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Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin's HIV Journal

What Is an HIV Long-Term Survivor? Five People With HIV Grapple With the Question
June 5, 2018

HIV Long-Term Survivor's Day is here! I have often wondered whether I am considered a long-term survivor. I've been positive for only 13 years. I personally don't know whether I am considered a long-term survivor, but it has somewhat felt that way. I've buried friends that have denied their own HIV status; because of stigma they felt from family and the outside world, they let illness consume them instead of facing it head on. But I was born in 1979 and will never remember the early epidemic and how there were people dying every day of AIDS. I decided to interview five people who have been HIV positive between 10 and 30-plus years to better understand what being a long-term survivor means and to learn about some of the challenges they face or may face.

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Making Private Testimony Public and the Impact on Social Media With HIV Activism
December 12, 2017

When Justin's HIV Journal was on display at the Brooklyn Museum there was a discussion panel afterward on activism. It allowed me to see activists from early in the HIV epidemic and present-day activists. The one commonality that we all had was the camera. We documented our lives and other people's lives who were affected or infected with HIV. It amazed me how far activism has come, but it also amazes me at what is coming next from the next generation. Sometimes, I wonder, will the generation after me understand what we've done to help in the fight against HIV? I know that the generation before me probably thought the same thing. Well, I say to them, I was there, I listened, and I'm here now continuing your work -- the work that laid the groundwork for others like me to be able to do what we do. I thank you all on this World AIDS Day.

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Staying on Top of Your Oral Health
December 1, 2017

Persons living with HIV must take extra care of their bodies and minds. I have this saying I repeat to myself when things don't go as well as I think they should go after a depressing doctor's appointment: "My body wasn't given the ability to fight off a virus constantly." This includes one's oral health; yes, I'm talking about your teeth and gums, people. People may not know this but there are certain things of which people living with HIV need to stay conscious and cautious.

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Rosacea: My Story
October 24, 2017

Five years ago, I made a blog video on my struggles with rosacea. If you missed the post, let me first tell you about what rosacea is. Rosacea is a chronic disease and skin condition that causes inflammation and visible strained blood vessels in a person's face. In my face, it caused redness and small, red, pus-filled bumps.

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Panel Discussion on HIV in the News and Meeting Jeanne White-Ginder (Ryan White's Mother)
June 30, 2017

I was invited to speak on a panel called, "HIV in the News" by Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers for their End AIDS: The HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit during AIDS Education Month. I found that it was very informative because there were different prospectives on the panel. Cherri Gregg who is a reporter for KYW Newsradio and Christopher "Flood The Drummer" Norris CEO of Techbook Online were also on the panel, and from Philadelphia FIGHT the moderator was good friend and colleague, Chip Lewis. There were several questions that were fired at the panel. Sensationalism played a big part of the conversation between the panelists. I came from the place of making sure we as people who put news out on HIV put it out for the right reasons. The opinion was very mixed. Also, the story of Charlie Sheen came up and I said it was both good and bad. With Charlie coming out (forcibly) of the HIV closet there was a spike in HIV testing. But then as he became more vocal it became a shit storm, especially with him and his crazy doctor. All in all, I loved the panel and we may have had different opinions on some issues but we all respected each other because we know what an important role we play in the HIV realm.

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12 Years Infected With HIV; HIV Medications Complera vs. Odefsey
June 5, 2017

We are now empty nesters. Good luck to both of my sons Lundyn and Tavis. They are in separate cities adulting. They are both good boys and now I can say, young men. A part of becoming a parent is learning how to let go. I've had to learn that, even though it was a hard thing to do, I had to. Being a Dad means everything in the world to me not only because I've helped raise two awesome individuals but because I'm letting them go out into the world to be awesome individuals. After they moved out my hubby and I moved into a bigger house.

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Justin at the END AIDS: The HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit in Philadelphia
June 1, 2017

June is AIDS Education Month and I have some great news. Philadelphia FIGHT, an AIDS service organization, has asked me to join a panel for Philadelphia's AIDS Education Month Summit on Jun. 7 in the morning at the PA Convention Center. The panel discussion will be around the subject matter of HIV in the media/news. Right now, this is a hot topic and I will explain using parts of the email that was sent to me by Philadelphia FIGHT.

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Justin Goes Zip Lining, Parasailing, Encounters Dolphins and Snubaing in Labadee Haiti, Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico
May 30, 2017

Sometimes it is just good to let your hair down. Being HIV positive doesn't mean you have to stay at home but it might mean you need to get out of bed and enjoy life. There were many times, I felt depressed when I was first diagnosed. Life is a celebration and I say live it to its fullest.

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Justin Does iFLY (Indoor Skydiving)
January 5, 2017

For my birthday, my hubby took me to iFLY. It was awesome!!! I did two sessions it was the best ever. I've been skydiving before, this was amazing. The hubby decided once a month we will go for some couple time. 2016 was a crazy year for us. Let us hope 2017 is better. With iFLY and 2017 I plan on soaring to new heights in 2017. Let us be proactive and not reactive. Special thank you to the hubby. Love you and to the staff at iFLY. With HIV I've learned that I will always aim high and always try to fly over adversity.

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Justin's HIV Journal Videos Showcased at the Brooklyn Museum Exhibit
November 29, 2016

GREAT NEWS: Some of the videos from Justin's HIV Journal will be SHOWCASED in the Brooklyn Museum with other HIV activists, including Mark S. King, Carol Leigh, Juanita Mohammed, Luna Luis Ortiz Photography, Southern AIDS Living Quilt, James Wentzy and the late Nelson Sullivan (1948-1989) and Ray Navarro (1964-1990). The exhibit will officially open Dec. 1 (World AIDS Day) but there will be a free showing Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in which I will attend and be a part of a discussion panel at the end. Wow I'm going to be showcased in the Brooklyn Museum!! WOW I did it!! NY here I come Dec. 3 see you there!!

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Justin's HIV Journal

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith, M.P.H., may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own website, and he's even on YouTube. He is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of "Justin's HIV Journal," a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Justin resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith, and their son, Lundyn. Presently, Justin is working toward earning his doctorate in public health. He welcomes your questions.
(Photo credit: Don Harris)

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