My name is Joshua Middleton and I was diagnosed HIV positive on June 5, 2012. I had survived death twice already from Necrotizing Fasciitis and Septic shock while being hospitalized over 30 + times in a two year period. I was diagnosed when I was already in a very stressful moment of my life. I was in a relationship with a girl in Tijuana Mexico that I thought would eventually end in the perfect white picket fence life, including marriage and a baby. I was wrong… She cheated on me twice while we were attempting to have a baby together. Not knowing how to deal with the relationship breakup I started to seek out love in all the wrong places including having multiple one night stands unprotected and even visiting brothels in Northern Tijuana in an effort to want to feel what it was like to have a woman's touch again. I had put myself in many high risk situations, I wasn't sure if my ex had used protection, and we had both gotten tattoos just month prior. I got tested as I normally did out of routine after getting symptoms of pink eye. I expected a negative result as I always had received but this time it was not so good news , I came out positive. I was forced to make the decision of where my life would go from there on out. After being inspired by several HIV activist who have now become good friends, I was determined to not let this virus defeat me. I started on treatment a week after being diagnosed and decided to take the optimistic route to this virus. I became an HIV activist, letting everyone know about my story, assuring people this is certainly not just a gay mans disease. I am more than a virus and have big dreams/goals for my life that this virus will not stop me from accomplishing. This is my story a California boy who does not fall into the average "stigmatized statistic" that people think of when it comes to HIV however this is my life, I am HIV + and there is no shame in me knowing my status.ory. An average Southern
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