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Vince Chalwe Rudy Keisuke Michael Derrick

Like many other guys, I had a sexual encounter in which I put myself at risk. I’d had sex with a guy who I knew was HIV-positive, and the condom broke. But we continued having sex.

A few months later I was at a bar with a friend, and there was a mobile testing van outside. My friend encouraged me to get tested, so I went right outside to the van. I knew it was time for the test. The result came back preliminary-positive. So they drew another blood sample and it came back positive again.

The counselor at the van told me about Positive Force. I’m a case manager by trade, so I started case managing myself. I immediately enrolled in the PLUS seminar because I knew I needed to learn more information about my diagnosis right away. I also wanted to meet as many new folks who were in my same situation.

I went to the PLUS seminar and I was blown away. There are all kinds of folks—people who’ve been HIV-positive for 25 years, guys who were recently diagnosed the same month I was—they just run the gamut. I immediately thought, I’m so glad I signed up for this.

During the weekend I learned so much about medications and drugs that would work best to control my HIV. Armed with that information, I went to my doctor and talked about the best course of treatment.

I left that weekend feeling a sense of hope. It lit a fire in me. I was no longer feeling sorry for myself. I was ready to take action and take control of my health. Positive Force has given me the knowledge to stay healthy. I intend to live a long life.

The most important thing to me right now is to build healthy relationships in my life. I’m working to make real connections with other people who are going through the same things I’m going through in my life. It feels good to be part of something bigger than myself.

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