Justin's HIV Journal

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Justins HIV Journal: How To Put On A Condom


2. Make sure the condom is pushed to the opposite you are opening it

3. Open condom wrapper but remember the condom can be torn by sharp objects. Only put on condom after there is a partial or full erection.

4.  Make sure there is no air trapped inside a condom because that may cause it to break. Squeeze the tip of the condom with your fingertips to leave some extra space in the tip, and put on condom, rolling the entire condom down to the base of the penis, still pinching the top. Be sure that the roll is on the outside.

5. Make sure the condom stays in place during sex; if it rolls up, roll it back into place immediately. If the condom comes off, withdraw the penis and put on a new condom.

6. After ejaculation has occurred, while fully erect pull out while holding the condom.  Put the condom in a tissue and place it in the trash.




HIV Advice Column Just*in Time: April 2013 from A&U Magazine: America's AIDS Magazine

  HIV Advice Column 
April 2013 from 
A&U Magazine: 
America's AIDS Magazine

 Photo by Don Harris  © Don Harris Photographics, LLC. All rights reserved
I am struggling because I recently found out that my boyfriend tested positive for HIV during our relationship. It has been six months to date since this happened & I am still dealing with the situation mentally. When I first got the news I was getting tested every two weeks and about two months ago I have limited it to once a month. All of my tests have been negative, but, for some reason, I am dealing with anxiety issues to the max. I feel like every symptom is there and I’m having it. I don’t understand why I can’t move on from this. Getting tested should be helping me but it just takes me back to the same place I was when I first got the news. Maybe you can give me some words of wisdom and encouragement that will help me to move past this & move on. Oh, and now I’m terrified to have sex. I don’t sleep around I was always in a relationship so I don’t understand why me…so maybe you can help.

Let me start out by saying that you have to stay strong. It is very hard getting out of this stage. The not knowing can be very tough to get through, but you can get through this and you will get through this.

Whether or not the test ever comes back positive or remains negative, you will be okay. HIV most of the time will take longer than two months to show up in any blood test. I don’t know what symptoms you might have but I’m going to guess that you are questioning just about everything that might be happening to your body right now. The key is to stay calm, and don’t worry until there is something to worry about.

Also, you must feel very betrayed right now—that I understand—but we must put attention where it would benefit everyone and that is on the virus. We need to blame the virus and not others. I suggest therapy as well, because it does truly help you move forward. Yes, there might be a time period where you are afraid to have sex with anyone, but in time that might pass. A lot of people have the misconception that HIV only infects people who are promiscuous which is NOT the case. People in “monogamous” relationships can be infected with HIV as well. Stay strong, Monique, be calm and keep in mind this motto that has always helped me get through life: Worry about the things you have control over and do not worry about the things you do not. Be brave, baby. Hugs and kisses!

Justin, I think I could learn a lot from you. I seldom disclose my status to anyone, including a few that I’ve had “close encounters” with. I’m in fear of doing so. Although, the few times that I have told my partners about it, they replied, “Don’t worry, I have it to.” Unfortunately, the disease affects more than we give it credit for….

Back to me—I’m afraid of being alienated by my family and friends. I’ve lived with this for twelve years now, so you think I would be comfortable with it. Anything that you have to share with me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Justin.

I understand about only disclosing to those who you are intimate with. Fear is the ultimate enemy. In the 1980s–90s and even now people are afraid of losing their jobs, friends, family, and their very lives if they disclose their status. I’ve always been the kind of guy to stand up for what I believe in even if that means losing people I love. I would start small by telling someone who you know. The more you tell people the easier it gets. I’m not saying, shout it from the rooftops, but maybe we should start with a whisper. When you throw the tiniest pebble in a pond, it makes ripples. But those ripples expand throughout the pond. If they have a problem with it remember it is those people who have the problem and not you. SMOOTCHIES

Justin B. Terry-Smith has been fighting the good fight since 1999. He’s garnered recognition and awards for his work, but he’s more concerned about looking for new ways to transform society for the better than resting on his laurels. He started up in gay rights and HIV activism in 2005, published an HIV-themed children’s book, I Have A Secret (Creative House Press) in 2011, and created his own award-winning video blog called, “Justin’s HIV Journal”: justinshivjournal.blogspot.com. Now, with this column, Justin has found a way to give voice to the issues that people write to him about. Visit his main Web site at www.justinbsmith.com. He welcomes your questions at jsmithco98@hotmail.com.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Justin's HIV Journal: The Biohazard Tattoo & HIV Stigma

Last week I thought long and hard about the reason why someone would get a bio-hazard tattoo on their body, and then I asked myself why I would get one.   I decided I would get a Biohazard tattoo not because I wanted to feel better about myself being HIV positive, but it was because I felt for the people that couldn't be open about their status.  There are many reasons why a person cannot be open about their status; it could be because of their family, friends, partner/s, fear of persecution, death etc.  But a lot of these reasons come from Stigma.  Stigma of how one is treated when being open about their HIV status is very much alive and well.  I got this tattoo for those mentioned above to help fight against HIV stigma.
I'm not proud to be HIV positive but I'm proud that I can be open about my status and stand up to the faces of adversity.  This is my part that I can do and I'm not ashamed that I did it.  There are many activists that do not like the idea of this tattoo and that is okay but know that I did this not for myself but for others who cannot be open about their HIV status. Also I feel that doing this does open up the room for discussion.  From what I hear from others that have this very tattoo representing their HIV positive status, it actually opens up people to dialog about HIV and about their own status.  I also feel that people asking questions about HIV will better help with education.  I wear the tattoo but the tattoo does not wear me.