I am from Long Beach, NY, and I am HIV equal. As a long time member of the LGBTQ community I have first hand seen the effects of HIV. The fear and stigma that our community faces is disheartening. I believe that we need to band together, rise above the stigma, and promote happy and healthy living. I have been working with LGBTQ youth, spreading empowering messages and offering support for the past 6 years. Currently I am the HIV Navigator at Pride for Youth, a community based LGBTQ youth center in Long Island, NY.
Unfortunately, I keep hearing about young people’s traumatic experiences with their health care. They are fighting stigma from the professionals that are supposed to be helping them either treat HIV or prevent it. As a result of my time working with the community, and the horror stories I have heard over the years, I have decided to dedicate my life to this cause and try to make the biggest impact that I can. I am currently back in school pursuing a degree in biology and then heading to Physicians Assistant school so that I can bring social work ethics into the medical field of HIV, where it is really needed. Only by working together will we end the stigma. Let’s all make this world HIV equal. #iamhivequal