William remembers the potential he felt as a young man, before he got mixed up in trouble making and before he learned of his HIV status. Today, with access to medicine and counseling services, he hopes to share the lessons he’s learned with the next generation of black men growing up in D.C.
DeAngela was on the brink of death before she confronted her HIV positive diagnosis. At the time of this recording she was preparing to leave Hospice care having gained nearly 30 pounds and amazed her friends and family with her dramatic turn-around.
Jason’s in his 20’s. He grew up learning about HIV in health classes but when he found out he was positive during college, it caught him off guard. These days he draws inspiration and strength from openly HIV positive members of DC’s gay community and his heterosexual grandmother who takes HIV testing as seriously as he does.
Miss Paula is an employee of H.I.P.S. Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive. She leads maintenance groups and support sessions for transgender residents working and living in the DC area. With a wide expanse of life experiences Paula shares a portrait of HIV/AIDS in settings that range from DC streets, to prison and the office.
Dwayne learned that he was HIV positive after burying several close friends who succumbed to the disease. Today he’s risen out of the depression and fear he felt upon learning of his status. He’s returned to school to study business. As he actively prepares to kick off new ventures, he’s steering clear of the coke and party culture he left behind.
LX is the matriarch of her family- a family not unfamiliar with HIV and AIDS. After years of practicing safe sex she was startled to learn of her status in 2010. L’s thinking in new ways about the virus and the risks that confront heterosexual women.
Cassandra has gone from someone seeking public health services in a battle against addiction, to a community health worker herself. She warns everyone she meets that her wheelchair will not keep her from finding you and making sure that you take your health seriously.
Edward's been HIV positive for 25 years. He says drugs came to his community and people accepted that, violence came into the area it was accepted and now HIV... Nowadays he's looking forward, not back, and preparing himself and family for his eventual end in peace.
Kelli is a mother of four and a grandmother of six. At 43 years old she still marvels at the hurdles she’s overcome in that short time and the changes that have transformed the District of Columbia’s approach to HIV and AIDS. She’s trading her early years of hopelessness to embrace an era of possibility.
SZ has been HIV positive all her life, and is undetectable. As a teenager and college student, she had “the talk” in many iterations. Her understanding of HIV and AIDS grew up alongside the nation’s.