Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-07-29
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS: David Robertson: Coming back from the brink
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2011-11-09

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us 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: www.makingaidshistory.org

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


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

New AFC initiative focuses on women of color 2015-07-29
CDC awards $3.8 mill to local agencies for 5 year HIV prevention partnership 2015-07-24
Protestors decry HIV/AIDS cuts 2015-07-22
amfAR launches comprehensive database of planned HIV/AIDS funding 2015-07-22
Upcoming: Sports hall of fame; Auction of Jenner torch; AIDS Run & Walk 2015-07-22
Chicago House awarded comprehensive federal HIV grant 2015-07-17
Man gets 30 years for HIV exposure 2015-07-17
AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to support 36 HIV/AIDS groups 2015-07-17
Man gets 30 years for HIV exposure 2015-07-14
HIV doctors, lawyers, community call for reform of Missouri HIV law 2015-07-13
Ride For AIDS Chicago raises $600,000 2015-07-13
Smithsonian adds AIDS research pioneer Krim's portrait 2015-07-10
Participants prepare for Ride for AIDS Chicago 2015-07-07
PrEP advocates respond to AHF ads 2015-06-21
Zachary Quinto Joins Foundation for a National AIDS Monument Board 2015-06-12
Free HIV testing June 14 2015-06-12
Open Door to hold Grand Opening of Elgin Health Center 2015-06-04
Study to look at quality of life for older, rural HIV-positive adults 2015-06-04
Chicago House, Center on Halsted deny merger talks 2015-06-03
Harmony, AFC bring awareness to testing, treatment, holistic health needs 2015-06-03
Daylong summit to focus on long-term HIV/AIDS survivors 2015-05-31
Missouri HIV case gets national attention 2015-05-20
Gay HIV-positive singer lives life out loud 2015-05-20
AFC marks thirty years of action 2015-05-17
Black gay man found guilty by Missouri jury of "recklessly infecting" 2015-05-15
Health news: HIV/AIDS column; HIV/AIDS Response Act; HBHC seeks boardmembers 2015-05-13
HIV guide targets high numbers of new infections 2015-05-07
Spring brunch gets in 'Vogue' 2015-05-04
Bill to reduce HIV testing barriers advances 2015-05-01
Sidetrack event aids Cubans 2015-04-26
Chicago Red Dress Party readdresses HIV/AIDS awareness 2015-04-21
AFC: Rauner gets failing grades on HIV/AIDS issues 2015-04-20
Monthly 'Positive Thoughts' HIV/AIDS column launched 2015-04-14
HIV/AIDS advocates ready for budget fight 2015-04-12
AFC hosts first-ever virtual advocacy day 2015-04-08
AFC forum at Center to deal with Rauner budget 2015-03-31
Office of Nat'l AIDS Policy hosts HIV/AIDS Strategy Regional Forums 2015-03-28
HIV advocates hail Coventry Health Plan improvement to drug access 2015-03-27
Lambda, packaging company: HIV-positive employee posed no safety risk 2015-03-26
Larry Kramer honored by Gay Men's Health Crisis 2015-03-25
 



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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

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.