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Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Story; My Call for Action


My life is not unlike many others. I too live on the roller coaster that is life; full of ups and downs, twists and turns. Throughout my young adult life I struggled with who I am and I can't say much has changed.

Part of my struggle included depression and choices that made it difficult to keep my head above water. From the age of 15 I became sexually active with guys from school and summer camps. By my senior year in high school I was meeting up with guys in their thirties. I was naive, but looking for love and everything in between. I did whatever my partners told me to do because I didn't know much about sex, so I took their word for it. A lot of time we didn't use protection and I figured I would be ok because they were nice guys. 

Then, I heard that my mother was infected with HIV and that changed my world. If she could be infected, so could I. I started getting tested every now and then and it always came back negative. I reassured myself that because I wasn't a drug user or having sex with dirty guys, I would be alright.By 2005 my mother was living with AIDS, had one T-Cell left and finally started medication. Later that year I got really sick and went to get a full STD screening; the test came back positive for HIV, the first time in seven years of testing. My life changed from that point forward. 

HIV can infect anybody; my mother, my friends, even me. It has not been easy to break bad habits of promiscuity and unprotected sex, but HIV has taught me a lesson about taking care of myself and others. I learned this lesson the hard way when I found out I had infected a friend, even though I thought we were careful. Fortunately, we have received medications, health services and programs are available to us to help us in this new world of HIV. We're both healthy and UNDETECTABLE! 

Many out there don't have as easy access to what we have. Many don't even know they're positive because they don't get tested. Unfortunately, people are still dying of HIV/AIDS. Donating to the AIDS Walk is about HOPE; 

HIV Outreach, Prevention and Education. 

Whatever you can donate is great because it means:
 
one more person KNOWS THEIR HIV STATUS. 

one more person LIVING LONGER. 

one more person PREVENTING AN INFECTION. 

one LESS DEATH.

Please walk with me on May 15th to show your support and/or donate today to my team. Take care and be well my friends!

Click here to donate =====> AIDS Walk 2011 Donation

Jey

5 comments:

AKgayN.LDS said...

When I was in college and living a gay lifestyle(whatever that entails) I was shocked to find out I had several HIV+ friends. I was naive to think someone of university age who looked health could be "sick". It was reality check for me! Since every year I've ran in various marathons and the like trying to help raise money for awareness and research. If you know of any businesses that are willing to sponsor me be sure to email me (check my profile). I have a few sponsors who donate a few thousand every year and the more the better. The probability of finding a cure is 1. As we will never stop looking. Thanks for your blog!

Vanson said...

Thank you for this post. I recently received a full screen for the first time, and I feel like I am lucky to be clean. The information the doctor shared with me in regards to hiv and stds blew me away... I thought I knew enough based on what I heard from other people, when in reality I didn't know enough. I know it is cliche, but I would recommend that everyone who has been sexually active to be tested and to learn more about hiv and other stds.

Good luck with the aids walk. I attended my first one about a month ago and had a lot of fun :).

J G-W said...

Thanks, Jey. Great post.

M Crew said...

I wish I had seen this sooner or I would have donated. I love your openness and thoughts. You inspire me. :)

Justin said...

Ditto. I love your openness and thoughts, too. Thanks for being so brave.