Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Clean living, exercise, and HIV longevity

Kevin M. Norris
A very interesting article by Kevin M. Norris in the Washington Blade on exercise and HIV. Among the athletes profiled are two Gay Games competitors.

One year ago, I wrote [read HERE] about HIV and exercise and how crucial a component exercise has become for the treatment of HIV. I interviewed several subjects asking them to comment on what exercise has done for their diagnosis of this chronic and often life-threatening illness and all of them agreed that exercise was a contributing factor to their mental and physical well-being.

In this article I will focus more on HIV longevity and what “clean living” means to long-term survivors of HIV and how clean living has sustained their lives and quality of life.

Each person in this article was diagnosed in the late 1980s at a time when HIV was considered a death sentence and there were no medications for treatment.


Donald Aucoin, age 59, HIV positive since 1988

Donald Aucoin was diagnosed with HIV in 1988 — 23 years ago when HIV was generally a death sentence. Aucoin was also diagnosed at a time when there were not HIV medications for treatment, but again only for when you got sick, so there was no treatment protocol.

Aucoin had to take his health into his own hands. Foremost, Aucoin believes that his sobriety from drugs, alcohol and cigarettes since 1979 is what keeps him alive and what he believes has contributed significantly to his longevity.

Exercise and eating well would be his other contributions to his longevity. In 1990, Aucoin joined DC Strokes, the gay rowing team and began rowing. He became an accomplished rower and participated in the Gay Games in Amsterdam in 1998, 10 years after his diagnosis and supposed imminent death sentence.

Today, on the brink of turning 60, Aucoin is living proof that taking care of yourself is crucial to not only surviving, but thriving.

Steve Lee, age 52, HIV positive since 1986

Steve Lee shares some notable similarities with both Aucoin and Mendoza. Lee was diagnosed in 1986, again at a time when medications were reserved for those sick with full-blown AIDS and AIDS-related illnesses. Lee has been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol since 1985.

Lee was not an athlete and only joined a gym after his diagnosis. He then began weight training and moved to Washington, D.C., in April of 1989 where he was introduced to the gay gym scene that would encourage more exercise. Lee also became a runner in Front Runners and would go on to enter his first marathon. He is training to run his third marathon this fall.

In 1994, Lee visited his first Gay Games in New York City and decided he wanted to be a part of the next Gay Games in 1998 in Amsterdam, but was not sure what he would do. Weight training had become a passion so he decided to compete in his first body building competition. He won a silver medal.

Today, like Mendoza and Aucoin, Lee exercises regularly and eats well.

It should be noted that each of these people are also on the latest HAART medication protocol for their respective HIV. HAART is the acronym for “highly active antiretroviral therapy.”

Remarkably, each of these three people has been HIV positive for more than 20 years. They agree that medications, and their clean living coupled with eating well and exercising has allowed them to thrive despite living with a life-threatening illness.

Read in full HERE.

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