Justin B. Terry-Smith has been involved in Gay and HIV Activism since 1999. He is a Air Force 9/11 Disabled Vet. Raised in Silver Spring, MD, he now lives in Severn, MD with his husband Phil. He writes an HIV/STI Advice Column for A&U Magazine and is a Contributing writer for thebody.com. He earned an AA in Communications, a BA in Political Science, Masters and Doctorate in Public Health with a concentration in Infectious Disease.
#HIV Diagnosis Justin answers How did you find out you are positive—of course it was by testing but what led you to go and test for HIV?
Greetings from Accra. I cannot stop admiring your online posts and pictures and your positive attitude toward life. This makes me wonder if you are really HIV-positive because you do not fit the popular image of a person living with HIV as melancholy and lonely. Most people here do not disclose and are living in silence because of stigma. This brings me to the question: How did you find out you are positive—of course it was by testing but what led you to go and test for HIV? Did you have symptoms? What were they? How long after your exposure to the virus did you get tested?
These appear to be personal questions. It’s okay if you do not wish to answer any of them. Thanks and regards. Good health and blessings to you.