DALLAS>AIDS Deciding Moments
The Dallas County Health and Human Services and Texas Department of State Health Services, in partnership with Greater Than AIDS, have launched a local DALLAS>AIDS campaign featuring Deciding Moments profiles of four local residents. The campaign is part of a sustained commitment that unites Dallas in response to its disproportionate rate of HIV/AIDS in the region. A series of DALLAS>AIDS activities will take place throughout the area this fall, where local residents can come learn more about HIV/AIDS, get free HIV testing, and meet the local cast. You can join the Greater Than AIDS movement on Facebook, or by sharing your Deciding Moment. Find free and low cost testing near you using the zip code search on the right of the page.
DALLAS RESIDENTS: To find an HIV testing center near you call 214-819-2155. For more information on testing events click HERE.
Meet the faces of the Dallas Deciding Moments campaign:
How I found out I was HIV positive: After my late husband told me that he was HIV positive, I went to get myself tested right away. When my results came back, I found out that I was HIV positive as well.
My Deciding Moment: My Deciding Moment was watching my late husband fall victim to fear of stigma and shame. He was afraid to ask for help when he needed it, and his health deteriorated rapidly. I decided never again on my watch would another person feel so helpless, unaccepted and scared. I owe it to the legacy of my late husband, to myself, and to any other person with HIV to spread the word that we are Greater Than AIDS!
How I found out I was HIV positive: I went to go get tested at a local Planned Parenthood because I thought it was my responsibility to take care of myself and get checked. My test results arrived more quickly than I thought, and I was told that I tested positive for HIV.
My Deciding Moment: When I found out that I was HIV positive, I needed some time to think and process the news. I left my kids with my parents and drove down to the beach. I stood there alone, I cried, I screamed and asked “Why me?” But in that moment, I decided that I was going to live. I knew that I was going to live for my children, for myself and for my family.
How I was infected: I became HIV positive after having unprotected sex.
My Deciding Moment: When the HIV counselor told me that I was HIV positive, she told me that I can live a long and healthy life. I remember listening intently to her talk, and right after getting my results, I made sure to get myself into a doctor’s care.
What I would tell someone who recently found out they were HIV positive: I would tell them the same thing that I was told, that being HIV positive doesn’t mean your life is over. You can still have a full and healthy life. Also, there are other people who understand what you’re going through. That’s why I love my job as a peer supporter—because I get to talk with other people living with HIV and let them know that they’re not alone.
Watch Otis Sr., Otis Jr.’s father, share his Deciding Moment below:
Why I chose to get involved: I’ve lost close friends to HIV/AIDS, and I want to do my part to help bring attention to HIV/AIDS in our community. I worked as a nurse technician with a home health team, and many of the patients that I worked with were HIV positive.