The Switch is a video series about sharing positive lifestyle and health routines to help you thrive while living with HIV. In this series, you will hear from people living with HIV from varying backgrounds, with a focus on southern states where HIV is disproportionately prevalent. Listen to them talk candidly about positive changes they have made in their daily lives, including their approach to HIV treatment. The individuals share their lived experience and the impact making “the switch” has had on them.
Savion Ashford Garcon from HBO Max's Legendary season two has been thriving with HIV for 14 years, but he remembers that initial fear he felt when first diagnosed.
“Originally when I was diagnosed with HIV, I was very afraid. I didn't know much about the virus other than what I'd seen in my family. I actually have an uncle who passed away from complications from AIDS. So that was my first take on being positive, especially being in the south.”
For Savion, understanding what had happened to his uncle helped him make the switch and find encouragement from within.
“I began this journey to come out and let everyone know that I’m positive because of him. When I was little and growing up, I didn’t have someone to look up to. If you need someone and this is really who you are, look within yourself.”
What also helped Savion move forward and make the switch to being healthy was getting into volleyball and finding a support system.
“I got introduced to volleyball a few years ago and I stuck with that. And it's kind of made a big difference because I'm around people that promote positivity on and off the court at all times.”
But ultimately finding self-acceptance can be the most liberating and impactful switch anyone can make.
“If you learn to love yourself beyond the measure of what society has taught us to do so far, through all the stigma and all the hypocrisy of what it means to just be a person, as simple as that is, you’ll be an amazing person. And you are going to empower so many people and just like the people who helped liberate me, you will find liberation within yourself.”