Adrian Castellanos is a 22 year-old HIV/AIDS advocate/activist. He was born and raised in the Southern-most part of Texas, known as the Rio Grande Valley. A border area of Texas to Mexico and South Padre Island. Adrian studied art and fashion briefly in Texas before he moved on to becoming a hair stylist in his home town.
At 21, Castellanos' path was redirected when he was diagnosed with AIDS. While he spent two weeks in a hospital room, he decided to "make his mess his message". Since his diagnosis on March 26, 2014 he has gone on to receive a Youth Initiative Scholarship to attend USCA in October 2014, acquire a position with the Valley AIDS Council (the only HIV/AIDS Agency in his area) Janurary 2015, and receive a separate scholarship to attend AIDSWatch in April 2015 where he lobbied Congress regarding HIV/AIDS issues.
Adrian now spends his time doing free HIV screenings at two universities in his area and for the community with his agency. He also participates in outreach and education efforts to raise awareness within his community. Castellanos utilizes social media to deconstruct stigma and engage with as many people as possible. He is just out of his first year of diagnoses but already has a strong outlook on what he plans to do for the fight to end the epidemic.
Click here to follow Adrian on facebook and twitter.
You can find Mathew on Twitter at @mathewrodrigeuz and Aaron @aaronlaxton.