Justin's HIV Journal

Monday, December 21, 2015

Justin Goes to Puerto Rico (Walden University Residency)

One of my favorite places as of right now is Puerto Rico.  I was there because I am currently in school for my Doctorate in Public Health at Walden University.  I had a choice between Puerto Rico or Tampa.  Of course I choose Puerto Rico.  I took my husband Philip and left the kids at home.  We need some time for a vacation.  Honestly when I was diagnosed with HIV I didn’t expect to live this long or be in school for a Doctoral degree and I have one more year left.  My husband has really been my rock and inspiration. 

We stayed in a cute hotel named the Coral Princess, not far from the Beach in Condado (Santurce).  Condado (Santurce) is a great place.  It has the population of a little over 6,000 and has a big gay community It was just an amazing beautiful area.  We also went Boquerón, Cabo Rojo which was amazing.  Boquerón is a beach village located in the city of Cabo Rojo.  The village is one of the main tourist attractions in the southwestern part of the island, which has an awesome gay community.  The population there is about 5,000.  We saw the salt beaches there and walked along the beach.  We then went to Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Viejo San Juan or Old San Juan it was so festive and beautiful.  One of my favorite places was El Yunque National Forest.  It was my first time being in a Rain Forest it was absolutely a wondrous time, I felt like a little boy in a candy store.  When then stayed at the Sheraton in San Juan at the end of our trip.

HIV should not dictate where you can’t go but you can let it take you to places you’ve never been.  I was so distraught 10 years ago when I was diagnosed, but I turned around and got back on my feet.  I now I know that I can still go places I can still enjoy life.  

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted its ban on blood donations from gay men

The Food and Drug Administration has lifted its ban on blood donations from gay men.  The ban has been in place for 32 years.  So yeah we can give blood now.  Thank you to the FDA.  BUT there is a stipulation.  To give blood to the FDA you must be abstinent for one year prior to giving blood.  Hmmmmmmmm no sex for a year……nope sorry not me.  The abstinent rule is also in place in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia.  The ban was put into place during the early years of the AIDS crisis.  With medicine and science making strides activist and medical group see the ban as unjustifiable.