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#72 of Our Most Amazing HIV-Positive People of 2016: Scott Jordan

Scott Jordan

After 32 years of living with HIV, this long-term survivor still isn't ready to slow down.

Artist and HIV activist Scott Jordan has been the man behind the scenes of the fight against HIV for over 32 years. He began volunteering with GMHC after becoming a client in 1984. But it wasn’t long until he put his talents in show business to good use.

He  hosted and helped produce a cable television show with Jean Carlomusto called Living with AIDS. When he moved from New York City to Provincetown in the 1980s, he started his own production company, In A Heartbeat Productions, which put together concerts to raise money for local AIDS and women’s health organizations.

“I would ask well known entertainer friends and locals to participate." says Jordan. "I was set financially so I could give all the money raised to the organizations.”

But his fundraising and desire to help others didn’t just stop there. Jordan would also raise money for the soup kitchen in his town in order to help feed those who were homeless.

“I've been hungry," he admits. "I know what it feels like. Now that I am back in New York City, I am raising money for a fund that assists LGBTQ homeless youth at our church. Again I am tapping successful artists from various fields to help. We don"t raise a fortune at these events so we try to do as many as possible through the year to help keep the fund going."

Jordan says that "having HIV helps me feel compassion for people in tight spots. Raising money to help others when I have been given so much help myself by various organizations seems like the right thing to do.”

HIV-positive for over 30 years, Jordan is now also a powerful voice for long-term survivors. Although he is battling health complications from medication side effects as well as the aging process, the dynamic activist isn’t letting that get in the way of getting things done and making a difference.

“I am most proud of my tenacity," he admits. "I have been religious about taking care of myself. Before my diagnosis. I was very lost in drink and drugs. Its been a long time for me without them now. I can count how many doses of my HIV drugs I have missed over the years. I am vigilant about taking them . I have taken advantage of HIV support groups all throughout my illness. I learned early on that I don't have to go through anything alone. I don't back away from my fears. I walk into them."

Jordan is also lucky in love: he's married to his high school sweetheart, Rev. Mark Erson.

"We have been friends for almost 40 years. He is a Lutheran pastor and the most compassionate and nonjudgmental man I have ever know. He is still the best kisser hands down."

Like so many of his fellow long-term survivors, Jordan says he deals with "intense emotional and mental issues around getting older with HIV. The way I get through things is simple. I have a motto: Never, never, never give up.”

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