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Gay Olympian Ji Wallace Reveals He’s HIV Positive

Photo: Gay Star News

Photo: Gay Star News


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By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Aug 8, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , , ,
  • 44 Comments
    • Boricuaex
      Boricuaex

      Ji,
      If you’re reading this, in my book, you’ve already won the gold! God bless, man!

      Your friend,
      -Mike Cruz
      Tucson, AZ

      Aug 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      Good on ya mate! Aussie Aussie Aussie Oy Oy Oy

      Aug 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tammy Hey
      Tammy Hey

      Thanks for speakiing up on the subject. You are really a champion.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      God bless ths man.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KV
      KV

      Well I’m sure this will help put an end the promiscuous and diseased stereotypes!

      Aug 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Triple S
      Triple S

      It’s always good to see people coming out with this kind of stuff in order to support others in the same or similar position.

      Oh, and @Mark: NO ONE in this country says that ;)

      Aug 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Felix
      Felix

      So what does this say about him? That he was either too ignorant or too careless to protect himself against disease? How does this proclaimed stereotype help young gay people or the community in general?

      Aug 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @Felix: Sadly, these days, Felix, it doesn’t. What frightens me about many of the younger gays in the community is they really don’t seem to be bothered by catching it – Or worse…those people that *want* to get it…I will NEVER get that logic. They think it’s like getting diabetes or something because hey, they can have the cocktail, problem solved.

      Well…no. It isn’t.

      AIDS became news when I was 11. It seemed every day it was in the papers and the strong message of sex = death stuck with me through today. Fear is definitely an educator and motivator, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, I doubt Mr. Wallace’s disclosure (however, kudos to him for doing so) will make a difference in any of these younger gay men. I don’t know if I can 100% agree with your statement however on Mr. Wallace on being too ignorant or too careless. I’m sure many of us have been there at one point or another…myself included, where the “heat of the moment” takes over. Trust me, all it took me was that one time I did get caught up in the heat of the moment…15 minutes of pleasure was just NOT worth the worry and the fear that it caused. I think the guy is a hero for being an honest person.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit
      hf2hvit

      @Felix: You are an idiot. You think you’re psychic? You have NO idea how it was acquired and it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS TO BE JUDGING. Do you judge smokers when they get cancer?

      An RN(who doesn’t judge when you get sick)

      Aug 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Luke
      Luke

      Felix I agree, I doubt he was born with HIV or got it from a blood transfusion.

      One only has to look at him and you can easily tell he’s HIV+ since he has protease face and looks a lot older than he is from the medications.

      HIV is NOT the same as an easily curable cancer, or as diabetes the way people like to pretend that it is.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 9:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJ
      TJ

      KV-What if he became Poz from being promiscuous and barebacking? Or from barebacking with a partner he thought was “neg”? Or maybe he shared an IV rig? IV drug use is way more common than most people want to admit.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PaulX
      PaulX

      @Felix:
      Sadly, these days, Felix, it doesn’t. What frightens me about many of the younger gays in the community is they really don’t seem to be bothered by catching it – Or worse…those people that *want* to get it…I will NEVER get that logic. They think it’s like getting diabetes or something because hey, they can have the cocktail, problem solved.

      Well…no. It isn’t.

      AIDS became news when I was 11. It seemed every day it was in the papers and the strong message of sex = death stuck with me through today. Fear is definitely an educator and motivator, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, I doubt Mr. Wallace’s disclosure (however, kudos to him for doing so) will make a difference in any of these younger gay men. I don’t know if I can 100% agree with your statement however on Mr. Wallace on being too ignorant or too careless. I’m sure many of us have been there at one point or another…myself included, where the “heat of the moment” takes over. Trust me, all it took me was that one time I did get caught up in the heat of the moment…15 minutes of pleasure was just NOT worth the worry and the fear that it caused. I think the guy is a hero for being an honest person.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Barca
      Barca

      @Luke: Sorry Luke, but what is a “protease face”? Never heard that before.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregus
      Gregus

      @Felix: I’m guessing you must be in your 20s to be so judgmental and lacking in compassion. Never had a condom break? Perhaps you’ll experience that one day. Perhaps he was in what he thought was a monogamous relationship and his partner infected him. And perhaps he just made a mistake. I hope when you are a little older you develop a little compassion.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregus
      Gregus

      @Barca: Protease face is what bitchy gay men say about guys who have been positive and on meds for a long time. The earlier meds caused facial wasting which made it relatively easy to spot if someone was positive and on meds. For the record I doubt that he was been on any of those older harsh meds, and he does not have ‘protease face’.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JohnnyBoy
      JohnnyBoy

      Jumping on a trampoline is a sport? Who knew.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyson
      Tyson

      Gregus yeah he does have protease face, it happens from newer meds too. You can tell because he looks like shit for his age because of the meds.

      The whole “Condom breaking” is so rare that when people claim that a rubber breaks or they actually became Poz from a supposed condom breaking it really means that they just barebacked or did not use a condom correctly at all-such as doing it raw for a bit, leaking precum, pulling out and then putting a condom on.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit
      hf2hvit

      @Tyson: and you were there for every one, huh?

      DORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Aug 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyson
      Tyson

      No not everyone but I do keep up with HIV infection research and HIV researchers and a lot of doctors have shown that people who claim that they became poz from a “Condom breaking” are really just barebacking and didn’t use a condom correctly, or did not use one at all.

      They’ve even said this on Thebody.com

      Aug 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregus
      Gregus

      @Tyson: I think his looks are a matter of opinion and I still call judgemental. Condoms breaking are indeed rare, but I happens. I know from personal experience and a friend. Before you go there, I am neg. This was years ago and I tested neg many times. What’s not rare is people trusting someone they love and becoming positive through a relationship. If you’re so nasty that you’d judge someone in that situation then I feel sorry for you.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Randy
      Randy

      The ugliness and cruelty expressed in many of the previous letters is perhaps why he kept quiet until now. I know that’s why I keep quiet.

      Aug 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      @Tyson:

      First looking at pics of him and considering that he is 35, he looks better than the vast majority of people his age. I think it’s really a stretch to say that he looks like shit for his age.

      Second, most people on the new meds aren’t even using protease inhibitors, is “protease face” merely a slang term that can apply to the effects other classes of ARVs as well?

      Aug 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @hf2hvit: I absolutely judge smokers when they get cancer, and anyone with half a brain that has cancer and smoked for the last 40 years takes the blame. Similarly, anyone that has slept around for the past 20 years knows that they put themselves at higher risk for HIV and therefore knows who to blame. However, there is no proof that this guy did sleep around, and it only takes ONE time to get HIV. However, that one time is normally bare back as condoms sort of prevent this whole thing from happening.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer

      Just a straight girl here, but I just don’t understand the meanness…People should really be nicer to each other. I know that all over the interwebs, the meanies always come out of the woodwork, but I just didn’t expect gay men to be so mean to one another. As for this athlete, I think he’s brave and hot!

      Aug 9, 2012 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Let's be honest here
      Let's be honest here

      He probably got HIV from being a bareback bottom and doing it raw intentionally. You can get infected as a raw top but your chances of becoming infected by bottoming raw are a lot higher.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • I'll Tap That (with condom lol)
      I'll Tap That (with condom lol)

      he looks hot that’s what he looks lol

      Aug 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oz in OK
      Oz in OK

      Who the hell cares how he got it?? How is it anyone’s business but his, his partner’s and his family’s? Oh yeah – it ISN’T.

      He’s obviously doing well, and I think it’s awesome that he’s confronting the very stigma that too many are voicing here – of course these are the same ones who would be saying ‘You should announce your status (so we can mock you on the Internet)!’

      Ji Wallace, I wish you the absolute best!

      Aug 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charlie
      Charlie

      It doesn’t matter how he became infected. It matters that he is doing good work for our community. Appreciate him for that.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cooper
      Cooper

      Ji Wallace,

      I applaud your character and bravery for disclosing your HIV status. You are an inspiration to all of us, who are positive. Live do not stop, because one is HIV+ we build new routines and take better care of ourselves and we move forward. Thank you for sharing something that is deeply personal. All the best to you.

      Be well,
      Cooper

      Aug 9, 2012 at 11:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I hate it when gay men link pride in their sexuality to pride in being sick. It’s a false equivalence. It simply serves their egos. It harms our rights as gay men because it perpetuates false stereotypes about gay men.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jerald
      jerald

      @jason: Refusing to live in shame because of HIV is hardly ‘pride in being sick’. That’s ridiculous.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 1:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Patrick
      Patrick

      It happened to me twice this year that the condom broke. This has never happened before. I am negative.

      Aug 10, 2012 at 3:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InscrutableTed
      InscrutableTed

      @KV: Why would people think Wallace was promiscuous? Did I miss something?

      Aug 10, 2012 at 5:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack Mackenroth
      Jack Mackenroth

      I usually don’t write on blog because it tends to feed the nastiness but these negative comments really sadden me. TJ, Luke and Tyson–you should be ashamed. Ji was incredibly brave to come out about his status. This is evident in the ignorant hatred shown here that the stigma and judgement is still raging. It’s upsetting that he is judged on his appearance. I would love if everyone who commented on someone else’s appearance had to submit a full body shot. He’s a very attractive man and I can’t even BELIEVE someone would say he has “protease face”. If you even begin to perpetuate the idea that you can tell someone is HIV+ by looking at them you are a complete idiot. The CDC estimates that up to 1 in 5 gay men in major cities have HIV+ http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/news/20100923/1-in-5-gay-bi-men-have-hiv-nearly-half-dont-know

      Some of the HOTTEST men I know are HIV+.

      Beyond that we are just perpetuating a culture of exclusion and hate. If you want people to be honest and open about their HIV status then quit judging them for it.

      No one deserves HIV. Ji is a shining example of truth, honesty and empowerment. Many of you who claim to be “educated about HIV” could learn from him.

      I could go on and on and on. If you haven’t live through the devastation of the 80’s and early 90’s then you really need to keep your thoughts to yourself. Many of us are just happy to be alive. And many of you young negative guys have us (and those who have died) to thank for raising awareness and advancing treatment.

      Shame shame shame.

      ROCK ON JI!!!!!

      Aug 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tal
      Tal

      @Jack Mackenroth: I couldn’t have said it better. :)

      Aug 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KV
      KV

      @InscrutableTed: Don’t act like you don’t know, Ted. #please

      Aug 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nathan
      Nathan

      WHAT THE EVER LIVING FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? YOU’D BETTER SHUT YOUR ASS-HOLE MOUTH UP, BEFORE SOMEONE PUTS A FAT DICK IN IT.

      YOU ARE FUCKING TOXIC.

      I HOPE YOU DIE…PAINFULLY…OF ANYTHING.

      GOD KNOWS YOU’VE LIVED AN UGLY LIFE. I DON’T BELIEVE IN HELL, BUT, JUST MAYBE, THERE’S A SPECIAL PLACE FOR THE SOULS OF IGNORANT BIGOTS LIKE YOU.

      @Luke:

      Aug 11, 2012 at 6:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nathan
      Nathan

      FUCK YOU, JACK.

      THE PRIDE IS IN PUTTING A SHAMELESS FACE ON SOMETHING THAT HAS SCARED PEOPLE SINCE THE GRIDS PHASE OF THIS DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD EPIDEMIC.

      THE PRIDE IS IN SHOWING PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN LIVE A NORMAL LIFE WITH THIS AND THAT THIS DIAGNOSIS IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE. THE MESSAGE IS THAT IT COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE AND, PEOPLE LIKE JI WILL, IN A VERY SUBTLE, YET IMPORTANT WAY, MAKE THEIR EXPERIENCE ONE THAT MIGHT SHIFT THE FOCUS ON HEALTH CARE AND PREVENTION AND DETRACT FROM YOUR IGNORANT, DUMB-ASS, JUDGMENTAL BIGOTED MISPERCEPTIONS OF WHAT THIS DISEASE IS.

      HIV IS AS EASY TO TRANSMIT (ERGO, ACQUIRE) AS IT IS TO PREVENT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE 52 PEOPLE CREAM -FUCK YOU TO ACQUIRE IT. BUT ONCE YOU HAVE IT…THE MOST RESPONSIBLE THING YOU CAN DO IS LET YOUR PAST PARTNERS KNOW AND WORK WITH FUTURE PARTNERS TO PREVENT THE NEEDLESS SPREAD OF THIS DISEASE.

      MY LAST POINT ILLUSTRATES HOW YOUR IGNORANCE MUDDLES THE DISCOURSE. I CAN’T DELETE YOU. I CAN ONLY POINT OUT THAT JI ISN’T A SUPER-HERO: HE’S A RESPONSIBLE INDIVIDUAL WHO USED HIS MINOR CELEBRITY STATUS TO MOVE FORWARD SOCIETY’S HIV/AIDS EDUCATED DISCOURSE ON THIS SUBJECT.

      I THINK YOU’RE AN ASS-HOLE.

      @jerald:

      Aug 11, 2012 at 6:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dagrlzrd
      Dagrlzrd

      @Luke: I have had HIV since 1984.I was in a relationship I was not a slut or a whore not after I turned 18 and could get a real job.This gorgeous man is a hero and an inspiration to people.TJ,Luke,and Tyson??? If you guys are Gay then I am shocked and appalled!!! Turn in your Queer membership cards and get off the rainbow. You do not deserve to occupy the same planet as the brave and noble folk that must live every day with this virus.My boyfriend lied to me and knowingly infected me with HIV.He is dead now in fact after we broke up it was less than a year later that he died.THAT is how I found out that I was exposed to HIV. I forgave him and myself over 20 years ago. At 52 I am strong and healthy and no one would just by looking at me be able to tell that I am on medication. I have been with the same man since 1989 we have a healthy and loving relationship and he is HIV neg.SO PISS OFF YOU BLOODY WANKERS!!!!!! AND remember KARMA can be a real BITCH!!!

      Aug 11, 2012 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dagrlzrd
      Dagrlzrd

      @Jennifer: YOU GO GIRL!!! Many blessings upon you and your children and your children,s children.It is one thing to be clever and catty in the time honored tradition of a good queer read.But the nasty meanness of these people is beyond my ken.There is already too much hate and negativity in the world.To add to it and foster it??? Gawd!!! It makes me ashamed for these weirdos.Also makes it harder to keep a positive outlook on life.Thank goodness for the Jennifer’s of the world!!!!

      Aug 11, 2012 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dagrlzrd
      Dagrlzrd

      @Tyson: YOU HAVE SHIT FOR BRAINS YOU IGNORANT PUNK!!!

      Aug 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy
      Andy

      Do we judge people who get colds or athlete’s foot?

      Aug 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mitch
      Mitch

      @Tyson: LOL, thebody.com is the most serophobic HIV “resource” on the net. You’re better off getting your info from a dissident site, where at least the posters are informed by something other than an obvious hatred of people with HIV. How those jackasses can vie for prep in one sentence and then in the next state that poz people should hold off early treatment for fear of unknown side effects blows my mind. Thebody isn’t even consistent with itself, and don’t even get me started on their “experts” who aren’t capable of basic arithmatic. It should be shut down, fucking pronto.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • C
      C

      Although rare, people are still being infected with HIV in clinical settings. Below is an article documenting several patients, who were infected with HIV+ during a routine medical procedure. I know first hand this does happen. There are many more articles regarding this story, as well as several other cases, where patients have become infected with HIV because the medical equipment was not properly decontaminated prior to reuse. HIV is very difficult to transmit. In this day and time this should not be happening.

      There are innocent victims of HIV. No one should judge.

      Hospital Administrators Deserve Discipline: VA Board
      VA Administration board recommends punishment for lack of oversight
      By Mary Beth Wilson
      | Sunday, Sep 11, 2011 | Updated 9:29 PM EDT

      A Veterans Administration board recommended that two Miami VA hospital officials be disciplined for failing to promptly inform 79 local veterans that they may be infected with hepatitis or HIV after undergoing colonoscopies with contaminated equipment, reports the Miami Herald.

      Hospital director Mary Berrocal and former chief of staff Dr. John Vara were cited for lack of oversight according to a report completed in September 2010, but just obtained by the Herald through a public records request.

      The VA sent letters to more than 3,000 veterans who had colonoscopies at the Miami VA hospital informing them that improperly cleaned equipment might have exposed them to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Similar problems arose at VA hospitals in Tennessee and Georgia with more than 11,000 veterans potentially exposed to the unsanitary equipment.

      The 74 patients should have been included when about 2,400 former Miami VA patients were notified in March 2009 to get tests for HIV, hepatitis and other infections.
      At least two Miami patients have already been reported to have contracted HIV after having a colonoscopy at the Miami VA hospital.

      While the names of responsible parties are blacked out on the report, the wording makes it clear the board finds Berrocal and Vara are among those held responsible, according to the Miami Herald.

      Records show that among the patients at the three hospitals who heeded VA warnings to get follow-up blood checks, eight tested positive for HIV. Twelve former patients have tested positive for hepatitis B and 37 have tested positive for hepatitis C.

      Juan Rivera of North Miami was the first to file a lawsuit against the government after he claims he contracted HIV after a colonoscopy. The VA claims there is no way to know if patients actually received diseases from the contaminated equipment. Lawyers anticipate many lawsuits to come as 11,000 veterans in three different states are likely susceptible to infection.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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