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Months ago, I came across a Facebook post a friend shared that was written by a parent who had lost a child. In the message, she implored fellow parents to embrace gratitude every day — to reshape thinking about the many chores and challenges they face in raising their children instead as opportunities others only wish for. I squirreled this away into the unwritten list of possible column ideas I stash in my brain and, unfortunately, its relevance is all too real today.

It is hard working in liberal institutions built by the Joe Bidens of the world when you are like an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  When I speak to fellow LGBTQ Generation Xers and millennials on the streets of Philly, it’s clear we are pi--ed about issues surrounding HIV prevention and holistic care. We are vocalizing and demanding that our anger not be treated as a passing fad. But, huge disconnects exist between generations and in relation to public knowledge about the role of Philadelphia public health systems — that don’t get much attention.

Two people who live together in an intimate relationship are unmarried cohabitants, absent a ceremony and a marriage certificate.  They may have children and make purchases with separate or joint money, but because common law marriage in Pennsylvania was abolished in 2005, they will never be considered married. 

If a couple had created a common-law marriage before 2005, then that couple is still considered married, but remember gay marriage wasn’t legal in 2005. Now that same-sex marriage is lawful,  there exists the possibility that a same-sex couple who lived under the conditions of a common-law marriage before 2005 may be able to receive retroactive status. 

I have always been intrigued by history. I love to look at how things came together over time and how advances in knowledge, technology and society — for both good and ill— helped shape the world we live in today.

Being transgender makes me keen on transgender history. The stories of pharaohs and emperors who may well have been trans, for example, shed light on just how many centuries a transgender presence has existed in the world.

Sure most HIV advocates have heard of U=U, but how do we get the rest of the world to listen?

For about the past decade, activists and advocates have been working hard to educate the world on a very important scientific fact about living with HIV: that undetectable equals untransmittable (U=U). U=U is a now globally accepted scientific consensus that simply means when a person living with HIV reaches an undetectable viral load (also sometimes called virally suppressed) for six months or longer, they are virtually unable to transmit the virus to a sexual partner — even without the use of condoms.

Q: I’m looking to retire soon and am trying to decide how to produce income from my investments.  Interest rates on bonds haven’t been so great lately and a friend suggested investing in dividend-paying stocks, but I’m worried about the risks. Please help.

A:  With your retirement coming soon, it’s certainly important to understand your level of risk, considering recent market volatility.  And while many people turn to bonds for perceived safety and income, dividend-paying stocks may serve as a good compliment to bonds for income.

As a Black gay man who came out in 1994, I remember how the AIDS epidemic cut short so many lives.  These days, Philadelphians worried they have been exposed to HIV have access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). People who do contract HIV can access effective treatment plans. And for anyone who thinks they are high risk (me!), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is increasingly available in Philadelphia. In the 1990s, these treatments were unfathomable to so many friends I lost.

The Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy at the National Cancer Institute coordinates cancer and HIV research.

Robert Yarchoan, MD, is the director of the Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy (OHAM) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In addition, he is a researcher at the NCI Center for Cancer Research. He studies AIDS-related malignancies, especially tumors caused by Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV), which causes several serious diseases. He also studies HIV protease.

Just like in “The Wizard of Oz,” when my partner Suz and I arrived in Philly, we landed hard. We definitely weren’t in Kansas anymore (make that Camden, actually). We had been compelled to pack up and move in a hurry. We were in financial peril. Suz was slowly recovering from recent cancer surgery and treatment, and I had to quit my job as a musician because I had learned the hard way that harp playing can trigger heart attacks (who knew?).

It’s so damned hard to be transgender right now and just existing is a radical act. It shouldn’t have to be.

The Trump Administration recently stepped into an upcoming Supreme Court case over a transgender woman, Aimee Stephens, who worked for a funeral home in Michigan, arguing against her rights. Their goal? Use this case to abolish all transgender rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by disallowing “sex” too be inclusive of transgender identities.

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