I tested positive in prison, and I was definitely one of the folks who thought I’d reached the end of my life. Yet through resolve and determination, I’ve managed to be placed on HAART and am currently undetectable. However, the battle is daily and ongoing. That’s why “Seeing the Future” (May 2006), about new treatments on the horizon, was so inspiring. Regan Hofmann and David Coop wrote, “No one cares more about our survival than we [positive people] do. We need to be advocates for our best care, educating ourselves and those who treat us with the most current information.” The war to educate others wages on, and POZ is my primary weapon.
Tennessee Colony, Texas
WHERE THERE’S A WILL...
I disagreed with your “A Will & Grace-full Exit” (May 2006), which questioned why the show never addressed AIDS with Will and Jack. I disagree with the concept that “gay” equals “HIV.” I don’t think it is the job of a gay-themed television comedy to deal with social issues. I agree that virtually every gay man on the planet has been affected by or knows someone with HIV. But as a gay man living with HIV for 15 years now, I have many friends with whom HIV is rarely a subject when we get together. Lots of shows have never mentioned HIV/AIDS. Are they not questioned just because they are perceived as “straight”? I am grateful that I could watch Will & Grace and never be reminded of the side effects associated with HIV meds. I watch television to be transported from my existence into the world created on the screen. I am generally open about my life, and sometimes HIV is the subject of a joke among my friends, but I don’t look to a television show to educate the American public. Any opportunity to watch a sitcom without HIV as a theme is just fine with me.
As a gay man with over ten years of a shotgun marriage to HIV under my belt, it saddens me deeply that the topic never made it onto Will & Grace. Almost ten years ago, my brother died from AIDS. Let me assure you that he was not afraid to find and express humor wherever he found it. It was that humor that helped me to be by his side until the end. They say that laughter is the best medicine. I can tell you for sure it is the only medication I have ever found to have no adverse side effects. Refill, please!