Personal Stories

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Before Celebrities Spoke of AIDS: A Reflection From the Beginning of the Epidemic

George Sonsel, founding member and first executive director of Desert AIDS Project, looks back at the time people came together to help members of their community die with dignity through compassionate hospice care.

By AIDS United

HIV and Aging: A Growing Population Faces Unique Challenges

A conversation with Jeff Taylor, longtime HIV community and research advocate and cancer survivor.

By amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Broadway's Hernando Umana Comes Out as HIV Positive

In what he called "the most important, scary, and liberating post of my life," New York actor Hernando Umana came out via Instagram as a proud gay man living with HIV.

By Charles Sanchez

Sanjay Johnson Faces Prison Sentence in Arkansas HIV Crime Trial

Sanjay Johnson's attorney seeks to overturn state law, and even his accuser worries Johnson's potential sentence is too severe.

By Ryan Lee

Newly Diagnosed With HIV: Memo to Me

We asked people living with HIV: If you could give advice to your newly diagnosed self, what would you say?

Denied Service Because of His Status, Nikko Briteramos Wants to End HIV Stigma in Barbershops and Beyond

Nikko Briteramos just wanted a haircut. The rejection was especially acute because it had come from one of the few safe spaces he knew: the black man's barbershop.

By Sony Salzman

Brotherhood of Man: My Experience at a Spiritual Retreat for HIV-Positive MSM

"It's not often that gay men get an opportunity to commune together in this kind of shared spiritual experience," Charles Sanchez writes, "and for me, it was precious and profound."

By Charles Sanchez

Are We Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges?

During a session on HIV and healthy aging at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, one woman spoke passionately about the need for increased visibility of older people living with HIV.

By Sarah Denison-Johnston for The Well Project

Becoming My Mother's Child: Afro-Latina and Living With HIV

"In my dreams, I believe she tried as hard as she could to make it right," Tiffany Marrero writes about her mother she never knew. "By naming me, it proves to me that she in her own way tried to tell me she loved me."

By Tiffany Marrero

Kofi Annan's AIDS Legacy

"At the turn of the century, AIDS denialism was at its peak," UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé writes. "Mr. Annan helped to break it."

By Michel Sidibé for UNAIDS