My Story: Nathaniel and HIV
When Nathaniel was first diagnosed with HIV he wishes he knew there was a whole network of people and caregivers available to help in his journey. His outlook has improved tremendously and he's making sure to get a well-rounded approach to his care.
[MUSIC PLAYING] I was diagnosed in November of 2012. It was extremely shocking.
I realized my mortality in a way that I had never had before, so I was shocked because I felt like, you know, I was invincible and that it would never happen to me.
When I was first diagnosed, one thing that I wish that I knew was that there was a whole network of people and caregivers out there that were willing, ready, and able
to help me along my journey. If I could give any advice to anyone who's been recently diagnosed, I would tell them that, you know, you're not alone,
that the world is not over. Your life is not over. That you can be empowered. You can continue to live a strong and healthy life
with this diagnosis, and it doesn't change anything. The possibilities are still endless. Oh, my outlook on HIV has improved tremendously
since I've been diagnosed. I initially became an advocate for HIV while living in Washington, DC. And so I started working out.
I started eating better. I started to just really make sure that I was creating a all-encompassing
and a well-rounded continuum of care for myself. In addition to that, I recently started a nonprofit
with my partner called The FreeLux Project. It provides a little agency to people that they can have access to telehealth, mental health visits for free, and also home STI kits.
I think my support mainly comes from, you know, my family. It's been a great thing, me being open about my status.
You know, my partner has been great. You know, we talk openly about the things that I do in terms of advocacy and working this together.
And then because of the statistics and because of the numbers in terms of the black community, I believe that it is paramount that they educate themselves
on HIV and sexual health. We have to be able to, you know, save our lives, and it's up to us to do that.
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