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  • Writer's pictureJacob Anderson-Minshall

Art Paralleling Journalism

Earlier this week the Retrograde Communications crew wrapped the May/June issue of Plus magazine focused on those who have recently learned they are living with HIV. We’ve answered 20 of the most common questions, and provided a guide to what you need to do in the days and weeks following your initial diagnosis. This year we also talk a lot about U=U or undetectable equals untransmittable, the amazing finding that when you are on treatment and have your viral load suppressed (to “undetectable” levels) you cannot transmit HIV to someone else. This finding is supported by the CDC and years of research, and it is really starting to eliminate some of the stigma around this chronic condition.

Coincidentally this week is also the point in the serialization of my graphic novel Ripple Fx that readers learn Journo—the African war correspondent (and protagonist of Part I) who is investigating reports of wealthy and powerful people being smuggled out of a Sierra Leone Ebola quarantine zone—was also just diagnosed with HIV Although he knows being HIV-positive is no longer the burden it once was, he hasn’t told his parents yet. He fears the two doctors who spent most of his life providing medical care for African refugees will be disappointed. He doesn’t know how to tell them. I can’t help but wonder if he went undercover for this investigation in part to avoid having that conversation. Only now he’s putting his health more at risk… check out Episode 11 of Ripple Fx.

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