Newark, New Jersey

Positive since 2013

My name is Wadell Thompson. I’m a 25-year-old celibate Black male. I have been HIV positive since 2013. I live in Newark, New Jersey. I was having risky sex with men for money because of my drug addiction, which was due to childhood sexual abuse and struggling with a learning disability. I’m looking to share my story with young, aspiring people, like me, who are trying to overcome challenges in their life. I’m keeping clean by eating and sleeping right, working out and being around positive, motivated people.

What is your greatest achievement?

Having mental freedom from negative energy.

What is your greatest regret?

Having sex with men.

What keeps you up at night?

Sometimes, I think about my past, but I must pray to God so I can be able to rest in his supervision.

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

To not have done drugs.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark told me to keep my head up, stay strong and live right.

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

The staff at Newark Community Health Center.

What drives you to do what you do?

Myself, my goals, my independence, my health and my personal self-image.

What is your motto?

Love yourself so you can love others, and treat yourself with respect and others will follow.

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

My mother’s photograph.

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

A fish because I love to swim and to drink water every day.