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

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Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

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Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & 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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  comments 1 - 9 (of 9 total)    

Ricky Martell, williston, 2015-07-14 20:20:33
My story broke my own Heart. How can I help someone when I am broken so bad???

Percy Watkins, Treasure Island, 2014-12-30 18:03:03
Very inspirational

JOE MAUCERI, COTTONWOOD, 2014-12-28 05:24:21
Awesome that this guy is spreading information to help other folks with HIV. There is much incorrect information being provided by many,so this is awesome that he wants to educate folks,so they know.

Mark RLyon, Hammond, 2014-12-15 16:27:22
Thank you for telling your life story I think it will help alot of people living with HIV and AIDS.

Jeffrey Harris, San Antonio, TX, 2014-12-12 15:17:20
Very inspirational story!

Darin, Belmar, 2014-12-06 08:15:15
Your an inspiration to many Blaine. I volunteered at a non-profit myself years ago and I seen first hand the desperation and uncertainty some had about the disease. I was so happy to play a part in educating and being surrounded by some wonderful people. I'm thankful that people have come such a long way from the early days and they now know that a hug/kiss is not going to effect them. Keep up the good work!

Stephen R Korup, Clayton, 2014-11-25 23:38:47
Blane Very Sorry to hear of your Condition and also Sad to hear that you had to Sell your Restaurants ( I would have eaten in your places regardless of your status ).I am glad to hear that you are now pursuing a Modeling career, You are Very Cute and I think you will do just fine ,Can't wait to see you in a few magazines. I would like to wish you all the Luck with your Studies and your Modeling and will keep you in my prayers for you continued Health and for a quick Cure. Stephen in Delaware

I must say good works to this young man to come through his experience within his journey to express a common theme of HIV people in the battle to stand tall in the stigma of fear,shame,and guilt of civil society. I would hope more HIV people would join-in on expressing progressive action to break the chains of fear the first step I believe to freedom within one's being. I like to invite more into this action and join in on a network of HIVer's expression of new imagine of wholeness. Hit me up

John, Boston, 2014-04-07 10:24:31
What an inspiring story Blane. We need more young men like you. I have been HIV Pos for 30+ years and cured of Hep C. Viral load undetectable and going strong. Just turned 50 and this Aug with the same wonderful man for 30 years. Thank you for what you do Blane and always be happy. Big hugs to you from Boston.

comments 1 - 9 (of 9 total)    

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