Through sharing my story, I want to reduce the stigma in our lives and show others that there is truly life after HIV diagnosis. I also want to teach others how to advocate for themselves when it comes to protection, stigma, and healthcare.
My husband and I had an appointment due to a referral from my medical provider. We were eager to go because San Francisco General has one of the best programs in place for people struggling with HIV and AIDS. My husband is HIV positive and I am HIV negative. I recently started PrEP using Truvada because we are trying to have a baby.
While to my knowledge, there are still little to no support groups for heterosexual people living with HIV, I have learned to focus on the Human of HIV. I aim to create the space to reflect just that.
My Name is Michael Zalnasky. My friends call me Zee. My grandsons call me PaPa. My Daughter, well she calls me Dad. And I am Heterosexual HIV POZ.
It was great to feel like I didn’t have to limit myself in certain ways when escorting, and it made me feel truly empowered to be taking the reins of my own destiny. I’ve been PrEPpy for over a year now, and, though stigma is still there, I still take it upon myself to talk about the benefits of taking PrEP while in the Sex Work field, and take the stigma out of both.
National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day promises LGBTQ youth that our history matters, and that we deserve the right to education, preventative resources, treatment, and care. #NYHAAD