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3 comments | Monday, June 30, 2008

If you're a frequent visitor to the wonderful news website created for gay men of color GBM News, then you're probably already aware of Justin Smith. He is the senior correspondent and contributes to many of the great articles that are posted within. But what many people may not have known until late last week is that Justin is also HIV positive and has been living with the virus for three years.

Last Friday on National HIV Testing Day Justin revealed his status via a YouTube video and introduced a series of videos to come that will share his experience as a person living with HIV.

"People have asked me why I am doing this, why have I put my personal business out like this. I tell them it is to help educate people, to make them aware and to make them think twice about having unprotected sex. This is my personal journey that needs to be told to help the community", said Justin.

I included a link to Justin's story on GBM News in my National HIV Testing Day post last week, but I saw it fitting to boldly highlight his story because I think it's one that needs to be told.

I sat and watched all of Justin's videos and I was extremely moved by his courage not only to combat HIV but to share something so personal with complete strangers in an effort to save a life.

HIV is not the death sentence it used to be, but it's definitely not a disease you want to live with as Justin clearly illustrates.

Thank you Justin for sharing your story. Get into his videos below and feel free to forward this post widely. You never know who it might help.

You can e-mail Justin Smith at jsmithco98@hotmail.com


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

All I can say is that it's about time.

As the 1980s wore on and white gay men realized that the powers-that-be did not care about people with HIV/AIDS because they thought it only infected/affected people they hated (gay men), they came out of the AIDS closet and told the world what they were going thru. By doing this, white gay men changed how AIDS patients and (white) gay men were seen. They got grudging respect from the unlikeliest of places. They had a saying back then: silence = death (I'm revealing my age). And it's so true.

Twenty or more years after white gay men did their thing and moved on (to same sex marriage?), an HIV positive black gay man is doing the same thing. Better late than never. Good for Justin Smith.

July 01, 2008 9:24 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

If black gay men had been doing since the 1980s what Justin Smith is doing now, we would not be trapped in this down-low sterotype.

July 01, 2008 6:03 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hello this is justin smith I wanted to take the time to thank you so very much for putting up this article about me. I really want to help save anyone who reads and hears this blog. My publisher would to talk to you Darian. Please e-mail me.

July 22, 2008 11:59 PM


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