In 2010, HIV/AIDS is not as scary a diagnosis as it was in the early- and mid-eighties. Now, almost thirty years since the disease first became part of the public lexicon, HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence. In late-August, StoryCorps Atlanta partnered with Positive Impact to record stories of individuals living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Trevalle Ambrose arrived early for his conversation with Positive Impact group facilitator Rico Curtis-Davidson. He found out he was HIV positive on his 21st birthday. When he told his family that he was positive they, in his words, “just cut me off.” One year later, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia with his best friend, Devin Murphy. Three days after they arrived, Devin died. Trevalle was alone in a new city, grieving the loss of his friend and estranged from his family. With the help of Devin’s brother, Trevalle found the medical resources he needed. His spiritual journey, though, had just begun. Trevalle would face numerous illnesses – many life-threatening – battle drug addiction, and fight to regain his family’s love and respect. Looking back, Trevalle says, “I was a mess. I was a lost soul.”