Just*in Time: July 2014

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Just*in Time
by Justin B. Terry Smith

Justin,
You know that you can reverse HIV with juicing?
—Fruitarian Zombie

Photo by Don Harris  © Don Harris Photographics, LLC. All rights reserved
Photo by Don Harris © Don Harris Photographics, LLC. All rights reserved

Ummmmm, wow, so sorry to tell you this, but that is incorrect. If this were the case don’t you think that everyone would be cured of HIV by now?

I get a lot of e-mails asking or even advising me that I can cure my HIV if I just eat right and exercise; this is false information. If this were the case I can say wholeheartedly that everyone who has HIV that wants to get rid of it would exercise and eat specific foods to get rid of it. If it were that easy everyone would do it.

I think researchers have probably already explored this cockamamie option. But there are benefits—eating right and exercising can help your body bounce back from being sick, and can help make your immune system stronger; however, this does not get rid of HIV.

As of right now there is no known universal cure for HIV/AIDS. There are several things an HIV-positive person has to do to live a healthy lifestyle. Keeping your doctor’s appointments: I see my doctor every three months. He requires me to take a urine test to test for miscellaneous things like my sugar levels, etc., and blood test at every visit to make sure that my viral load is undetectable and my T cells are stable. Eating healthy is key to make sure that things like cholesterol are kept in check; some of the HIV medications may cause those levels to rise. Taking your HIV medications at around the same time every day (and not with alcohol) is also key as your body tends to adjust and gets used to you administering the medications to it.

So just juicing it up is not going to get it, honey—there is so much more than that. BUT I must say I do love my strawberry banana smoothies.

Justin,
There’s a specific reason why the highest risk group for contracting HIV has always been gay men. I’m not making that shit up—that’s fact. Look at every study. Since [HIV’s] inception gay men have always been the highest contractors of HIV. HIV is a behavioral disease—it’s not a sexually transmitted disease. IDIOTS!
—JR Munoz

Ohh, gurl, haven’t we said a mouthful this morning. Well, let me give your ass a little history lesson. Gay men have been present at the beginning of the HIV epidemic but it has nothing to do with “behavior.” The death of millions has more to do with mentalities toward certain groups.

People and politicians started paying attention to the HIV epidemic only when heterosexuals started getting the disease as well [through sexual transmission]. Gay men and intravenous drug users were being infected but nobody cared because they were already looked down upon. President Reagan didn’t even respond to the HIV epidemic until after thousands of Americans and other people around the world had died.
Mentalities that look down upon gays is why we have had such a hard time with HIV/AIDS. HIV stigma only perpetuates fear and hate.
As you stated, “Since its inception gay men have always been the highest contractors of HIV.” If a minority has constantly been looked down upon, having no rights that the majority of citizens have, made to feel like their life or lifestyle is wrong, ostracized by society, and are in some parts of the world jailed and killed for being who they are then, YES, OF COURSE THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE A HARD TIME!

Studying Public Health, I’ve learned that the more a target demographic feels bad about themselves the more susceptible to disease they are, and that can go for any minority that is put down by a majority.

That is also the reason why there are so many gay HIV activists who are willing to share their stories and lives with the world. Let this be a lesson to you.

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 [email protected].