~ "Navigating a life with HIV has detours and roadblocks, but that's not an excuse to stop living." ~



Originally published in July 21, 2017

 "I’m a living and breathing example that HIV is not a life sentence."

It's an honor that POZ.com selected to include my story in POZ STORIES with so many amazing individuals living with HIV/AIDS; real people impacting their communities in positive ways. For me, it wasn't so much about participating in the interview, as it provided an opportunity to recognize and applaud my HIV/AIDS community hero: Prentiss Douthit, ride director of the Hill Country Ride for AIDS, the largest AIDS Fundraising event in Central Texas, benefiting 10 local AIDS service organizations. Through his immense capacity of love for others and his untiring dedication to the annual ride, Prentiss' warm heart and impressive character shines through. My hero may not wear a satin cape, but he can sure fill his spandex (bike apparel) REAL NICE.

Online Printed Interview: https://www.poz.com/article/dale-thele

Click to open PDF version



Two-Sided Promocard released on April 28, 2017
by Project Transitions, Inc



Originally published in April 2017

CommUnityCare Health Centers (Austin) recently published my story in the
CommUnityCare Health Centers 2017 Annual Report



World AIDS Day 2012, I awoke at University Medical Center Brackenridge from a two day coma. A staff doctor diagnosed me with Advanced Stage-3 HIV and acute Pneumocystis Pneumonia. His prognosis was not promising: he gave me six months to live, eight at best. A few days later, I was released from Brackenridge with instructions to show up at an in-take appointment made for me at David Powell Clinic.

I kept the scheduled appointment with Dennis Nelson, a case manager at David Powell. Dennis was patient with me throughout the grueling three hours, and asked if I understood the forms I was signing. I recall very little of what he said, I was sick and weak, he had to guide my hand so I could sign the many forms. He treated me with nothing less than the utmost respect and genuine concern.

A few days later, I had my initial appointment with Dr. James Zachary. Together, we set long and short term goals to combat my conditions. He and his nurse Peggy Wright, both treated me with the same genuine care and respect I’d experienced earlier with Dennis Nelson. They didn’t refer to me as a numbered patient, but rather as a human individual. It wasn’t long before I began to consider Dr. Zachary and Peggy Wright, not so much as my doctor and nurse, but as collaborative partners in my continued healthcare. That in itself made a huge impact in my recovery.

It’s been over four years since I first began seeing Dr. Zachary and my health has dramatically improved. Yes, I have several AIDS related complications – they are addressed as needed, but we consider them not as road blocks or set-backs, but as “challenges”. Dr Zachary’s approach to my overall health care has been one of a positive nature. I look back on the dark days of my original diagnosis and compare myself to where I am today; I’m an entirely changed person. CommUnityCare are truly caring professionals united in providing the human elements of community in the field of healthcare.

Today, I see myself as the living embodiment and voice of HIV, through advocacy as an outspoken grassroots HIV/AIDS Advocate. This is my way of giving back to the local community who believed in me and invested in my healthcare. Through various media outlets and public speaking opportunities I’m able to educate, bring about awareness, help curb stigma, and promote fund raising which benefits our Central Texas HIV Community.

CommUnityCare Health Centers 2017 Annual Report (April 2017)




Click to read entire article
Portriat by Dan Winters

The Face of AIDS in Austin
Originally published on September 2, 2014 in the Austin Monthly
(Opens in new window)

More than 30 years after the AIDS epidemic, the disease is making a resurgence in the capital city. In the past eight years, HIV/AIDS cases in the Austin area have increased by 40 percent... (read entire article)


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