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How I Rediscovered Empowerment After HIV, And You Can Too
The Switch

How I Rediscovered Empowerment After HIV, And You Can Too

How I Rediscovered Empowerment After HIV, And You Can Too

“I felt like I was damaged goods for years,” says Tim MacKay.

The Switch spotlights people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), as they share their lived experiences and the impact making “the switch” to positive lifestyle and health routines has had on their lives.

Tim MacKay, makeup artist with over a decade of experience in the industry, found out he was HIV positive in 2014, and at first it was a challenge to handle the news well.

For years, Tim struggled to come to terms with his diagnoses, resorting to drug use and not taking care of his body, which only exacerbated his struggles. He admits, “I felt like I was damaged goods for years and that's the way I treated myself.” However, it wasn't until his friends intervened that he realized the importance of seeking support and changing his mindset towards his diagnoses.

“My friend actually helped me go to rehab, and once I could get a clear head, I was able to start working on my root issues,” which was his own perception of his status. Now, he feels the healthiest he’s ever been, and a lot of that has to do with the switches he’s made in life.

“The biggest switches I’ve made are sobriety. Now being sober, I really feel like the happiest and the proudest I’ve ever been in myself.”

Tim is in a healthier place since making those small switches that has helped him thrive. And he has some words of advice for anyone feeling they can’t achieve their goals in life: “Know that your status doesn’t define you, a lot of it has to do with loving yourself.”

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Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.