The Red Pump Project closed its doors.

"I Have H.I.V." – These Three Words

Many of you guys know about my work with HIV/AIDS through The Red Pump Project, but my connection to HIV started over a year before Luvvie and I became inspired to start the initiative.

I’ll never forget the day that David told me that he had HIV. It was towards the end of 2007 and he asked me if I could come over to this apartment to talk. I absolutely could. David and I had been friends since we met while working at the Gap about 7 years ago. We’d partied together, dined together, and danced together. He was in my inner sanctum of friends.

I arrive at his apartment and we pour some wine. Once the minor chit chat is out of the way, I ask him, “What’s up?” He takes a deep breath, and says “I’ve been diagnosed with HIV.” You ever been on a rollercoaster and hit a dip that makes your stomach want to scream? That’s what happened to me. No one had ever said those three words to me. And, David? How? Why? I…I remember sitting there and drinking my wine while he talked. The first thing that I could utter was “You’re trying to make me cry.” There were no other thoughts present in my mind at the time.

Our conversation moved on to strength and faith, and how those two things could pull us through anything. It’s that same strength and faith that has brought us down the paths which we’re both walking. David has gone on to be a powerful speaker and HIV/AIDS activist. He tells his story at colleges, churches, workshops, and conferences, and recently recorded a couple of PSAs. He’s written a book, The Face of Hope: The Testimony of a Beloved Kneegrow Boy, and is working on a companion photography book.

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On Friday, October 23rd, David will take to the stage in a one-man show titled “I Have H.I.V.” I don’t know what he’s going to say and how he’s going to say it, but I know that it will be a powerful performance. While many people hide behind their diagnosis, David has committed himself to making sure that others don’t have to go through what he’s going through. I truly love him and admire his strength.

If you’re in Chicago, please come on out to this performance. The tickets are $20 and the event details are here. You need to hear, you need to see, you need to know. To learn more about David, please read this article in Empower Magazine and check out his website www.davidrobertsoninc.com.

This was originally posted on The Fabulous Giver.

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