My HIV Diary: HIV and Youth
Ryan Dixon (a.k.a former porn star Kameron Scott) has started taking HIV medication. He’s keeping a diary of his experience.
Being in my mid-20’s isn’t easy, add HIV on top of that and we have one hell of a complicated life. I’m making the best out of the hand life has dealt me and the decisions I’ve made along the way. Writing helps free my mind. Hopefully these words will help you understand the plight of others like myself, and inspire you to live each and every day in the moment.
If I’ve gotten one email saying that a person can’t believe that a 25-year-old is living with HIV, I’ve gotten a million of them. I have to admit, I wasn’t that surprised when I was told I was HIV positive. I mean, I worked in porn and yeah, I was a bit of a slut. The fact still remains, when I was infected, I was highly uneducated on what HIV is and how it works.
Dan Dias, is 30 years old and the co-chair generationCURE. GenerationCURE is an organization of young people dedicated to helping amfAR accelerate its search for a cure for HIV/AIDS by grooming the next, and hopefully the last, generation of HIV/AIDS advocates. Dias wants to see a cure and AIDS free generation but can’t do it alone
“I had a lot of friends that became infected,” Dias told SFGN.” I thought to myself, “how are they still being infected?’.”
I can relate to that. After everything that happened in the past, how are young people not paying attention? 12,000 people between the ages of 13 and 24 are infected with HIV every year – that’s 1,000 a month. Over 72,000 young people are living with HIV right now.
“We need to make them more aware,” Dias said. “We need to get people to help fight, to end AIDS in our generation.”
How does that happen? By education and raising funds, according to Dias. One of his favorite tools is talks that people can attend with a scientist working in the HIV field. It’s a chance to see and learn first had what HIV is doing and how we are combating it.
“We want to focus on the science behind HIV and find a cure,” Dias said. “But of course what’s going to help is prevention.”
Prevention isn’t just wearing a condom or not sharing needles. Prevention is having an open and honest discussion with your community and sexual partners about HIV and all STDs.
“This is still a pandemic, there are still people being infected,” Dias said. “This virus is still growing and I fear there is a level of complacency.”
He’s right. HIV isn’t a death sentence, but it is a life sentence. Use a condom. Know your status and be honest about it.
Spread the word not the virus