Springfield, Massachusetts
Positive since 1993

My name is Rob, and I have AIDS. The mission of my blog, Openlypoz.com is to empower and support my peers living positive, as well as others affected by HIV/AIDS, through sharing my personal stories and experiences of clearing HIV/AIDS and life’s hurdles—sometimes struggling, sometimes succeeding.

Please join me on my journey of openly living positive, and get firsthand insight into how I cope, survive, and thrive. I share the hurdles I’ve encountered and cleared, while fostering hope and resilience in myself and others. Some of these hurdles include coming out twice (first as gay, and years later as HIV-positive), encountering HIV/AIDS, depression, addiction, a suicide attempt, my 4 R’s (rock bottom, recovery, resiliency, and reinventing myself), aging with HIV, and much more. Visit openlypoz.com to read more about my story.

What three adjectives best describe you?
Optimistic, Confident and Determined (aka my OCD Attitude)

What is your greatest achievement?
Surviving and thriving with HIV/AIDS and now giving back to my community, infected or affected

What is your greatest regret?
No regrets. All my life experiences made me the person I am today and I am a good person.

What keeps you up at night?
I sleep pretty well (with the aid of Lunesta and stress reduction techniques).

If you could change one thing about living with HIV, what would it be?
Stop the spread of the virus. This illness is 100% preventable. Education, education, education

What is the best advice you ever received?
You are the captain of your ship Robert and ultimately it comes down to that when you experience such progress. Remember that. —Sarah Barnett (cousin)

What person in the HIV/AIDS community do you most admire?
My mother. My #1 inspiration, cheerleader and head of my trusted support network

What drives you to do what you do?
Aging gratefully with HIV/AIDS and the opportunity to pay it forward to my local ASO and HIV/AIDS community

What is your motto?
Semper Ad Meliora — “Always moving towards better things.”

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 fish. Tranquil and calming. Just like me.

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