December 4, 2013 – Editors Note: Bradford McIntyre, an HIV activist who runs the “Positively Positive: Living with HIV” website in Canada (www.PositivelyPositive.ca) has participated in AIDS.gov’s #FacingAIDS initiative for four years. We asked him how he heard about the initiative, how he uses it in his work, and what Facing AIDS means to him. December 4, 2013
How did you first hear about Facing AIDS?
Always on the lookout for HIV/AIDS-related materials on the internet, I discovered Facing AIDS in 2009 through the AIDS.gov website and began including both AIDS.gov and Facing AIDS in the “links and resources” section and throughout my own HIV/AIDS website.
What does Facing AIDS mean to you?
For me, Facing AIDS means acknowledging the HIV/AIDS epidemic and facing it head on. I have been living with HIV since 1984 and for the last 20 years, I have been committed to raising awareness of HIV and AIDS through volunteering my time to HIV/AIDS causes and through my Positively Positive website. I have put a face to living with HIV, working to bring hope to others with HIV that they too can live long and healthy lives!
I believe that the Facing AIDS initiative contributes to the fight against HIV/AIDS because people need to see others who are infected with HIV and who are unafraid to speak publicly about the fact that they have HIV. This helps others feel comfortable about disclosing their own HIV status. Through Facing AIDS, people who are affected by HIV and living with HIV are putting themselves out there via their photographs and messages so that others can see they want to put a stop to HIV and AIDS. They are not afraid to be seen and heard, which helps battle stigma and discrimination.