March 30, 2012
I've learned a lot about HIV since being diagnosed with AIDS in 2002. In those nearly 10 years I've learned a lot about how this disease affects people. Positive people are ashamed of it, and negative people are scared of it. People continue to put themselves at risk, regardless of the consequences. We know that when taken properly, HIV medications can offer a long life expectancy to many who are infected. It would seem that the public still thinks it is a death sentence. In many parts of the world, it is.
Learning to accept my disease was one of the most freeing experiences I've ever had. I am saddened when I meet so many HIV positive individuals who live in fear of rejection. Living in self-imposed isolation is no way to live. I do what I can to be a positive role model for those impacted by the disease.
My participation in the Ride for AIDS Chicago is one such way I make a difference in my community. The money that is raised helps support the programs at Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN). TPAN empowers everyone living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS to live open, healthy, and productive lives. TPAN innovates to deliver peer-led support programs and collaborative wellness services and to communicate comprehensive information. TPAN will do so until HIV/AIDS is eradicated. I too commit to this cause until it is eradicated, or I die. Whichever comes first.
I hope that I can count on you support. My personal fundraising goal is $5,000 and I intend to make that goal. I can't do it alone. I need your help. Please consider a fully tax-deductible donation to support my fundraising efforts. Together, we can make a difference.