By Diane Anderson-Minshall April 16 2: There are plenty of awareness dates, including those aimed at long-term survivors, gay and bi men, Asian-Americans, and more. Many TV news programs and local newspapers cover HIV only on one of those particular dates each year—whichever one they find most important.
For a magazine like Plus, we cover it all, but we also hear about the aftermath. Most will see a spike in the number of HIV tests done in the ensuing weeks until it drops off, and in most cases, goes back to the usual daily average. When more people test, more people learn of their HIV status — negative or positive. Not all will test positive, but some will. If you have just been diagnosed, this issue is for you.
We can offer you answers to the questions that others have asked when they were in your shoes. Sometimes the answers are easy, like the ones to these questions: Can I still have sex? Can I still have kids? Will anyone love me? Do I have to use plastic utensils from now on? In order, the answers are yes, yes, yes, and good god, no — and the environment thanks you for sticking with silverware.
Each year as we compile our special Just Diagnosed section, we also attempt to dispel myths and confront stigma. It will all have become old hat to you. By the way, neither of those have ever been true. What myths or stereotypes are you battling at home or at work? Tell us and let us explain why many people are still getting it wrong—and what we can all do about it. Get out in the sun and soak up some Vitamin D, get your body moving, and enjoy life a little bit more.
The sun is finally out again!