March 2016 was when I finally committed to starting my dream business and had made the proper steps to make it a reality. I downsized from a 2 bedroom apartment to 2 suitcases to live with my friends and family, closed my consulting projects and was accepted to one of the top startup business accelerators in Los Angeles. March 3rd, 2016 was also when I found out I was HIV positive. I was devasted and ashamed.
I HAD 2 OPTIONS: CONTINUE PURSUING MY DREAM OR CHOOSE A SECURE, REALISTIC ROUTE?
Against sound advice and better judgment, I continued to pursue my dreams. Even though I was fearful and confused, I continued forward! My doctor had shamed me due to a lack of education by telling the nurse "get back, he is infected" and improperly explaining the impacts of my new diagnoses. I had some hurdles to overcome with medical treatment and insurance coverage but eventually was able to get the right care I needed. Over the next 9 months my only goal was to get healthy and give my business the best shot at success.
GRATITUDE CHANGED MY LIFE
HIV was a wakeup call to my mortality and brought a sobering perspective. I was finally forced to slow down my fast paced existence of always being in a busy. I was able to take responsibility for the direction of my life and change into the person I have been aspiring to be. There was no time to wait for one day, it had to start today. Gratitude has been the foundation that kept me grounded during these times.
HIV has been the greatest gift I have recieved becasue it forced me to start living my own life.
ABOUT THE RIDE
June 2nd - June 8th, over 3,000 Cyclists, Roadies and Virtual Cyclists will be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. This year, I’ll be one of them!
I see a world free from HIV/ AIDS. Will you support me by making a donation today?
If you can't make a donation, please share my story with a family and friend. In the US, 1 in 7 people living with HIV don't know they are infected and worlwide there are over 36.9 million people living with HIV/ AIDS.