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Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin's HIV Journal


28% of South African School Girls Are HIV-Positive
March 22, 2013

According to the BBC, 28% of South African school girls are HIV positive. This is such a travesty. The South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is stating that young men are not infecting them but older men are. The South African Health Department put out this ad to engage the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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Lifting Ban on HIV Organ Donating
March 21, 2013

Bans Bans Bans!!! We have bans for a lot of things in this country, but one is about to be lifted. The Senate Heath Education and Pensions Committee have approved the HOPE Act, also known as the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act. The act would lift the federal ban on transplanting HIV positive organs to HIV positive recipients.

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Just*In Time: Deny, Deny, Deny
March 3, 2013

I'm somewhat of an "AIDS denialist." For all that I have researched, read, studied and learned, I have a hard time accepting what I've "unlearned." At the same time, the passing of a close cousin and Christine Maggiore has forced me to ask myself, "If I were HIV-positive, would I have the strength of my convictions to live the life I advocate, like Christine, or would I take the path that most people take?" My mind rejects conventional wisdom on HIV and the use of HIV medications, but I don't think I would take the "holistic" route, either. I just don't understand why there can't be an alternative clinical option. Let me know what your thoughts are. Thanks!

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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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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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