a pile of polaroids of people smiling with their partners, or exercising or with their siblings

An Inspiring Campaign

There are many people, events, and campaigns that motivate people to keep going and to never give up. I know there must be something in your life that may have kept you pushing forward.

Sometimes, there are things in our lives that we anticipate or really look forward to. It’s like when some people can’t wait for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or their birthdays to roll around each year.

I have learned that many people who are living with HIV have been inspired by one thing or another and whatever that is it has helped them through.

What is A Day with HIV?

In 2015 when I first decided to become an advocate, I came across a post on social media. I clicked the link and it took me to a website called A Day with HIV and it captured 24-hours in the lives of people affected by HIV, no matter who they were.

I remember riding in the car with my twin sister and I said, "Pull over, pull over - I must take a picture." She said, "Right here?" and I said, "Yes, I can do it here."

How to participate

A Day with HIV is an anti-stigma campaign that happens every year on September 22nd by Positively Aware Magazine. People who are living with HIV are instructed to take a photo or selfie to snapshot a moment in their day. A person can email it to A Day with HIV and/or post it to Facebook with the hashtag #adaywithhiv along with the time it was taken, what state it was taken in, and a caption about how the photo inspired you at that moment.

What the campaign meant to me

Can you imagine the loneliness of living with HIV? Well, that was me. At the time, I was the only one that I knew who had it. For 17 years, I didn't know anyone else who was HIV-positive at all.

When I came across this campaign, it uplifted me. It made me smile, gave me joy, and motivated me to see so many beautiful people from across the world sharing their photos and were not ashamed of being HIV-positive. It did something to me inside, especially since I was just starting out in advocacy.

A Day with HIV is a campaign of love and shows those who aren't public with their HIV status that we are all here. You can see us and, most importantly, you will never be alone. The photos alone are inspiring to me. It gives me a feeling that I know I have found my place in life with such amazing people.

Why I continue to raise awareness

Since 2015, each year I promote this campaign and share it on all my social media platforms because I know there are people out there who feel alone and scared. They need to see that it’s going to be okay.

There are 1.2 million people in the United States who are living with HIV, and they need to see that we are capable of thriving strongly and living great lives. HIV does not stop us from being happy at all; it encourages us to do more than the average person who is not HIV-positive.

Thank you, Positively Aware Magazine!

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