In one of the most diverse counties in the U.S., AIDS Center Queens County provides PrEP, HIV treatment, and other services, but gentrification and anti-immigrant policies make its efforts difficult.
Christopher Kennedy tells his story of being diagnosed with HIV, fighting shame in the face of loved ones' confusion, and finding unexpected love.
"I want people to understand that living with HIV is not an obstacle," says Armando Ramirez-Guzman, who has been living with HIV since 2003. "You can live life, go out and have fun, and enjoy a movie date."
After being diagnosed with HIV in April 2018, Toraje Heyward realized that there was much work to do.
We asked people living with HIV: If you could give advice to your newly diagnosed self, what would you say?
While Hataria James is in an incredibly stable place in her life right now, 16 years ago she would have never imagined where she is at today.
Angela Jordan and her team take over 700 calls a year from people looking to connect to HIV-related services. "While it is my job, there's a meaning behind it for me," says Angela.
"The nurse walked in and said, 'Ms.Thomas, I'm not going to beat around the bush. Your HIV test came back positive,'" Wanona Thomas writes. "In that moment, my heart dropped in my stomach. I felt numb all over. Her words were final."
"Being isolated is the worst thing that a newly diagnosed HIV positive person can ever have happen to them," Tamala Johnson writes. "I was living my worst nightmare while wide awake."
"Being a long-term HIV survivor, I also have a long-term relationship with my doctor, Judith Currier, M.D." Sherri Lewis writes. "It's not just a visit here and there. You might even say it is an intimate relationship."