In 1995, after taking a routine physical for an insurance policy to rule out any pre-existing conditions, I found out that I was HIV positive. I remember standing in the post office and reading a letter that said, “You have HIV. Please go and seek help.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was young. I was a hip-hop music promoter.
I learned that I had become infected by having unprotected sex with my then - finance. At that time, HIV/AIDS was a gay white man’s disease. We called AIDS, the “monster.” There was so much stigma back then.
I was able to transfer the drive I had to promote music and everything I had learned in my music career to becoming an activist and spokesperson fighting HIV/AIDS. I’ve taught myself to look at life differently. I get up every morning and I am determined to be excited about being able to live another day.
This is an excerpt from a comprehensive interview.