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AIDS activist shares experience in Taiwan

An HIV/AIDS activist from the United States yesterday recounted in Taipei how she managed to shed the shame she had felt after being infected with the deadly virus.

“I was ashamed of being HIV positive for 10 years, now I’m lucky, I’m well, I can help,” said Regan Hofmann, editor-in-chief of POZ magazine, during a press conference.

Hofmann, 38, was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 28. For the first five years since the infection, Hofmann wrote for POZ as an anonymous columnist.

Later she realized that she could actually help other HIV/AIDS patients by speaking out about her experience.

Hofmann will be in Taipei till July 14, promoting public acceptance of the disease.

She will speak at the public seminar “Global Citizen: What Do I Have to Do with AIDS?” in Taipei on July 14.

HIV/AIDS has killed nearly 30 million people since 1981. Taiwan reported its first case of HIV/AIDS in December 1984.

“Human rights are a global issue... and HIV/AIDS is definitely another,” said Lung Ying-tai, an outspoken social critic who helped arrange Hofmann’s trip to Taiwan.

AIDS is such a big issue that it needs to be tackled jointly by the government, the NGOs, the patients, and other people, said Nicholas Papp, director of the American Cultural Center.

Papp cited Hofmann as having said that AIDS does not discriminate, only people do.

Hofmann’s trip is co-sponsored by the American Cultural Center and the Lung Yingtai Cultural Foundation.

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AIDS activist shares experience in Taiwan
An HIV/AIDS activist from the United States yesterday recounted in Taipei how she managed to shed the shame she had felt after being infected with the deadly ...

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