Meet the Participants: Josh

“Hi, my name is Josh, I’m 31 years old, and I’ve been living with HIV for over 6 years. I am thankful to have friends, colleagues, and a wonderful partner who are completely supportive of me and my HIV-status. I’m wrapping up a year of service with AmeriCorps AIDS United Team Carolina, working on the “Living Positive” PSA and in the Faith Ministries program of the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina. In addition to being an advocate for people living with HIV and reducing HIV stigma, I’m also passionate about LGBT equality and social justice. While I was shocked to be diagnosed with HIV, learning my status gave me motivation to live life to the fullest, to pursue my dreams, and to obtain my Master’s degree, which I completed in 2009 from NC State University. My experience from being diagnosed was very positive, with professionals immediately there to ensure I had support, education, and links to care. My hope is that everyone can have a similarly positive experience and a helping hand while dealing with this life-altering diagnosis. In addition, I want to make sure that newly-diagnosed individuals know that HIV is not a punishment or a death sentence, and that they are worthy of love and support as they enter this new journey in life.”