By Julie Schultz, November 2nd, 2016 in
Positive Spin, a new online resource that aims to raise awareness and understanding of the HIV care continuum, was developed by AIDS.gov in response to the disproportionate impact of HIV on young Black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
The highly accessible tool focuses on the real-life stories of five Black MSM, who detail in their own words their diverse experiences throughout the care continuum, from diagnosis to achieving viral suppression.
Patrick, an athlete, advocate, and host of the Poz Life of Patrick Youtube Channel, explains. “By showing people what it looks like to live with HIV,” he says, “I am using my journey to amplify the voices of others like me.”
While every man’s story is unique, common threads connect the story subjects; the paralyzing fear leading up to an initial HIV Test; the journey towards effective self- advocacy; the struggle to find one’s footing along the care continuum, and to adhere to strict healthcare regimens; and the ever- present necessity of dispelling negative assumptions about what it means to live with HIV.
The site underscores the importance of knowing one’s status, the benefits of identifying and embracing solid support networks, and the incomparable confidence that comes with taking ownership of one’s health. The men also present disparate strategies for coping with some of the challenges that come with an HIV positive diagnosis.
Want to connect with the Positive Spin community? Share your story on social media with #positivespin.