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LGBT History Month 2014

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October is LGBT History Month, an annual project of the Equality Forum. An LGBT person, either living or dead, is honored each day of the month. In 2014, five of the honorees are HIV positive.

They are: AIDS activist Michael Callen (Oct. 9), photographer Tseng Kwong Chi (Oct. 10), Olympic figure skater Rudy Galindo (Oct. 16), rock star Freddie Mercury (Oct. 26) and singer Sylvester (Oct. 31). Of these five honorees, only Galindo is still living.

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Click here to read a Q&A with historian Martin Duberman, author of Hold Tight Gently, on why we should never forget Michael Callen.

Go to lgbthistorymonth.com for more information about all the honorees.

Die Another Day

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The October/November 2014 issue of POZ magazine is online, in which we explore pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV transmission.

Here's an excerpt from my editor's letter:

Our PrEP cover story dives deep into the controversy. We also explore the effect of PrEP on gay men, but our goal is to broaden the conversation.

As the article makes clear, PrEP isn't a silver bullet. So what is it? We look at all the arguments and then attempt to answer this question: Can personal choice and public health find common ground in PrEP?

As for me, I admit that my opinions about PrEP have evolved ...
To read my complete letter from the editor, click here.

Time After Time

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The September 2014 issue of POZ magazine is online.

Here's an excerpt from my editor's letter:

By any measure, Julie Lewis certainly qualifies as a long-term survivor of HIV. Marking 30 years of living with the virus is an achievement for anyone. However, as the mother of Ryan Lewis, one half of the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Julie realized she could mark the occasion with a lot of fanfare, enough to be able to give back.

In recognition of 30 years living with HIV, Julie launched the 30/30 Project with the support of Ryan and the rest of her family. The project seeks to build 30 health centers that will operate for at least 30 years to serve the people most in need around the world. The centers will provide HIV/AIDS services, as well as comprehensive medical services. Click here to read our exclusive interview with Julie.
To read my complete letter from the editor, click here.

Strong Enough

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The July/August 2014 issue of POZ magazine is online.

Here's an excerpt from my editor's letter:

HIV stigma--and the discrimination that often results from those negative and unfair beliefs--challenges all of us living with the virus to find the strength to live our lives with dignity and hope. The good news is that we all can strive to find that strength.

The story of Antonio Muñoz is an excellent example. After being fired from his job at a hotel, he filed an HIV discrimination lawsuit against his former employer. A jury awarded him $500,000 as a result. His story is exemplary, but he's far from being the only person to succeed against stigma.

Click here to read how Muñoz, Greg Daniels, Sarah Franke-Bowling and others fought back against illegal HIV discrimination. You can also review major milestones in the struggle against such discrimination and get tips on how to file your own lawsuit.

Although there are many ways to combat discrimination that results from stigma, to stem stigma itself seems more elusive. Much of the public remains uncomfortable with HIV-positive people, despite decades of education efforts. Some advocates even argue that stigma is worse today than ever.

Stigma messes with our heads and hearts, but it can harm much more than our health. Taken too far, stigma can sometimes cause us to lose our income, housing, family and friends. Click here to read how each of us can help fight the flames of HIV stigma.
To read my complete letter from the editor, click here.
The June 2014 issue of POZ magazine is online.

Here's an excerpt from my editor's letter:

Despite naysayers from all sides, Sean Strub and his collaborators believed those of us living with HIV/AIDS deserved a magazine that offered us hope, provided us with information we needed to stay healthy and celebrated our lives by telling our stories...

 As POZ marks its 20th anniversary with this special issue, we check in with 20 guys and gals who've graced our cover, including Sean. He has been busy since he sold POZ 10 years ago. Click here to catch up with Sean and the additional cover subjects.
To read my complete letter from the editor, click here.

Sexual Healing

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The April/May 2014 issue of POZ magazine is online.

Here's an excerpt from my editor's letter:

In this issue, we'll explore sex from a few angles. We won't be sharing tips on how to satisfy your partners, but what you read may wind up pleasing them regardless.

One of the most problematic areas in discussing sex is how to teach sexual education--or if we should at all. To this day, laws exist in several states that require schools to stress the importance of abstinence. Three states--Alabama, South Carolina and Texas--require schools to teach only negative information about homosexuality.

Although sex ed is stuck between science and politics, educators and advocates across the country are struggling to break it free. One of them is on our cover, Jason Villalobos. As a person living with HIV, he brings sex-ed knowledge and personal experience into the classroom as a substitute teacher in Santa Barbara, California. Click here to read more.

Another tricky subject when it comes to sex is HIV risk. What are the odds of getting HIV from fill-in-the-blank circumstance(s) and/or act(s)? Does it really matter what the odds are? Playing the HIV numbers game is less--and more--risky than you think. We drill deep into the data starting here.

To read my complete letter from the editor, click here.


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