HIV/AIDS

Alicia Zuckerman / WLRN

Dance Now Miami performs Edward Stierle's "Lacrymosa," Thursday, May 19th through Sunday, May 21st at the Fillmore Miami Beach. The ballet was a response to the 1980 AIDS crisis and stands as its creator's own requiem. 

People told Edward Stierle he was too short for ballet. He was around 5'6" or 5'8", depending on who you ask. He'd been dancing tap and jazz since he was four or five years old, with his big sister Rosemarie teaching his first classes. But he had a calling for ballet. 

Ben Kushner

For a while in the late 1980s, Jeff Schmalz was the Miami bureau chief for the New York Times. That was before he was completely out of the closet, and Miami was one of the places in the country where he felt comfortable as a gay man.

Study Finds Marketplace Silver Plans Offer Poor Access To HIV Drugs

Nov 16, 2015

In most states, consumers with HIV or AIDS who buy silver-level plans on the insurance marketplaces find limited coverage of common drug regimens they may need and high out-of-pocket costs, according to a new analysis.

President Barack Obama is unveiling an updated national strategy Thursday to combat the HIV and AIDS epidemic that could have a big impact in Florida, which leads the nation in new HIV infections.

The White House unveiled the first national HIV plan in 2010, with ambitious, measurable goals: reduce new HIV diagnoses, increase the number of youth with an undetectable HIV viral load, and reduce the death rate from AIDS.

There’s been positive progress on all those, and there’s been a drop in the number of women, heterosexuals and IV-drug users contracting the disease.

Poison Ivy came out as a transgender woman to her family in January.

Her grandmother kicked her out of the house. 

“She didn’t want to see me transitioning,” said Poison Ivy, who asked that her real name not be used. “It’s just so hard for her to notice that her grandson, someone that has loved her for a long time is becoming a woman.”

So Poison Ivy moved in with friends. Some of them don’t know what the 18-year-old does for a living.

Each year in Jacksonville, a nonprofit called JASMYN hosts a prom for LGBT youth.

Kourtnee Armanii Davinnie was crowned this year’s prom queen. She’s scared of horses, but loves unicorns. And she sometimes snaps when she talks.

Davinnie holds up a selfie taken in one of her multiple prom dresses.

If you're talking about older people and sex, you have to talk to Kate GeMeiner.

"I'm also known as Doctor Truth, the Condom Lady," the 85-year-old says.

GeMeiner lives in Broward County, and spends a lot of her time at senior centers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Everyone thinks HIV happens to someone else.

It only infects men who are having sex with men, they say. Or HIV drug users.

And while that still accounts for about half of all people infected, those who are being diagnosed with this serious sexually transmitted disease don’t fall into simple categories. They’re young and old, straight, gay and transgender, of every race.

miamigaychorus / instagram.com/miamigaychorus

Miami-Dade County has the highest number of new HIV infections in the country according the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- and the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus wants to change those numbers through song and dance.

SMART Ride

Imagine being told you have only 11 days to live. That’s what Glen Weinzimer’s doctors told him when they diagnosed him with AIDS in 1993. 

“I was forced to retire and made final arrangements,” he said. “I was in the hospital, and it made me very angry.”

After a rough patch, he started taking new drugs his doctor had prescribed him. He then became energized and started volunteering.

Get Tested For HIV And Win A Vespa

Jun 25, 2014
Constanza Gallardo / WLRN

The Aids Healthcare Foundation is hosting a contest to motivate HIV testing in South Florida.

Every day, people can walk in to one of the four Out of the Closet thrift stores in Miami-Dade and Broward County, get tested for free and become eligible to win a Vespa.

“I think that is pretty exciting,” says William Lacey, 38. “I’d love to win a Vespa. It’s better than a $5 gift card.”  

In the village of Corozal in Honduras, men ready boats for fishing excursions and boys play soccer on a beach lined with thatched huts.

On a sandy lot next to the town's main street, two teenage boys begin playing drums while women sing. For centuries, this has been the signature sound of celebration for the Garifuna, an Afro-Caribbean people on the Atlantic coast of Central America. Now this music has an additional purpose: to prevent HIV.

orsorama / Flickr Creative Commons

The World AIDS Museum is in search of a permanent home and it's hoping to set up shop in the Fort Lauderdale area. Organizers have their eye specifically on Wilton Manors, a neighborhood with an active LGBT community.   

A Poetic Journey After The Quake: HIV/AIDs In Haiti

Jan 15, 2013
Photos by Andre Lambertson, Haiti, 2010.

 

The devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti demolished the country's health care system along with everything else.

But from the ruins came Voices of Haiti -- an odyssey in verse that grew out of a commission from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to document HIV/AIDS after the quake. The multimedia project, which came to the University of Miami this year, blends Haitian voices to conjure up images of strength, hope and faith.

Growing Up With HIV

May 29, 2011
digitalart / freedigitalphotos.net

At age 21, Jeff has legs like broomsticks under his nylon basketball shorts and his cheeks are hollow. Sitting at a table outside the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with two friends of about the same age, he looks young and fragile.

Jeff doesn't like telling people what's wrong. He doesn't like what they say when they learn he was born HIV-positive.

"They say, 'Oh boy, you gonna die,' " says Jeff, who doesn't want his last name used. "They call it 'die-slow,' you got that 'die-slow.' "