National Latinx HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Carlos & José | Gran Varones Fellows

When you’re living with HIV, finding community can be hard. When you do, sometimes having HIV is the only common factor. When you do come across a group of people who look like you, around your age, had similar familial backgrounds, history, traditions, traumas and triumphs, you finally feel like you have a space where you belong. The Gran Varones Project is that space for me. Belonging to a group of folks with similar diverse identities, intersections, and outlooks is crucial to my survival. Being able to uplift, empower and encourage each other in ways we aren’t able to find outside of our space is what our community does best.

Carlos, He/They
Los Angeles, CA
Gran Varones Fellow

This year National Latinx HIV/AIDS Awareness Day turns 17, the same age as the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and the same age as me when I began my journey through houselessness to Southern abolitionist organizing and building communities with other Poz folks. I recognize that the medications I take to suppress my viral load emerge out of environmentally and physiologically costly mining around the world. Yet, neither viruses nor ICE can recognize the intimacies that make health possible and it is in that lack of recognition that we can forge new healthier assemblages with each other and flourish.

Jose, He/They
Durham, NC
Gran Varones Fellow

Interviewed & photographed by: Gran Varones

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