Newspaper Article on My Smalltown HIV History

June 16, 2014

Gwenn and I recently spoke with Brad from the Staunton News Leader about our experiences as educators, how we approach sex in our relationship and what it was like testing positive for HIV in 1987 in nearby Waynesboro, Virginia. (Staunton is about 10 miles away from my hometown, and 40 miles from where I currently reside.)

You can read the article here.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Let’s Put an HIV Positive Guy on the Cover of Men’s Health

May 30, 2014

super-vaughn-ripley.jpeg(CLICK HERE- Vote for Vaughn in “Healthiest Lifestyle” category… you can vote once a day! Thanks!)

Hey y’all!

A short while back, I wrote a blog post about Vaughn Ripley’s attempt to be the first person living with HIV and hemophilia to grace the cover of Men’s Health. He was leading the contest until very recently, and needs every vote coming down the home stretch to win.

Remember- you can vote once daily!  The voting period ends soon. Let’s get Vaughn through to the next phase so he can show just how strong our community is.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Happy Birthday, Sean Strub

May 16, 2014

seanbday.JPGMay is full of birthdays featuring beloved people in my life. Just this past Monday, I got to see my big brother and celebrate the day of his arrival.. it was 41 years ago that my parents welcomed him on Mother’s Day.  This Monday, my best friend and partner, Gwenn, will be enjoying a birthday- I’ve been most privileged to be with her for the fifteen of those celebrations, and look forward to many more together. 

Today’s birthday boy happens to be Sean Strub. I can’t effectively express what Sean has meant to me, both as a mentor and a friend. Had he not read my fan letter to Poz in 1996 and responded, who knows the path my positoid adventures would have taken?  I’m grateful for his friendship and the guidance he’s offered over the years.

Happy Birthday, Sean. I love ya.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

——Click on the festive picture of Sean to order his incredible book, Body Counts.——

National Nurses Week

May 7, 2014

Every day is Day, every week is a Week, and every month is a Month of one type of recognition or another. It’s not a bad thing- there are lots of causes that need more attention than they can get. Especially in this great age of great distractions.

I miss a lot of it.  But when I noticed that we were halfway through National Nurses Week, I felt the call to pull out the ol’ laptop and punch out a blog post of love and gratitude for my lifelong friend and ally: the nurse.

As a kid with a bleeding disorder, I found myself visiting the hospital a lot more than the rest of my friends. It could be a scary place.  Initially, I hated having my blood drawn.  That was until I noticed a pattern: Nurse Gail never missed a vein.  And I enjoyed talking to her.  Having a needle in my arm went from, well, having a needle in my arm to having a friend by my side.  I’d always request Gail, and since she worked a lot, she was usually there for a quick catch-up session over vials of plasma.

In the bigger picture with regards to the HIV epidemic, it was often nurses who cared for the first generation of people who succumbed to the onslaught of HIV.  When friends and family were too scared to show up, it was the nurse who provided comfort, which surely meant a lot when doctors were providing no answers or solutions to what was happening back then.  The strength of the nurse was and will always be a simple, if elusive and rare, trait: tireless compassion.

It’s not an easy job to turn a hospital into a home away from home, but somehow nurses pull it off.  I know I’m forever grateful for all of the nurses who have shown me kindness and care when I needed it most.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

The 30/30 Project

April 30, 2014

To donate to The 30/30 Project click here.


Ryan Lewis is best known for his work with Macklemore, which has earned him 4 Grammys.   Something that not many people know is that his mother, Julie Lewis, has been living with HIV for 30 years.  Alongside Julie, Ryan is looking to score another home run with a collaboration that could bring health care to people around the world who currently do not have access to it.

Please watch the video above or click here to learn more about the 30/30 Project and their goal to build health care centers to provide HIV care to those who need it the most.

Positively Yours,
Shawn   

Ripley’s You Better Believe It

April 28, 2014

super-vaughn-ripley.jpegVaughn Ripley is a man on a mission. With over 30 years of living with HIV under his bike shorts, the avid cyclist, dad and author of Survivor: One Man’s Battle With HIV, Hemophilia and Hepatitis C is ready to tackle his next goal: be the first openly HIV positive man to grace the cover of Men’s Health Magazine.

The cool part about all of this? We can help make it happen. Go here to vote for Vaughn. He got a retweet on Twitter from William Shatner, but if he’s going to get beamed up to the cover he’s going to need your help, too!

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Help Honor Ryan White’s Legacy- Takes One Minute

April 8, 2014

Today marks 24 years since Ryan White’s passing at the age of 18.  Born with hemophilia, Ryan became the adolescent face of the epidemic when he was kicked out of school for having HIV in the mid 1980s. You can learn more about Ryan by reading this Poz article, “Remembering Ryan White.”

 

If you’d like to help others living with HIV and preserve Ryan’s legacy, the Ryan White CARE Act, then please consider signing this petition to continue funding the CARE Act. Here’s a video I did with help from AIDS Healthcare Foundation to explain just how important the CARE Act is.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

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,
Shawn

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