March 29, 2011
Anthony Johnson is a 16-year survivor of HIV and the creator and organizer of an HIV-centric but non-exclusive social group called BOLT (Bringing Our Lives Together). He is also the creator of an HIV social/support network and the co-creator of The Calendar of Gay/Bi Social and Support Groups. The Calendar lists the social and support groups in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties as well as special community events that pertain to the HIV positive gay/bi man with full contact information, addresses, phone numbers and connects to locator map. The goal of The Calendar is to make support more accessible to the HIV-positive individual. Anthony is currently a full-time student in pursuit of a B.S. in Psychology in order to better serve the community.
In 1991, Cathy Robinson was building a life -- as mother, wife and teacher. She had a year-old daughter and a son on the way. She had just celebrated her third wedding anniversary. She had been teaching subjects she loved -- social studies and civics -- to high schoolers she wanted to inspire. In all, a life of normalcy and contentment, but a life that would soon become a battle because of a routine life insurance exam. In 1991, Cathy learned that she was HIV positive. Her infection was eventually traced back to a rape that occurred in 1984, when she was a college student clerking at a convenience store.
Today, Cathy has built a life, although not the one she imagined in 1991. She lost her job and home when her status became known. Her marriage failed as well. Cathy remarried in 2003 to Steve Pickett, who helped her co-found Friends-Together. He was killed in a car accident in 2005. But her children, Lyndsy and Garrett, who are HIV free, have rallied around their mother's cause. They, along with her many supporters, have helped her build a new life -- as advocate, educator and crusader. As Cathy's life has taken many twists and turns, the adventure continues. She is now re-married to her best friend Troy and her children have headed off to college. She's on a new road of educating people using social networking tools and multimedia to get her message as far and wide as she can. Visit Cathy's website.
Justin B. Terry-Smith was born and raised right outside of Washington in Montgomery County Maryland. When he was a little boy Terry-Smith can remember writing out stories and articles in elementary school. Storytelling, writing and current events were his favorite subjects. Justin created "Justin's HIV Journal" to advocate for education, prevention and awareness when it comes to HIV. In his journal he tells people about the trials and tribulations when it comes to living with HIV/AIDS.
Most recently, Terry-Smith had decided that he would write a children's book about HIV, the book is called I Have a Secret. Terry-Smith decided that he would write such a book since one of his many causes is pediatric AIDS and he himself was diagnosed with HIV in 2005. In the future he plans on writing more books about many subjects as well. There is nothing harder for a child than keeping a secret. In this heartwarming tale, a young boy is forced to keep a secret from his friends and schoolmates. The need to tell someone -- anyone -- becomes so great that he almost looses his best friend. Finally, after talking to someone, he is given the chance to share his secret. His life is forever changed, as are the lives of those around him. Visit Justin's website.
Larry Frampton, a.k.a. Cowboy Larry, is a 22-year survivor of HIV/AIDS. A longtime AIDS advocate, co-chair NE Tennessee Regional Community Planning Group, certified HIV tester and educator and serves on several HIV/AIDS boards and commissions in Tennessee and nationally. He serves on the board of Strength for the Journey, a spiritual retreat held twice a year for people living with HIV and has been a presenter and counselor for many years. Larry writes a monthly column about HIV/AIDS in a GLBT magazine in Knoxville, TN.