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“When I was diagnosed in the beginning of this year I decided there were two directions I could take my future. The first would be to continue to abuse alcohol, my body and wait for death OR choose to make use of the word ‘Positive’ for all it’s worth. So, that’s what I did. I joined groups and organizations, surrounded myself with true friends and family, and focused on my true passion- writing. Here I am seven months later with a second chance at life. I made a vow to educate others to help themselves and to let the world know that it’s okay to say you’re HIV positive- with a smile.” –Christopher Myron
Brandon Macsata serves as Managing Partner of The Macsata-Kornegay Group, Inc. – a national governmental and public affairs consulting firm specializing in grassroots campaigns and political fundraising. He is widely recognized for ability to connect national, state and local stakeholders interested in influencing public policy. Macsata has extensive experience working with political candidates, national and statewide trade associations, and other corporate entities.
First diagnosed as HIV-positive in March 2002, Macsata has dedicated much of his professional and personal life advocating for persons living with AIDS. He currently serves as CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+), a national non-profit organization working to improve the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. From November 2003 to March 2006, he authored a weekly news column on national HIV-related stories for The Weekly News in Miami, Florida. He is also a former ADAP recipient.
Brandon will also be discussing the ADAP Advocacy Association's “Early Treatment of HIV Summit ” that will be held July 20th-21st in Washington, DC. Robert and other members of the POZIAM community will be speaking at this event.
Lonny LeFever is a GWM who has been Poz since early 80"s, actually had KS at that time. Lonny had a life partner who lost the battle against HIV/AIDS in April of 1989 and have been single ever since. Not all by choice, but more location and the battle against hate, stigma's and discrimination.
Lonny has always been out about his status, there is good that came from that, but also grief. He was charged with 2 degree attempted murder for being accused of intentionally infected a young man. Was sentence to prison for 5-25 years, the young man came forward a year into his sentence, but the State of Ohio refused to release Lonny. He served 3 and half years before released.
Lonny is co-infected with Hep C and he refused treatment until May of 1996 after seeing all the horrors his friends and partner went though in the early days. He is a out spoken advocate for issues around HIV/AIDS and still spend much time speaking anywhere he can.
KengiKat will share his amazing story. Kengi’s life took a turn that he never thought could or would ever happen in February 2007. He had just recently buried his Pops after caring for him for over 3 years. was also in my 5th battle with cancer. Homeless for 22 months , April 2008 Kengi was told he was HIV+. Not only was he homeless and battling a life long fight with Sickle Cell, Cancer and now HIV. Kengi thought he was already sinking, but with being told was now HIV positive he felt as if someone had just tied two anchors to my ankles and I was now being pulled under.
While Kengi was homeless he created an outreach program to draw attention and raise awareness as well as provide support for people who suffer through homelessness. Do Something Saturday .On the year anniversary of him being HIV positive Kengi launched two outreaches Unplugging HIV~empowering a positive life and Kengi's get tested party. Unplugging HIV is a monthly outreach to low income and homeless people living with HIV and AIDS
His Blog network- Project KengiKAT was started as a way for him to raise awareness for issues that face people who are homeless, however today it also seeks to raise awareness for people battling HIV and AIDS.
Michael is not an activist or someone that knows all there is to know about HIV, HIV Resources, laws, or much else related to HIV. Michael was someone who never expected to have to deal with this issue up front and personal. He has been a blogger on POZIAM for a few months and expresses thoughts coming from your average person dealing with this disease and the issues it brings with it. He works for a company managing people; loves sports especially ice hockey; works on his house; spends time with his dog. All in all Michael is probably like so many others diagnosed with this HIV.
Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Psychotherapist in New York State, and has worked in HIV Treatment and Prevention for most of the past 22 years. His 2008 book, "Absolutely Should-less" criticizes traditional HIV prevention strategies that fail to effectively impact and change high-risk sexual behaviors. He has been publicly speaking out in favor of information, education, and accessibility regarding PrEP for the past 12 months. He frequently offers talks throughout New York City on subjects related to healthy living, joyful relationships, and rejecting stigma. For more information, please email him at Shouldless@gmail.com or call 347-227-7707.
When Bryyan Jackson was a baby, his father entered his hospital room and injected a syringe of HIV-tainted blood into his tiny body. At times during his childhood, he was expected to die.
Now 18, he'll put on his black cap and gown and graduate from High School in St. Charles, near St. Louis. Shielded from the public for much of his life since his father's high-profile criminal trial a decade ago, Brryan is now an outspoken advocate for people with AIDS, and the power of faith and forgiveness.
Brryan has started a nonprofit called Hope Is Vital. He will work this summer with Project Kindle, a Valencia, Calif.-based organization that sponsors summer camps for children affected by the disease. He also serves as a speaker with that group and a St. Peters, Mo.-based ministry, Upward Bound Ministries.
Wednesday June 10th at 2pm EST Jim Frederick a HIV+ Artist will be sharing his story with POZIAM Radio. Jim is a Midwest boy, who grew up in Washington, Missouri. He has a double bachelors degree in Advertising and Marketing. After one brief year with a small advertising agency, He started his own t-shirt business. He designed under the label Jymwear Dallas for a little over 10 years. Selling to a national market was challenging but it left him wanting more creatively. What started out at a hobby creating greeting cards Jim created Jim Frederick Studios which is growing strong with over 150 designs in both greeting cards and gift totes. The biggest surprise and Jim’s newest passion is his fine Art. You can view his gallery at www.jimfederickstudios.com
Ken Howard will be speaking with POZIAM Radio .Ken is a gay, poz psychotherapist and life coach in Los Angeles. Ken has been poz for 19 years, and has worked with gay/poz men to "Have the Life You Want!", by doing in-person counseling, an iTunes Podcast, newsletter, and various public speaking engagements. On Ken's website he has an archive of the many articles he wrote as the HIV mental health columnist for A&U magazine for two years. Ken also chaired the Los Angeles County HIV Mental Health Task Force for 10 years, and co-chaired their annual HIV Mental Health conference along with UCLA/Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center.
Tom Donohue, thirty year old, son, brother and uncle of three, is the founder director of Who's Positive; a group of individuals infected, affected, sharing real stories about real people with a real commitment to humanizing HIV through firsthand accounts of young adults living with HIV. Since finding out about his own HIV-positive status in October 2003, Tom has dedicated his life to providing opportunity and encouraging HIV testing and raising awareness, a of HIV and its consequences in his peers.
Tom has served as part of the commission for LGBTA Equity at Penn State; was the director of the Pennsylvania State AIDS Watch from 2003 to 2005; and was a co-coordinator for the Nor-Easter caravan of the Campaign to End AIDS. For World AIDS Day 2004, Tom was featured on MTV's Jumbotron in New York's Times Square as one of fifty notable HIV/AIDS activists in the world. Tom also served on the board of directors for the North Central District AIDS Coalition in central Pennsylvania and has advocated at the State Capitol of Pennsylvania and the nation’s capitol on various occasions.
Tom has spoken to many schools across the country. He was the keynote speaker for the Congressional Global Youth Leadership Conference, he’s been featured in various books and national media outlets such as CNN, NBC News, LOGO and Network. Tom is also a published writer writing articles for publications such as The Advocate and the Global Health Council’s AIDS Link.
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