Welcome to “Viral Apartheid.” This blog will be used to explore the continuing HIV crisis in the United States through blogs, media analysis, enterprise reporting, photos, audio and video interviews and more. The reality of HIV in the U.S. is multifaceted reality.
The virus has infected an estimated 1.1 million people, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. An estimated 56,000 Americans are infected annually with HIV.
The virus knows none of the social constructs and boundaries Americans like to value. It will infect anyone it has the opportunity to infect; but the reality is some groups are more at risk for infection simply because of the prevalence of infections already present in a limited pool of people. It is a matter of simple epidemiology.
But there is more to this epidemic than numbers and risk groups. The epidemic remains shrouded in layers of social constructs, misunderstandings and fear.
This blog is designed to help uncover some of the underlying questions, issues and debates happening in the epidemic.
Comments for this blog will be moderated. Comments can be rejected for any reason by the author, at anytime. Here is a list of some forms of comments that will result in immediate deletion of comments:
- Comment advocates or promotes HIV denialism. There are plenty of places and people who want to argue that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, and/or that tests for the virus and medical care are not legitimate. I am all about a good conspiracy theory, but this is not one I will promote or allow on the site. There plenty of other forums to have that discussion, but this isn’t one of them.
- Comment advocates violence, harassment or other form of harm to others.This space deals with incredibly sensitive issues — from race relations in America to the LGBTQIA community — and as such needs to be a safe space. Discuss passionately, but don’t over step the bounds.
- Comment reveals personal information about another person. Seems pretty self explanatory, but just in case, don’t reveal people’s HIV status, don’t reveal the address of some one, don’t reveal their car make and model or license plate number. The basic rule of thumb is this: if the comment can identify a person other than the comment provider in real life, don’t post it.
- Comment is, in my sole opinion, racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise creates an unsafe space for a group of people.
I want this site to serve as launching pad for conversations about the epidemic — featuring the voices of those living with the virus and those who are currently uninfected.
I am a 42-year-old gay man living in Lansing, Michigan. I was diagnosed as HIV-positive on July 17, 2007. I have been on medications now since August 3, 2011. Periodically, as I will publish my lab reports. Why? Because part of this conversation about living with HIV has to also include the reality that medications suppress viral replication in the human body and reduce the infectiousness of a person with HIV. The medications also prevent a decline in health. In sharing my own labs, I hope to share with readers the ups, downs and in-between of being on medications and living with HIV.
While I am a senior reporter for the American Independent News Network, this blog is not affiliated with, approved or in anyway controlled by AINN. All content is solely mine, and solely my responsibility.
My work also appears in a variety of other publications, and I will link to various reports I produce when they are published. Thanks for reading!