“I think if we just put all of our ideas, our preconceived notions, whatever it may be—whether it’s being homeless or being HIV positive or being hungry—I think if we put all those aside and simply help people, I think it just cuts through everything. That changes everything. It changes our community. It changes our world.”
Tim has been at Columbia CARES for more than 25 years. He tested positive for HIV in 1993 and stayed in the traditional workforce for a few years until becoming an educator and now executive director at CARES, which serves rural communities affected by HIV and AIDS. Tim says as he battles the stigma associated with HIV, he can bring a unique perspective to his position. “I can understand what a person is going through. I know what excuses we make. That helps too—to know where someone may feel that we aren’t strong enough, but I know that we are. That helps as much as anything.”

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