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Plus155 July/Aug: The Treatment Issue & Activist Mark S. King

Plus155 July/Aug: The Treatment Issue & Activist Mark S. King

<p>Plus155 July/Aug: The Treatment Issue & Activist Mark S. King</p>

In this issue, we bring you all the latest info about HIV treatment and prevention, and celebrate author and longtime HIV activist Mark S. King.

Dear Plus reader,

It is with great joy that I present Plus magazine’s 11th annual Treatment Guide issue. Sure, we give lots of facts, figures, and information on all the current medications available for the prevention and treatment of HIV — but the joy comes from the fact every year more and more lifesaving treatment options become available. The joy comes from knowing no one needs to “suffer” with HIV any longer, and that now people living with HIV can live long, happy, healthy lives — including thriving and satisfying sex lives.

These days most people living with HIV can quickly suppress the virus in their body to undetectable levels once on treatment. And once you reach undetectable, you then have a zero chance of passing HIV to a sexual partner, even without use of a condom. This globally accepted scientific consensus is also known as U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable) and it has freed people living with HIV and their partners to enjoy sex like never before. And it’s all thanks to the amazing advancements made in HIV medications over the last few decades.

These advancements wouldn’t have been possible were it not for early organizations like the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the handful of celebrities, like Sir Elton, who used their star power to fuel awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS causes, despite the extreme stigma that surrounded the virus at the time. On page 46, read about how dancer and influencer JoJo Siwa is one of the latest celebs to use her platform to help the foundation, which is committed as ever to improving the lives of those affected by HIV.

If anyone knows the history of HIV treatment, it’s our cover star, Mark S. King. King was first diagnosed with HIV in 1985, a full decade before today’s lifesaving antiretroviral treatments were developed. Thankfully, he survived those darker times and overcame addiction in the process, which he writes candidly about in his new memoir, My Fabulous Disease. The GLAAD Award-winning blogger created the memoir by compiling decades of blog and journal entries. “We have a problem with alcoholism and addiction in our community,” King told Plus. “And it is a constant threat. It is the disease more likely to kill me than HIV…. I think there’s so many of us in our community who struggle with that or know someone who they can’t reach anymore.” Read the full interview starting on page 14.

In this issue, we also keep you updated on the latest news in our Buzzworthy section — like how Drag Race alums Sasha Colby and Heidi N Closet team up with MISTR to promote PrEP (page 8), the highly effective HIV prevention method. Or read about why transgender women who seek gender-affirming care are less likely to acquire HIV (page 11).

Please enjoy this issue — my hope is that, whether you are living with HIV or just looking for information on prevention, we give you all the answers you need. Stay happy, healthy, and informed.

Be well,

Desirée Guerrero, Plus magazine editor in chief


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