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How do you tell a 19-year-old, eight days before his 20th birthday, that he has HIV?
Cree, your results came back, and they are positive.
After coming out of the closet at age 14, being sexually assaulted at 16, and thrown out of his house by his stepfather at 19, Cree began using his body as a means to survive. His main concerns were his basic needs - money, food, and a place to sleep at night. Protecting himself from disease wasn't always his top priority.
Realizing I had contracted HIV made me feel like I had hit rock bottom, says Cree.
When you get that low, the only way for you to go is up, so that is what I did.
Cree is now a leader in the HIV/AIDS community. He travels all over the country to share his story and educate his peers about sexual health and safety. He is also an online peer educator for Advocates for Youth.
Since 1980, Advocates has been helping young people make responsible decisions about sex by working with them as partners in the prevention of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). When you make a gift to Advocates, you're not simply supporting an organization. You're also supporting young people like Cree and thousands of others who are using the power of their experiences to educate their peers, fight HIV/AIDS, and change sexual and reproductive health policies around the world.