Welcome to another year of my life.
To the loyal readers of my blog, I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts, emails and well wishes.
To the new readers, I'm a long term survivor of HIV and AIDS. I've been HIV+ since Valentine's Day 1982 and it's been a journey of many highs and lows. I'm very fortunate to still be alive when over 95 percent of my friends who were HIV+ in the 80s including my husband and our godchild have been gone from this life for a long time.
I'm a HIV/AIDS and GLBT activist and have been since the early 1980s. I started Dab the AIDS Bear Project to give a voice to HIV+ people who were on the ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) Waiting Lists in 2006. This project is a grassroots organization made of being affected and effected by HIV and AIDS. It's my attempt to train people to be activist and advocates for the future after long term survivors and activists like me are no longer around to do the job. There are so few of us left now we are training women and minorities to use their voices. Every voice is needed to defend the need for Ryan White Care Act funding. No American should ever be allowed to die from HIV/AIDS only because they can't afford the life saving medications. I also train these women and minorities to go do HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention in their own communities. This way, the message is received from a community member and not an old gay white man like me thereby being much more effective. By training others, it gives us 30 voices instead of just my one and helps build pride and community.
I work with organizations from AARP, Divided We Fail, NAPWA (National Association of People With AIDS, BCCC Patient Advisory Board, International Candlelight Memorial, this project and our local World AIDS Week as HIV/AIDS spokesperson, board of directors member or founder.
So my blog deals with everything going on in my life from activism, advocate, clinical trial participant, friend, husband, brother and son... the many different roles in my life. I hope something inspires you, makes you laugh or teaches you something you didn't know. Drop me a line sometime and let me know what's going on in your life too. Wishing you health, hope and happiness.
Here's to a fantastic 2008!
Big Bear Hug,