Monday, January 31, 2011


To people living with HIV and AIDS, to the tireless advocates and activists globally, to politicians, case managers, medical providers, drug companies, my fellow Americans.  If I may have your attention…

Most of you may not know me, but someday soon you will.  I’m saying it loudly that my name is Christopher Myron. Last week honored my one year anniversary living with HIV.  One year ago my misinformation of HIV allowed my world to fall apart.  My diagnosis forced me to be an outcast to society.  But, here I am one year later and although in that short period of time I consider myself to be in an emotionally stable frame of mind, there still isn’t a day that I don’t fear for my life.  This fear isn’t from the possibility of passing on from this illness that consumes me.  The fear stems from the views and opinions and tactics us as human beings should otherwise forbid with something as severe as HIV.  The bigotry is what’s keeping HIV alive and every one of us on every level is to blame.

This past weekend I had the privilege to attend the 2011 Emergency ADAP Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, hosted by the ADAP Advocacy Association.  The forum included representatives nationwide from drug companies, nonprofit HIV/ AIDS organizations, case managers, and everyday citizens.  I’m not here to discuss the specifics of the conference, but I will tell you what I got out of it on a personal note.  As a former resident of the sunshine state, and perhaps down the road I will be again, I wanted to attend to see what someone in my shoes can do to help the thousands of Americans on “waitlists” with no access to their medications.  Not to mention I will soon be the newest enroller in the ADAP program in my state.  The good news is that I live in a state that hasn’t yet run out of funding for the government assistance program.  The bad news is that I had a price to pay to get said funding.      

Let’s back track for a moment.  I’m an example of an under-insured individual.  As if stress and mishap of dealing with an HIV diagnosis alone wasn’t enough, I still have so many other things to consider.  Being HIV positive is a financial burden.  I work two jobs just to survive.  The only insurance I was able to obtain in a sickening economy is through a union position at a job where I am abused.  I deal with it because it is my only source of receiving my medications that keep me alive.  Just to see my specialist and receive my quarterly blood tests I have to attend of a number of unnecessary doctor appointments so I may obtain a referral.  I can overlook this absurdity if I didn’t have to pay for all these treatments out of my own pocket, simply because I disqualify for ADAP in my state by a mere $500.

Being HIV positive I’m prone to fatigue.  Working two jobs results in eating less, lack of a good night’s rest, or exercise the way my body should- all these factors that are imperative for an HIV positive person need to remain in good spirits with to stay healthy.  The only solution to these problems is to leave my job with the limited insurance and give up being a responsible citizen in order to qualify for ADAP.  In turn, I’m forced to give up my home and move back in with my aging parents so I can save a few dollars.  Not only are my dreams and freedoms being slowly taken from me, but now I am risking the chance of being “waitlisted” in my state if they succumb to the same fate as Florida and many other states.  HIV is not easy for anyone to deal with.  Yet, I don’t think it’s fair for it to be an ongoing punishment.  These are a few examples of why I knew early on that I need to do what I can to help the generations to come to make their lives just a bit easier.    

As I sat in the forum and I listened to the arguments and the “agree to disagree” remarks I remain in silence and my opinions prevail.  I’m worrisome that we as a community cannot remain to the crisis at hand- that people have no access to the care they need to survive.  All I heard from numerous individuals from all points on the spectrum is a sense of entitlement.  I was overwhelmed with numbers and policies and I am confident that the new generation of the HIV community shares my feelings.  It wasn’t until the final minutes of the conference was I able to get a word in edge wise so I can make myself heard.  I didn’t get to say exactly what I wanted to say, but now that I have the time to express it here, this is what I needed to say:

I’m not an African American living with HIV.  I’m not a long term survivor of HIV.  I’m not a woman living with HIV.  I’m not employed in the HIV community- yet.  What I am—I AM THE NEW GENERATION OF HIV—who after one short year of being positive is frustrated and tired of doors being closed in my face from doctors, government officials, pharmacies, case workers, and people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.  Past experience and status quo does not entitle any of us to be more important than the other while HIV is still alive and winning. 

I don’t know habeas corpus, I don’t know pricing policy, and I am fully aware that I wasn’t suffering in the 1980’s when this epidemic was a death sentence.  However, I will be the new generation’s representative to continue the fight against HIV and to hopefully one day live to see the cure.  But, I can’t do it alone.  You can’t do it alone.  I reach out to all individuals I described, especially my peers under the age of thirty, to make your voices heard.  If our voices don’t speak collectively and in large quantities, the White House will not be there to listen.

Once again all I ask is that we lift the sense of entitlement or expressing sympathy for other groups.  As HIV knowingly survives over thirty years we all need to understand that we equally need help.  Younger people like me need leaders and voices to follow in past footsteps.  The past foot steps need to remember in order to create new footsteps you need to let someone like me in.  Our message to the White House is universal and clear.  And that message is this- WE NEED HELP AND WE NEED IT YESTERDAY.      



To learn more about the ADAP advocacy Association and how you could get involved, visit the website here:      

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


As my one year anniversay being diagnosed with HIV approaches, I reflect on what I've learned.  It takes me back to those dark days when I found out the news and locked myself in my bedroom for weeks at a time.  I had fights with myself.  Below is an example of one of those conversations I had with my conscious.  I plan to publish this conversation in my book I'm working on.  the bold represents my conscience and the underlined text is me.  Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment!

-Christopher, you slut.  Have you no respect for yourself that you let some idiot do this to you? 
-Oh, easy for you to stand there and judge me now, Conscience.  You loved it when that guy was fucking me hard and good.  You didn’t want it to stop, either.
-Yes, I did.  I knew it was wrong.  I tried to tell you.  You were too drunk to notice.
-I refuse to believe that.
-Well, you can’t let me take the fault.
-Yes I can.  You could have told me to stop.  Don’t tell me you did, I would’ve remembered.  Where were you when I needed help? 
-That’s up to you and your friend, Conscious, not me.  You were ignoring me, Christopher.  These guys make you two feel so good about yourself that you pretend like I’m not there.
-You know it’s true.  You always side with Conscious over me. 
-I do not!
-Yes, you do.  And contrary to what Conscious will tell you these guys don’t care for you.  They were getting off just like you were.
-Then, why didn’t you stop me?
-I tried, but Conscious didn’t let me have control of the situation.  He’s a ‘Know It All.’  We tend to argue a lot.  That ‘one drink too many’ attitude of yours didn’t help, either.  It only makes me weaker and him and you stronger for doing the wrong thing.  The more you drink the further away you and I are from each other.  That’s out of my control.   How many close calls does it take? 
-Where are you when I drink at home, alone?  You don’t tell me to stop there.
-You never think it’s a problem if you’re doing it at home, alone.  Until you get in a mood and start making phone calls to random guys you know.
-Well, it’s obvious these guys care about me more than you care about me, Conscience.
-Why would you say that?  And where is Conscious now in this situation?  I’m still here.  For that matter where is the guy that infected you?  Why wasn’t he honest with you?  Do you even know which one it was?
-Hey, I wasn’t unsafe with all of them.  But, they wouldn’t want me if I wanted to use protection.
-Then you should have said no.
-Easy for you to say.  Do you expect me to always spend time by myself?  Cause that’s what’ll happen if I reject these guys.
-You know that’s not true.  Plenty of people out there will respect your wishes.  The rest are losers.
-And no, I’m not sure who did this to me.  Are you gonna judge me, again?
-Of course, not.
-Go ahead.  Everyone else does.  You don’t care about me.  You always side with the other guy.  Maybe I should stick with Conscious. 
-That will only do you more harm if you continue in this path. 
-But, Conscious makes me feel good. 
-You think he makes you feel good.  But, look what that good did to you? 
-I have nothing else to lose.
-Yes you do.  By the way, I will always side with you, whether or not you think so.  But I can’t do everything here.  You need to be responsible for your actions, too!  Without you, my powers are useless. 
-Oh shut up! 
-You got yourself in this situation more than once.  You drink too much, and then you have no idea what you’re doing.  Conscious thrives on this because he doesn’t want to get involved in the serious stuff.  He expects me to handle that.  But, I can’t without you.  Sooner or later you had to realize you’re not untouchable.
-So are you all punishing me now? 
-HIV is not a punishment.
-Being on my death bed months ago wasn’t punishment enough for you?
-New flash, we were all there suffering, too.
-Fuck you!  You have no idea what I’ve been going through and how I feel about my life. 
-Yes, I do. I’m your Conscience.  I know everything about you.  From your depression, to your anxiety, to your loneliness.  And I’m still here for you.  And always will be. 
-Oh that’s convenient.  Lucky for you I have HIV and that promise won’t have to last very long.
-That’s not true!  Enough with that talk!  Let’s not fight anymore.  This is all ‘Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda’s’ at this point.  We need to focus on your future and a plan of action. 
-What future?  No one wanted me or cared about me when I was negative and no one is going to want me or care for me now.  Look at me, I’m a loser.  All alone, and now I’m dying. 
-Oh, you’re not dying.  You know you’ll get through this.  You’re not a quitter.
-I’m quitting now.
-No, you’re not.  You never were and never will be.  Just try to understand how to be aware of both Conscious and myself.  You have the power to help us.  And believe me, someone out there will find you and see all you’re worth.
-That may be a possibility.  But, I am not holding my breath.  I appreciate the sentiment, but I just need to be alone for a while. 
-That may be wise.  But, even when you’re alone don’t forget me.  I’ll always be next to you and I’m always going to be your friend.
-I’m sorry I snapped at you.  I just can’t get a grip on this, yet.
-I understand.  And I’m sorry I called you a slut, Christopher.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Tis the season for people resolute to changing their lives. Whether this episode includes eating healthier, going to the gym regularly, or being a nicer person the majority will agree that after the first few weeks in January people return to their normal, unfavorable routines. Obviously, it's important for everyone to eat healthy and stay in shape. Being HIV positive, it's even more crucial. 2010 was quite the year for me as it was the year of my diagnosis. In addition to the many challenges I face in the years to come I've decided not to hope for a better lifestyle like others tend to do. That should just come natural. No sir, this year my resolution is to focus on Christopher.

Those that know me know that I have quite a lot on my plate. Unfortunately, recent events that have taken place in my life have forced me to take yet another few steps backwards. God's humor isn't so funny to me anymore. Sometimes, I just want to crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep from being overwhelmed and tired. But, then I remember all my brothers and sisters out there living with HIV that I can count on for support and love. For that reason alone I know I could not live with myself if I gave up this fight and deserted them. With the new year at hand I've decided to face the music head on. Instead of seeing these events as negatives I'm starting to see them as positives. My lease is up on the apartment next month and this is my chance to leave New York City and do the things I promised myself I would accomplish this year. These are my resolutions for 2011:

1- Complete the HIV/ AIDS contributed book and have it published. It's written by everyday people living with or affected by HIV/ AIDS. Tentatively titled, HIV at the Dinner Table: A Modern Diagnosis
2- Complete my fictional novel (non-HIV related) and have it published.
3- Do my part to end HIV stigma in America: ROAD TRIP across the U.S.A. interviewing individuals affected by HIV/ AIDS.
4- Find a new home- preferably with palm trees.

No longer will I live in an overpriced city that I can honestly say I am "so done" with. There is no reason why someone in my condition should be working two jobs just to get by. I'm not in fashion, don't care enough about Wall Street, and I have no interest in theater (although I have great respect for the arts.) Many years ago when I wanted to leave I packed my bags and drove, only to return to my hometown. This time I'm going to plan constructively. That's when the idea for the road trip came to mind- allowing me to possibly accomplish two resolutions in one- educating others on the true face of HIV and finding Christopher a new home.

Now that a year has gone by and I've learned how the world views HIV/ AIDS I feel it is necessary to do my part and show the world the real face of HIV- outside of celebrities and stigma. Approximately six months from now I will be leaving for a summer road trip, making stops in most of the U.S. states. I will be documenting and publishing my trip on a daily basis via blog entries as well as video recording. That way, everyone can follow me on my journeys as I experience them. I may start a website dedicated to this adventure. Details to come. Many individuals have expressed interest in having me stop in their hometown and I welcome the invitations. The end goal of this trip is to have the entire world see the real people with HIV and illustrate the importance of ending fear and stigma as well as knowing your status.

This is my plan for the new year. I sure have my work cut out for me, but it's work that I know is necessary to make this world one step closer to ending the current state of HIV in America.  Here's to 2011- the year the world will see HIV in a new way!

Interested in learning more about my trip? Would you like me to come visit? Have ideas for the trip? Feel free to contact me this way:

Youtube: -- I'm going to be more proactive about posting videos on my page. Subscribe!