CDC’s HIV Treatment Works: Tommy’s Story

[email protected][email protected]! -Growing up in Mississippi, it
was like if it’s your business, leave it as just that —
your business. The whole town shouldn’t know that that’s what’s going on
with you, and that’s kind of
what drives me to always speak out on things. It’s not a death sentence
that it used to be. ‘Cause that’s what a lot of
people that first get diagnosed, that’s the first thing that they
think, like, “My life is over.” Don’t look at it as like —
Your life is just beginning now. Like, when I tell people that,
they were like, “What do you mean by that?” When I say, “Your life
is just beginning now,” now you have a chance to motivate somebody else
to do better. Things are changing for the
better, so you don’t have to be, you know, too afraid or timid
to come and get tested and get in care
and stay in care. Once they are in care,
I let them know that they do have classes
that teach you on how to, you know, disclose your status
when you’re comfortable with it. It teaches you how to talk to
your family about your status. I tell people,
“The medicine works.” Like, I was undetectable as soon
as I started taking those meds. You can see the shift
in your body. Taking the meds
and eating right, everything just switched over and I just had a positive
reaction ever since. Even though you feel like
your voice is not heard, I can be a voice for you. Others can be a voice for you. You’re not alone.
You will never be alone. So don’t think
that you’re alone, because you have
other individuals that stand right behind you,
positive and non-positive. HIV doesn’t have me.
I have it. Like, it is not gonna
take control of my life. And that’s my mission
to everybody — Like, live. Don’t ever think just
because you’re HIV-positive your life has to stop here. My life will never stop
until He see fit. HIV treatment works. Get in care. Stay in care.
Live well. Go to

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