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The Dude Who Exposed Me to HIV Speaks, Part Two

January 17, 2013

I Exposed Josh to HIV

Read Part One of this blog entry.

In this finale of the two-part series "Dude Who Exposed Me to HIV Speaks," I, humbly, feature the thoughts and feelings of the guy who unknowingly exposed me to HIV on December 18, 2011.

Originally, the second part was released and available exclusively on, and I can't thank them enough for the opportunity.

Today, we are posting the full copy as a courtesy to our readership, as the post originally carried on is now archived.

To read the original version released through the digital product of Out & About Newspaper, please visit their site by clicking here.

Special note from ImStillJosh: "It has been a year-in-the-making really, that I would have the opportunity to feature the thoughts and feelings of the guy who unknowingly and unintentionally exposed me to HIV on December 18, 2011. This opportunity was not requested or received lightly -- as the privacy and dignity of this gentleman remains extremely important to me. However, nearly one year later, I believe this is an important part of the larger story to share and an opportunity for us all to find wisdom, strength and grace from someone who lives with the fact of exposing HIV to someone else, even unintentionally. I do hope that readers understand I do not hold blame or guilt on either of us, solely. And after spending quality time with a therapist immediately after learning my own status, I believe he and I both learned even more a true-life meaning of the word 'grace.' -[+] I'm still Josh. You still be YOU!!!"

The following was written anonymously from a Nashville guy (at the time of exposure):

What it was like seeing the guy I made positive?

Josh ( and I have a connection unlike any other. Yet, in reality, we're little more than acquaintances. Our small talk is probably a little different than everyone else's. There's the obligatory social, "How are you doing?" And a hug, followed by a raised-eyebrow, "How are you doing?" And then an inevitable, "So everything is good?"

I'm not sure I have all the words for looking across the room and seeing "that person." For many months after running into Josh, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. I wondered if his friends or new partner knew that I was the source of his positive status. Did they think I was an awful person? Was I an awful person?

Today, it can be better described as a feeling of comfort. There's a guy on the other side of the room who knows what I've been through ... who knows what I'm going through. He knows me a little bit better that most of the people in the room.

Describing seeing the person to whom you gave HIV is an interesting thing. Describing seeing the person to whom you gave HIV recognized for his efforts against HIV stigma is entirely different! Josh wasted no time in coming out, not only to his friends and family, but to the world. He immediately began the blog and was soon speaking at Nashville CARES fundraisers and appearing on HuffPostLive. So quick was his transformation that I recall leaning over to my best friend during a CARES fundraiser and remarking, "My God, I've created a poster child!" My friend was not amused. I suppose it wasn't exactly appropriate.

In all honesty, I could not be more proud of Josh. He is fighting a fight that not everyone, including myself, is ready to fight. His efforts are breaking boundaries, opening minds and creating a better place for everyone, positive and negative. I look forward to a time in my life when I can stand with him and be the same positive influence.

Moving on With a Positive Attitude

For the time being, if you are newly positive, you're going to be great! Do not fear for your life. Proper care will ensure you live a normal life. Do no fear for your love life. People will still love you and love on you! If you are HIV-negative, take care of yourself. It is very easy to stay negative. When you meet a person who is HIV-positive, treat them no differently than you would treat anyone else. If anything, that person probably has a better perspective on life than most you've encountered before. I certainly do.

Now for me, "the guy who exposed I'm Still Josh to HIV," after six months of HIV treatment, I am undetectable and my CD4 count is in range of a person without HIV. I am happy and healthy.

I'm still me.


Weeks after learning he tested positive for HIV, Josh Robbins launched his blog,, to raise awareness for HIV as well as provide encouragement for others who may be living with HIV in Nashville. Almost one year after starting his blog and posting the only known video on YouTube actually being told one is positive, Robbins continues to share his story and unique perspective on tackling the stigma surrounding a manageable disease -- HIV. Appearing on international media, his blog's motto remains the same: "Im still Josh. You still be You!" Recently, Robbins was named an official ambassador of the globally recognized HIV anti-stigma campaign for The Stigma Project. Robbins continues to reside in Nashville and is active with local HIV fundraising events, volunteering.

Related Stories

The Dude Who Exposed Me to HIV Speaks, Part One
This Positive Life: Newly Living With HIV, Josh Robbins Is "Still Josh" -- and Still an Advocate
Day One With HIV: Finding Out Your Status, in Your Own Words's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed
More "Just Diagnosed" Stories

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Don (North Carolina) Tue., Jan. 27, 2015 at 1:54 am UTC
The fact that you and Josh are taking care of yourselves is very good. You guys do not deserve to be critized and made to feel bad. I spent over 20 years in the military, was discharged honorably. Got involved with another man and become HIV+. I am me and doing well, work too educate others about HIV and AIDS. I refuse to lose one wink of sleep over what any one think keep it real and be true to yourselves. Remember: Society is like air necessary for life but is not sufficient to live on. Don't let HIV define you, both of you along with the rest of us, we are who we are. Your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, teachers, etc. Like us or not. Education, not stigma can help the solution. Both of you guys have my respect. Don't let the negative feedback block your happiness. Give the nay sayers two crocodile tears in the ocean and say count the gallons of water. Don
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Comment by: Tia (Lusaka, Zambia) Fri., Apr. 12, 2013 at 8:31 am UTC
Its quiet encouraging that some pipo wud react in that way. I met a guy a few weeks before i found out i was pregnant 4 anotha man.i tod him the truth about my pregnancy & e promised to stay with me & support me & my child.he planned to marry me early this yr & introduced me 2 his sister.few mnths down the road i was told i was +tive & started medication.e was the first person i tod & agen e promised 2 stay with me & support me but things changed just b4 i gave birth to my son who died just 2 days after i delivered due to complications in delivery.e had already abarndoned me by then & i had to go thru all this pain wasnt easy loosing my child & the person that i loved so much but i am still going strong.found out he hates me bcoz e thinks i had known about my status long before i got involved with him but i never knew.i know i cant prove to him that the day i told him was the day i found out but he hates me.i dont know if e has gone for a test & his test results.i pray that one day e will beieve that i never lied to him.....this is an encouraging story.
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