Archive for Entertainment

Honey Boo Boo Show Has HIV Twist

boo boo uncle

boo booLee Thompson, known as Honey Boo Boo’s Uncle Poodle revealed that the results of a recent HIV test have returned with a positive diagnosis. Thompson, who is openly gay that a test in May showed that he was HIV+. I can honestly tell you that I have never seen this show.  But I’ve heard that it is popular for some reason that is beyond my comprehension. The new HIV twist with this story does make it come to light in the media. The question now arises, how does it protray Lee and the issue of HIV/AIDS? Does the show just make fun of the issue or handle it with correct information?

Back to the story. Lee said, “I knew it had been my boyfriend who infected me,” and also stated, “I later learned he had been HIV positive and was not taking medication and had not bothered to tell me about it.”  Thompson said he then reluctantly press charges against his ex, who is now servingboo boo uncle a 5-year sentence in prison for not disclosing his HIV status. (each State has different laws regarding passing HIV without a partners consent)

“I would have been cool with his status if he had been honest,” he said. “I don’t have an issue with the disease. I would have known how to protect myself.”

Thompson said his nickname “Uncle Poodle” stems from his niece, Alana Thompson, otherwise known as Honey Boo Boo. He said she calls all gay men “my poodles.” Now, that statement is what we strive to fight everyday with our clients. The stigma that gay men carry. Shows like this make our job harder, because it continues to keep the stigma and discrimination with in the the viewers mind. Reality TV, just when I thought the producers have run out of bad show ideas.

Tom Thayer

David Oliver-Actor Lost to HIV/AIDS

A Year in the LifeDavid Oliver was an American actor best known for his roles on two television programs.

From 1983 to 1985, he played the role of Perry Hutchins on the daytime soap opera Another World. ANOTHER WORLD fans fell in love with the handsome young actor when he debuted the role of Perry in June 1983. Perry was Carl’s son and had a sweet romance with Nancy (Jane Cameron). His character, Perry died in May 1985 (a soap opera death which is always dramatic!) when he fell from the Love barn loft after seeing Marley’s identical twin, Victoria (Ellen Wheeler). Trivia: His final words were “You’re not getting away with this!” (Great line!)

In 1986 he played the role of Sam Gardner in the miniseries A Year in the Life. The miniseries then became a regular series in the fall of 1987 and ran on NBC for one season. Oliver’s wife in both the miniseries and regular series was played by a young Sarah Jessica Parker. He played in many roles from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Murder She Wrote, 21 Jump Street and many more.

Oliver died of complications due to AIDS on November 12, 1992. he was only 30 years old…His career might have been brief on the screen, but everyone leaves a mark behind in those lives they touch while alive.

Tom Thayer

We Hope You Enjoy Our Site


Our dear readers. I hope this new year of 2013 will be good to you and to our agency here. I just wanted to take a moment of your time to ask, “How are we doing?”.

writingBy that, I mean, I try to gather relevant important health related issues that could concern our readers or what’s happening in the world around us. I also monitor medical, legislation, world, state, entertainment, local and community stories to keep you ‘informed’. I try to bring you that information in a ’short’ narrative way, plus include the link for further reading. I hope that some of these stories have enlightened you as well.

Also, with our job dealing with health issues all day, we need to laugh. Laughter is so important I feel. One cannot go through life without laughter and you’d be bored silly if I didn’t’ break it up a bit. I keep jokes clean here of course and always am looking for feedback from our followers on topics you’d like to see or read. If you’ve noticed, I add funny little side stories that might involve me or random funniness. I would also love comments or feedback regarding our stories.

Our agency is small and we all have important ‘real’ jobs taking care of our HIV+ clients, but I do my best keeping this site ‘fresh’ for you as my job allows. I try to spell check without rambling too for those that know me personally, so forgive me if you see a typo. I try to make each story real with my thoughts. I remember when ARE first started this page and I was so nervous about getting 25 people to “LIKE” us..LOL. We have over 600 ‘likes’ so far and I’m humbled at those that follow us and support our cause globally or locally. I thank you my friends.

I know in today’s political correct society, I do my best not to offend anyone, but its very tough and sometimes impossible. I feel our site is ‘real’ and not just ‘another copy cat site’. We all can’t walk on egg shells all our life, we have to talk about issues. After working here for 4 years, I’ve had to grow a thick skin locally in the community due to the ‘stigma’ attached to HIV/AIDS. I’m a straight, married male but get teased even today about working with ‘those people’ or when am I going to get ‘it’. So my dear friends, be strong, stay tuned, keep watching and support ARE the best way you can. For without us, so many HIV+ individuals here in the surrounding 5 counties would loose life saving support. They need us and we need you.

Thank you for ….well,….. being you and being a ‘friend of ARE’. Please message me with ideas or suggestions since I’m the ‘man behind the curtain.’ Y’all rock my socks off….Mahalo..


Tom Thayer

Pro Wrestling and HIV

dc drake

Now you’re asking yourself…what in the world is he talking about. Well my friends there is a direct correlation between the two. Blood, transmits the virus and if you’re exposed to contaminated blood there could be a chance of possible infection if it manages to get into you somehow. Wrestling, with all its blood gives a perfect place for that to happen. You have fresh open cuts that are exposed to each wrestler, boxers or MMA fighters that could pose possible STD/STI risks as well. Have you noticed that all referees wear protective gloves? Here’s a former pro-wrestler’s story:  

A recent interview by POZ Magazine with former Pro Wrestler D.C. Drake or Don Drake. In the late 1970′s, Don wasdc drake working through the New Jersey Department of Corrections as a guard. He had many instances struggling with inmates where blood was spilled due to fights or cuts including to himself. Then in the 1980′s inmates were dying of a strange disease and the guards couldn’t figure out what was happening or how it was spreading. He was attacked by an inmate and said, “This young man fit the profile of those with the virus, and I lived for several years afraid of what I may have contracted. So at that point, I had a taste of what someone with the virus was going through. After medical follow-up and some time, I knew I was not infected, and life went on for me.”

He then started working as law enforcement officer and started a family.  His wife gave birth and was given blood plasma and things changed for him after she was infected.  Don said, “I later found out she had AIDS and probably developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, which accounted for her behavior changes. She died from this. I was a conservative person who never thought this virus would affect his life, but it did. Although my children and I were never infected, this situation certainly changed my outlook on a great many things in life.”

He then moved to the Pro Wrestling Circuit where things were wild. “As wrestling pushed the limits, the more blood and gore the better. Many of us knew who was “clean” and who was not. We saw a great many using and sharing needles, not just for heroin or other illicit drugs, but steroids, adrenaline, vitamins, etc. We knew who lived “dirty lifestyles,” unprotected sex, hookers, etc. We avoided the gore matches with these people. However, as the saying goes, when you have sex with someone you’re having sex with everyone they had sex with, the same is true for wrestling. If you had a blood match with someone, did we know who they had a match with prior to ours?”

He also said, ”business (wrestling) pushed for more and more gore, and the blood flowed freely in the ring during this time without any regulations or medical clearances. It also became no secret of how the blood was produced. If you were cut as a result of the match, blood was drawn the “hard way.” However, in most cases, blood was drawn through self-inflicted wounds with a small razor blade. Some wrestlers were afraid of cutting themselves and had others cut them. In cases of gore matches, a wrestler would cut himself and then his opponent with the same blade, which is equivalent to sharing needles. To this day, I can guarantee you that many wrestlers of that era either have HCV or are undiagnosed with HCV. This is one of the secrets of pro wrestling.”

He survived it all and now is a program director for the Boston–based Victory Programs, a nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals and families who are homeless and may have substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and mental illness. D.C. Drake survived the ‘wrestling ring’ but HIV/AIDS touched his life and now he fights a different fight trying to educate and help others. We salute Don for working with others in need.

Tom Thayer

info from interview:


Molly Ringwald-Movie Star and HIV/AIDS Activist


Molly-ringwaldMolly Ringwald. You remember her in famous movie roles in:. the John Hughes films Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986). Molly has even been frequently named the greatest teen star of all time.  Besides being an actress, she is a singer, dancer, author and advocate for HIV/AIDS. A powerful movie she stared in is:  Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story.

Alison Gertz (played by Molly Ringwald) is an upscale and self-assured Manhattanite. At the age of sixteen, Gertz meets a bartender named Darren and has a one-night stand with him. This results in her contracting HIV.

The film shows how Gertz overcomes her fears and becomes an advocate educating high schoolers and collegians. During Gertz’s time as an activist, she was voted Woman of the Year by Esquire magazine, received the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Public Service from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Sadly, Gertz died from AIDS complications on August 8, 1992; she was only 26 years old.

Molly said of her role as Alison Gertz during an interview with Housing Works Inc, “I was drawn to the role because I had many dear friends whose lives had been taken from AIDS, and at the time, HIV/AIDS still wasn’t in the national consciousness in the way it needed to be to exact change. Feeling that the status that I had gained from the John Hughes movies could make a difference, I made a PSA that showed at the end of the film, and within twenty-four hours following the premiere of the film, over 50,000 people called the national HIV/AIDS hot-line.”

“Over the last twenty years there have been great strides in terms of AIDS awareness. Unfortunately I feel that there is a false sense that the disease is no longer a threat. While the drugs have been effective in controlling the effects of HIV, not everyone has access to them and people all over the world are still dying. It is important that we keep fighting for education and for a real cure.” she added.

Molly is correct in saying people think HIV/AIDS is no longer a ‘threat’. Drugs have come a long ways since the 80′s & 90′s but there still is no cure and the infections are still happening at an alarming rate with the younger population. I remember her roles growing up. We salute Molly in her efforts as an activist through her efforts.

Tom Thayer



Safe Bumping Your Smart Phone


appsWould you ever tell a possible partner of your sexual health status? What about screening them for any STD/STI or HIV infections before dating? Well, with today’s tech savoy world, there is an ‘app’ for everything.  There’s a new smart-phone feature called “safe bumping” is currently being developed for the Sexually Active Young’s to screen possible partners before having sex….hopefully safely.  These apps now-days can ”bump phones” by using an app called MedXSafe to exchange contact information and their STD-free status.

The CDC that nearly 50% of American high school students who are having sex, and also comprise almost half of the 19 million new STD/STI’s reported by individuals each year. The applications inventor, Dr. Michael Nusbaum, thinks MedXSafe can bring down by making an STD/STI’s check between potential casual sex partners more convenient.

MedXSafe app users can ask their doctors to confirm their STD/STI clean status on the app. But there is a catch always. If a user tests positive on any portion of their STD check, no record of this or any other medical information would be divulged on the app. Well now, that’s not good for those you want to ….’bump’ since they won’t get any instant messages or texts alerting them to the possibility of passing an STD/STI or HIV to you. 

Today’s society of being ‘on the grid’ is amazing but very scary. Most people believe everything they see or read on the web so who’s to say that this ‘app’ could guarantee that the partner is truly telling you the truth and safe? Teens today have already proven through the CDC that they are getting infected with all STD/STI’s or HIV at an alarming rate.  This only gives the youth more reasons to have unprotected sex and put themselves at risk. We need to encourage protection and testing to ensure their health safely.  What do you think?

Tom Thayer


Marvelyn Brown- HIV/AIDS Activist Hero

marvelyn brown

marvelyn brownMarvelyn Brown, a 28 year old from Nashville, Tennessee, is an African-American author and AIDS activist whose autobiographical book (The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive) tells her story as a young heterosexual women contracting HIV/AIDS at the young age of 19. A former top track and basketball athlete, she was in the best shape of her life, but found herself suddenly battling an unknown illness in an intensive-care unit. Doctors had no idea what was going on, and it never occurred to Brown that she might be HIV positive.

Brown’s tale has had quite an impact on the AIDS community, and the world, as she travels telling her story trying to make more people aware of the continuing growth of the AIDS pandemic.

Her book and work as an HIV/AIDS activist has resulted in Brown having had extensive radio and television appearances. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey ShowAmerica’s Next Top ModelCNN, MTV, BET, and The Tavis Smiley Show.  She has also appeared in NewsweekEbony Magazine, and Real Health magazines. Her public-service announcement for Think MTV won an Emmy Award.  Marvelyn Brown continues to write and has dedicated her life to HIV/AIDS awareness. Brown was named one of the Top 25 Heroes of the past twenty-five years of the AIDS epidemic (other noted AIDS activist included on this list are Alicia KeysMagic Johnson). Marvelyn Brown currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

We salute her and how she turned her struggle into a inspiring message for those living and dealing with HIV. Check out her story and see for yourself.

Tom Thayer


pic: essance magazine

Suzy Favor Hamilton aka Kelly Lundy Risk of HIV and other STDs

Suzy Favor Hamilton

Suzy Favor Hamilton put Herself at Risk for HIV

Suzy Favor Hamilton aka “Kelly Lundy” put herself at risk of HIV and other STD’s leading a double life as a prostitute  and is trying to get her life back on track. We are not here to judge her or the choices she has made that led to this point in her life.  What is important to take away from this story is the fact she chose to engage in a very risky business and could have compromised her health and her families health.

Suzy Favor Hamilton


“I cannot emphasize enough how sorry I am to anyone I have hurt as a result of my actions and greatly appreciate the support from family and those closest to me,” Favor Hamilton wrote. “I fully intend to make amends and get back to being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend.”

“I do not expect people to understand, but the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression,” Favor Hamilton wrote. “As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody.”

Favor Hamilton said she was drawn to escorting in large part because it provided “many coping mechanisms” during a challenging time in her life and marriage. “It provided an escape from a life that I was struggling in,” Favor Hamilton wrote to nearly 4,000 followers. “It was a double life.”  Read more


The escort business as she has admitted, allowed her to focus her attention on other things instead of addressing the real problems in her life.  We don’t know the exact details and it’s not really any of our business.  Here a 44 year old woman, wife and mother has made choices in her life that she now regrets.  How is this any different than the rest of us?

We do hope that she used protection in the form of condoms while engaging in this risky lifestyle.  The chances of her getting infected with HIV or other STD’s goes way up in this business.  She has been a motivational speaker in the past, we hope she turns to some of the words she has spoken to others in the past and puts them to good use in her own life.  Just because people make mistakes doesn’t mean we should toss them aside in society.

Show her the same respect as if you were the one in those shoes because let’s face it, no one is perfect.

photo credit: HeyGabe via photopin cc

Miss Universe-Olivia Culpo -Raises HIV/AIDS Awareness

olivia culpa

olivia culpaWe congratulate the newest Miss Universe- Olivia Culpo. The newly crowned Miss Universe Olivia Culpo said she will use her one-year reign to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS.

Culpo, 20, beat 88 other beauty queens from around the world to clinch a title that had eluded United States since 1997.

The Boston University student and self-described “cellist nerd” promoted breast and ovarian cancer research as Miss USA. Donald Trump’s Miss Universe Organization runs both Miss USA and Miss Universe competitions. They are not affiliated to Miss America or Miss World.

“It’s such an honor to be representing the USA in an international beauty contest in spite of all the tragedy that’s happened in this country lately. I really hope that this this will raise everybody’s spirits a little,” she said. We are always thankful when someone uses their celebrity status to promote HIV/AIDS Awareness issues. Again, we wish Miss Culpo the best success as Miss Universe!

Tom Thayer



Janet Jackson-HIV/AIDS Activist


Janet Jackson is a Grammy Award-winning musician and an ambassador for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

This past World AIDS Day on December 1st Ms. Jackson said, “According to a Fenway Institute study released at this year’s International AIDS Conference, nearly 6% of black men under the age of 30 who have sex with men are newly infected with HIV every year in six cities across the United States. That’s three times the rate among white men who have sex with men. Perhaps most alarming, a Black AIDS Institute study claims that 60% of black men who have sex with men will have HIV by age 40. Among black women, the CDC estimates that nearly 1 in 32 black women will become infected with HIV in their lifetime. And despite representing 14% of the female U.S. population, black women make up 66% of all new HIV infections among women, according to the HIV Prevention Trials Network….When statistics are this shocking, we must take action.”

She then outlayed some points of how this country needs to combat HIV/AIDS.

  1. One thing we can all do right now is go get tested — and encourage our friends and neighbors to get tested, too. Knowing your status is the first step to curbing the epidemic.
  2. Second, we must fight the disease — not the people who have it. We need an open dialogue among families, schools, and churches about the risks of HIV, and we need to recognize the role stigma plays in pushing the epidemic underground and unchecked.
  3. Third, we must educate everyone — particularly black women and young black men — about their vulnerability to the virus.
  4. Finally, we need to realize that AIDS will remain with us as long as we keep our guard down. The dialogue we start this week needs to take place every day, not just World AIDS Day. Talk to your kids about the importance of safe sex and abstinence. Talk to your partners about the importance of monogamy.

As you’ve read what Janet Jackson stated in her points to fight HIV/AIDS. It’s exactly what we preach and fight here locally. We are in close proximity to Washington DC, which has the largest HIV infection rate, so you can see that what happens there does effect us. Thank you Ms. Jackson for being an advocate.

Tom Thayer