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Greg Louganis | Celebs With HIV

Greg-Louganis-HIVWhen you hear HIV or AIDS, there is an instant fearful reaction.  You think suffering, sadness and death.  It’s just how we’ve been trained to think about this disease.

Former Olympic diver and four-time gold medalist Greg Louganis thinks a bit differently.  He takes 10 pills a day, tries to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and takes blood tests every night to monitor his immune system.  Louganis has been infected with HIV for over 20 years and rocked the 1994 Olympics with the admission that he was gay and suffering from the disease.

Louganis Keeps Going

It would be easy for someone to shut down, emotionally, knowing they have HIV.  For a time, Louganis hit that wall.  He was stealing pain medication from his father.  His abusive partner had died from AIDS-related causes.  He was depressed.  He seemingly found solitude from his mother Frances, who died in 2004.

It was her death and a DUI in 2006 that caused Louganis to wake up.  He’s now in a happy relationship and Louganis’ disease does not prevent him from living the way he wants to live.

An Inspiration to Gay Athletes

If the stresses of HIV aren’t enough, living as a closet homosexual was incredibly tough of Louganis.  As tough as this was, however, his admission inspired other athletes to break their silence, like boxer Orlando Cruz. These men broke barriers for the gay community.

“Greg coming out made a huge difference to the gay community,” says Fawn Yacker, project director of the Last Closet, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that aims to make pro sports more welcoming to gay athletes. “He was such a household name that it may have been a shock at first, but the reaction was, ‘Wow, I liked that guy, and he’s gay.’ It started a conversation.”

Just Keep Going

If Greg Louganis has taught the world anything, it’s that you can keep moving forward, even with a disease like HIV.  Perhaps people think that Louganis and Magic Johnson are still alive because they have money.  This may be true, but what they have that everyone else can have is the support from family, friends, and peers.  He continues to inspire gay athletes across the world to feel comfortable in their own skin.

In any challenge you face or illness you encounter have the spirit of Greg Louganis, and know you can keep going forward.

 

posted by Turn The Page in Celebs with HIV and have Comments (20)

20 comments

  1. Comment by Conveniently Natural on November 25, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    We have to respect those who are brave enough to admit to both having HIV and being homosexual considering the social stigma surrounded by these topics. He is a person just like the rest of us, suffering from a disease.

  2. Comment by Gulledge Family Wellness on November 25, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    It takes a very strong person to come out like he did and he made it through his struggles with drug abuse. Thanks for posting this!

  3. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Jacksonville on November 26, 2012 at 1:50 am

    You are right when you say there is an instant fearful reaction when you hear the terms HIV and AIDS. There have been many advances in the treatment of such diseases thanks to those who speak up about it and donate to research advancements.

  4. Comment by ARCPoint Labs of Des Moines on November 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    It sounds as though he has taken his diagnosis in stride with the rest of his live, which I think is very admirable.

  5. Comment by Automated Controlled Systems on November 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I’m not very familiar with this guy but I can see how he is an inspiration to many, thanks for sharing!

  6. Comment by David Wiesemann Remax on November 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Such a good story. It is heartwarming to hear that an individual who has made it to the top, can again continue to strive for more, even after being inflicted with such a terrible disease.

  7. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Merrimack on November 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    This is an inspirational story. Anything is possible even if all the odds are against you.

  8. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Nashville on November 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Hopefully, someday we live in a society where one doesn’t have to live in fear about their sexual orientation. People like Louganis are the start of that.

  9. Comment by J. Casson Mortgage Planning on November 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Louganis is an example of how to act in the face of adversity. He had to learn the hard way, but we can all learn from his mistakes and triumphs.

  10. Comment by ARCPoint Labs of Tempe on November 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    As with many who are diagnosed with HIV, it’s incredible to me that he didn’t just give up. I would be devastated to be in his position, but he made the most of a bad circumstance.

  11. Comment by ARCPoint Labs of Tempe on November 28, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Sounds like Greg has had a hard but incredibly eventful life. This is an example of never giving up, very inspirational.

  12. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Irving on November 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    The easy thing for him to do would have been to shut himself off from society and deal with the issue privately, and he wouldn’t have been wrong to do so. Instead, he decided to be a symbol to all of those dealing with the same things that he is.

  13. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Greenville SC on November 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Moving forward is important. It can also be very hard to do, especially if your life has been completely altered.

  14. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Cuyahoga Falls on November 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Louganis took a big risk by coming out both as gay and as having HIV. He should be seen as a role model for facing adversity.

  15. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Elk Grove Village on November 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    This man is an inspiration to all, especially those in a similar situation. Nice post!

  16. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Seattle on November 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    With all of the adversity Louganis has faced in the last 20 years, it would have been easy for him to give up. But he didn’t. And that is why he is a role model.

  17. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Lansing on November 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    It’s so good that he lives the way he wants to and doesn’t let society make him think that he shouldn’t be able to.

  18. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Overland Park on November 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    He made a positive outcome out of a negative situation. He realized that he could help others out there and that is what makes him a role model.

  19. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Panama City on November 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Looks like he had some rough years, glad he was able to come out of it a better person.

  20. Comment by ARCpoint Labs of Herndon on November 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    It can’t be easy being in this situation. It all depends of what you make of it. Thanks for sharing!

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