main

Just Diagnosed HIV+: OK, Now What?

Many thanks to readers who have sent emails; I’m glad you enjoy this column. I want to start answering here some of the email I receive in case it helps others with similar questions: Dear Ken, I read Positive Outlook every month and I appreciate your discussions. I wondered if you could help me. Unlike […]

Continue Reading 0

Personal Spring Cleaning

After living on the west coast for a number of years, the ritual of “spring cleaning” practiced by many in the Midwest and the East is a faded memory. But for many people in the country, warmer weather in the spring means opening the doors and windows that were shut all winter to keep out […]

Continue Reading 1

Face It: Lipodystrophy, Lipoatrophy, and Self-Esteem

In the earliest years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, many people were distressed by the appearance of nickel-sized purple lesions on their bodies and faces that were a visible sign of living with Kaposi’s Sarcoma, an AIDS-related opportunistic infection. The lesions involuntarily “outed” them as having the highly stigmatized disease of AIDS. Society’s reaction to patients […]

Continue Reading 0

To Have and Have Not: Feeling Empowered to Manage HIV (Regardless of Social Class)

As a mental health professional and licensed clinical social worker, one of things I do with a new patient is to take a thorough “psychosocial assessment” – basically, his or her life story in one hour or less. I ask about family history, history of current symptoms (depression, anxiety), current medications, work history, health experiences, […]

Continue Reading 0

Magnetic Relationships

Recently my friends, colleagues and I have debated the idea of “magnetic” or “sero-discordant” romantic relationships, where one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative. It seems opinions for and against can be adamant. My predecessor writing this column, Dr. Tony Zimbardi, is also a psychotherapist living with HIV, and he and I are […]

Continue Reading 1

Here’s to Your Health! Meditations on Adherence to “The Cocktail”

It seems like everyone in HIV care recently uses the word “adherence” as often as a transcendental meditationist uses the word “om”: over and over again. But isn’t that what “adherence” is? Taking your colorful collection of pills “over and over” again? Millions of people worldwide now toast themselves once or more times daily with […]

Continue Reading 1

Boo!…Scary

I love Halloween. Maybe it’s because of the theatricality of it, with costumes and props, or maybe it’s because of my addiction to chocolate. Author Peg Aloi, an expert on Pagan holidays, explains that Halloween, or “Samhain” as it is sometimes called (which means “summer’s end”), is observed as a celebration of the last harvest […]

Continue Reading 0

Trauma, Revisited

As we approach the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks which affected all of us, people in the country and around the world will be reflecting on that trauma. Trauma is a negative event of loss that overwhelms us, that sails past our best defenses and leaves us feeling victimized and temporarily helpless. It […]

Continue Reading 0

Everybody’s a Therapist These Days

It seems everybody is a therapist these days — or at least calling themselves that. Our society is so much in need of support in these fast-paced, overworked, multiply-stressed days that we’re seeking help anywhere we can find it. Maybe I’m biased because I live in Los Angeles and I’m used to seeing all kinds […]

Continue Reading 0