Justin Bell never thought he would contract HIV. He and his partner were in a committed, monogamous relationship and consistently tested negative for the virus. But in 2007, Justin suffered a heart attack and slipped into a coma due to a strain of pneumonia often linked to HIV and AIDS.
Justin believes he contracted HIV from a medical procedure in 2001 from an instrument that wasn’t properly sterilized. Over time and without treatment, the HIV developed into AIDS.
Justin was told he only had months to live upon diagnosis, but eight years later, he’s still fighting for his own life and the lives of other local HIV and AIDS survivors through the ACE Program.
The ACE Program staff monitored Justin’s healthcare, gave him financial help and connected him with physicians and peer counselors to help him transition to his life with AIDS. He even became a peer counselor himself, pulling on his renewed inner strength and determination to help other HIV and AIDS survivors.