‘Real World’ Alum Karamo Brown & HIV Advocate Deondre Moore Talk Being Positively Fearless About Fighting HIV Stigma
Black gay and bisexual men are the most affected by HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 38 percent of Black gay and bisexual men were diagnosed with HIV in 2014.
“This is not a death sentence at all. People aren’t dying from HIV as they were 20, 30 years ago because of medical advances and how far we’ve come in technology,” says Deondre Moore, an HIV advocate on the Positively Fearless campaign.
Moore learned of his HIV-positive status during a doctor’s appointment the day after Easter in 2014.
“It was just heartbreaking. I kind of saw my life flash before my eyes,” the 21-year-old says.
With more education, his parents became his strongest support system – helping to pay for his doctor visits and medication. They wanted to do whatever it took to ensure their son lived a long, healthy life.
But his parents’ support didn’t eradicate the ill thoughts of others.
“I’ve even had family say, behind my back, things like, ‘make sure not to eat after him,’” Moore recalls. “I’ve had some people say, ‘I don’t know about dating somebody who’s positive…’ but they also didn’t know about PrEP and ways to prevent it.”
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a pill for those who are HIV-negative but are at risk of being exposed to the virus by having sex with a HIV-positive partner. There’s also PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis, which is an antiretroviral medication for someone who fears they may have been exposed to HIV after intercourse.
“I’m alive. I’m healthy and I’m well,” Moore says. “I really want every Black man who has hidden his sexuality or HIV status because of the stigma [to] stand proud and be positively fearless.”
Join the conversation with Brown and Moore by tweeting @HIVWisdom using #PositivelyFearless to share your personal stories and stand in your truth.