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I Have HIV and Current Laws Say I Am a Criminal

A Video Blog

November 30, 2012

This video and text are excerpts from "Getting to Zero: The Final Piece of the Puzzle," a speech given by Aaron on Nov. 30, 2012, in St. Louis, Mo.

Aaron Laxton

Aaron Laxton

According to the current criminal statutes in Missouri I am considered a felon. It does not matter that I disclose my HIV status to another person, and it does not matter that I use protection. As stated in the law itself, these things are no defense. I am viewed as a criminal and as a threat to the common good of society, even though I am on medication and undetectable. ...

… This is not rhetoric and this is not a political statement but rather the reality that myself and each person that is living with HIV deals with. In the eyes of the law I am simply a diagnosis and considered a threat to society.

I am Aaron and I am a piece of the puzzle. This puzzle consists of loss, pain, tears and sadness but I am also a piece of the puzzle that is one of life. The reality today is that HIV no longer means eminent

Instead I use words such as happiness, hope, empowerment and neutrality. I am Aaron and HIV is just one piece of who I am.

Aaron Laxton is an avid video blogger and HIV activist living in St. Louis, Mo. He was diagnosed with HIV on June 6, 2011.

Read Aaron's blog, My HIV Journey.

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See Also
World AIDS Day 2012: Features and News


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