Monday, January 7, 2013

December 2012 Guests

On Sunday December 9th Jason Villalobos shared his story on the POZ I AM Radio Show. 
 Jason Villalobos is an HIV/AIDS activist and national spokesperson for the Greater Than AIDS Campaign. Diagnosed with AIDS some 8 years ago, he has since dedicated his life to helping eradicate the shame and stigma associated with the disease.

Through public appearances, direct lobbying of elected officials, and partnering with local non-profits in San Francisco, Jason has advocated for more funding and charitable giving through his high profile in the HIV/AIDS activist world.Last World AIDS Day Jason shared his story with in the FACES of AIDS Video Series.

On Sunday December 16th Ken Warnock shared his story on the POZ I AM Radio Show. Ken Warnock served three years in the Navy prior to being discharged for being gay before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was even enacted. As a Navy Hospital corpsman, he was involved in the roll out of HIV testing of US military personnel in the mid-80’s. After the Navy, Ken used his military training as a Surgical Technologist to gain employment upon his return home to Michigan. As a result of his experience with discrimination, he became an advocate for gay rights and became involved in a number of local organizations. When DADT was being discussed, Ken was a common local media presence.

In 1988, he contracted Hepatitis B from a scalpel injury during a surgical procedure. This did not preclude him from working in the OR, however, when he was diagnosed with HIV & AIDS in 2002, a routine test demonstrated the presence of the Hepatitis B E-antigen which meant that he could no longer perform invasive surgical procedures. He has become an Adjunct Faculty member at Macomb Community College and at Oakland Community College where he teaches Surgical Technology and Central Services Technology. He also works full-time as a shift supervisor in the Sterile Processing Department of a local hospital.

On Sunday December 30th James Breinig shared his story for the first time on POZ I AM Radio. James Breinig lives in southern NJ. James is 29 years old and on November 2, 2010 He thought his life was over. He tested positive for HIV at the Washington West Project in Philadelphia. Not knowing a lot about the disease, He was convinced his life from that point on would be one of pain and suffering. A little over two years later his life has absolutely changed for the better! As time went on he felt that he really wanted to share his story. Not because it is Hollywood material but because it is very similar to a lot of other HIV positive individuals. His hope is that it will touch someone newly diagnosed or someone who has been living with it for years, who may be afraid to tell anyone, and to let them know they're going to be okay.

In the past two years James has learned a lot and he wants to continue educating himself so that he can share that with others. He has been lucky in that he has been showered with love and support, but he knows that not everyone out there is in the same boat. He thinks a big reason is that HIV is still a taboo subject. If more HIV positive people share their story, everyone they reach out to now knows someone who is living with it and hopefully they can see that HIV isn't WHO they are, only something they are living with. It is absolutely possible to lead a long, healthy life thanks to great strides in medicine. He believes that silence only fuels the stigma still surrounding HIV/AIDS, He would like to break that silence one person at a time.

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