Monday, June 27, 2011
Published by: Positive Light for Positive Living HIV Disclosure Mission
Author: Bradley L. Fowler, President
6x9 format, Full Color Images
"Bradley evokes compassion that calls for disclosure!"
-POZ Magazine, Ass. Editor Willette Francis
After testing positive for the HIV virus, I decided it was time to educate myself, so I could better educate others. As a result, I became a certified HIV educator and counselor, through the Department of Community Health in the State of Michigan. Afterwards, I began working as an HIV educator and counselor, for a community based non-profit organization. Sadly, while doing so, I was forced to inform countless people, young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight, that he or she, was infected.
As a result, I eventually took the liberty of using the tenacity to become a spokes person for HIV disclosure. After all, even those who are infected are victims of someone elses lack of concern, for the well being of their sexual partners'.
Perhaps this is why the infection rate continues to soar. However, this can be stopped, especially if you are the culprit causing the increase of a global infection rate. Sadly, more than 66 million people are infected with this virus; and almost, 6600 test positive, monthly. But these numbers only convey the number of those who have willingly been tested.
Imagine how many are infected, still sleeping around, and passing this virus along?
Unfortunately, because of the lack of disclosure in this country, countless more people will battle side effects, loss of appetite, mood swings, nightmares, medical treatments, humiliation, lack of social and sexual fulfillment, and everything else that encompasses living with this epidemic.
But this can change, one-person-at-a time; if only those living with this virus, stop being afraid to tell the truth and share their diagnosis. Yet in order to get this message out it requires funding. So please order the above listed book, or one of the many products listed on the Positive Light for Positive Living HIV Disclosure Mission Website, which can be accessed at http://hivdisclosuremission.webs.com
Thursday, December 9, 2010
HIV-positive LA Porn star ask for condom use seems almost stupified...after all, people should be using condoms anyway. But sadly, many don't care to use this long-time studied protective device, that apparently protects against the transmission of HIV.
Isn't this why the infection rate continues to soar? Sadly, countless people all around the globe are refusing to use condoms and or, share their diagnosis in an effort to decrease the infection rate. As as result, I'm called to take a stand and speak out against such ignorance, in hopes of encouraging others living with this virus to do the same. If not, I'm just as guilty as someone who neglects to say, "I'm HIV+" before sticking it to someone or vice-versa.
Therefore, if you are HIV positive, please share your diagnosis and help stop the spread of this epidemic. If not, it could very well cost all of us,in the long run.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed...James 5:16
Growing up, I was often chatised for not being honest. In fact, I recall being whipped for lying about my whereabouts on many accounts. But as a teen, I never really gave a second thought about such untruthfulness, especially when it came to trying to hang out with friends or even spending time with someone I liked, yet my parents disapproved of. Instead, much like teens today, I snuck out of the house and lied about where I was.
But lying about your HIV status is something entirely different. So much, everyday more-and-more people are infected because a carrier refused to confess his or her truth. And while some debate that there is no need to confess such vital data, I've grown to believe this admirable act deems applauding.
Fact is, the person who takes the stand and speaks up on behalf of their positive diagnosis is taking the initiative to show those who don't disclose, just how cowardly they are about preventing others from being infected. Moreover, it proves the person being honest, is making a difference in this fight against a seemingly endless epidemic that has been ravaging countless lives since it began.
And while many sit back and laugh, with ignorant out burst, such as, "He got that shit," I'm forced to share a time I recall saying the very thing about people who were infected; at least, until I was. Therefore, remember, when you think it's inappropiate to stand up and speak out, doing so proves you are the better person. And for those of you, who are laughing and pointing at those who are infected, be careful, your name might end up on the list, too.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Over the weekend while out having a splendid time with a few friends at a local nightclub, I met a very interesting young fellow, whose name I will not share. However, during our engaging conversation, I couldn't help but wonder how he would feel if I disclosed my HIV status. As a result, I failed to do so, yet continued drinking and dancing, while laughing and sharing winks and little hugs.
As time progressed, I noticed he was coming on a bit strong, which was enticing me to pursue him. And after spending the evening with him, he finally gave me his phone number, and asked me to contact him the following day.
Well, I did.
In fact, we went out this afternoon for lunch and a movie. Afterwards, he asked me to follow him to his apartment, which I hesitated to do initially. But naturally did. After all, I couldn't fight the temptation; he's fine!
Nevertheless, when we arrived at his place, I was immediately attacked with feverish kisses and groping hands, which I fought to keep under control.
However, after more than twenty minutes of gropping and fondling, this individual asked me to come into his bedroom, where I found him standing nude. And, as beautiful as his body was, I had to decline going any further.
When I did, he immediately approached me and began rubbing softly on my already erect phallus, which was of course, was safely kept hidden away in my trousers.
Meanwhile, as he began to unzip my pants, I reached down and stopped him, and immediately stated, I'm HIV positive.
His response, "So am I."
But imagine if I hadn't said anything; would he have told me he was infected? Better yet, would you have told him you were infected?
Living With HIV:
Should people living with HIV disclose their status? Yes.
Because today, there is an estimated 45 million people living with HIV globally, at least according to statistics collected by the Center of Disease Control. Yet, 2.7 million people were newly infected in 2008. But imagine how many are infected and don't know it because they refuse to get tested?
Better yet, how many know their infected and still have unprotected sex without sharing their diagnosis?
Interestingly, 2008, 430,000 children were born with HIV. Even more shocking, young people between the ages of 15-25 equate for 40% of people living with HIV. So while there are those who are doing everything possible to combate against the fight for disclosure, sadly the infection rate continues climb.
Therefore, yes, disclosure is necessarys for many reasons; and certainly deserves the attention it needs in order to get the message out, that sharing a HIV diagnosis can help decrease the infection rate.
In addition, it gives those who are not yet infected a chance to make the decision to have sex with an infected person; instead of them being infected without their consent, and later testing positive.
In fact, if you recall that day when you heard the doctor say, "I'm sorry to inform you, but you tested positive for the HIV virus", you remember how hearing those words stung?
Sadly, each of us living with this virus trusted whomever infected us. As a result, we must battle learning how to live with this infection each and every day of our lives; either until a cure is found or we die.
About The Author:
Bradley L. Fowler is a long time survivor, living with HIV. Since being diagnosed, he has acquired his HIV educator & counseling certification with the Michigan Department of Community Health, and the Detroit Department of Community Health, as well as attained training with the Detroit Health Department HIV/AIDS Program in Focusing on Community Presentations.
Furthermore, he has completed the Series I Navigator to Pilot Peer Educational training program with Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and attained certification with the Objective Review Committee for HIV/AIDS Consumers, sponsored by the HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Resources & Services Administration and the National Pediatric & Family HIV Resource Center at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.
Moreover, he's earned his certificate of completion in HIV 101, PK and You, and HIV Drug Resistance, through POZ Life Forums.
Meanwhile, Bradley is a member of I Stand With Magic HIV/AIDS Organization, the Human Rights Campaign, and a member of the American Alliance for Paralegals, Inc.
To find out more just click the link provided:
Monday, November 1, 2010
Today, I spoke with the editor-in-chief, Regan Hofmann of POZ magazine, who I personally believe is the epitome of grandeur when it comes to standing up against ignorance, in the face of disclosure. First of all, she takes being HIV positive in stride, as well as refuses to remain silent. Secondly, she does everything feasibly possible to help others living with this virus, utilize their inner strength towards remaining empowered, to continue living without fear.
But more importantly, I think Regan has a skill many of us living with HIV neglect to walk in, tenacity.
Faithfully, every month, she makes sure we have a positive medium of communication to network and continue growing with. Moreover, she demands we continue getting the respect we deserve, as well as educates the world on the facts about HIV, and assures society that we are not monsters.
In addition, she helps to make sure we have others, who too, are living with this virus, in order to continue being romantically. Thanks to, POZ personals, that now encompasses 110,000 members globally, each of us living with HIV can find friends, support partners, and more.
Therefore, today, I ask each of you living with HIV or AIDS, to relinquish your fears about sharing your diagnosis. Yes, doing so can be scary, but trust me it gets easier each time you speak the words from your mouth. You’re HIV positive, so what.
After all, you were victimized merely because someone else refused to use their power to educate you about the facts. So why continue victimizing others? Today, each of us living with this virus holds the power to help stop the spread of this pandemic. Therefore, I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a stand against silence when it comes to disclosing your HIV status; after all, doing so helps eliminate ignorance.
So, if you're one who needs that extra push of encouragement to speak out, I highly recommend that you read material that educates you on how to let go of such fears. This is why I decided to write these entries, and compose two books, so that you could have insightful words and experiences to lift you up when nothing else does.
In fact, my new book How to Share Your HIV Diagnosis with Family, Friends and Sexual Partners, was supported by POZ magazine in its September 2010 issue.
So why not order your copy today and cease your fear about sharing your diagnosis:
Otherwise, society will continue neglecting to embrace us whole heartedly, and the only person we can blame will be ourselves.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Recently while scanning the newest edition of POZ magazine, I suddenly became compelled by an article written about HIV disclosure, and the various laws being enacted to jump start this campaign effort. But what caught my attention the most, was one particular sentence that interjected the idea that asking people to disclose their diagnosis to potential sexual partners, could very well cause some grief; and in some instances, evoke countless people to remain silent altogether.
Yet what I found even more alarming about this particular issue, is the fact that HIV has been a part of our society for almost thirty years. But more importantly, those of us living with this virus willfully neglect to realize the power we possess. Truth is, if we took the initiative to educate society about the facts, such evils as stigmas and discrimination towards us would become a thing of the past.
I mean, sure, in some instances there are some people who will reject you for being honest. However, their fear only derives from a lack of knowledge on the subject. This is why I’ve taken the initiative to stand up and speak out; hoping that doing so, will encourage you to do the same.
In addition, I believe taking this active role towards encouraging you to relinquish your fear about disclosure, will help you acquire the inner courage you need to change your life for the better. I mean let’s be honest, isn’t it easier to accept your diagnosis when there’s someone else living with the same virus, who demonstrates the very energy you seek to possess? Or, who seems to be more capable of being open and honest about being positive, but without any level of regret and or, fear of speaking out publicly?
Truthfully speaking, when I first found out I was infected I was devastated! So much, I didn’t rush out and tell the world. In fact, I thought being infected was the worse thing ever. As a result, I refused to tell anyone. Afterwards, I continued living a vicarious life; fantasizing that I was someone who was completely free and clear of what I was running from.
However, when reality hit me, I was the one left holding the bag, looking dazed and confused; wondering why I had allowed myself to succumb to such a low point in my life. Truthfully speaking, I had lost complete confidence in myself, let alone, anyone who cared about my well being.
And it wasn’t until after I struggled with my inner emotions, did I begin to evaluate what I had done to myself, as well as others. And eventually, I learned how to forgive myself. No longer was I willing to run from my own mistakes, because I knew I had to accept my faults and move forward.
Once I attained that truth, I was then able to begin rebuilding who I was from the inside out. And believe me, examining some of the ugly things I once stooped so low to do in order to attain just a little attention, was atrocious! However, after setting my mind free, I began learning how to put things into perspective, so that I could rebuild my self esteem.
And in doing that, I soon began to find solace and self-acceptance. Finally, I was able to embrace the man in the mirror and laugh. I mean, to the point of having tears in my eyes, because I found a place inside of me, I never knew existed. So this is my sole purpose of presenting these thoughts to you.
Yes, reality is scary, especially our own. But we can change our reality, one- day- at- a- time, if only we are willing to make the changes. After all, aren’t you ready to face the person in the mirror with a renewal of joy and self worth?
Besides, who knows, maybe after reading each one of these entries, you will attain the strength you need to free yourself and begin living life as you once did, long before you knew anything about HIV. So please, take a few minutes and meditate on these words I’m sharing with you; and by all means, evaluate your own circumstances. Because after all, don’t you deserve to be free of the pain, suffering, and fear you have been harboring since the day you tested positive?