World AIDS Day: Jonathan Van Ness and Greg Louganis share their stories of living with HIV
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It’s #worldaidsday Being able to write about my HIV status was hugely scary but even scarier is the continued lack of knowledge & understanding around HIV. Thank god for people like @jimmykimmellive who allowed me to come and talk about living with HIV, what undetectable = untransmitable means, and how important a role @plannedparenthood played in my journey to health & happiness. Take some time to educate yourself on what HIV+ people living in poverty have to go through to get treatment. Do you know what PREP is? Do you know the fastest growing group of newly infected HIV+ people are? The time for silence is over. #endhivstigma For the full interview- please head over to @jimmykimmellive YouTube channel ????️????
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Riding The Waves of HIV Living life on life's terms, living with my HIV. Being diagnosed with HIV in 1988, six months prior to a tremendous challenge, my last Olympics, was to be a wild ride! Back then it was like being stuck on a surf board with no wind no swell, and ominously, no land in sight. That was the feeling, isolation, fear, uncertainty of what would come. My denial in a sense kept me afloat, not knowing if I would survive this journey. There was the occasional swell which gave me hope, my diving training and focus on "hope". Not much to go on and of course, there was the AZT I had to take every four hours around the clock, sometimes feeling like I was caught in a riptide dragging me further away from shore. Despair I knew was weak and not an option to grab that golden ring. Sure there were times I gave into that despair of depression, but that desire was stronger than myself to succeed and guard my secret, and prove to myself, my coach and my doctors I was worthy of there investment of time and energy. Those days at the Olympic Games were like swells from a tropical storm offshore, after a wipeout, getting back in there and focus to challenge those beasts of the waves, it was a fight to stay focused and ride that wave, with fierce winds and the power of forceful swells baring down on me. Making it thru that test with just me and my coach getting thru that monstrous event, it was also the inspiration of a young boy, Ryan White, who contracted HIV through his clotting factor, being a hemophiliac. It was something bigger than myself, my belief in him, having the strength and tenacity to fight! If he could, so could I! So I did. After that trial there was more to do, to accomplish, take care of my Dad who had cancer. The focus then was on his care and our healing a strained relationship. He lost his battle but we won on so many levels of love and gifts of becoming father and son, with joy and laughter. We weren't always kind to each other and he spoke the truest words to me which made me smile and a little sad, "Son you are doing for me what I could never have done for you", and in a few weeks he was gone but lives in my heart. Little did I know how s