Breaking Down Barriers
In the July/August 2015 cover story, “From Peer to Peer,” Casey Halter investigated the AIDS crisis in America’s Deep South and what HIV-positive advocates are doing in the region to help others connect to care.

@IvesStive Great article. Peers play an important role in the community.
Northeast Florida World AIDS Day Committee

Everyone should be protecting their own health and have access to health care. Doctors should treat all diseases with the same dignity.
William Holahan  

@AIDSAlabama Stigma, poverty and racism form an unforgiving triumvirate. We must “be the change.”
Susan Mull

Living ARV-Free
The article “Teen Has Viral Remission 12 Years After Stopping HIV Meds” (July 21, 2015) examined VISCONTI, one of the most headline-grabbing studies presented at this year’s International AIDS Society conference.

Thank you @pozmagazine for inclusive language about the French teen at #IAS2015. Only used “infected” once and NOT in the title.
HIV Advocate Mom

The state of viral remission should be reported for others on antiretroviral treatment to be encouraged and believe that one day, they may also be able to go off of ARVs.

I am very happy about this girl, but I hope we get some news about long-term survivors from the conference! I don’t see any studies and feel they’ve totally left us out.

No Big Deal!?
Alex Garner’s op-ed “6 Positive Life Changes That Come With HIV” (July 8, 2015) provided an optimistic view of living with HIV—and how for many folks today, a positive diagnosis can actually be “no big deal.”

I have finally gotten to the stage where most days are filled with good emotions regarding HIV and what it means for my life. I think that for any newly diagnosed person, this is a great article to read, so you know that it’s not always as bad as it seems right now.

There is nothing good about getting HIV! Between spending money on expensive health insurance, going to the doctor four times a year or more,  paying all the co-pays, only meeting other HIV-positive guys, and living in fear of the future, I repeat, there is nothing positive about being HIV positive!
J. Jones   

Agree that the fear-mongering is overdue to stop, but I’d hardly say HIV is “no big deal.” The financial implications alone are pretty dire, and it’s a constant nuisance with its own unique sexual anxieties (hepatitis C and criminalization). HIV is neither a blessing nor The End—it’s merely a chronic disease.

Your words are for people who have been recently diagnosed with HIV—not long-term survivors who took the very toxic HIV meds in the ’80s and ’90s. They caused severe side effects such as diabetes, bone loss and kidney failure, all of which make aging way more unpleasant.
James Dey   

Custody Battles
The article “Mom May Lose Custody of Kids Because Her Partner Has HIV” (June 30, 2015) highlighted the plight of a Kansas mother and her HIV-positive fiancé. Eventually, the court ruled in her favor.

This makes me sad, angry and embarrassed at our legal system. With my doctor’s blessings and encouragement, I had two healthy children 20 years ago while being HIV positive. I see we still have a long way to go with fighting the discrimination.
Holly Would   

This is so 1985 and so ridiculously ignorant. Every poz person should be really angry right now.

How can people still be so uneducated? How can you protect yourself from something if you don’t even know how it’s transmitted? These are public officials. They, of all people, should know better.
Tricia Luko