SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING IS…
Joe Average, artist:
…summertime and I’m living!
Louise Binder, cochair of Canadian Treatment Advocates Council:
…oh, my heavens. I’d like to say easy, but, you know.
Spencer Cox, treatment activist:
…period. Summertime, and the living is. We’re grateful for small things in the ’90s.
Adam, founder and executive director of HeteroChat:
…hot. It gets up to 112 degrees here in southern Arizona!
Rae Lewis-Thornton, motivational speaker:
…blessed. Because God allowed me to live another season.
Justin LiGreci, high school sophomore:
…what you make of it. It’s all up to you and how you spend your time.
Sue Saunders, AIDS advocate for the elderly:
…glorious. But it’s summertime all year round in Florida.
Eric Sawyer, director of the HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Project:
…anything but easy if you’re a PWA in sub-Saharan Africa.
Tony Valenzuela, writer and activist:
…heat and friends. That’s what I love most about summer.
Michael Weinstein, waiter:
…beautiful. I’m much happier in the summer because Toronto is so cold and depressing in the winter.
Mary Lucey, cofounder of Women Alive:
…it’s not easy. It’s queasy.
IF YOU TOOK A HOLIDAY
Louise: I’m going to Russia and Europe with my friend, Ron. He has to go for work, so I thought it was an ideal chance to hitchhike along.
Spencer: I’m going to Greece with my partner to visit the Parthenon and bask on the islands.
Justin: I made some friends while speaking at a high school in Indiana, so I’ll probably visit them.
Sue: I’m going to Washington, DC, for AIDSWatch. Then I’m off to Missouri to visit my eldest daughter, where they’ll have a big party for my 66th birthday.
Eric: I’m planning to go to Ireland with my husband to visit a friend, where we’ll stay in a rural fishing bed-and-breakfast.
Tony: My sister and I are going to Italy with my parents. I’m very excited to travel with them because it’ll be their first time there.
Michael: I’d like to rent a cottage for a week on Fairy Lake in northern Ontario, but my friends want to go somewhere tropical.
THE BARE NECESSITIES
Spencer: Bactrim. It prevents PCP, and I’ve found it’s the best protection against traveler’s diarrhea.
Justin: My friend Heather’s birthday present, Stephen King’s book Bag of Bones and my Gameboy.
Sue: Shorts, sunscreen—Mary Kay, my sister sells it—and my medicine, naturally.
Eric: Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. It got a Pulitzer this year. The other thing I was thinking? Condoms.
Tony: My journal, a video camera and money. Oh, I just remembered—my meds! Scratch the money, I’ll say meds.
Michael: My pills, a bathing suit and toothbrush—I travel light.
SUMMER IN THE CITY
Joe: I’m not going away because summers are too nice in Vancouver. I hang out at the clothing-optional Wreck Beach on my self-inflated mattress, and I sketch. It’s gorgeous—you can lie there watching eagles fly and seals swim. I get to be naked and at one with the elements—that’s when I feel the healthiest.
Rae: Summer is when I don’t have to be so much the AIDS activist. I spend my days with friends and family, shopping with my puppies and goddaughter. I’m also getting my hair braided—humidity kills the hairdo. I’ll take cold baths to get the body temperature down. Oh, and Italian ice. Anybody from Chicago knows Maxwell Street Italian Ice.
Mary: I’m staying in LA to organize the National Conference on Women and HIV. I plan to go to Venice Beach, have lots of massages and sex, and send my kid away. When you live with a 15-year-old, encourage their departure—find the grandparents, bribe a friend, whatever. I’m trying to keep my sanity here.
Adam: My spare time will be spent with my family and hobbies—racing stock cars, mountain biking and riding horses. But do you realize how hot Arizona is? People wear oven mitts to open their car doors. Any hobbies have to be done before 11 a.m. After that, you just lie under your swamp cooler—the poor man’s central air.
“Treat every country as if it’s the Third World in terms of food danger and health
safety. Be careful about the water and food preparation.”
“Valium and wine on the plane. I’m a terrible flier.”
“Don’t misplace your meds. That’s what I worry about.”
“Don’t push yourself. If you plan to do lots and don’t have time, don’t fret over it. Just do what you can.”
“I put my drugs in one of those containers to pre-arrange daily doses because it’s easy to mess up your dosing when you travel.”
“Drink lots of bottled water and don’t forget sunscreen.”
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY
(Photo not available.)
Ratonia Runnels, 22, does HIV testing and education at the Travis County health department and is a social-work grad student. She is engaged to be married.
On the photographer: Lori Lynn called the facilitator of my support group, the Women Rising Project, and asked if any women with HIV were willing to be photographed. We played phone tag for a while, and some kind of cosmic thing happened when we finally connected. We were on the same wavelength the entire time.
On the concept: It was mutual. Lori asked if I had any ideas, and I told her I still had my empty pill bottles—for two years I didn’t throw any away for some strange reason—and she said to bring them. On her way over, she picked up some daisies. We laid them out together. I haven’t figured out why I kept the bottles. I just thought maybe one day I’d need them for something. I had no idea it would be for this.
On the photo: This is my favorite image. I was a little hesitant about using it at first because I look so serious, and that’s not really my nature.
On the meaning: The flowers represent life. The pills are there and they’ll always be there, as far as I know. But there’s still room for life and happiness and pretty little things like daisies. I’ve never let HIV drag me into depression. It’s something I’m living with, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job.
As an encore to its HIV/AIDS in Women Photography Contest at the ’98 Geneva confab, the University of Alabama School of Medicine is gearing up to choose the top “say cheese” at next summer’s 13th World AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
Amateur and pro shutterbugs, crack out your cameras! First prize nabs $3,500; second, $1,500; and third, $750. For more info and entry forms, call UAB’s Division of Continuing Medical Education at 205.934.2687 or sneak a peek at last year’s winners at www-cme.erep.uab.edu.
YOU GO, GIRL!
Hydeia Broadbent was a star long before she was a pint-sized POZ cover girl in 1997. Still, we couldn’t help but feel a little hometown pride this spring as the 14-year-old Las Vegas peer educator shared the spotlight with Grammy winner Lauryn Hill and comedian Chris Rock when she snagged an Essence Award, the magazine’s hats- off to visionaries in the under-30 set. Thumbs-up to Essence for recognizing this teen angel’s work.