POZ Stories: Blane Oborny
by Trenton Straube
Four years ago, the then-20-year-old Blane Oborny had dreams of building a pizza empire—and he already owned two restaurants in Kansas. By the end of that year, though, he became very ill from wasting syndrome. The culprit was HIV. “I didn’t know how that could be possible,” he recalls, “because two weeks before I got sick, I’d had a blood test that came back negative.”
The HIV diagnosis set off a chain of life-changing decisions. Oborny started meds, got educated about the virus and become inspired to help others. He began working for a nonprofit and also got certified to do rapid testing and safe-sex counseling. Figuring that his pizza businesses in the small communities would be ruined once word got out about his HIV status, Oborny sold the eateries and moved to Kansas City, where he is now pursuing a modeling career as well as a degree in sociology and public health. “It has become my dream to help change the stigma the world has placed on people living with HIV,” he says.
With his can-do attitude—“I can get out of bed every day and treat it as a new day filled with opportunities to rectify the mistakes of yesterday”—he’s sure to deliver the goods.
To read more about Oborny and other POZ Stories, or to tell your own tale of empowerment, visit poz.com/stories.
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comments 1 - 3 (of 3 total)
Stephen R Korup, Clayton, 2014-11-25 23:38:47
Very Sorry to hear of your Condition and also Sad to hear that you had to Sell your Restaurants ( I would have eaten in your places regardless of your status ).I am glad to hear that you are now pursuing a Modeling career, You are Very Cute and I think you will do just fine ,Can't wait to see you in a few magazines. I would like to wish you all the Luck with your Studies and your Modeling and will keep you in my prayers for you continued Health and for a quick Cure.
Stephen in Delaware
FREDERICK WRIGHT-STAFFORD, jACKSONVILLE, 2014-05-21 10:17:35
I must say good works to this young man to come through his experience within his journey to express a common theme of HIV people in the battle to stand tall in the stigma of fear,shame,and guilt of civil society. I would hope more HIV people would join-in on expressing progressive action to break the chains of fear the first step I believe to freedom within one's being. I like to invite more into this action and join in on a network of HIVer's expression of new imagine of wholeness. Hit me up
John, Boston, 2014-04-07 10:24:31
comments 1 - 3 (of 3 total)
What an inspiring story Blane. We need more young men like you. I have been HIV Pos for 30+ years and cured of Hep C. Viral load undetectable and going strong. Just turned 50 and this Aug with the same wonderful man for 30 years. Thank you for what you do Blane and always be happy. Big hugs to you from Boston.