The First Ladies of AIDS

My first job in AIDS in the 1980s was at the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, an organization that provided companions for the dying. When our founding director, Daniel P. Warner, retired from the organization, the final candidates for his job met with the full staff for final interviews.One of those job candidates, Sue Crumpton, had the audacity to be a straight woman. Trying to replace our gay founder. At an AIDS agency. In 1991.Sue’s credentials as a skilled administrator with a background working on behalf of battered women didn’t resonate with some of us. For gay men like me, our […]

AIDS WATCH: Why is the CDC Withholding Billions in PrEP Profits?

You are going to read this story and think it is too outrageous to be true. You would be wrong. And, especially if you are an HIV advocate attending AIDS Watch in Washington, DC, this week, you must demand that our elected officials answer for it. Here’s the story, and some simple questions for you to ask our elected officials in Washington. Truvada is a drug that has been used for many years as a treatment for people with HIV. When the US government researched the use of Truvada as the first drug for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), US taxpayers footed […]

AIDS WATCH: ‘Strong Interest’ in Hearings on Truvada Patent Profits

Advocates pressuring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to claim royalties from sales of “Truvada as PrEP” report “strong interest” in congressional hearings on the growing controversy, based on visits to the Hill between HIV advocates and their elected officials and staffs. The CDC owns patents to the use of Truvada as PrEP and has been criticized for not claiming what could be billions of dollars in royalties from Gilead, the manufacturer of Truvada. “Senior health policy staffers have a strong interest in claiming the money the CDC has left on the table,” said James Krellenstein, part of […]

A Farewell to Project Inform

The HIV community was dealt a sad blow when it was announced that the iconic non-profit HIV treatment advocacy organization, Project Inform, will end its programs. Project Inform’s director of research advocacy, David Evans, has been working with the organization in various capacities for the last 27 years. In this message shared with My Fabulous Disease, David reflects on Project Inform’s legacy and on the influence of its legendary founder, Martin Delaney. We must all honor this legacy by ensuring that HIV treatment advocacy remain at the forefront of our movement. – Mark S. King by David Evans Project Inform It’s […]

Interracial Love: Bad Advice?

To the Editor: When advice columnist Andre Shakti (“Interracial Agonistes,” Baltimore OUTloud, March 1st, 2019) burns her hand on the stove, I bet she treats the injury with scalding water from the tea kettle. When a dog bites her right arm, she sticks her left in the lion’s cage at the zoo. Just saying, because when Shakti says she wants to fight racism, her answer is to dig in deep to racist stereotyping. Reducing a person to a racial epithet is as good a definition of racism as any. Yet that’s just what she does to her hapless correspondent – […]

Methodists Against Orthodoxy

Dear Baltimore OUTloud Community, As a pastor here in Baltimore, I am grateful for the opportunity to share some background to the recent headlines about the United Methodist Church, and some words about the welcome of all. The Methodist movement began in England in the 18th century and has been a part of the American landscape since colonial times. There have been multiple iterations of the Methodist movement, including churches bearing both Methodist and Wesleyan titles. The United Methodist Church was officially formed in 1968 and includes churches in the US and throughout the globe. Our church polity, or governing […]

A Teenage Girl Made a Film

When Ella Johnson made a video documentary about Greg Louganis for her National History Day project, she knew most of her fellow students would be shocked. Ella is a high school freshman in Whitehall, a very small town of the west coast of Michigan. It’s not a bastion of progressive thinking. Ella was right. Her classmates were not exactly enthralled by her choice of topic. But she’s used to it. “My video was met with the usual ‘stupid liberal’ comments,” Ella told me, “but my teachers were very impressed.” Ella has a thick skin for a 15-year-old. She has attended the Women’s March and proudly sports […]

Pie-in-the-Sky Dreams: Worth Having

I want to share a success story with you, which started in the pages of Philadelphia Gay News. Once upon a time, I wrote a column with the headline, “The Pie-in-the-Sky Project.” It was about a project on the drawing board. It would create affordable housing for members of our LGBT senior community, to be located in their own community. Most people thought it was preposterous – an impossibility. Some people even laughed. Still, others didn’t understand the need. As with any column, I listed the basics, starting with what should be obvious, that LGBT seniors are our first real […]

A Medicare Change……

When I was diagnosed with HIV in 1985, there were no medications to treat it. Not one. I never imagined that the medical community would achieve the advancements in HIV treatment and prevention we see today. In fact, President Trump actually proposed a plan in his State of the Union address to end the HIV epidemic in America by 2030. This lofty goal would be thwarted, however, by proposed changes to Medicare Part D that jeopardize the advancements we’ve made in the fight against HIV. I have lived with HIV for almost 35 years. I’ve dealt with more doctors, stubborn […]

Trump’s Cynical HIV Plan

Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, so let’s hear it for the Trump USA team behind his master race plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. I’ve even included an actual photo of their meeting on January 6th with a diverse group of stakeholders. Oh, wait. Scratch that. I’m sure the people of color are in the room somewhere. Pouring coffee, perhaps? “Meeting today at HHS with the principal architects of the Administration’s plan to end HIV,” says the Facebook post with the photo from Carl Schmid, the hapless new co-chair of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). You remember PACHA. The council that […]