I haven’t had a great time being HIV positive. I’ve was diagnosed more than 30 years ago. I have had PCP three times and Bowen’s disease (skin cancer). I’ve had four near death experiences with this disease. Now, I found out that due to long-term use of HIV meds, I face chronic kidney disease. The meds are so toxic that they’ve caused my whole body to shut down. I’ve had to stop taking everything a few times throughout my treatment. Yes, I am “alive.” But there’s no way I would call it living. Even if HIV is not supposed to be life-threatening, long-term treatment has caused multiple other health problems. For me, long-term has not been an “Oh my! I’m a better person.” Even when I think I’m in control of my life, HIV continuously rears its ugly head and has taken me for a really bad ride.


What three adjectives best describe you?

Tenacious, strong and fighter.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being able to talk with gay youth who have HIV and have been disowned by their families.

What keeps you up at night?

Being raped and intentionally given HIV by a rapist. And crazy thoughts of where I go from here.

If you could change one thing about living with HIV, what would it be?

Being cured.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Be honest about everything. If you’re out sexually, use drugs or have HIV or other STDs. You name it. Hiding and telling lies in your life only brings about fear and distrust. Karma is a bitch and will always get you.

What person in the HIV/AIDS community do you most admire?

No one specifically. All the great activists have gone silent.

What drives you to do what you do?

The hope that the cure for HIV for everyone gets released in my lifetime.

What is your motto?

Stay true to yourself.

If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?

My dogs. I have lost everything else in my life.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?

A dog because of its unconditional love.