Anthony Johnson is an HIV-positive man living in Wilton Manors, Florida with his husband. He feels passionately that federal nondiscrimination laws must be updated to include full protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in order to ban mistreatment against LGBTQ people. For HIV-positive individuals like Anthony, these laws are even more critical.
Anthony recalls being diagnosed with HIV in the early 1990s and the hurt he felt when he quickly lost his job, his home, his friends and his relationship with his family. His comfortable and secure way of living took a turn because of the stigma and misunderstanding about what it means to be diagnosed with HIV, and he was unable to find guidance about what to do to take care of himself. Although progress has been made over the decades since then and many municipalities and states have passed laws preventing discrimination, he believes there is still work to do to ensure full lived equality for all LGBTQ and HIV-positive people. Federal legislation like the Equality Act would fully and explicitly include protections for LGBTQ people in virtually every area of life, including employment, housing, and public places such as restaurants, stores, and businesses.
Anthony remains committed to raising public awareness about the community of people living with HIV. He is active in his community volunteering, running support groups for others, and showcasing the humanity of people living with HIV.