Have you seen them?  I first saw one when Annie Lennox sported it.  Have a look at this video to hear her explain why she is trying to break down the stigma that is helping HIV continue to thrive.

About a week or so ago, Gwenn saw on Facebook that our friends at the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland were using shirts similar to this to raise awareness about the stigma surrounding HIV and show support for those living in silence who are afraid to disclose.  It’s mission was to provoke discussion about the topic.

For me, well, the t-shirt rings a little true.  Anytime I wear it, I better be ready to tell my story and talk about the success I’ve had with HIV prevention- all because Gwenn and I know our status and what it takes to keep them poz and neg, respectively. The shirt not only looks cool, it is also a good opportunity to talk about the decade I chose not to talk about my status, one of the main reasons being the fear of being treated differently.


So thanks for Earl Pike of the AIDS Taskforce for heading up this idea within a circle of which I could participate.  Next time I hear of anything like this, I’ll throw it out to you all- would be great to see all the shirts and read the stories about the interesting conversations and reactions one gets from wearing a shirt with “HIV” on it.

My favorite from this go around was short and sweet.  A young lady wrote on Earl’s Facebook Wall: "I wore my t-shirt today expecting to get a lot of stares and confused looks, instead a person that is special to me told me they were positive."  Can you imagine the relief that friend felt?  Finally being able to disclose to someone.

Never underestimate the power of a great t-shirt.  Or a great message.

Positively Yours,

To purchase a shirt with a similar design to the one Shawn and Gwenn are wearing above, click here.

Shawn on:    Shawn’s Sick Days in 2010: 6  Shawn’s book    Decker’s Daily Coffee

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