It hasn’t always been easy to be open about my positive status. Ultimately, though, it was right for me. Being up-front allowed me to avoid shame and the stereotypes that follow a person who has HIV. My openness also helps other positive people be honest and unashamed. Being able to listen and understand their fears keeps me going.

I tell others with HIV, ‘Take your health seriously. But most important, make a lasting impression on everyone you meet, because you might be the one to save their life.’”

Walters expects to be released from Michigan’s Scott prison in 2016.