Being out, loud and proud with HIV may be impossible for some, but more often, we’re afraid of fear itself. Having informed everyone in my life within three weeks of diagnosis, here are 10 reasons why I coo, “Come out, come out!”

Embrace yourself with love. Every moment we deny any aspect of our wholeness limits the infinite possibilities of life.

Stop the stigma. Silence keeps us from proper health care and the everyday reactions a revelation of diabetes receives.

Start the healing. Quit worrying about who knows—worry about your immune system. Take your vitamins and pills proudly.

Help yourself, help your friends. By being open, we can give and get information and resources, as we...

Break the cycle. Unprotected sex between partners unaware of each other’s status, sharing works, and other risky behaviors are harder when conversation shatters denial. Openly positive lives set examples, enabling others to stay deliciously negative.

Strengthen funding through faces. A smile hits harder than a statistic. Once ashamed chic suburbanites can now raise funds at AIDS tea dances, feeling oh so...

Sensational! Scintillating! Sophisticated! Being bracingly brazen keeps one socially ahead in a most cutting fashion.

Encourage others to test and treat. Living out loud does it best.

Bare all in POZ. Use the magazine to tell a quarter of a million strangers about your sex life (like me in 1994), making that damn virus help cover the cost of living with it.

It’s the cheapest antiviral. Slaying the serpent of shame boosts our self-esteem, medically proven to help the immune system.