By talking about her HIV, editor hopes to erase the stigma of AIDS

Regan Hofmann has a problem: Cookie, her 9-year-old mare, doesn’t want to go inside.

The chocolate-brown thoroughbred is running at full throttle from one side of the fence to the other, neighing her displeasure at being separated from her buddy, Andiamo, Hofmann’s 21-year-old gelding, who already has returned to the stable.

The day before, Hofmann had moved her horses from one farm in Hunterdon County to another, and now both seem anxious and agitated. While the stable’s owner leads Andiamo back out where Cookie can see him, Hofmann stands in the field with the younger horse and speaks in soothing tones. Soon, Hofmann is able to lead her in.

Hofmann, 41, knows what it’s like to feel alone, scared and not quite sure where she is. Twelve years ago, she learned from her general practitioner that she had HIV. (He was ready with a sedative, which a stunned Hofmann refused.)

Using horses to cope with HIV

Click here to read the full Newark Star-Ledger story by Jennifer Weiss.