Using his experience to educate others on life with HIV, Aaron Matthew Laxton has mastered social media to share his life in a way that wasn’t possible a decade ago.
“On June 6, 2011, I received news that would forever change my life,” Laxton wrote on his Facebook page. “I had tested positive for HIV. In the days that followed I decided that I was going to tell my story in an attempt to help others. I am a student, activist and advocate and I am out to change the world.”
Since then, Laxton’s popular YouTube series, My HIV Journey, has given viewers an intimate look at his life as an HIV-positive man, while his uplifting weekly radio show, Poz I Am (which he cohosts with Robert Breining), has looked at positive people in, well, a positive light.
“HIV does not stop me from doing anything,” Laxton says in a recent YouTube video, dubbed “Update on Life.” “And hopefully you are in a situation where you are not having issues with HIV or you’re not allowing HIV to stigmatize you or bring you down.”
My HIV Journey provides insight into many HIV 101 issues, like how it feels to switch from one medication to another, as Laxton chronicles his experiences dealing with HIV and discovering what it means to be HIV-positive today. The media darling even went out on a limb earlier this year in a controversial op-ed for The Advocate. He wrote, “We have an obligation to intervene when our friends engage in behaviors that are dangerous and potentially deadly. If we expect to stop new HIV infections or deaths caused by addiction to drugs such as crystal meth and heroin, then we must start having honest, clear conversations with one another.”
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