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Meet Jamil


I’m Jamil Eric Wilkins--my dearest friends call me “Jam,” and not just because I enjoy having a good time. There were times when I refused to accept the the gravity of life-changing events (many were unexpected and unfortunate) as the negative thoughts—hatred, anger, regret—betrayed my understanding of true worth. As an avid runner, I was, and still am, empowered with the strength and courage to fight for a new destiny, one where I took full responsibility for the actions that would improve my situation. I'm a pretty passionate individual, so fire adds spark to my personality and all that I do. The same fire compels me to keep moving forward despite the [temporary] pain and seek new adventures. So here I am now! Through HIV I’ve found something larger than myself to focus my inextinguishable belief that what is desired will happen and things will work out for the best, despite all challenges. As my vision of success continues to shape me into an HIV/AIDS activist and advocate, I strive to change the world through my positive public example; thus, I’m never giving up and allowing the pain to be replaced with positive outcomes that I’m aware of. At my lowest point I refused to be broken, and I want others to believe in me as I climb higher to access my strength from within to make a difference. I want my journey to be an example of what it means to separate HIV from the person living with it in order to see the bigger picture. The late Maya Angelou reminds me that “my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” I’ve learned that I was blessed with the strength to survive [unfortunate] life-changing events, but I’m choosing to stay strong and do something about them, because nothing will keep me down or hold me back from exploring my true worth or helping others uncover theirs. And, of course, while I’m exercising that strength, I’ll look good doing it! #iamTHRIVING iamHIVequal