Worldwide I have gained notoriety for "My HIV Journey." However, HIV is only one aspect of who I am. Being a foster child and the associated trauma is something that I struggle with daily. I was taken into care at age 3 and spent over 15 years in the care of people other than my parents. I became a product of a system that would go away when I aged out at 18.
Comment by: KRISTEN GALLAGHER
Mon., Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:37 am UTC
Thank you so much for this video. One of my best friends was in foster care from a young age and she recently committed suicide. None of us could figure it out, she was always so strong and happy but atfer watching your video I realize there is a lot that we didn't know. I'm a social worker for Action AIDS in Philadelphia but I would like to advocate for changes in the foster system. I realize there are some big policy changes needed in the future both from DHS and other organizations to protect and support children in foster care. What are some of the changes you see necessary?
Comment by: Aaron Laxton
(St. Louis, Mo)
Fri., Jul. 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm UTC Kristen,
Thank you for taking the time to comment. We all do what we can and this is simply my part. I think that ACF and Children's Bureau have made changes to better address the needs of those living in foster care. One of the biggest things that we can do is to start from day one to help prepare that child for leaving foster care rather than waiting until the last minute. This is typical especially in settings where case manager is contracted out from the state.
Comment by: Hector Tadeo Garcia Garza
Sun., Feb. 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm UTC
GOD BLESS YOU Aaron my prays and thoughts are daily to support what you are doing.
I invite you to come close to God He is the one and only can stop this terribe pandemic disease.
And sorry for my english not is my native language.
Comment by: Aaron Laxton
(St. Louis, Mo)
Fri., Jul. 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm UTC Thank you Hector! -Aaron
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I am simply a guy who on June 6, 2011, received the news that over 33 million people have received: I am HIV positive. I decided in that split moment to record the journey that I was embarking on so that I might help others as they receive that news.
I am not a doctor and I do not endorse any agenda other than simply living a healthy life. I am an activist and advocate and simply want to make the world a better place. I hold a degree in sociology and psychology. I am a product of the Missouri Foster System and this is one of my main passions, second only to the work I do with HIV/AIDS outreach and prevention.
I embrace a sex-positive model. People are going to have sex; it is a natural part of who we are. However we need to make sure that it is safe. I can be found on weekends throughout St. Louis, Missouri, passing out condoms and safe-sex kits.
I am now an M.S.W. student at Saint Louis University's College of Public Health and Social Justice and the School of Social Work.
Whether in St. Louis, D.C. or around the nation, I always jump at the chance to help change not only policies to better serve those that need help but to also change the landscape of the society that we live in.
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