Friday, June 25, 2004

Sex, Drugs and Hard Bodies: Tony Mills at the Saloon

(Article published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #237, June 25, 2004)

Dr. Tony Mills, a medical doctor treating patients living with HIV, is a long-term HIV survivor himself. He’s International Mr. Leather 1998 and a model for Colt Studios.

With credentials like that, it was no surprise that on Thursday, June 10, about 100 people packed the dance floor of The Saloon in Minneapolis to hear Dr. Mills discuss “Sex, Drugs and Hard Bodies.” A light dinner was served before Mills’ presentation.

Dr. Mills is Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine and is also in private practice (<>). During his year as International Mr. Leather Dr. Mills was asked by HX, a magazine for gay men in New York City, to write an article on men’s health issues.

That led to his first men’s health presentation before an audience, which occurred at New York City’s Splash bar. Now, several years and many presentations later, Mills was in Minneapolis to deliver his take on the health issues concerning men today.

Mills started by talking about “Sex,” sharing with the audience the latest information on sexually-transmitted diseases including AIDS/HIV, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis and drug-resistant staph.

The next segment of Mills’ presentation, “Drugs,” dealt with ketamine (‘K” or “Special K”), GHB, crystal meth and other popular but problematic party substances. The “Hard Bodies” portion of the discussion dealt with the use of testosterone and anabolic steroids.

Other topics of discussion included poppers, erectile-dysfunction remedies such as Viagra/Levitra/Cialis, and the need for people living with HIV to be aware of cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary health issues.

Bill Burleson, representing the HIM Program of the Red Door Clinic, noted that Dr. Mills had given another presentation earlier in the day for health professionals. Burleson said he was impressed with Dr. Mills’ “client-centered” approach to AIDS/HIV and other health issues.

Another compliment for Dr. Mills came from medical student Mark Dunham: ‘I wish we had such good presentations in medical school.”

Also on hand for the evening were representatives of the organizations that made the presentation happen: pharmaceutical manufacturer Abbott Laboratories (which has also underwritten other talks by Dr. Mills) and area men’s health groups Project Positive (Clinic 42/Abbott-Northwestern Hospital), HIM Program (Red Door Clinic, Minneapolis), Pride Alive/Minnesota AIDS Project, Pillsbury House Communities, Minneapolis Urban League, Minnesota Soul Essence and the Minnesota Department of Health.

PHOTO: Dr. Tony Mills, right, with Kevin Sitter, a representative of Project Positive/Clinic 42, Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

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