The LifeLube baby has been birthed.....
And it has been a long, long, long, sometimes painful, neverending slog, lemme tell ya. I am too tired to celebrate, though I did have a margarita last night as a special treat to myself.... Coffee has been a good friend over the last week...
Now, I fully realize that launching LifeLube.org and this delightful (let's hope) little blog is really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things ---- how many billions and billions of websites and blogs are on the web already? HELLO! Two year olds have their own blogs and webcams... But like proud parents everywhere, or lovers gazing into each others' eyes, this is STILL a really big, thrilling thing when it happens to you, and is exciting for the rest of us who have labored over this project for more eons than I care to recount.
I am going to cut and paste the press release that describes LifeLube and the new national collaboration called SHX at the end of this inaugural blog post for your info.
But I don't want to rely on canned messages like that for this space. I hope to have a dialogue - with you - about gay men's health issues that goes above, beyond and below the navel to knee, disease/pathology syndrome... It is this narrow focus that continues to plague the overall discussion we have with ourselves about gay men's health. The larger society does the same.
So, let's not forget that STDs and HIV are of concern to us, but they AINT THE ONLY THINGS that matter. Hoping this space (and the website) can offer more holistic insights of benefit to us all. Also hope we can have good, solid debate about the issues that confront us.
Who am I? A gay man, one of the founders of LifeLube, just turned 41, HIV-positive for the last, um, 12 years, was obsessed as a child with plastic food, chasing birds in the all-together, Cher and a stuffed bear I called Po Po Chi Chi, healthy except for the occasional cold, love to run (three marathons), been around the block, and the way more than a few times but got a muy wonderful boyfriend now am a bit OCD and ADD and neurotic, talk too loud sometimes, trend to vulgarity and coarseness, cry at the movies and at commercials and NPR once in a while, work for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, live by the lake, love Spain, and am especially passionate about gay men's health issues, broadly interpreted. Particularly LOVE the issue of new prevention technologies, such as rectal microbicides, that would give us more options than the condom to protect ourselves from STDs and HIV. Check out the International Rectal Microbicide Working Group if you want more info on that note. And ya know ya do...
Others may be joining me as authors on this blog. They will intro themselves when they show up.
Hope you will engage with me/us in an ongoing and lively discussion of the things that matter to you and other gay/bi and other dudes who get it on with dudes... Let's talk about sex and drugs and booze, spirituality and communication issues and asking for what you want, mental health, physical health, physical fitness, politics, culture, whatevah.... Challenge me/us. The comments section is open and unmoderated....
For now, chow bellas!
--- Jim Pickett
Below is that press release I mentioned:
AIDS ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH LIFELUBE.ORG ON VALENTINE’S DAY
Website a Project of Sexual Health Xchange for Gay Men
On Valentine’s Day, three of the nation’s leading AIDS organizations will launch LifeLube.org, a website that celebrates and promotes gay men’s sexual health. The website is the inaugural project of the Sexual Health Xchange, a national partnership of AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, AIDS Foundation of Chicago and AIDS Project Los Angeles.
LifeLube.org provides candid and comprehensive information on sexual health, STD/HIV prevention and care resources, along with explorations of intimacy, communication, spirituality, and other topics of interest to gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The site features interactive blogs and surveys, fresh content written by field experts and links to the Internet’s best sites, articles, and resources on gay sexuality. Sexual health events taking place across the country will also be promoted.
“LifeLube fills a gap by offering dynamic and comprehensive sexual health information for gay men across the country,” said Dr. George Ayala, director of education at AIDS Project Los Angeles. “As we move forward, this collaboration will allow us to tap national talent and resources to continue conversations about the sexual health needs of gay men.”
The Sexual Health Xchange (SHX) is a project of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, AIDS Foundation of Chicago and AIDS Project Los Angeles. SHX will develop and promote up-to-date, accessible information about sexual health and new HIV prevention technologies for gay men, while helping to build grassroots networks of gay men and other MSM of color across the country and advocating for policy and research that expands the range of HIV prevention options currently available to them.
Along with the ongoing development of health education materials such as LifeLube.org, SHX will pursue community-based sexual health and HIV research, and will engage experts and activists in a “think tank” to address persistent disparities in rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, among gay men of color.
About the Sexual Health Exchange
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC), AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC), and AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), three of the largest and oldest AIDS organizations in the United States, have partnered to launch the Sexual Health Exchange (SHX). SHX’s collaborative mission is to raise public awareness about the sexual health needs of all gay men and other men who have sex with men and to expand the range of sexual health education options available to gay men, especially gay men of color. The name SHX was strategically selected to situate HIV/AIDS within a broader sexual health agenda. SHX embraces a coalition approach as the optimal way to address the cross-cutting social issues underlying persistent health disparities affecting gay men and other men who have sex with men. In this regard, SHX will strive to intensify an exchange of ideas and resources among individuals and allied organizations, and to expand opportunities for grassroots participation in the promotion of gay men’s sexual health as a human rights issue. In doing so, SHX hopes to unite gay men in the desire to have healthy and satisfying sex lives.
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