“Your test came back positive for HIV.”

Seven words no one ever wants to hear. Imagine going to the doctor for a routine check-up and, weeks later, your test comes back positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. What would you say? What would you do? Who would you call? This exact situation became Jessica Glaspie-Davis’ reality. That one sentence meant changing her life forever.

At the tender age of 22, Glaspie-Davis was diagnosed with HIV and had no idea where it came from. However, she’s not alone.

According to the Center of Disease Control, African-Americans represent 12% of the population but account for 44% percent of HIV diagnoses, the highest rate compared to other races and ethnicities.

With HIV and AIDS affecting the African-American community at such a rate, we wanted to put a face and story to these alarming statistics.

Interview | HIV activist Jessica Glaspie-Davis

In honor of Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we sat down with the HIV activist Glaspie-Davis who took us deep inside her life and gave us a play-by-play of how it all happened and how she is working relentlessly to raise awareness of the life-altering disease so many are affected by. She told us her story, the whole story.

Glaspie-Davis’ story is one of strength, awareness, and love after pain; it’s a story everyone needs to hear. And when asked why she decided to come forward, disclose her status, and tell her story, she shared her mission simply but powerfully: “I tell my story so that I can be an example for all because it can happen to you.”

No matter your color, race or religion, HIV/AIDS does not discriminate. This is one woman’s story on how the virus changed her life forever. Let this be an example for you.