Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-11-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS: Gay man with AIDS runs against the disease
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2011-05-04

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


It had been two years since his last HIV test when—about nine years ago, at age 24—Richard Cordova learned he had AIDS, not just HIV.

Cordova was, admittedly, leading an unhealthy lifestyle at the time, which included drug use.

"When I found out [I had AIDS], I really wasn't dealing with my diagnosis. Sure, I was taking medication [for it], but I continued partying," he said.

That lifestyle lasted for several more years—until May 29, 2007, when Cordova took his life down a new path: the running path along the lakefront, to be exact.

That's when Cordova joined the National AIDS Marathon Training Program in preparation for his first 26.2-mile run, which he did the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2007 in Florence, Italy.

Cordova has since completed six marathons, three half-marathons (13.1 miles each) and the last three Rides For AIDS Chicago.

"I've come to live pretty openly with [the disease] and, because I've been pretty open about it, I've come into contact with people who are not as open, and also some who are ashamed [of the disease,]" Cordova said. "Now, for a lot of people, HIV is a chronic, manageable illness—unlike years ago when it almost always was a death sentence. Sure, there are setbacks and struggles nowadays, but it is manageable.

"Personally, I didn't process [the AIDS diagnosis] immediately as a death sentence, but, at some point in the progression of having it, I definitely thought I would die early, that I never would live to see 30 [years-old]. That really was a motivating force to turn my life around—I realized that it wasn't the HIV that was going to kill me, but rather, the other stuff."

Cordova struggled internally with his diagnosis for several years. Tears were common when he was by himself.

Clearly, Cordova thought his life had a short expiration date after his diagnosis.

However, when he started training for that first marathon, Cordova gave up his destructive past cold turkey—and it's been an upward swing ever since.

Today, Cordova is proof that if one can turn his or her life around, if one wants to.

Cordova is the project manager for the Ride For AIDS Chicago, working for Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN), a position he's held since last October.

"Helping produce this event is rewarding because showing people that they can challenge themselves, while at the same time giving back to their community, is a very powerful position to be in," he said.

Cordova, 33, who is living in Lakeview and dating, got a plus-sign tattoo on his right arm in 2009, of which he is very proud: "The plus sign reminds me that I am living positive."

"Every time I do an endurance event, it's another notch on my belt, showing me that HIV does not define me, that HIV does not have a hold on me," Cordova said. "I know HIV/AIDS is a crippling disease for some, but, for many, it's just a chronic illness. I want people who are HIV-positive, or living with AIDS, to be open and honest about it—and not fear retaliation or rejection. I believe that if more people are outspoken about their status, it will help normalize the disease for us all. You want people to have compassion and understanding for you. It's impossible for that to happen when people are unaware of the fact that someone who might be their best friend/brother/daughter—and still living with this disease every day."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Jussie Smollett's film, 90 DAYS commemorates World AIDS Day with Harle event 2017-11-18
'Sound of Music,' AIDS movie at Music Box Theatre 2017-11-18
New HIV reporting scholarship launches 2017-11-15
HIV/AIDS advocates: AmfAR chair Kenneth Cole should resign 2017-11-14
Reyna Ortiz book release highlights Vives Q event 2017-11-10
Elton John AIDS Foundation's gala celebrates 25 years, honors founder 2017-11-10
DIFFA/Chicago World AIDS Day Street Fest at Center Nov. 30 2017-11-08
Black Treatment Advocate Network Chicago hosts open house 2017-11-01
Brown Elephant's 'Best of' Nov. 4-5 2017-11-01
LGBT legal event with ACLU's Strangio Nov. 7 2017-10-31
Cleve Jones event Nov. 6 at Sidetrack 2017-10-31
Reports: Trump opioid response may imperil HIV/AIDS dollars 2017-10-26
Brown Elephant's 'Best of' Nov. 4-5 2017-10-25
Broadway Holiday Benefit for Chicago House, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids 2017-10-19
Caring by Sharing concert, AIDS Day event at Ebenezer Dec. 1 2017-10-18
American Brotherhood Weekend names titleholders, presents $900 to Vital Bridges 2017-10-13
CA Gov Signs Bill Modernizing state HIV Laws 2017-10-07
Thousands take part in AIDS Run & Walk 2017-10-02
South Side Help Center marks 30 years 2017-10-01
Test Positive Aware marks 30 years 2017-10-01
City endorses international TasP-awareness campaign 2017-09-28
Howard Brown unveils Hyde Park clinic 2017-09-28
TPAN 30th-anniversary event Sept. 28 2017-09-27
South Side Help Center to celebrate 30th anniversary 2017-09-27
Plea deal reached in Missouri HIV case 2017-09-22
Chicago Academy of the Arts' AIDS benefit 2017-09-20
South Side Help Center to mark 30 years, honor leaders, support hurricane recovery 2017-09-20
Meet AIDS Run & Walk Chicago ambassadors 2017-09-20
TPAN to celebrate '30 Years of Hope' 2017-09-20
Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium registration remains open 2017-09-15
TPAN: Our story is your story 2017-09-15
Survey: Diarrhea important but under-reported complaint of HIV/AIDS patients 2017-09-15
AIDS Benefit to be hosted by the Chicago Academy for the Arts 2017-09-15
South Side Help Center to honor leaders for AIDS, youth, give to hurricane recovery 2017-09-15
Local researchers seek subjects in "smart-PrEP" study 2017-09-13
Bernie Brommel looks back at early years of TPAN 2017-09-13
Elton John AIDS Foundation to commemorate 25th year, honor founder 2017-09-12
$1 million to HIV groups impacted by Harvey, Irma announced at conference 2017-09-08
AIDS activist Louise Hay dies 2017-09-06
AIDS researcher alleges false arrest and mistreatment from CPD 2017-08-25
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.