Perspective - Living with HIV

Joey Pineda is an HIV peer educator at Orlando's Hope and Help Center, a service organization for people living with HIV and AIDS. I met Pineda while I was researching my HIV vaccine story. I was interested in perhaps pursuing a video profile of a gay couple to go along with that piece. But Pineda suggested another story idea : While on the waiting list for Florida's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), many people are becoming resistant to HIV drugs. ADAP provides HIV/AIDS related prescription drugs to uninsured and underinsured individuals living with HIV and AIDS. Florida has the longest waiting list in the country with 2,246 people on the list as of Nov. 18, according to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD).

I may pursue a feature story on ADAP and drug resistance in the near future. In the meantime, here is a video of Pineda (on my website at Journalism –> Web or on HealthyState.org). In this interview, he talks about living with HIV, medication costs, drug resistance and counseling others with the virus.