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Vince Chalwe Rudy Keisuke Michael Derrick

I recently tested positive for HIV. As soon as that happened, I started looking for resources to help me and figure out what to do.

I was at my first psychiatrist appointment and he told me about the PLUS Seminar and suggested that I look into it. I knew immediately it was something I wanted to do.

The weekend was incredible. I met a really great group of guys. We all bonded right away. It’s just a great group of guys. It was so important to be around people who were giving me the support I wasn’t getting elsewhere in my life. I just needed to be around people who were in a similar situation to me.

After the weekend I had a moment of clarity when I realized everything was going to be ok. The program gave me the knowledge and understanding that my life has changed, but I still have a full life ahead of me.

Through Positive Force, I learned to take control, and not give up. I’ve learned to take my medication and stay connected with other people. I’ve also learned the importance of giving back and helping other people who are in my situation.

I’m now involved with Bridgemen, another program of San Francisco AIDS Foundation, that connects guys with community service projects. I’ve held fundraisers to give back to Positive Force.

The staff at Positive Force is very welcoming. When I first came through their doors a total emotional wreck, they just put their arms around me and said “welcome.” They’re highly supportive, a lot of fun, and very knowledgeable. It’s a welcoming atmosphere. They’re everyday people who do extraordinary work.

For anyone thinking about reaching out to Positive Force I would say do it as soon as you can. It has completely changed my life. I now know that I’m going to be better, no matter what.

Are you ready to meet other poz guys in person?

Join the men of Positive Force at one of our upcoming events!

Vince Chalwe Rudy Keisuke Michael Derrick