Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



AIDS: David Robertson: Coming back from the brink
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

David Robertson was literally inches from ending it all, filled with alcohol and illegal drugs after learning of his positive HIV diagnosis, and ready to leap 11 stories to his death onto Michigan Avenue.

But fate stepped in, in the form of a strong gust of wind, knocking him backwards, away from the ledge he hovered near. Robertson hit his head and was knocked out.

He didn't wake up for 14 hours.

"My life changed June 19, 2007, at 12:34 p.m.," Robertson said of the moment he learned he was HIV-positive. "The news didn't seem remotely true. [ The doctor ] said [ the diagnosis ] to me again, with agony in her voice and tears welling in her eyes, 'I know about your brother's diagnosis of AIDS, and I know about your aunt's diagnosis of AIDS, but, honey, you have HIV.'"

Robertson was convinced he was on the fast-track to death.

But thanks mostly to the support of his mom, Deborah, Robertson has taken back his life, motivated and driven to make the most of a bad situation, and also aide others who face the fears that he had, especially the high percent of young, gay, Black men infected with HIV/AIDS.

Robertson, 27, who lives in Chicago's South Side Bronzeville neighborhood, is a youth advocate consultant for the Positively Living Program at University of Chicago's Comer Hospital. He also is an MSM ( men who have sex with men ) program recruiter consultant for the Southside Help Center. Plus, Robertson is a campaign ambassador for amfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, a leading organization dedicated to the support of HIV/AIDS research.

"My heart is with, and for, the MSM community, especially the young, gay, Black community," Robertson said. "HIV/AIDS has become such a common acronym to so many people who have grown up with these words being thrown around, it has been a challenge to effectively aide them with proactive and outcome driven results."

Robertson, for instance, is one of many in his family directly impacted by HIV/AIDS. His older brother is battling AIDS.

"My brother became very hopeless with his diagnosis. It was as if he slowly knows he is killing himself and carelessly," Robertson said. "I realized early in my diagnosis that, in order to be better, I had to do better. I had the virus. I had to make a conscious decision to help those who didn't have the tenacity that I had. I have such a drive and a passion to help anyone who is having sex to, one, get tested, and, two, if they are in a monogamous relationship, get tested, and three, if you know your child is having sex, recommend they get tested."

Robertson has, in recent years, lived by the motto that he didn't want to become an individual who knew better, yet didn't do better.

"One of my favorite quotes says, 'When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.' I think that sums up things," he said.

Robertson said he is in the process of expanding his knowledge on the global effects of HIV/AIDS. "I believe it is important for me, as a community leader, to get the full perspective on the issue to be as beneficial to my community as possible," he said. "Working with amfAR has given me so much insight on AIDS research and the true effects of HIV/AIDS globally. I believe in peer to peer education and being able to gain that knowledge on the Global AIDS epidemic and share that with the African-American community. I believe and hope it would be innovative, beneficial and transforming to the [ school-aged ] population. Today, I look at meeting the needs of the youth where they are at. They're looking for the bright light, an out-of-box experience because, honestly, the average of what they see on TV and experience every day of the lives just won't enable them enough to think of better behaviors."

Robertson's drive to help educate, inform and console others centers on the fact he never wants another individual "to have to deal with what I deal with on a daily basis."

Robertson said in October that he is healthy, happy and has undetectable viral loads.

For more about Robertson, watch his 4-minute video at:

This story is part of the Local Reporting Initiative, supported in part by The Chicago Community Trust.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Chicago sex ed gets makeover; youth launch 'Chicago Wears Condoms' campaign 2015-11-25
World AIDS Day in Chicago 2015-11-25
Briefs: PrEP study; Point opens applications; Social workers to be honored 2015-11-25
Larry Kramer's pivotal call-to-action honored in solo exhibition at Center 2015-11-20
AFC holds annual meeting, announces new strategic plan 2015-11-17
ViiV Healthcare holds Couch Talk 2015-11-17
Following Charlie Sheen interview, GLAAD shares statement, HIV & AIDS guide 2015-11-17
Chicagoans among POZ Magazine 100 for 2015 2015-11-16
NUNN ON ONE Linda Gray talks, AIDS activism and playing a trans role 2015-11-10
FDA approves new HIV drug 2015-11-08
AFC softball couple on relationship, work and PrEP awareness 2015-11-08
Positively Aware marks 25 years with MBC event 2015-11-04
Proud to Run 2016 now accepting beneficiary applications 2015-11-04
Clinician talks Haitian roots at Black caucus event 2015-11-03
Northalsted Business Alliance's Ruby Red Relay to benefit AIDS Fdn, Out in Open Sleep Out 2015-10-28
AFC partners with CBGMC, Taskforce 2015-10-27
Positively Aware to mark 25th year 2015-10-21
Ellen Burstyn on working with Personal PAC 2015-10-21
Stars join GLAAD, E. Taylor AIDS Foundation in call for reinvigorated AIDS fight 2015-10-20
National day of action addresses violence against women living with HIV 2015-10-16
LETTER: Latinos and HIV, breaking the silence and shame 2015-10-14
Oct. 15 is Nat'l Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2015-10-14
HIV, day to day: The truth about consequences 2015-10-14
Upcoming events: Positively Aware event; Mexican HIV/AIDS campaign; Project& 2015-10-14
IMPACT seeks persons for HIV video 2015-10-06
Webinar focuses on Blacks and HIV 2015-10-06
amfAR releases report on HIV programs for drug users 2015-10-06
PrEP forum examines getting more physicians on board 2015-10-04
GMHC welcomes W.H.O.'s guidelines on antiretroviral therapy and PrEP 2015-09-30
HIV/AIDS Advocates: PrEP controversy makes job difficult 2015-09-30
Performance artist Karen Finley talks AIDS, pope, Planned Parenthood 2015-09-30
Tammy Baldwin introduces bill to enhance access to HIV/AIDS care 2015-09-29
Lambda launches "Know Your Rights" hub for people living with HIV 2015-09-29
Thousands at Chicago AIDS Run & Walk 2015-09-26
Upcoming: AIDS Run & Walk; Branden James; a-ha; Halloween 2015-09-23
Season of Concern celebrates Biscotto-Miller Fund's 30th 2015-09-23
Dancing for Life 2015-09-23
Sloan to step down from Chicago House post in 2016 2015-09-16
Positively Aware and TPAN call for all to participate in A Day with HIV 2015-09-12
Open Door observes National HIV/AIDS and aging awareness day 2015-09-11

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.