Editor’s note: The PositiveLite interview with David Bromstad is here.
On September 20th I had the great fortune to attend the unveiling of David Bromstad’s new mural for The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City.
The night started off with a bevy of great speakers: Dr. Brian Baugh from Janssen Therapeutics, Glenda Testone from The Center, Dr. Anita Radis from the Callen Lorde Center, and of course the reason why we all gathered (and the eye candy for the evening) David Bromstad.
As the mural was being unveiled, David expressed the sentiment behind his creation “Love yourself enough to get tested.” This very simple phrase hit me quite hard; as I, like a lot of people, was initially crippled by fear and put off being tested. The mural itself has a self-affirming power behind its simplicity, with a little cheeky fun thrown in for good measure.
When mingling, I noticed that there were not that many younger people in attendance. In fact, I think I was one of the youngest people in the room and I am thirty-five. This is slightly disheartening when just minutes before, Dr. Radis gave us the statistics that the highest group of new HIV infections are from people under the age of thirty. I know that when I was under thirty I didn’t think that I could ever be effected by this disease and I tested positive nearly a year before my thirtieth birthday.
Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to speak to David about his mural, but I did get to admire his work - and his biceps - from afar. David’s message was simple and I would like to echo his challenge for all of you out there in cyberland; take five family members or five friends and express the importance of getting HIV tested and encourage them to do so - especially for those who are under thirty and think that this disease cannot affect them. Tell them to love themselves enough to get tested, no matter what the results will yield.
Love yourself enough to get tested!