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Kevin Maloney
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Kevin Maloney, now 35 years old, was diagnosed HIV-positive on March 3, 2010, and one month later, after follow-up labs, he was told he had also contracted hepatitis C (genotype 1a).

When Kevin found out that he was HIV/HCV-positive, he had a choice to make: continue down a path of unhealthy behavior with his addiction, or finally put an end to what had been a seven-year, on-again/off-again battle with methamphetamine. He calls these diagnoses his rock bottom. He immediately set in action plans to combat his HIV, his hepatitis C and his addiction. He was able to take a six-month leave of absence from his job and immediately started on antiretroviral therapy. Next he went to the Pride Institute and LGBT inpatient drug rehabilitation program to address his addiction. When he finished the 30-day program at Pride, he decided not to return to New York City and instead moved home with his father in Upstate, N.Y., where he began treatment for hepatitis C.

Fortunately, Kevin caught both his HIV and HCV infection early. With early diagnosis of his HCV, he was told he had an 80-percent chance at eradicating the hepatitis C virus. With interferon and ribavirin Kevin completed six months of treatment (rather than the standard 48), and his six-month post-treatment labs rendered him cured of hepatitis C. Today Kevin is living with HIV, adheres to his medication schedule and follows up regularly with his doctor. His viral load has been undetectable since week four after starting ART.

While on hiatus from work and undergoing hepatitis C treatment, Kevin pondered his past and future and began shaping what would become his calling in life. He turned his diagnosis into a positive force and began raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. He started sharing his experience, strength and hope through blogging and YouTube videos in hopes of inspiring others to do the same. He is a guest contributor for thebody.com and positivelite.com. Kevin coined the phrase "rise up to HIV" across all forms of social media with the tag line "Rising Up, Standing Out and Speaking Up About HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C." He created a Facebook page and a Twitter account where he disseminates information daily on these topics, and he encourages you to follow him.

Kevin has a bachelor’s degree in health services management and currently works for Community Access National Network, which is a national 501(c)(3) that has been advocating for access to care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C since 1996. He is under the direction of founder and CEO Bill Arnold. Kevin was also the 2011-2012 recipient of the ADAP Advocacy Association's award for emerging leader of the year. He has plans to enroll into a masters in public health program in the fall of 2013.

Kevin is a genuine guy, filled with passion and love for the work he does. He hopes to be a positive influence on others. He continues to raise awareness, educate and inspire those who are struggling with their diagnosis. He is not ashamed of his HIV-positive status, and he will continue to play his part in helping to reduce the stigma associated with HIV and hepatitis C.

He believes that one day soon we will see a cure for HIV/AIDS, but he understands the challenges that lie ahead until we get there. Kevin says that until we get to that cure, we must insure that everyone living with HIV/AIDS has access to the care and treatment they need to remain alive, healthy and productive.

His favorite quotation comes from a friend, Robert Breining, who hosts the PozIAm radio show on Sunday evening: “Our dreams are not infected.”

Blog Entries by Kevin Maloney

Rise Up to HIV: There's No Shame About Being HIV-Positive (PHOTOS)

(130) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 9:16 AM

The "Rise Up to HIV" campaign was inspired by an image of Chelsea Clinton holding a sign for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. My vision for this campaign is to mobilize people across the United States and the world who are willing...

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