TheBody.com, Remedy Health Media
Director of Client Services, Criminal Justice Ministry
Helping Advocacy to Go Viral
Aaron Laxton’s patient advocacy is a story about what can be done when one makes the decision to live purposefully. In the face of personal struggle, Aaron became selfless and accepted a personal mission to serve others. He is not only passionate about giving back, but also deeply committed to sharing and using his own personal story to inspire, uplift, empower, and spread hope to those in need.
His story began when he received the life-altering diagnosis of HIV in 2011. But Aaron did not let his diagnosis emotionally consume him. Four days after his diagnosis, he began his YouTube channel, “My HIV Journey,” which documents Aaron’s experiences with medication, his own personal struggles, and sends empowering messages to others. Since then his “My HIV Journey” channel has garnered 1,500 followers and more than 300,000 views from 180 countries. With more than 200 videos, “My HIV Journey” is the most comprehensive channel documenting HIV to date.
Aaron’s story quickly went from social media to the streets. In 2012, he traveled to the International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. and marched down Pennsylvania Avenue alongside other activists. He was photographed holding a sign that read, “I am HIV+” in front of the White House. The photo went viral and became the iconic message of the AIDS epidemic.
Currently, Aaron is a regular blogger and contributor for Remedy Health Media’s TheBody.com, a complete resource on HIV/AIDS, where he reaches thousands of people with each post. His impassioned voice also made him the natural choice for Remedy’s Live Bold, Live Now™ health storytelling initiative (http://bit.ly/1U6Hnrq). He was the first to share his journey living with HIV, from the circumstances that led to his diagnosis to the love story with his partner Philip.
With every obstacle he has had to overcome, Aaron has always found inner strength to continue to strive toward the betterment of his local community of St. Louis, MI and the community at large. He has helped improve the lives of so many people including foster children, those infected with HIV, recovering addicts, and struggling veterans.