On a list that includes Erasure’s Andy Bell and AIDS Memorial Quilt founder Cleve Jones, St. Louis-based activist Aaron Matthew Laxton has been lauded in HIV Plus Magazine’s lineup of the Top 20 Amazing HIV Positive Gay Men of 2014.

 

HIV Plus Magazine compiled the list of notables in honor of September’s National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The publication will be profiling each honoree one day at a time over the next month.

 

“Using his experience to educate others on life with HIV, Aaron Matthew Laxton has mastered social media to share his life in a way that wasn’t even possible a decade ago," reads Laxton’s entry, beneath the now iconic picture of him holding his “I Am HIV +” sign in Washington, D.C.

 

Diagnosed HIV positive on June 6, 2011, Laxton, now 35, wasted no time throwing himself into HIV/AIDS advocacy and awareness. Almost immediately he started his video blog “My HIV Journey” which has been viewed in over 182 countries and by over one million viewers.

 

“It is nice to be recognized, but I do not feel that I am doing anything that other people are not doing,” Laxton told #Boom. “I recognize however that as one person gets recognized there are 100 others who are doing equally important work who may never be recognized. This recognition hopefully provides hope to anyone out there of what is possible simply by using YouTube or whatever means they might employ to get this story to others.”

 

A regular contributor to Thebody.com and HIVequal.org, Laxton serves with the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, the Global Community Advisory Board, as well as on the Community Scientific Sub-Committee. Locally he is a member of the Community Advisory Board for Washington University in St. Louis.

 

Laxton travels the country advocating for the modernization of laws affecting those living with HIV and speaking on issues that impact all areas of lives of those living with HIV and AIDS. Laxton has been equally outspoken regarding his own substance abuse history and addiction to crystal meth.

 

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