Hey gang! It's been another busy week. We had our men's support group again this week. There was a large attendance and we discussed the upcoming HIV conference in March that some of us will be attending. It was great seeing all the guys and Heather as always. Several updated us on what's going on in their lives.
I also spoke to another women's minority HIV group this week. We had a great discussion on how to get the conservative African American churches involved in HIV awareness and prevention. Their feedback helps me understand the challenges we will face getting the churches on board with helping prevent further cases of HIV in their communities. With more than 2/3 of all new cases being women or minorities, it's imperative that we get them more involved in their own communities. As a gay white man, I can talk until I'm blue in the face and some people just can't get past the color of my skin or the fact that I'm gay. That's why it's so important to we prepare women and minorities to speak to their own communities.
I also found out that the commercial I made with Divided We Fail aired as a commercial during the Oprah show in Florida today. They have also posted it on YouTube:
Please view the above link of the commercial. If we get enough favorable response, they will film a better one to be released nationally. The reason why I feel this is important is that we rarely hear about HIV and AIDS and how it is affecting Americans. We hear about the problems in other countries and the billions of dollars that we send overseas. I'm not saying that as the greatest power on the planet that we shouldn't help others less fortunate. I am saying that we should take care of our own first. The American men and women with HIV that need assistance through Ryan White and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program who otherwise could not afford the lifesaving HIV medications and services. I would hate to think that all my friends, my partner and our god child died when medications and government funding were not available; would have their deaths so belittled that we would stand by as a nation without speaking up and saying not in our country.
I've also been working out like crazy getting back in shape after my stroke last year. I had to go almost 9 months working working out at all so it's taken a little time getting back into the normal routine of working out every day. I'm on my sixth week of workouts and am finally seeing positive results. My goal is to add 5 more pounds of muscle by my birthday on March 28th.
I'll be leaving for St. Petersburg, Florida in a couple of days with Divided We Fail. We'll be doing more training and speaking. It's always great meeting the volunteers and the other spokespeople. Although we come from many different backgrounds, we have all joined in our commitment to affordable health care for all Americans.
I hope that all of you are having a great week. Do something special for yourself this week. Wishing all of you health, hope and happiness.