's No Place Like Home

POZ Survey Says

Take Good Care

What Matters to You

Clarifying HIV Heart Disease Risk

Overturning the Gay Blood Ban

Treatment News

Generic Drugs in the U.S.?

Is He or Isn’t He Cured? Real Answers to the Case of the Berlin Patient

More Safer Sex

Common Sense Rules the Court

GMHC Treatment Issues September 2012

Comfort Zone

Making Cents of Health Insurance

POZ Heroes

Midnight Cowboy

   
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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September 2012

Midnight Cowboy

by Lauren Tuck

Richard HolcombIn 2007 after 10 years of injection drug use and professional sex work, Richard Holcomb tested positive for HIV. Today he is substance-free and helps other men engaged in sex work overcome the obstacles he encountered.

Holcomb created Project Weber, a harm reduction outreach program for homeless male sex workers in Providence, Rhode Island. As recently as 2009, selling sex indoors was still legal in Providence, making the town a magnet for male prostitution. Project Weber, named in remembrance of a young male sex worker murdered in 2003, provides HIV testing, condoms, sterile injection equipment and referrals for people with addiction. 

Holcomb also conducts research to shed light on male sex workers—a population that’s understudied and overlooked. He hopes that every city will eventually offer the specialized services found at Project Weber.

What three adjectives best describe you?
Adventurous, passionate and sometimes neurotic.

What is your greatest achievement?
Staying clean from drugs and alcohol and rebuilding my life from scratch—which in turn caused me to create Project Weber.

What person in the HIV/AIDS community do you most admire?

My friend Jimmy, who is also a former male sex worker. Although HIV negative, he has done extensive volunteer work in HIV prevention and has been a great source of hope and support since I was diagnosed.

What drives you to do what you do?

Not forgetting where I came from and how hard it was for me to get off the street and change my life. I am determined to make it easier for the next generation by providing male sex workers with the resources and services that were not available to me when I needed them.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why? 

I’m always looking for different perspectives on life, so I think it would be nice to see how the world looks from a bird’s eye [view].

Where do you go to relax?
Every six months I travel to Europe, which is a childhood dream come true. My favorite place is the Charles Bridge below the Prague Castle in the heart of the Czech Republic.

Search: Providence, Rhode Island, Richard Holcomb, sex work, Project Weber

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