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Stop Shaming Our Youth With HIV/AIDS


6a00d8341c90b153ef017d41450448970c-500wi.jpgOver the last several weeks, coming to my attention were stories about people being extremely hard on young LGBT youth who had sero-converted to an HIV/AIDS status. The trauma and fear they must feel has to be overwhelming. Being young and discovering you have a disease is never an easy road. This is the time that any individual needs love, compassion and assistance.

However, increasingly our youth who discover they are HIV postive are finding hostile families and friends who react in horror that they had sero-converted. Often they demand to know how they could have been 'so stupid' and 'why didn't they practice safe sex'. Those individuals filled with indignation and judgement often shame the person receiving the news instead of offering a helping hand.

This has to stop for the well being of individuals but also to continue an effective fight against the epidemic.

First of all, people are human and young people especially feel invincible. Like young people who drink and drive the thought never crosses their mind that they could be the one in an accident. Young people don't think in terms of disease, death and dying. Youthful passion often clouds youthful judgement. Love is literally blind at times and creates situations where missteps simply take place.

Second, by shaming our young for contacting HIV/AIDS in this age of massive information about safe sex forces HIV/AIDS back into the closet. They keep secret about sero-converting and often are too ashamed to share with future partners or friends. As a result, many people feel they don't know anyone with HIV and that is no longer a priority. The fact of the matter is that because of retroviral drugs it is quite possible to close that closet door around having HIV.

Third, the shaming is stopping young people from getting tested and receiving early treatment which will increase their odds of a long protective life. They live in fear of being discovered as having made a mistake, a mishap taking place or using poor judgement. They stay silent and avoid any information that they desperately need at such a time.

The LGBT community has not only pioneered the major reforms, medical break through's and treatment and care around HIV/AIDS. Our journey with HIV/AIDS, while filled with tears, has been one of compassion, knowledge and courage. Now is not the time to forget those qualities as the infection rates increase among your young.

Hold your judgement and don't shame anyone. Simply put 'shit happens'. Instead smile, give a hug, extend a hand of assistance and show love and compassion. Our young in these situations will need us more than ever.


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Comments on David Mixner's blog entry "Stop Shaming Our Youth With HIV/AIDS"

Whatever one's views on a person's choices, it is important to remember, as you have pointed out, we are all human. The beauty of compassion should not be reserved for those that share the same views in life that we do.

the "trauma" of reality having experienced it, and felt it as close to home that one can - is real eye opener for's important that we be compassionate at all times. Bravo to you David, your one of my heros for long time...

Mr. Mixner is coming out of the closet again and for the second time he has came back into the HIV battle for justice and righteous in the last few weeks. Welcome back and hope some healing has happen to you, from the past, for some may know this man, for I do not know him. However my friend Gene Copello like him a lot and clearly for some he is a politic icon in the fight for human rights and made it through the first decade of AIDS. I agree that young people need support and understanding when it comes to learning about their sexuality and/or HIV status, for I like to tell parents if you do not teach your children about human sexuality then some one else may teach them. It is sad in a day where HIV/AIDS has turned on itself and the youth. Again it is an effort to again say it is their problem not ours. It again is a very sad attempt by mis-guided leaders, elders, or just plain stuffy people that have taken their sexuality to hide it in the sand and then try to stone the rest of the sexual people. I know the Black Church and White Church think they are helping by living in shame themselves to try and transfer it to think they are helping young folks, again where is the truth, where is the fruit, where is the hope, better yet where are the men of integrity, honor and truth for these youth? Sometimes when I look back at all the shame and disgrace I have had to go through within this HIV shame I am sadly ashamed to be an American for freedom and liberty seems to be just for a few that are clean. Yes, ashamed of my kinship, not myself.

What a wonderful elder we have in David Mixner and I thank God for him today and getting the opportunity to see his heart of Love. Can I call you David? I am praying about your words of bio similar and your suggested direction of opening up conversation and action to these new terms of policy. Is bio similar the same as Generic Drugs? Anyway I love you Man and keep up the good works for you are the apple of God's eyes. Peace be with you and yours, tell Bill I love him too and he owns me a beer or two. Hee Hee

Coming out HIV+ takes courage, but I've yet to regret doing it. Read my story at

Am I the only one who found this article aggravating? This was like a catholic having a mea culpa over his church's pedarasty while ignoring the atrocities it has committed against the rest of humanity over thousands of years. If the gay community has ever given a flying f*ck about anyone who wasn't rich, white, gay and negative, it was long before I knew I was gay or poz. I resent the tone of this article. It's entirely too forgiving of a community which doesn't just "shame" people, but literally dismisses them and figuratively throws them in front of a bus when they become inconvenient. Not just the poz, but the poor, people of color and people who aren't the right shade of precious. Mainstream Gay America doesn't need a watered down article bribing it to stop shaming gay poz youth in exchange for more "disclosure" (read: self-segregation). Mainstream Gay America needs to be told that it is fast approaching a point where it is the oppressor, not the oppressed.

Your comments were right on. Thank you, Daryl

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This page contains a single entry by David Mixner published on March 15, 2013 11:49 AM.

Protecting Ourselves With Biosimilar Drugs was the previous entry in this blog.

Five Questions for Sean Mathias is the next entry in this blog.

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