This is one in a series chronicling 10 inspiring individuals living with HIV.
Marc Malkin was always comfortable ceding the spotlight to Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman. As a longtime red carpet reporter and the current senior culture and events editor at Variety, Malkin has interviewed the world's biggest celebrities, letting them share their thoughts, causes, and projects with his readers. But Malkin began wanting people to know his story, hoping his journey could inspire others.
First, Malkin took part in the 2018 AIDS Life/Cycle, the annual San Francisco to Los Angeles bike ride that raises millions for HIV causes (canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic). Malkin posted a photo of himself and husband Fabian on the charity ride, telling his tens of thousands of Instagram followers, "I have something to say for the first time in such a public forum -- I am HIV-positive. In short, I lived much of my 30s in confusion, depression and a search to find myself.... I struggled with crystal meth. I was diagnosed with HIV about nine years ago. Today, I am sober."
"I call crystal meth addiction our second epidemic after HIV/AIDS," Malkin tells Plus. "We have fought for so much and for so long -- we have to stop destroying ourselves."
Being so open initially felt uncomfortable for Malkin, but last year, he came out again in an op-ed for Variety, speaking about his undetectability and sharing how newly-diagnosed folks have reached out to him.
"I wanted to show gay men -- especially young gay men -- that HIV is not a death sentence, that life goes on after your diagnosis," Malkin says.