When DJ was 18, he found out that his best friend was living with HIV. There was so much stigma around the disease that no one talked about. What happened next was a big wake-up call for DJ to get involved, speak up, and make sure he was doing everything he could to protect himself and his community.
I’m kind of all or nothing type of guy so I try not to do anything kind of halfway. You know, what you see is what you get. I can work out, I can do all these things. I can have a physically great body, but if I’m not doing other things to take care of myself, I’m a waste of time. Am I eating right? Am I am having safe sex? This is the time where you can make it or break it in your life. And you know, safe sex is one of those things as a part of our life that was really on the hush, but you know it’s okay to talk about it, be free about it, and make that a priority in your life.
When I was 18, I found out that one of my best friends had HIV. We didn’t talk about it. It was real hush-hush. I didn’t know how to approach him about it or if I even should approach. I want to say, I even had like a stay-away attitude because I was so under so uneducated about the disease. My deciding moment was when I found myself actually carrying the coffin of the casket of my best friend who had died of AIDS and it became real to me how real HIV was.
I can actively take a role in preventing STD by having safe sex. I can wrap it up. I can give you condoms. I can keep you protected. I can have open conversation with my family and friends about, this is what’s going on, this is what’s affecting me, these are some of the things that affecting the people in our community. What can we do about it? It’s going to take all of us to fight it. It really isn’t going to take all of us. When you have sex, I know you’re going to have it, you know, wrap it up, protect yourself.
My name is DJ and I’m Greater than AIDS. To learn more visit greaterthan.org