PSA: Don’t Be Like Bill Maher. He’s Stupid.

January 30, 2016



Check out fellow blogger Trenton Straube’s recent post, “This is Bill. Bill Has HIV… Be Like Bill”, which, combined with Bill Maher’s stupidity, helped to inspire this blog post.

PSA: If You’re Offended By The #BlackLivesMatter POZ Cover Then You’re Stupid

January 22, 2016

I noticed some blowback on POZ’s Facebook page after the recent issue went up, which features the cover story “Black Lives Matter”. Here’s a sampling of what was written in the Comments section on Facebook:

How about all lives matter, why does it have to be racist now wtf hiv doesnt discriminate why should we, umm yea idk if i wanna be part of POZ anymore….”

Really POZ??? Why not do the front page with all lives matter!!! HIV does not care what race you are and you shouldn’t either!!!!”

All lives matter . This is racist . I’m so over this “black lives matter” . #AllPozLivesMatter

Offended I am All lives matter May stop reading POZ”
There were some supportive comments, too. But I couldn’t help but wonder how many others were offended when they saw the cover story? HIV has disproportionately affected communities of color for decades now. As a white guy, I’m not offended by the “Black Lives Matter” movement because I support a reduction in unnecessary abuse (lethal and non-lethal) by law enforcement. As someone with HIV, I recognize that it was the courage of the gay community and the bleeding disorders community- both minority community’s sans the inclusion of HIV- that has given me the opportunity to simply be here today.

So anytime a community speaks out in protest of a genuine threat to their existence, I feel a kinship.

With the HIV community, I start at a default sense of comradery. I know the many diverse struggles we face, medically and socially. It bonds us. But there are also aspects of living with HIV that I can only empathize with from afar- there are compounded struggles that I will never face based on the fact that I was born to a middle-class white family. And knowing about those struggles makes me a more informed member of the community.

If you’re offended by what you’ve just read then, well, you’re stupid.

Positively Yours,




I’ve Been YouTube’d and Called… a “Faygo?”

March 20, 2014

YouTube is known just as much for its hateful Comments as it is for its cute cat videos. So of course, the first Comment on my Win Tosh’s Car video is… well, check it out for yourself.

shawn-is-faygo.jpgfaygo.jpgAt first glance, it’s just a hateful Comment. But upon further investigation, I discovered that the commenter has a dog in the Tosh Contest race…. literally, his entry into the contest is a video of his dog catching a Frisbee as it jumps into a body of water… so, what does this crude Comment really mean?

It means my video is sending chills down the spine of my competition. I’m seen as a threat- thus the attempt at psychological warfare. This guy figures if he can break my spirit, I’ll take down the video and admit defeat.  Seriously, who wouldn’t be offended by being called a b-rate soda?  But I don’t break so easily!  I’m in it to win it and this only fuels my determination.

Gotta run, because now I’m thirsty.

Positively Yours,

HIV “Cure” in Miracle Water

January 12, 2014

The word “cure” is getting thrown around a lot these days. There is a lot of promising research taking place and I am in hopeful place that in a decade’s time (give or take) I’ll be living a life free of HIV… or, at the very least, a life free of the daily routine of taking HIV medications.

Science will ultimately prevail.

But in the meantime, there are charlatans who claim they have the cure right now. The other night I was watching TV at the ungodly hour of 4 am, which I guess is appropriate considering the fella whom I happened upon.

Peter Popoff. Apparently he’s been at it for three decades and was exposed in the 1980s as a fraud, yet here he is today making millions of dollars offering people magical debt cures and miracle water that can cure HIV and just about any other medical condition you may have. Here’s the HIV part of the infomercial, forgive the poor quality of the video which was recorded from my phone.

It’s incredible that- for the right price- someone can run an ad like this. It preys on the gullible and the desperate and could have devastating consequences. If there is a God and there is a Hell, I think there’s a special place in the latter for people like Peter “Fuckoff” Popoff.

Positively Yours,

HIV Positive Student Denied by Private Boarding School

December 5, 2011

The Milton Hershey School, a private boarding school that provides an educational opportunity for disadvantaged teenagers, has denied a potential student based solely on his HIV status. A lawsuit has been filed, and the story was given legs due to the lawsuit’s timing- which was filed last week the day before World AIDS Day.

CNN picked up the story and interviewed the boy’s lawyer.

The school released a statement explaining that they have to be concerned with the health of the rest of their students, explaining that sexual activity does occur on their premises and that 1,800 students would be put at risk.  On Twitter and on Facebook, former students of Milton Hershey are coming to the school’s defense. It’s much like home team sports fans, who’s only loyalty to a team is the fact they were born in the city the team plays out of. Some of the former students responses are so short-sighted: that the school can’t be wrong because they learned there.  The most laughable thing I saw on Twitter was someone posting that everyone is stupid to be up in arms about the school’s decision, to the effect of, “It’s not just a school- students have to LIVE there!”

It’s not risky. This student is not a threat.  The school’s concern speaks volumes about their lack of sexual education on the premises. There is a fear of teenage behavior that is quite revealing, it’s almost as if they are saying that teens are out of control and it’s just too risky to have someone with HIV around.  It’s very sad.  Of course I can relate to the boy because of my own experience of being denied schooling because of my HIV status.  Even though his identity is anonymous at this point, the story is out there and I hope it’s not too traumatizing for him.

My hope is that the Milton Hershey School accepts the science of the situation and changes their position.  It would be a great learning experience for an institution that has provided such for so many.  It’s not too late- they could not only educate their current students about sexual health in the process, but also educate their former students on the virtues of compassion and the reality that we are all capable of making errors in judgement.

And correcting them.

Positively Yours,

Republicans VS. Planned Parenthood

March 4, 2011

One of the reasons why I’ll probably never be able to cast a vote for a Republican is because of their views on sex, whether it’s institutionalized homophobia (in which they obsessively cannot get the sexual imagery of homosexual acts out of their minds- hmmmm) or their opposition to open dialogue about safer sex.

Here, the Daily Show explains the most recent attacks on Planned Parenthood by House Republicans, who should just stay out of the way and let PP talk to their teenagers about sex since they refuse to do so.

The Daily Show
Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

I Am Uninsured

February 18, 2011

Yup.  I have joined the over 50 million Americans who do not have health insurance.  My private health insurance dropped the dead weight- me- at the end of last year.  Here’s how it all went down…

Let’s start at the beginning.  I was covered under my father’s health insurance and, due to hemophilia, I was considered disabled as a child. That means that I was supposed to be covered for life, even after his retirement in 1999 from his state job.  At the time, I’d just moved into my own place, and Gwenn I had fallen in love.  Also, I was very sick and unaware of any of the logistics of my health insurance.  My main priority was getting my health back on track.

Somehow, the “covered for life” thing fell through the cracks with my father’s employer and Blue Cross.  As a result, I was off my father’s insurance, and instead of righting the wrong, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield decided to cover me under an individual policy. Over the course of ten years, I was hospitalized twice, but based on my fairly high monthly premium ($1200) the company was actually making money on me, not losing it…

…fast forward to 2010.

During World AIDS Week in December, my busiest time of the year, I was late with my monthly payment by a few days.  The payment was made, then a couple of weeks later when Gwenn went to pick up my HIV medications, the pharmacy informed her that I wasn’t covered.  We called, and Anthem said reapplying was easy.  We filled out all the info online, and then…

I was denied.

I was told it wasn’t due to HIV- it was because I’d been exposed to hepatitis C in 1994 and had hemophilia.  Even though I’ve never had any problems with hep C, and that five years ago my doctor told me I was a non-progressor due to how many years I’d been infected with hepatitis C with no signs of increased liver enzymes or damage.  They’d probably had me on a shortlist of chumps to be dumped, and jumped at their first chance to get rid of me.

So now I’m uninsured.  I should probably be scared, but I’m not.  On a spiritual level, I feel relieved to no longer be associated with corporate thieves.  Sure, they covered me well when I was in a jam, and didn’t screw me over except for the fact that they didn’t honor the “covered for life” portion of my father’s policy and financially raped my beloved commonwealth of Virginia each month in my name.

But hey, sometimes those facts slip through the cracks.  Sometimes ethics slip through.  And people, too.

Just like me.

Positively Yours,

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Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!


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Belgian Gay Couple Waiting For Son

February 17, 2011

UPDATE from Roel regarding blog post below: *** GREAT NEWS TODAY! *** Press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium (February 18th 2011) Following the recent ruling by the Court in Brussels on Samuel Ghilain – who currently resides in Ukraine – Foreign Affairs will comply with the court order to deliver a passport to the child. it seems the battle for Laurent and Peter to get their son home is finally at it’s end! -roel


Found out about this heart-wrenching story thanks to a reader of this blog, Roel. Watch the video, and sign the petition to help rectify this miscarriage of justice. – STD

“Belgian gay couple Peter and Laurent have a son, Samuel -age 2 1/2- who is trapped in an Ukranian orphanage. Laurent is Samuel’s biological father. The little boy was conceived through insemination with a Ukranian surrogate mother. “Because adoption in Belgium is so hard for gay couples, we chose a surrogate mother in Ukraine, where it’s legal,” says the couple.

But because Belgium has no law considering surrogate mothers, the two dads are unable to bring their own child home.

People do not choose to be gay, should they therefore ignore their deep desires to marry, have their own children, create their own family?!

Let’s hope this finds a solution, and fast!
So that Samuel can get home to his loving family!”

Watch the video. It’s 10 minutes long, but can you imagine waiting two years to have your child returned to you?  This story is yet another reason why we have to fight homophobia. People in positions of power will use it as long as we allow it as a society.

sign the petition

Positively Yours,

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!


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