March 22, 2013
Huntington Beach, California
Positive since 2003
I am the founder and president of Bless Your Virus. Bless Your Virus is an intimate and inspiring movement aimed to increase conversations, compassion and community; strengthen awareness, prevention and treatment efforts; create the environment within each one of us for a cure; and learn to bless the fear, disease and viruses that each of us carry. I am also a licensed clinical social worker, certified quantum life coach, keynote speaker, artist, writer and entertainer.
I have been living with HIV since 2003. I was diagnosed on St. Patrick’s Day and view that “lucky” day as the moment I began to live. In June 2011, I was featured on CNN, commemorating 30 years of HIV/AIDS. Coming out with my status has shifted the isolation, stigma, discrimination and judgment that has accompanied my journey with the virus. Through this courageous and necessary action, more love, support, friendship, health, and abundance has graced my life.
I am native to Utah and Southern California and have studied film and theater. I earned a bachelor’s degree in human development from Brigham Young University and a master’s of social work from the University of Utah.
Shortly after my diagnosis I started using crystal meth as a means to feel alive, invincible and uninfected. Coming in to my awareness of divine self through meditation was the foundation for creating four years of sobriety. I am passionate about theater, film, food, wine, meditation, travel, yoga, dancing and watercolors. I am a gifted therapist and coach, my practice is based in Huntington Beach, California and Salt Lake City, Utah.
What three adjectives best describe you?
Golden, inspiring, authentic, playful, energetic, curly, fresh
What is your greatest achievement?
Living so gracefully with this virus
What is your greatest regret?
Not wearing a condom and not moving to NYC at age 21 to pursue my dreams
What keeps you up at night?
If you could change one thing about living with HIV, what would it be?
Greater community and compassion. Affordable health care
What is the best advice you ever received?
Reach for the best feeling I can in this moment
What person in the HIV/AIDS community do you most admire?
What drives you to do what you do?
The millions of people who died waiting for the life-saving medications I have access to and the compelling desire to stand in my place of privilege to give voice to the voiceless.
What is your motto?
I am the creator of my life!
If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
A butterfly—a metaphor for transformation, beauty, color and flying!
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anthony rayner, Odenton, MD, 2013-06-19 20:36:24
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I really enjoy this article. I also have took upon myself to start a HIV heterosexual support group in my area. Right now I,am using Yahoo group site to support the group. I only have 3 members, but others say they want to join but have not yet. I will keep push this group because we really do not have a support group for HIV heterosexual. Let me tell you a little about it. Its call Straight Postive Inclusive Empowerment Support is aim to assit the growing need of support for heterosexual HIV
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