Michael Barret Jones, Director of Development and Social Media
Over a year and a half ago, Iris House found itself without a facilitator for its weekly Men's Support Group, and I was offered the opportunity to help lead its sessions. This is a group open to men who participate in other Iris House programs: most, but not all are HIV+. In the group are heterosexual men, men who sleep with men, men who have never defined their sexual preferences; there are men with substance issues, men who have been incarcerated, and men who still live at home.
Last May, Queerty.com published an article by Mark S. King called "Ten Things HIV+ Guys Want Negative Men to Know." While there are certainly truths in that article, today's group took that article as a jumping off point to have a discussion of what THEY thought a better list might look like. In fact, the eight men in today's group came up with SIXTEEN things they wanted HIV negative people to know, and I am proud to share this list with you today.
Sixteen Things HIV+ Guys Want People to Know.
Clearly, the experience of these men suggests there's still a lot of educating to do and a lot of stigma to fight.
It's sad that at the end of 2014, people living with HIV are pleading for the world at large to understand these basic concepts. Let's all pledge to make 2015 filled with more understanding, more compassion and more respect.
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