April/May #195 : Desires to Connect - by Trenton Straube

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Table of Contents


Hot & Bothered

Against All Odds

From the Editor

Sexual Healing


Letters-April/May 2014


Dangerous Writing

POZ Planet

Desires to Connect

Porn’s Disappearing Condom Trick!

Antigay Laws Raise HIV Concerns

Does Love Protect Against HIV?

A Military HIV Milestone

Redefining Sex at the CDC


The Last One

Care and Treatment

AIDS Caused by 'Cellular Suicide'

Condomless Sex Rises Among Gay Men

New Hep C Drug Sovaldi Approved for Coinfected Use

The PrEP Report

FDA OKs Switch to Complera

HIV Specific Poison May Complement Antiretrovirals

Research Notes

Prevention: Teens Take Risks, Still Don’t Test

Treatment: Near-Normal Life Expectancy

Cure: Dashed Hopes for Viral Remission

Concerns: Fast-Progressing HIV Strain

SeroZero by GMHC

Editor’s Note

I’m Still Here, Thank God

Research Roundup: Women Over Age 50 and HIV

Releasing Health: Reintegration and Me

What’s Really New About the HIV Epidemic and Young Black Men?

POZ Heroes

Drawing Out the Details

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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April / May 2014

Desires to Connect

by Trenton Straube

Richard Renaldi photographs strangers who touch.

Richard Rinaldi Imagine going about your day-to-day business and then being approached by a guy with a gigantic camera who asks to take a portrait of you and another total stranger together, as if you’re longtime friends or lovers. Since 2007, in small towns and cities across the country, photographer Richard Renaldi has been performing this very ritual. The results are published in his new book from Aperture titled Touching Strangers (gallery exhibits are also scheduled nationwide).

His unusual requests elicited a wide range of reactions, “from surprise, to embarrassment, to outright enthusiasm,” says Renaldi, who has been living with HIV since 1996 and has been involved with the group Visual AIDS for many years.

Renaldi did not ask the participants for details of their lives, so he doesn’t know whether any of them is HIV positive. What’s more, he says, “I can’t really say how my status would have influenced the project per se, but I do think that my experiences as a gay, HIV-positive man and having grown up a child of divorce have definitely contributed toward my own desire to connect.”

He doesn’t like to spell out underlying messages in his photographs, preferring instead to let the artwork speak for itself. But Renaldi does offer this insight for viewers: “I think these photographs are alluring because they are a visual expression of our very basic desire to want to connect with other people. [They illustrate] the potential for any stranger or passerby to become our lover, partner or friend—no matter their race, creed, class or HIV status.”

Search: photography, Richard Renaldi, Touching Strangers, Visual AIDS, Aperture

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