Today, over 37 million people are living with HIV1 and, despite advances in treatment and widespread distribution of antiviral drugs, the number of people contracting HIV is still alarmingly high.
As recently as 2019, Black Americans (representing 13% of the U.S. population) accounted for 44% of new HIV diagnoses, and Hispanics and Latinos (representing 18% of the U.S. population) made up 30% of new HIV diagnoses.2
While these statistics are alarming, substantial progress has been made towards the goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Today, living with HIV means you can still thrive with HIV, which means prioritizing your health and wellbeing. It calls for self-reflection, requires self-acceptance and demands a daily commitment to living our best lives. Self-care might look different for everyone, but at its core, it's about putting your health and wellness first.
Daniel G Garza and Kamaria Laffrey, HIV Advocates and Ambassadors for the Positively Fearless campaign, talk about their journeys living with HIV and share why it is so important to take control and have “brave talks” with those around you like your healthcare provider or loved ones, to truly live fearlessly and thrive with HIV.
EXAMPLES OF “BRAVE TALKS”:
MORE ABOUT DANIEL G GARZA
Having moved to the US in 1973 from his birth city of Monterrey in Mexico, Daniel has established himself as a strong advocate for the Latin HIV community. His advocacy work includes chairing a client advisory committee, public speaking, and volunteerism through organizations such as Radiant Health Centers and University of California Irvine. When he’s not changing lives through his advocacy work, Daniel is busy running Lilmesican Productions Inc., his social enterprise focused on developing projects related to entertainment, advocacy and spiritual growth. His mission is to entertain, educate and energize his community. The challenges he’s faced throughout his life have been monumental—he's survived anal cancer and has also overcome both alcoholism and drug addiction. He’s a natural-born fighter and today he’s thriving with HIV after being diagnosed in 2000.
MORE ABOUT KAMARIA LAFFREY
Kamaria thrives when it comes to empowering others. She’s continually helping to shift the residue of societal and self-induced stigma of HIV in various ways. On the local public front, she is currently serving on the Florida (FL) Dept. of Health Community HIV Advisory Group and West Central FL Ryan White Care Council. On a national level, she serves as Program Director for HIV policy reform with The SERO Project. Kamaria is the founder of the community-based organization emPOWERed Legacies, which aims to provide education, resources, and support to anyone in need—whether within the HIV/AIDS community or beyond. Since her HIV diagnosis in 2003, Kamaria’s life has changed in many ways, but her combination of Black Girl Magic and chronic optimism has also changed the lives of many others along the way through her work and advocacy.
For more information, visit: positivelyfearless.com
Interview Provided by: Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP
1 “Global Statistics: The Global HIV And AIDS Epidemic, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed August 5, 2022. https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/data-and-trends/global-statistics
2 “U.S. Statistics: Fast Facts,” HIV.gov, Accessed August 5, 2022. https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/data-and-trends/statistics
© Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP 2022 08/22 cp-333966v1