Justin B. Terry-Smith talks with five people who have been HIV positive between 10 and 30-plus years to better understand what being a long-term survivor means and to learn about some of the challenges they face.
"I still hear people talking about the terrible discrimination they face because of their HIV," says Lisa Thompson. "I can't stand to be silent any longer."
"When I contracted HIV, the hardest thing was not accepting that I had it, but deciding how I would explain it to my daughter," Evonne Kaho writes.
"Once a young woman terrified to have sex, I am now a biological mother to a beautiful baby boy free from HIV," Tuyishime Claire Gasamagera writes. "I found love, and I enjoy having sex, thanks to the advancement of science and antiretroviral treatme...
"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."
HIV-positive since birth, Nestor Rogel navigates stigma in a gay, HIV-positive world.
Almost 30 years later, Tim Hinkhouse was contacted by the son he abandoned as an infant. Although he's unsure about how to handle it, he says it is "a blessing that I am grateful for."
This grassroots effort honors people who have been living with HIV for more than 10 years, and seeks to combat stigma and discrimination by educating the public about what it means to live -- and grow older -- with HIV today.
"[The] decision to be married and have kids has absolutely nothing to do with me being undetectable with a high CD4 cell count," Orin Allen writes. "I still wanted children even when I was first diagnosed with HIV."
"AIDS told me to crawl under a rock, today I am the rock."