Dover, Florida

Positive since 1988

I was diagnosed in 1988, with a 225 T-cell count. I was told I had two years to live. I laughed and said, “OK! Whatever. I’ll see you when you retire.”

Since then, I never let anything stop me. I got involved in politics, ran for office and went to a political convention. I also became a licensed hairdresser and owned my own Gay Pride/leather store. I received my associate’s degree in computer information systems. I became an ordained minister, radio personality and published author. I founded my own church. I lost a partner of almost 18 years. I met someone else, fell in love, became a yoga instructor and got married. I am now living in Costa Rica and hope to open up a yoga retreat center.

Not bad for someone who was told he had only about two years to live.

What three adjectives best describe you?

Brave. Faithful. Kind.

What is your greatest achievement?

Living life to the fullest.

What is your greatest regret?

Maybe I could have done more for my partner who died.

What keeps you up at night?

My husband. We’re still on our honeymoon.

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

I wouldn’t change anything. Living with HIV made me who I am today.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Live life to the fullest and with no regrets.

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

No one particular person. I admire all people with HIV who decide to continue living their lives as if nothing matters.

What drives you to do what you do?

God’s mission for me.

What is your motto?

Tomorrow is never tomorrow, for it is always today.

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

My pets.

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

A dog, so I could still protect those that I love and get my belly rubbed as a reward.