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Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin's HIV Journal


Justin Goes Back to Basic Training
February 21, 2013

I was going through some old military things and came across a video of me in Basic Training. Of course, that was back in 1999 when I was just 19 years old. This was during the era of the policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." Also, since it is dated, it was on a VHS tape. I thought to myself, "Wow, I've grown a lot since then." My foster son used to express interest in the military. He said, "Dad, I want to be a Marine." Of course, his father and I tried to persuade him to join the Air Force or the Army, since I'm prior Air Force and my husband is prior Army. After that discussion I think my foster son decided to change his mind about even going into the service, but who knows, he is a teenager and may change his mind later.

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Justin Learns to Relax
February 20, 2013

So, I've decided to take my doctor's orders seriously. When it comes to HIV, it is really important that one keeps their stress levels down and, unfortunately, it has been harder for me than not. I've decided to not let anything or anyone stress me out and if that means cutting people out of my life completely or putting them in another category, so be it. I also emphasize to always look after your own health. I've decided to go to bed earlier, drink less and really try to quit smoking.

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Doctor's Appointment, Hypertension, Cholesterol, Diet and New Book
February 20, 2013

Recently, I went to my doctor's appointment and saw that I had borderline hypertension. The doctor also said that my T cells had dropped as well. This is NOT good. But I'm still undetectable, which is good. All my vitals were good except of course because of hypertension. I'm only 33 and someone has told me I'm much too young to have this diagnosis. Since I'm in school for my master's degree, engaging in activism and writing and having a kid on top of that, stress has been at its highest I've ever had in my life.

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Spending Time With My Foster Son
January 27, 2013

Having a foster son has put a lot of things in prospective for me. Things such as the way you talk to a younger generation, facial expressions, and inflections in your voice, etc. But I know one thing that is, and always has to be, there -- and that is time.

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Join the RiseUp to HIV Campaign
January 27, 2013

The campaign and how to join:

This is a global, public campaign inspired by Chelsea Clinton raising awareness by holding a simple sign for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. My vision for this campaign is to mobilize people in places across the United States and the World willing to stand up to Stigma and Rise Up To HIV, all in an effort of realizing the UN Goals of getting to ZERO. The biggest barrier I believe to realizing these goals is STIGMA.

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Advice Column: Bug Chasers & Gift Givers
January 14, 2013

I have a question for you: What is your opinion about gift givers and bug chasers? I hear that there are people out there who want to spread HIV and others who are looking to get infected with HIV on purpose. I have been diagnosed with HIV for about one year now and I had to go on meds because I didn't know I had it for so long. I hate taking them, but I know I have to in order to survive. I don't know anyone who would want to go through anything that I go through or anything you go through, either. I just don't get it. Can you give me some insight?

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Fox 5 News World AIDS Day 2012 Interview
December 24, 2012

This World AIDS Day I remember all those I've known who are infected with this disease and who have passed because of it. I was lighting my candle and a lot of faces went through my mind. Today was a day of remembrance and I stood silent. But I also left my house and took a long walk to clear my head of things. I found a clearing in a wooded area where I live and sat in the earth. I meditated and felt as if they were here with me. I want to tell them and you all that they will not be forgotten. I will always hold a candle for them, I will always run the AIDS Walk/5K Run, and I will always remember.

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Foster Parenting
December 24, 2012

What can I say? He's my son and he's using condoms and being responsible. I wasn't really happy that he said that to me, but happy that he's using condoms.

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Just*in Time: Time to Get Tested!!
October 23, 2012

Dear Justin,
I just found you on YouTube; I've been researching HIV a lot these past two weeks because my boyfriend just tested positive. I am scared shitless. I don't know what to do.

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Just*in Time: Taking Your HIV Medication
September 26, 2012

Justin,
I found you through a search on Google for HIV. I need your help. I am an HIV-negative female. I have a best friend named David. We have been friends for sixteen years and it was back in high school that we met. We dated briefly but we decided to become friends and plus he was gay -- LOL. But the reason why I'm writing you is because he found out a couple of months ago that he was HIV-positive. When he told me I broke down and cried; we cried together for at least an hour. After that he started going out to clubs a lot and stopped calling as often. I visited him and I have never seen his house look so dirty. Dust was everywhere and he looked like hell and obviously wasn't taking care of himself. I want to know what I should do. Please let me know what you think I should do.

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Justin's HIV Journal


Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own blog and Web site, and he's even on YouTube. And who can blame him? Only 30, he already has an incredible story to tell. Justin admits he used to live "a very dangerous life," but since his diagnosis three years ago, the former heavy drinker and drug user has turned his life around.
Photo credit: Don Harris


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