Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-07-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Billy Masters Billy Masters
"His coming-out was followed by a marriage. My marriage was followed by ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Ross Forman, Windy City Times AIDS Greg Louganis keeps on 'diving' against HIV/AIDS
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2011-08-24

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

Greg Louganis. Photo by Peggy Sirota


Despite all of the medical advances over the past 30 years in the battle against HIV-AIDS, or perhaps because of them, Greg Louganis is still worried for the younger generation. Very worried, in fact.

"The most upsetting thing is, kids still think that they don't need to be safe in their sexual behavior [ because ] there are medications," that treat the disease, Louganis, who was diagnosed HIV-positive 23 years ago, said in an exclusive interview with Windy City Times. "A lot of the treatments that I've had have been incredibly debilitating—and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. We know how to prevent HIV through sexual contact. If you love someone, you are going to show them that you love them by taking care of yourself and them. Protecting yourself and them."

Just as Louganis and his partner of four years do. Daniel McSwiney was HIV-negative when they started dating. McSwiney still is HIV-negative.

Louganis, 51, is one of the most accomplished and decorated divers in U.S. history. He is a three-time Olympian ( 1976, 1984, 1988 ) who no doubt would have only added to his golden resume had the U.S. not boycotted the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow.

Louganis won gold medals in 1984 in both the springboard and tower diving events. Four years later, he did it again in Seoul—but not without drama. Louganis suffered a concussion after hitting his head on the springboard during the preliminary rounds while performing a reverse 2-1/2 pike. He ultimately completed the preliminaries despite the injury, and went on to repeat a similar dive during the finals, earning the gold medal. Louganis was named "1988 Athlete of the Year" by ABC's Wide World of Sports.

Medical personnel in Seoul did not have latex gloves on the swimming deck at the time, and Louganis' HIV status later was a major topic in regards to that incident.

"It's important for people to know how they may get HIV, but also important for them to know how they are not going to get HIV," Louganis said.

Louganis is now an athlete mentor to USA Diving. He travels across the U.S., working with Olympic hopefuls for diving and their coaches. He observes their programs and makes improvement recommendations, address issues that concern the athletes and more.

He also is a certified judge for USA Diving and is judging the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

"Things are going well for me," said Louganis, who also has been leading dive camps, such as a recent successful one at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.

"I was diagnosed [ HIV-positive ] 23 years ago … a lot has changed since then. It's kind of a mixed blessing. People are living longer in general, but, the message that it sends to the kids is, 'Oh, this can be treated with a pill.' The only problem with that mentality is, I wouldn't wish my drug regimen on anyone and also, not everyone tolerates the drugs the same. The drugs, for instance, metabolize differently in women. Plus, there are not a lot of studies [ about the medicine ] on kids. Plus, they see Magic Johnson out there, relatively healthy," so some don't worry about an HIV diagnosis.

"Prevention is key. Of course it's better to not have to deal with it. Protection. Just play safe."

Louganis said learning he was HIV-positive was, naturally, a trying time, to say the least. "Thank God I had diving at the time," he said. "My thought when I was diagnosed as HIV-positive was, it was a death sentence."

Louganis was, at the time, training in Florida for the 1988 Olympic Games—and confused about what to do.

" [ I ] was [ thinking about ] going to do the honorable thing—pack my bags, move back home, lock myself in my home and just wait to die," Louganis admits. "My cousin, who was my doctor, said the healthiest thing for me to do was to continue training."

When he learned he was HIV-positive, doctors could not tell how long he had been living with the disease.

It was, he admits, "almost like a healthy denial of the whole situation."

And he had to deal with depression.

"As long as I was busy, I was fine because I wasn't thinking about it. [ Diving ] gave me a way of coping with HIV," he said.

Louganis' treatment today is medication twice-a-day.

"The medications have changed a lot" over the years, Louganis said. "There was a big issue over a period of time when the protease inhibitors came out, and compliance was a huge issue because there were huge side-effects of the medications, including diarrhea."

Louganis said he wanted to bring AIDS patient Ryan White to Seoul, "to share my Olympic experience with him, and yet they wouldn't allow him in the country because of his HIV status.

"We've come a long way [ with the disease ] , but have a long way to go. Education and prevention are the keys."

Louganis said his HIV status rarely is discussed within his current diving roles—and he doesn't fear the disease, as he once did.

"I don't panic about it anymore, like I used to," Louganis said. "Before, every sniffle, every tickle in the throat … anything and everything [ medically ] made you think, 'Oh my God, this is it.'"

So where will HIV/AIDS be in another 30 years?

"I have no idea," Louganis said. "I don't expect [ doctors ] will find a cure in my lifetime, but I'm more than willing to be the guinea pig to try to make headway into learning about the disease."


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.

Six of airliner fatalities confirmed as AIDS researchers/activists 2014-07-21
Obama praises work of AIDS researchers killed in plane crash 2014-07-18
AIDS researchers, activists reportedly among crash fatalities 2014-07-17
CDC educates on dangers of smoking for HIV+ 2014-07-16
Conflict Center to mediate for Ryan White grievances 2014-07-16
HIV cure: One step back, many paths forward 2014-07-16
Black LGBT trailblazers; Maddow talks Perry; ENDA debate 2014-07-16
Progress in four years of the National HIV/AIDS strategy 2014-07-15
An Evening of Magic July 26 to support AFC 2014-07-14
History made, honored in annual Ride For AIDS Chicago 2014-07-13
Child with HIV, once thought cured, shows re-infection signs 2014-07-11
Tim Emond returns for Ride for AIDS 2014-07-08
Love grows as lesbians fight HIV/AIDS, stigma 2014-07-08
City resolution salutes 11th annual Ride for AIDS Chicago 2014-07-07
Collins, Red Ribbon sponsor, observes Nat'l HIV Test Day 2014-07-04
Annual Ride For AIDS Chicago is July 12-13 2014-07-03
2014 AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to raise funds for 31 groups 2014-06-30
Jenifer Lewis talks versatility, HIV/AIDS, bipolar disorder 2014-06-18
AFC, CDPH urge HIV advocates to 'Ready, Set, PrEP' 2014-06-17
Ride for AIDS Chicago July 13 2014-06-15
Iowa high court reverses HIV criminalization case 2014-06-13
Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS offer free HIV testing June 26-27 2014-06-08
Vida/SIDA, with Centro Sin Fronteras, opens Pilsen office 2014-06-08
HIV is Not a Crime Conference: Voices and perspectives 2014-06-06
'Step Up. Get Tested' aims to test 5,000 for HIV 2014-06-05
Dance for Life: Top dance troupes raise funds for HIV/AIDS 2014-06-04
Houston expands pro-LGBT measure; change in HIV statute 2014-06-04
AIDS book at Printers Row event 2014-06-04
Iowa first to reform HIV criminalization, Gov signs 2014-05-30
Maritxa Vidal: The 'mayor' of Division Street 2014-05-28
Female motorcycle club supports Ride For AIDS Chicago 2014-05-27
AFC warns of looming cuts 2014-05-25
HBO hosts screening of 'The Normal Heart' in Chicago 2014-05-23
New AIDS czar, HBHC CEO honored in Boston 2014-05-21
SIDEBAR White House declines Brooks interview 2014-05-21
Women's biker club to raise funds for Ride for AIDS 2014-05-21
New CDC campaign inspires HIV conversations 2014-05-21
White House AIDS policy director raises hopes, concerns 2014-05-21
Douglas Brooks heads White House office on AIDS policy 2014-05-21
Will Truvada catch on now? 2014-05-21





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the 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.

 

 

 



 

Women & Children bookstore sold
 
HIV cure: One step back, many paths forward
 
Alliance names Anthony Papini new executive director
 
Hobby Lobby still fighting to deny trans* woman's rights
 
Chicagoan to continue triathlon journey at Gay Games 9
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.