March #194 : POZ Stories: Blane Oborny - by Trenton Straube

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Empowering Entrepreneurs

Building Better Barriers

From the Editor

Justify My Love


Letters-March 2014


Southern Star

POZ Planet

Renewed Hope For Organ Transplants

Stigma Index Launches in United States

Say What? Greek Edition

POZ Stories: Blane Oborny

About That $615,000 Banksy?

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela

Fight Club

Wonder Women

Get Real: Focus on Female HIV Prevention


Tables Turned

Care and Treatment

HIV, Not ARVs, Linked to Hardened Arteries

Early Treatment Is Likely Heart Healthy

New Care Guidelines: Focus Beyond HIV

Vaginal Ring Prevents HIV and Pregnancy

A Ballooning Reservoir

Research Notes

Prevention: Breast Milk Protein May Protect Babies

Treatment: Long-Acting ARVs for Low Adherers

Cure: Baby in Remission 18 Months Off ARVs

Concerns: Tests Miss Milder Mental Impairment

POZ Heroes

Beyond the Boundary

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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March 2014

POZ Stories: Blane Oborny

by Trenton Straube

Blane Oborny Four years ago, the then-20-year-old Blane Oborny had dreams of building a pizza empire—and he already owned two restaurants in Kansas. By the end of that year, though, he became very ill from wasting syndrome. The culprit was HIV. “I didn’t know how that could be possible,” he recalls, “because two weeks before I got sick, I’d had a blood test that came back negative.”

The HIV diagnosis set off a chain of life-changing decisions. Oborny started meds, got educated about the virus and become inspired to help others. He began working for a nonprofit and also got certified to do rapid testing and safe-sex counseling. Figuring that his pizza businesses in the small communities would be ruined once word got out about his HIV status, Oborny sold the eateries and moved to Kansas City, where he is now pursuing a modeling career as well as a degree in sociology and public health. “It has become my dream to help change the stigma the world has placed on people living with HIV,” he says.

With his can-do attitude—“I can get out of bed every day and treat it as a new day filled with opportunities to rectify the mistakes of yesterday”—he’s sure to deliver the goods.

To read more about Oborny and other POZ Stories, or to tell your own tale of empowerment, visit

Search: Blane Oborny, Kansas, stigma

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