Justin's HIV Journal

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Justin's HIV Journal: HIV in DC, Thank you Ongina

Hello Everyone,

Let me just start out by saying that I’m sorry for not writing you guys in a while, things have change a little bit. I recently just got a job with the IRS and so now my hours are 9-5 M-F. So as of now I’m a Federal Government Employee. It’s paramount that people with a disease like HIV have very good health insurance and the government does well in that category, when it comes to its employees. Well I hope you enjoy this entry.

Look at the video below !!!

According to the Washington Post, Washington DC leads the country in HIV/AIDS infections in major cities. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty released the report at a news conference. He called it a wake-up call for the District and one of the "most serious problems" facing the city. The report confirmed that at least 15,120 residents, about 3,000 per every 100,000 over the age of 12, have HIV or AIDS.

More than three-quarters -- 76 percent -- of the HIV infected are black, 70 percent are men and 70 percent are age 40 and older.

This is crazy; it hurts to see these numbers, they are so high. Several of my friends that are in this area are HIV Activist and are trying their best to stop the virus from spreading all over the city. A lot of them are not surprised but I can say that it also hurts me because this city, Washington DC, is my home. I feel responsible in some way. I also feel a responsibility to stop it or to help slow it down considerably.

Justin B Smith’s Video

Mayor Fenty also went on the say that only one baby was born with HIV in 2007, compared with 10 in 2005. Also, 70,000 residents were tested for HIV as part of an aggressive campaign, compared with 40,000 four years ago. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the District is one of the top three jurisdictions in the country in conducting the most HIV tests and identifying the greatest number of HIV-infected residents.What should we do as a community? What should I do as an activist? I’m asking you right now YES YOU, TELL ME Leave a comment.

Justin B Smith’s Interview with NBC 4

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Ongina, Ongina, Ongina,

This spunky girl was just what the doctor ordered. I know I’m late in doing this but I needed to thank you Ongina from RuPaul’s Drag Race. RuPaul’s Drag Race is a show on the LGBT themed, Logo Station. The show is hosted by truest of all true Drag Queen’s RuPaul herself. The show is a competition in which a half full of Drag Queens compete to become America’s next drag super star. All of the contestants were great but one stuck out with her beautiful personality and courage.

There was a challenge that the girls had to promote MAC cosmetics. MAC AIDS Funds gives a lot of money towards the fight on HIV/AIDS. In this challenge the girls were suppose to make there own commercial for the MAC Cosmetics. Well Ongina shined through and won the competition. When she found out that she won she broke down and cried. The teary eyed Ongina crouched down and stood back up and announced that she was infected with the HIV virus. When I saw this I cried myself.

I would like to personally thank Ongina for doing this selfless, inspirational, and courageous act on national television. Thank you so much you are and will help others through your own strength. Thank you so much for helping to erasing the stigma of HIV/AIDS in our community. In the famous words of Ongina “You have to Celebrate Life”.


Well I have a vacation coming up and Justin’s HIV Journal is going to San Francisco. I’m going with my partner Dr. Philip Terry of Prevention Works, which is a HIV/AIDS prevention organization. We’re going there because the NBJC (National Black Justice Coalition) is having a conference there and it should be great. I can’t wait. So you in the Bay Area

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Justin's HIV Journal Some Facts on HIV/AIDS

Justin's HIV Journal Some Facts on HIV/AIDS

Today a young lady e-mailed me on My Facebook about some questions she had about HIV/AIDS. So I tried by best to answer her. I realized that when I looked at my e-mail and some other pieces of mail that some of you had the same questions. So I decided to make a video answering some of your questions. A lot of you have questions about what you should do in certain situations. Well I can answer back now.

For example there is a person in Germany that asked if he should tell his boyfriend that he is HIV positive. I'm responding to him now by saying, "TELL HIM". The earlier the better, TRUST ME. If cannot love you because of this disease than just move on. I know it's hard and I know it seems like you will be starting over again, but look at it this way, if he will not love you for you than he cannot love you at all. If you tell him after you have sex with him we will not respect you. How could he you have kept something from him that you should have been open and honest about. You may not have infected him when you had sex with him BUT you surely still need to be honest with him.

Thank you so much for all of your support and your love.

Love yourself before you love someone else

Justin B Smith
Justin's HIV Journal

Saturday, March 7, 2009

RIP Shelton Jackson

RIP Shelton Jackson
(Feb 4, 1978 - March 2, 2009)

On March the 2nd the world lost an extraordinary man, Shelton Jackson. He was infected with HIV and wanted to share his story with the world to help save lives. I met him a couple of times at some pride events, he seemed very nice and his smile lit up the room. I never knew about the work that he did until later on. He was truly a special person and the world has lost a truly magnificent creature. I know he is in a better place and is at peace

Shelton was 31 years old when he passed away. His story truly touches me because we are around the same age and he is doing what I'm doing now, trying to save lives through telling my story. It just hits so close to home when a fellow HIV Activist dies of this dreadful disease. In a matter a fact it's horrible when anyone dies of this disease. I just know in my heart this is what I've been put on this earth to do. To help as many people as I can with what I have. Thank you to the Gods for Shelton Jackson (Feb 4, 1978 - March 2, 2009)

Shelton also was interviewed by the website called the Body. In his last entry he said this

"I got comfortable -- too comfortable -- and started taking my good health for granted, which led me to stop taking my meds. My CD4 count and viral load went from 638 and undetectable to 150 and 100,000 in a year. I am currently fighting again to get my numbers back up and refortify myself. I see myself in the final stage of my evolution, evolving into the person that will carry out my destiny. I am not giving up because I know my struggles with HIV show others that it can be done. So, I fight the good fight and hope that others learn and grow from my struggles, my failures and my accomplishments."

Updated May 2008

Shelton Jackson's Interview with The Body

One Shelton's My Space page "About me" section

Born and raised in the ruff streets of Newark, New Jersey, Shelton S. Jackson managed to escape the crime and violence of the streets through education and in the eighth grade his world was changed when he was introduced to poetry. Jackson, used this new medium to express his trails of coming out of the closet, falling in love at first sight with a man, becoming HIV positive for that love, and finally being reborn to do what he describes as “God’s will.” Jackson has published two books of poetry on his journey of acceptance. Jackson now still resides in Newark, NJ where he has started his own publishing company, SSJ Publishing, Inc. Through SSJ, Jackson hopes to publish other authors whose personal truth will serve as a beacon of hope for others. Jackson believes that SSJ Publishing is the next step in healing literature that will, “Take Truth to the Next Level-Reality.” See My WebSite

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Justin's HIV Journal HIV Choices PSA

Hello Everyone:

I also did one of my own, let me know what you think Mine is called, "Justin's HIV Journal HIV Choices PSA" (Public Service Announcement)

I did a commercial for the DC Center. They wanted to know about my story and I told them the truth candidly. It turned out nicely I just wanted to share with you guys.

SO VIEW THEM BOTH AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK Both PSA are important to HIV Awareness, Education and Prevention. When talking about HIV we can all do our part and this is mine. People have e-mailed me from all over the world praising the work that I do, but I praise them for getting the message for thinking twice about some of the things that we do. We need to bond together.

SO I'm asking for everyone that is reading this to do their own PSA, and post it to my PSA at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00dYO7qNxNY