I first attended PLUS back in the nineties and helped to develop the program. I was, and still am, happy to serve as an example of what it’s like to live openly as an HIV-positive gay man—on World AIDS Day in 1992, I came out as the very first Pacific Islander gay man living with HIV.
It hasn’t been easy to live through the HIV epidemic. I’ve lost friends and loved ones to AIDS. I know that other long-term survivors feel the same way; there’s a lot of trauma in our history as long-term survivors.
But I find PLUS to be incredibly healing and validating, for both long-term survivors and others living with HIV. PLUS does a brilliant job of bringing our stories together—weaving a tapestry out of the threads of our stories and uniting us in community. Everyone has a place and is honored for who they are.
In the last year, I have helped facilitate PLUS about six times. I hope that my experience as a long-term survivor gives people who attend a perspective on what the epidemic is like now, and how it was years ago. I’m at peace with who I am and my HIV status, and I want to help others feel the same way.
Every time I attend PLUS, I find that I learn something new and get incredible insight from the guys there. And the feeling of belonging I get when I attend PLUS is incredible, I can’t say that enough. That’s what makes Positive Force special—the community of guys who come together to support each other. Everyone is welcome—I hope you’ll join.
Join the men of Positive Force at one of our upcoming events!