Notable HIV Advocates Highlight Perspectives of People Living with or Affected by HIV to Leverage Shared Support and Self-Expression
Seeking and sharing information are important parts of the HIV journey – in fact, 80 percent of people living with HIV said they give advice or tell others where to find HIV-related information. In an effort to demonstrate the power of shared wisdom, provide a place for the HIV community to access and share information and support national HIV advocacy efforts, Janssen Therapeutics (Janssen) announced today the launch of Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom™.
Your Story, Your HIV WisdomTMhonors the experiences of people living with or affected by HIV. By sharing insights, perspectives and encouragement at ShareHIVWisdom.com in the form of words, pictures, audio or video, participants have an opportunity to make a difference for others affected by HIV. With these wisdom submissions, Janssen will make a donation to one of two national advocacy organizations serving the HIV community – AIDS United or the Black AIDS Institute – for a total campaign donation of up to $10,000 per organization. AIDS United focuses on community-driven responses to the HIV epidemic that reach at-risk populations. The mission of the Black AIDS Institute is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV.
Janssen has also brought together some of the leading voices in the HIV community to serve as advisors to Your Story, Your HIV WisdomTM.* Each month, Guy Anthony, Maria Mejia and Josh Robbins will share inspiring submissions in the Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom™ “Wisdom Gallery.” Each received powerful wisdom at key moments in their HIV journeys, learning firsthand the power of sharing information and the importance of passing wisdom on to their networks.
Guy Anthony is a published author and well-known HIV/AIDS blogger and vlogger. Guy encourages people to be open with their healthcare providers: “Ensure you are transparent and honest with your doctor – it’s important to share who you are outside of your HIV diagnosis, first. Without being fully aware of your sexual history, eating habits or housing status, your healthcare provider simply cannot provide you with comprehensive HIV-related care.” Read more of Guy’s wisdom here.
Maria Mejia is a powerful advocate for HIV education, treatment, testing and prevention, with a strong presence in traditional and social media. In her own words, Maria noted, “I am one of the faces of HIV. No more shame, no more stigma! We are just human beings that happen to have the condition of HIV. It’s that simple.” Read more of Maria’s wisdom here.
Josh Robbins is an HIV/AIDS activist and the founder of imstilljosh.com and “HIV Video Minute.” Josh commented, “Since being diagnosed, I’ve read and heard wisdom from thousands of people on the same journey as me. My piece of wisdom is simple – start talking. And make that talk encouraging to others.” Hear more of Josh’s wisdom here.
HIV was first reported in 1981 and remains a challenging disease and public health concern worldwide. In the United States today, an estimated 1.2 million people live with HIV and the number of Americans being diagnosed with HIV every year – about 50,000 – has not declined since the mid-1990s.
“Managing HIV requires more than medicine – it requires information and support, both from healthcare professionals and from others affected by the disease,” said Nefertiti Greene, president, Janssen Therapeutics. “Janssen has long been committed to providing resources for people living with HIV. We created Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom™ to support the community and provide a place to showcase the insights and experiences of people living with or affected by this difficult disease.”
About Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom™
Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom™ is sponsored by Janssen Therapeutics, makers of PREZCOBIX® (darunavir 800 mg/cobicistat 150 mg). Designed to inspire and empower,
Your Story, Your HIV Wisdom™ calls for people living with or affected by HIV to share their personal wisdom about the HIV journey. As they opt in to participate, participants can direct an incremental Janssen donation to one of two national advocacy organizations serving the HIV community. For more information, visit ShareHIVWisdom.com or follow the conversation at #LearnFromHIV.
About the Advisors
Guy Anthony is a well-respected community leader and HIV activist. He is the President/CEO of POZBeautiful, LLC, which he founded to provide support to Black gay men living with HIV. His company is well known for the creation of his literary project, “Pos(+)tively Beautiful: A Book of Affirmations, Advocacy & Advice.” This collection of inspiring narratives, raw imagery, and affirming anecdotes has earned Guy much acclaim, including being named one of the top 100 HIV prevention leaders under 30 by POZ Magazine. Guy is a coordinator for the Treatment Adherence program at Us Helping Us, Inc, an AIDS service organization serving Black communities in the Washington, DC area. He also facilitates Common Bonds, the only HIV-positive support group for young Black gay men in the Washington, DC area. Guy serves on Washington, DC’s Ryan White Planning Council, and is a regular contributor to AIDS.gov.
Maria Mejia has battled HIV for 26 years and is the co-author of her biography, “From a Warrior’s Passion and Pain.” Maria is a powerful activist for HIV education, treatment, testing and prevention, with a strong presence in traditional and social media. She is an active blogger and vlogger, motivational speaker and founder of a prominent international HIV/AIDS support group online. In addition to her work as a Red Cross volunteer and HIV educator for Jackson Memorial Hospital, Maria is involved in several campaigns, including “Dab the AIDS Bear Project,” the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Let’s Stop HIV Together” program and the “The Stigma Project.” She also serves as a Global Ambassador for The Well Project. Maria lives with her wife, Lisa, in Miami, FL.
Josh Robbins is an HIV/AIDS activist and founder of imstilljosh.com. He hosts the “HIV Video Minute,” a weekly digital series examining notable stories in under 60 seconds. He’s also a global advisor for dotHIV, a global correspondent for MTV Voices, a contributor to blog.AIDS.gov and a video correspondent for HIV Plus Magazine. Recently, Josh partnered with the White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) to brainstorm ideas for effective outreach for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Josh was named to the “POZ 100” in 2013 and owns a digital marketing niche social media company in Nashville, TN. Josh is well-known among the community for using social and digital media to share his wisdom in a unique way.
PREZCOBIX® (darunavir 800 mg/cobicistat 150 mg) tablets are a prescription medicine indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) in combination with other antiretroviral agents for treatment-naive and treatment-experienced adult patients with no darunavir resistance-associated substitutions (V11I, V32I, L33F, I47V, I50V, I54L, I54M, T74P, L76V, I84V, L89V). It is a fixed-dose combination tablet of the HIV-protease inhibitor darunavir (marketed as PREZISTA® in the United States) and cobicistat, a pharmacokinetic enhancer or boosting agent, developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc., and marketed as Tybost®. PREZCOBIX® is indicated for use in combination with other HIV-1 medications taken orally with food.
For additional information about PREZCOBIX®, please visit www.PREZCOBIX.com.
WHAT IS PREZCOBIX®?
PREZCOBIX® is a prescription HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1) medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). PREZCOBIX® contains the prescription medicines PREZISTA® (darunavir) and TYBOST® (cobicistat).
It is not known if PREZCOBIX® is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
When used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection, PREZCOBIX® may help:
reduce the amount of HIV-1 in your blood. This is called “viral load.”
increase the number of CD4+ (T) cells in your blood that help fight off other infections.
PREZCOBIX® is always taken in combination with other HIV medications for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults. PREZCOBIX® should be taken once daily with food.
PREZCOBIX® does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS, and you may still experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection. You must keep taking HIV-1 medicines to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses.
What is the most important information I should know about PREZCOBIX®?
PREZCOBIX®may cause liver problems. Some people taking PREZCOBIX® may develop liver problems which may be life-threatening. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before and during your treatment with PREZCOBIX®.
Chronic hepatitis B or C infection may increase your chance of developing liver problems. Your healthcare provider should check your blood tests more often.
Signs and symptoms of liver problems include dark (tea-colored) urine, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, pale-colored stools (bowel movements), nausea, vomiting, pain or tenderness on your right side below your ribs, or loss of appetite. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any of these symptoms.
PREZCOBIX® may cause severe or life-threatening skin reactions or rash. Sometimes these skin reactions and skin rashes can become severe and require treatment in a hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop a rash.
Stop taking PREZCOBIX® and call your healthcare provider right away if you develop any skin changes with symptoms such as fever, tiredness, muscle or joint pain, blisters or skin lesions, mouth sores or ulcers, red or inflamed eyes like “pink eye” (conjunctivitis).
PREZCOBIX®, when taken with certain other medicines, can cause new or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should check your kidneys before you start and while you are taking PREZCOBIX®.