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Hi I’m Jason. I live in San Francisco and when I was 25 years old, I went in for an HIV test. And it turns out not only was I HIV positive but I actually tested positive for full-blown AIDS. I felt like I was in quicksand. It was like my life had stopped very quickly. I became sick and I looked gaunt. I was having problems with keeping food down. I was getting tired walking up my stairs. I thought my life was over. I just did not know what to do. You know asking for help was hard, I’m not gonna lie to you. But once I did, a whole new life opened up, and it was through programs like ADAP and community groups here in my city and I was able to receive treatment. And it’s because of the meds, because of the care I allowed myself to have, through the nurses and the doctors that I was in fact able to go out and live my life. These people knew what to do and knew how to help me, but I would never have access to those people had I not sought out help. The greatest thing that you can do for yourself as a positive person is to go out there and seek treatment, because without great health you can’t do anything else. It was a wonderful beautiful moment and I realized I was going to in fact live. That I had time to do what I wanted to do and I had perspective on life that I never had before. I am HIV positive. I’m going to fight it and it’s worth fighting because my life is worth fighting for.

The greatest thing that Jason did for himself after he found out that he had HIV was seek help from others. The resources that he found, from HIV treatment to support groups, helped him lift himself out of a depression and get his health back on track. Asking for help wasn’t easy, but it made all the difference.