Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Party of One: Testicular Cancer

by H. Alan Scott

With the state of my sex life being as it is, I just assumed the pain in my groin was a manifestation of an under-served libido. It was a numb pain, but as time went on it became more intense, just like love. Then I couldn't get out of bed. Time to call the doctor (and not Dr. Drew).

After my doctor ruled out a pulled groin or hernia, he assumed it must be an STD -- even as I explained that my sex life is almost as active as Lindsay Lohan's career. Convinced otherwise, he treated me for gonorrhea and chlamydia while he sent my blood for testing.
I wait. I go home. I'm convinced I'm dying. I write my bucket list and erase my browser history. The results come back.

"You tested negative for all STDs and HIV," says my doctor, "duh" says my brain, "and you're in good shape and general health, but the HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone was found in your bloodstream. It's commonly found in pregnant women, but in non-pregnant individuals it is an indicator of cancerous cells that lead to the formation of tumors."

"Okay, but have we 100 percent ruled out that I'm not pregnant?"

Cancer is heavy. Like "buttermilk." It sounds good, but after eating it you're left feeling bloated and ashamed. I was sure that based on my general state of good health and high activity level that I couldn't have something extreme like, say, cancer. Just not a likely outcome of my balls hurting. Right? I had no family history of it.
But knowing my blood had pregnant lady tumor cancer hormones swimming around in it, I thought about how I would handle an actual diagnosis of testicular cancer.

I wait again. This time to see what those hormones really mean. After a long day of hearing Adele play on a loop at the urologist's office (seriously, men in a urologist office feel inadequate enough, without Adele giving us more of a complex), it turns out that these little tranny cancer cells in my body that were just waiting for the opportunity to transition into tumors were successful. I had a tumor. In my testicle. A cancerous tumor. BUTTERMILK.

There are moments that happen that are markers in the timeline of your life; a wedding, a birth, etc. I haven't had too many of these in my 30 years. Being single with no children, the most I've got is a graduation here, a loss of virginity there, possibly the discovery of Fresca. Now I've finally got something of real significance to add to the timeline;

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 -- Get diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Lying there on the operating table I asked if I could keep what they were taking out of me. I couldn't. Life is hard.

Post-surgery, there's now a clearer picture of what's wrong with me- correction: what happened to me -- and what's next. Officially I have Stage 1 Nonseminoma Testicular Cancer IS, which means they caught it early but I'm so special I need further care to prevent cancerous cells from spreading to the rest of my body.


In a matter of three short weeks I went from your average comedian tweeting about Mitt Romney and Fresca to your average comedian tweeting about having cancer. As a comic, your instinct is to use this in some way, to have an experience and turn it into a bit. There are funny moments that come from having cancer, like people telling you about others they know have died from cancer to others wanting to take a picture with you (leaving you asking, "Just in case you don't see me again?"). I haven't found my bit yet. I don't know what it will be, or how this will come to define me. Right now the only thought running through my mind is, "I have cancer." Just that, on a loop, "I have cancer."

Chemotherapy starts on September 24th. I will lose my hair, along with various other side effects that are only appealing if you're into that sort of thing (in which case you're gross, sorry to inform you so bluntly). It's not real. Three months of my life devoted to being pumped full of poison just to save my life? I've performed on some crap shows before, but this gig, this takes the cake in the sh*tty department.

I'm still holding out hope that this is all one big colossal joke and that I'm really pregnant.

H. Alan Scott is a Writer, Comedian, Fresca Enthusiast.  His article was originally posted in Huff Post Comedy on August 29, 2012. 

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Friday, August 24, 2012

10 States With the Worst STD Problems


As of 2010 research, gonorrhea is up, chlamydia is diagnosed faster thanks to more accurate screening measures, and syphilis declined after experiencing a brief spike. Delving into the intricate whats and whys behind why some states in particular see surges in different STDs and STIs over others proves exceptionally complicated, but it definitely means one solid, absolute conclusion. Wherever possible, whenever possible (and appropriate — it might not go over so well as a Thanksgiving dinner topic!), teach communities about proper safe sex protocol. Doing so will hack away at these disconcerting numbers and hopefully save some lives along the way.

For consistency’s sake, all data comes courtesy of the Center for Disease Control’s 2010 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance. Please keep in mind the research does not cover STDs and STIs on the whole, so it will be presented as the top 10 per the three diseases their studies measured. Rates on other conditions might skew rankings of which states seem to experience the worst STD problems, but regardless of where one chooses to engage in sexual contact, one must try to always be careful. Obviously, practicing safer sex reduces the risk of more than just chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, and everyone should receive a thorough, balanced education on the best prevention methods, recognizing symptoms, and treatment options.
  1. Alaska (chlamydia), Mississippi (gonorrhea), Louisiana (syphilis):

    In 2010, Alaska saw 6,019 cases of chlamydia reported, at a rate of 861.7 per every 100,000 citizens. Gonorrhea impacted 209.9 out of 100,000, or 6,195 total, Mississippians. 12.2 out of 100,000 Louisiana residents live with syphilis, meaning about 546 reported cases.
  2. Mississippi (chlamydia), Louisiana (gonorrhea), Georgia (syphilis):

    Mississippi’s chlamydia rate sits at 725.5 cases per 100,000, with 21,417 people receiving treatment. 8,912 Louisiana residents suffered from gonorrhea, making the rate 198.4 out of 100,000. In Georgia, 8.1 out of 100,000 (or 795 reported cases) individuals must contend with syphilis.
  3. Louisiana (chlamydia), Alaska (gonorrhea), Mississippi (syphilis):

    Meanwhile, in Louisiana, healthcare providers reported treating 29,151 cases of chlamydia, and the rate stands at around 648.9 out of 100,000 as a result. Alaska saw its gonorrhea rate at 198.4 out of 100,000, meaning 1,273 citizens received such a diagnosis. Syphilis affects 228, or 7.7 out of 100,000, Mississippians.
  4. New Mexico (chlamydia), South Carolina (gonorrhea), Arkansas (syphilis):

    The chlamydia rate in New Mexico is 582.5 per 100,000 residents, and it impacted 11,706 people in 2010. That same year, 7,970 South Carolinians experienced gonorrhea, at a rate of 174.7 out of 100,000. Arkansas citizens saw their syphilis rate sit at 7.1 out of every 100,000 people, for a total of 205 reported cases.
  5. South Carolina (chlamydia), Alabama (gonorrhea), Illinois (syphilis):

    Chlamydia affects 26,525 residents of South Carolina, making the rate 582.5 out of 100,000. 168.5 out of 100,000 Alabama citizens (7,933 reported cases) received treatment for gonorrhea in 2010. In Illinois, the syphilis rate sits at 7 out of 100,000, and – as of 2010 – there exists about 908 reported cases.
  6. Alabama (chlamydia), Arkansas (gonorrhea), Florida (syphilis):

    Alabama’s 2010 chlamydia rate was 574.3 out of 100,000 people, a number stemming from a total of 27.041 reported cases. In Arkansas, 165 out of 100,000, or 4,769 individuals, had to deal with gonorrhea. 1,184 Floridians live with syphilis, making the rate about 6.4 out of every 100,000 individuals.
  7. Arkansas (chlamydia), Georgia (gonorrhea), Maryland (syphilis):

    In Arkansas, the 15,424 individuals with chlamydia meant a rate of 533.8 out of 100,000. Georgia’s gonorrhea rate sits at 161.3 out of 100,000, or 15,582 total reported cases. Syphilis affects 5.8 out of 100,000 Maryland residents, and 2010 saw about 328 individuals with the diagnosis.
  8. New York (chlamydia and syphilis), North Carolina (gonorrhea):

    New York ranks eighth in the United States for both chlamydia and syphilis, with 511.3 out of 100,000 (99,920 total cases) for the former and 5.6 out of 100,000 (1,098) for the latter. Gonorrhea affects 14,111 — or around 150.4 out of 100,000 – North Carolinians.
  9. Delaware (chlamydia), Ohio (gonorrhea), California (syphilis):

    4,464 Delaware residents experienced chlamydia in 2010, making the state’s rate hovering around 504.4 out of 100,000. In Ohio, 142.9 out of 100,000 citizens reported gonorrhea, meaning about 16,496 individual cases. Ninth place syphilis state California houses 2,065 instances, at a rate of 5.6 out of 100,000 citizens.
  10. Michigan (chlamydia and gonorrhea), Alabama (syphilis):

    Michigan saw its chlamydia rate as 496.3 out of 100,000, for a total of 49,478 reported cases. And, when it comes to gonorrhea, the 16,496 individuals with the diagnoses means a rate of 142.9 out of 100,000. Alabama came in at 5.5 out of 100,000 for syphilis.
This list was originally posted by Medical Billing and Coding on August 23, 2012.

Walking in the Footsteps of Giants

by Kali Lindsey

As a gay man living with HIV who has dedicated his life to fighting this disease, I walk in the footsteps of giants. From the very beginning of this epidemic, men and women living with HIV or AIDS have been at the forefront of the war against it. For every Larry Kramer, whose contributions cannot be overstated, there have been hundreds of Keith Cylars, Vito Russos, Pedro Zamoras, Vanessa Johnsons, Regan Hofmanns, and Ryan Whites who have bravely told their stories and inspired change at all levels of society and government. It is because of these trailblazers that I have been able to live openly and in good health with HIV for 10 years and it is in honor of their legacy that I dedicate myself to ending this epidemic and ultimately finding a cure for HIV.

In recent months, there have been a number of incredibly powerful documentaries highlighting the early years of the AIDS epidemic and those individuals who stood up and demanded action. From "We Were Here" and "How to Survive A Plague" to HBO's "Vito," these films serve to remind my generation of the bravery shown and the sacrifices made by those who came before us. But to me these movies, and the timing of their release, serve another equally important purpose. They amplify the clarion call to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) to, once again, step forward and lead the way toward an AIDS-free generation. A future where PLWHA can live long, productive lives with fulfilling intimate and sexual relationships. A future where we will not only be free from AIDS, but free from HIV. A future with a cure and a vaccine.

Our movement has been in transition since the advent of highly effective antiretroviral therapy in 1996. We started living healthier and longer lives. But today, science and policy have aligned like never before, and made it possible to realistically envision an America where HIV infections are rare, even among communities of color, gay men, and transgenders, who bear the brunt of this disease. However, biomedical interventions like treatment as prevention and pre-exposure prophylaxis, and the enhanced access to health care that will come with full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not end this epidemic on their own. We must also adequately address the complex social and economic factors that not only drive new HIV infections, but also prevent many living with HIV from achieving optimal health outcomes and living their lives in dignity.

Our movement is at a turning point. America's entire HIV/AIDS infrastructure is transforming. PLWHA must be front and center, both to remind us exactly what we are fighting for and to ensure that their needs are actually and adequately being addressed. That's why the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) is so critical. For almost 20 years, the National Minority AIDS Council has emphasized the importance of widespread participation of PLWHA at USCA, through among other things, providing scholarships to help PLWHA to attend.

USCA brings together thousands of workers from all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic—from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, PLWHAs to policymakers—to build national support networks, exchange the latest information and learn cutting-edge tools to bring an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Very few meetings provide as broad a cross section of our community and you would be hard pressed to find one with more PLWHA representation. That's why, even before I began working at NMAC, I was such an ardent supporter of USCA.

At this year's first ever Summit to End HIV/AIDS in America, PLWHA and community leaders will unite to endorse our Declaration to End AIDS in America. Once again, we will stand on the shoulders of giants, like those who wrote the Denver Principles. We will stand with the 34.2 million PLWHA around the world, including the 1.2 million in the U.S., and will not be divided into groups of gay men, women, sex workers, or transgenders. We are one community united to END AIDS! A community united to demand zero tolerance for stigma and discrimination whether from our elected officials, our service providers, or our community, and especially from those we love and trust who aren't even aware they are hurting us.

The day that we learned we had HIV was a dark day for most of us; we understand all too intimately the challenges it brings and would not wish this burden on anyone. Encouraging our brothers and sisters to get tested, be vigilant about their health, and consider treatment when they are ready will not only help us achieve our goal of slowing the spread of the virus, but restore our leadership in the HIV movement. Most importantly though, ensuring that the health and dignity of those of us already living with HIV must continue to be at the center of our work. This is what we've always fought for. And it has worked. We must continue fighting to ensure that everyone has access to housing, employment, treatment and health care. And we must continue to demand a cure.

As our executive director, Paul Kawata wrote on Tuesday, "our movement finds itself at a time of incredible promise, [but] there are a number of challenges and unknowns that must be addressed. There’s a lot of work ahead of us. We need a unified vision, an actionable plan and the guts to make the tough decisions. We need to be transparent and collaborative. Most of all, we need to believe that we really can end this epidemic." As a black gay man living with HIV, I will be there to ensure that my voice is heard. I hope that you'll join me.


Kali LIndsey is the Director of Legislative & Public Affairs at the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC).  For more information about NMAC and/or the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), please visit

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Latex Ball: Get Your Life

by Clay Cane

Saturday night, Manhattan was set fire for the 22nd year in a row at the legendary House of Latex Ball held in the famous Roseland Ballroom. Brought to you by GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis), this year the organization celebrates their 30th anniversary at the forefront of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
For those who don't know, the ballroom scene is a subculture of families, known as houses, who compete in categories of fashion, runway, beauty and dance (also known as voguing). Countless celebrities are influenced by ball culture, from Madonna to Lady Gaga. If you see an avant-garde trend in the pop stars of today, it may have started in the ballroom scene.
The legendary House of Latex Ball is one of the must-attend events in New York City. Originally conceived by the late, great Arbert Santana (founder of the House of Latex), the Latex Ball has grown to epic proportions. For an event that was once a function for black and Latino LGBT youth, the Latex Ball -- and ball culture -- now transcends age, race, gender and region (there were participants from Russia, Japan and Finland).

Over 2,000 people packed the Latex Ball for an "Enchanted Forest" theme. Elaborate categories included "pop, dip and spin" in a "pirate effect," women's vogue as Tinkerbell, femme queen (transgender women) face as Sleeping Beauty and many more. Fairy dust, swords and axes are just a few of the props to "hit the floor."
In addition, GMHC and the House of Latex honored legendary transgender women in the ballroom scene who paved the way for the younger generation. A beautiful moment, which included a few originals from the era of the 1991 documentary Paris Is Burning.

On a personal note, I volunteered for GMHC during the late '90s. I was barely out of my teens, but the refuge GMHC gave me, especially the late Arbert Santana, is an unforgettable moment in my life. Although I was never an official "ballroom kid," ball culture taught me how to look confident even if I wasn't, how to perform under the most dramatic of pressures and how to receive criticism. Most importantly, the only person you are in competition with is yourself, it may not be your time snatch grand prize -- even if you deserved it. As the "kids" say, "It's just a ball!"

As I watched the Latex Ball, a function I have rarely missed since 1999, I reflected on the talented people I anticipated seeing every year -- but are no longer with us. I remembered a laugh or a special moment I shared, never thinking it would be the last time I saw them.
I sat with a new group of friends, two of whom who have never been to the Latex Ball, and thought how grateful I was to have a force like GMHC in my life as a youth. Today, there is a new crop of "children," who live in a different time than my generation, an era before drug cocktails, Frank Ocean, Anderson Cooper, or President Barack Obama coming out in support of same-sex marriage. But the journey is still long. To all of the legendary children and the up and coming children, get your life and be safe.

Clay Cane is the Entertainment Editor at and the radio host of Clay Cane Live on WWRL 1600AM. His article was initially published in HuffPost Gay Voices on August 20, 2012.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Living Room

by Marjorie Hill, PhD
Larry Kramer's living room

Growing up, my family seldom used our living room. Maybe it was the dreaded plastic slip covers or perhaps the perceived conventionalism. But it was essentially a shell that embodied hope -- mostly my Mom's -- of a life just beyond the realities of Bedford-Stuyvesant in the early '60s. As a teen, the living room became the place where your parents eyed your new friends and where you sat to mourn an aunt, grandparent or neighbor. It was the room that the teacher, social worker or cop sat in -- well, the cop stood in -- when someone was in big trouble. It was the room in which the live Christmas tree was placed.

There were many living rooms in my memory -- I Love Lucy's living room, Archie Bunker's, the Huxtable's, the Younger family in Raisin in the Sun -- each with a poignant message of truth and resiliency.

And then there was Larry Kramer's living room.

On Tuesday, August 11, 1981, Nathan Fain, Larry Kramer, Larry Mass, Paul Popham, Paul Rapoport and Edmund White (and their friends) gathered in Larry's living room. They passed around a hat and raised $7,000, seed money to build what would become the first AIDS service organization in the world, Gay Men's Health Crisis. The new family of men bravely struggled to piece together responses to this developing plague when very little response was coming from government officials and elsewhere. It was clear they needed each other and they needed to support each other as more and more gay men continued to senselessly die.

GMHC eventually grew out of that living room to office buildings which housed care services for people affected by HIV/AIDS, HIV prevention, testing and public policy programs. In each of the four times GMHC moved in the last 30 years, a living room was included in our plans. From World AIDS Day gatherings and meetings with international visitors, to quiet conversations as people with HIV/AIDS wait for daily meals to be served, the living room has become just that -- a room for the living. Yet it is still a room that we revisit to mourn those lost to AIDS, celebrate their lives and recommit to never forget.

On Saturday, August 11, 2012, we reflect on the first meeting of GMHC's six founders in a living room. We think of the horrors they experienced, the courage they summoned as new activists and the historic legacy that has fostered GMHC and other AIDS service organizations for 30 years. In GMHC's home at 446 West 33rd Street, we witnessed current activists who recently came together in our living room to share outcomes from the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. Working towards the goal of an "AIDS-free generation" requires us to be a family who needs each other and supports each other -- a family with a well-used living room.

Marjorie Hill, PhD is the CEO of GMHC.  Her article was published in The Huffington Post on August 11, 2012.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

AIDS 2012 And Lube

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jim Pickett, Perspective on the News

For seven, long, long days I dove into the deep end of the madness that was the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) and various ancillary meetings held in Washington, D.C., last week. It was a mad, mad world of 20,000 plus people from every corner of the planet running to and from non-stop sessions, talks, organizing, networking, marches, protests and talking, talking, talking and noise, noise, noise. 
Complete saturation of information, sensory, and emotional overload—by the end my brain felt like a wet sponge that couldn't take on one more drop. And that says nothing about the DC heat and humidity that made the rest of you soggy as well.

I contributed to that all that talking and organizing and noise, taking advantage of the world's largest AIDS gathering to help launch a new effort from the global network of more than 1,200 members I chair called IRMA (International Rectal Microbicide Advocates.) We've identified the critical need for advocacy around access to safe, condom-compatible lube in Africa as part of our new Project ARM—Africa for Rectal Microbicides initiative. Most Africans don't have access to safe, condom-compatible lube.

Condoms and no lube is a terrible great combination when it comes to anal sex. Vaginas have the ability to self-lubricate—our anuses and rectums need a little help from a friend to help ease entry and keep the condom intact. Because there is a paucity of appropriate lubricants in Africa, many people who have anal sex are using things like avocado oil, yogurt, Vaseline, even motor oil—or no lube at all.

The Project ARM effort seeks to ensure that Africa is fully engaged in rectal microbicide research and advocacy so that Africans who have anal sex are central to the development of safe, effective, and acceptable rectal microbicides (which may be produced as lubes with anti-HIV qualities.) Late last year, a group of African advocates and allies met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and strategized a set of priority actions to help pave the way for Africa to be on the rectal microbicide map. The highest priority action the group identified was far and away the issue of lube access. Rectal microbicides are about a decade away from being available—lube access needs to happen now … since it's already too late for yesterday.

So at AIDS 2012, as part of Project ARM, we launched the Global Lube Access Mobilization, or GLAM campaign, with the tagline "And Lube." The idea behind the tag is that when anyone says "condoms" we say "And Lube." It seems so simple, and yet is not the case in most of Africa. If we can't get proper lubricant to people, how in the world will we ever get rectal microbicides to them when they are available?
As it turns out, something we heard very clearly was that Africa is not alone in this problem. There is very little lube in India as well, and an advocate from Tennessee mentioned that in rural parts of his state, lube wasn't easily available either. Good thing the "G" in GLAM stands for "Global."

At the moment, GLAM efforts include an assessment of African national HIV plans, the documentation of the experiences of in-country non-governmental organizations who have tried, successfully or unsuccessfully, to implement lube distribution programs, and an awareness raising component. And because of feedback, we are expanding GLAM to reach beyond Africa in its advocacy.

To aid in raising awareness around the lack of lube, we created shocking pink and electric blue stickers highlighting the "And Lube" tag and pointing people to an URL for more info: We debuted these beauties at AIDS 2012 and wore them, passed them out, stuck them to things, and said "And Lube" a LOT.

Then it came to my attention through some Kenyan friends and colleagues that despite there being literally close to a million condoms at the conference for free distribution, there was next to no lube. They were incredibly disappointed—as they had hoped to pack their luggage full of free lube sachets to take home and give to the men and women who so desperately want and need proper lube. I was incredulous—how could there be no lube at the International AIDS Conference? Adding to this absurdity—there were "lube-tasting stations" at the same spots where the hordes of condoms were being handed out. So, you could taste a variety of scrumptious lubricants, but sorry, couldn't take any of them with you.

In the tradition of taking lemons and making lemonade, we used the scarcity of lube at the conference to highlight the lack of lube in the real world. Members of our group talked this issue up—from the hallways to the podiums of plenaries we flashed our pretty stickers and yelled "Where's the lube?!"
It was Wednesday afternoon of the conference (July 25) and right before a big session the medical journal The Lancet sponsored on the dire state of the epidemic among gay men and other men who have sex with men all across the globe. I was complaining about the idiocy of a lube-free conference, and the ramifications it would have on the folks expecting their friends to bring some slippery goodness back home to Africa for them, when Jon Vincent of Fenway Health said, "Hey, I can get eight cases shipped here tomorrow. Should I do that?"

I said "yes," and immediately started texting, emailing and Facebooking African colleagues to be ready for an imminent lube shipment and to help with logistics.

Thursday morning world-renowned Ugandan AIDS advocate and LGBT-rights activist Dr. Paul Semugoma gave a rousing plenary talk, underscoring the absolute necessity of prioritizing gay men and other men who have sex with men who are, on average, 19 times more likely to be HIV-positive compared to the general global population. Programs including gay men are as rare as lube, despite that alarming statistic.

"Back to the basics," Semugoma said. "Let's promote condoms and let's remember that amongst MSM, condoms go with lube, let's remember, And Lube… There has to be condom compatible lubricant, which means water-based lubricant or silicone-based lubricant, but we should not let these people use oil-based lubricants which destroy the condoms and make the condoms useless." This was one of several applause lines. Another was when he told his partner, who was in the audience, that he loved him.

The eight cases of lube came in later than expected, arriving Friday afternoon, after the conference was officially over. But IRMA members like Paul and Brian Kanyemba (Paul's partner, and a research assistant at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in Cape Town) jumped into "Operation Lube" action and were able to accept the delivery after Jon had already gone back to Boston and I was back in Chicago.

By Saturday morning, they had distributed lube to community leaders from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe before they all hopped on their respective planes home.

"I am so excited the initiative that you guys took was met with high regards and praises. If you could imagine the excitement the guys had on their faces when they got those boxes you would have got into tears," Brian said. "Thank you, thank you so much for this."

Sending cases of lube home with a handful of wily advocates does not begin to answer the huge structural issues that make lube so scarce in Africa. It is not a solution that is for sure. Nonetheless, the love, dedication, and commitment to making lives better for others exemplified by this little story is exactly how communities have tackled AIDS from the beginning—with pragmatism and a "no time to wait, let's just do this thing" attitude.

Too often we get stuck in "we can't." And there are so, so many reasons "we can't"—aren't there? But clearly, there are just as many ways "we can." We just need to get on with it. Jon, Paul, Brian and all the others who executed "Operation Lube" got on with it.

"It always seems impossible until it's done," Nelson Mandela has said.

And Lube!

Jim Pickett is the Director of Prevention Advocacy and Gay Men’s Health, AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Chair, International Rectal Microbicide Advocates.