Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jay Campbell - Project LOL (Live Out Loud)

This Sunday April 22nd at 9pm EST I will be speaking with Jay Campbell. On August 9th, 2011 Jay Campbell and a good friend (and regular sex partner) got tested for HIV. He had a heard that a previous partner of his had tested positive and was always delaying getting tested, fearing the inevitable. He and his friend were deemed HIV preliminary positive.

It was the guilt of probably infecting others, an AIDS diagnosis, his mother's death, and severe clinical depression that eventually thickened his skin. When his first lab revealed a CD4 count of 26 his survival instinct took charge and he knew he'd do as he promised his mother upon initial diagnosis. His mother was the first person he told, and she made him promise her that he would do what he had to do to live a good life and to "not let anyone feel like anything less than you[he] are[is]."

He stayed true to his promise and takes his meds everyday before going to work at Project LOL (Living Out Loud) in Jersey City. The project is a CDC funded drop-in center where young MSM can go to connect with eachother, get confidentially tested for HIV for free, get free condoms/lube, and participate is group interventions/one-on-one counseling sessions. Justin's work with a community he relates to brings him true joy everyday. He loves helping others like him "find their comfort zone".

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