Hello everyone; especially family.
As all of you know I’m very outspoken about who I am and about HIV Awareness, Prevention and Education. When I found out about my status I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had to do something to get help and to help others.
So I came up with Justin’s HIV Journal. I knew my business would be out there for the world to see and I had to make sure my partner and I were ready for any repercussions or attention that would come from that. I can say that it takes a strong man to be with me and for that I’m appreciative and grateful.
My family was supportive but I only disclosed to the people that were old enough to understand the disease. I have two little brothers who I love dearly named, Brandon and Josh. They are younger than me, so I felt like I had to protect them or at least their image of me.
Once you become open about you HIV status it’s open to just about anyone, especially if you’re an outspoken HIV activist like me, who doesn’t mind sharing that about themselves.
Brandon and Josh, I know you found out about my HIV through the internet, I just wanted to tell you that I love you both and that it’s okay, I’m doing fine. You don’t have to be afraid, because I’m not. I’m going to tell you like I told Mom and Dad, “Be strong with me”. I need strength from the both of you. You love is probably the most powerful because it’s youthful and unconditional. Don’t be afraid to hug or kiss me, you will not get HIV like that.
I live my life publically to educate others and I live it for you two, Brandon and Josh. To educate the youth about this disease so the same thing does not happen to you. I love you. Just know that I’m fine and I’m doing well.
--Boys, I just want to let you know a little something about HIV and me.
- It’s a disease that breaks down a persons immune system (The system in your body that fights off diseases)
- I take my medication (3 pills) everyday
- I also speak to some groups about how to not get HIV
- People can get HIV through unprotected sex or drug use (ASK MOM AND DAD ABOUT SPECIFICS)
- You do not know the person who gave me HIV.
- You can live a long time with HIV, so I expect to see your children (WHEN YOU GET OLDER)
- You can not get HIV through a hug or kiss. So don’t be afraid to touch me.
I love you both so much. Please call me if you have any questions. It’s okay if you call me about it I love you
Love Your Brother,
Justin B. Smith