Deeeeep breathe in…
I was diagnosed HIV positive at the ripe, young, and naive age of 20 in 2010. All I knew about the disease was that a bunch of gay men had died from it in the 80s and it just equaled DEATH in my head. So you can imagine as an uninformed 20 year old finding out he is positive, my first question to the doctor was "How long do I have?" After the amazing nurse at the LGBT Center in NYC calmed me down, she explained to me everything about the disease and how I could live a normal, healthy life with it (provided I changed some habits and adhered to my medication). At first, it was a secret that I kept to myself and was terrified to tell to anyone close to me. It took me years to build up the courage to tell my friends and eventually my family. Even then, I faced constant shaming and hurtful rejections and words from people in my own community who were just as uninformed as I was at first.
Today, I have been HIV positive for almost 10 years and I am not ashamed to say it out loud and in public, especially if it means being able to help raise money for this foundation and awareness for our community. I have received so much help and support from foundations like the NYC LGBT Center to stay healthy and undetectable. It is now MY turn to begin to try and give back even a FRACTION of what has been so freely given to me by participating in the 2020 AIDS/LifeCycle and fundraising money to go back to those organizations that helped me out through the years so they can continue to help out others in need and help to make HIV/AIDS a true thing of the past.
From May 31st to June 6th, over 3,000 Cyclists, Roadies and Virtual Cyclists will be tackling 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!
The services provided as a result of this event mean the world to those who receive them, and your support means the world to me.
Please consider supporting me by making a donation to my fundraising page! Love you all.