Aaron M. Laxton

Advocate | Writer | Social Commentator.

Testing Makes US Stronger Vertical Animated Web Banner of African American male couple standing back-to-back and holding hands. Our HIV status is powerful information. It helps us take better care of each other. Get tested. HHS, CDC, Act Against AIDS. Enter location to find HIV Testing Sites, GO

Oppression is nothing new, it is just new to you.
11/12/16 

For many, there is outrage over the fear of what will happen in the coming days under a Trump Administration. There are a lot of unknowns, but there is a lot that we already know. We know that the country is now being lead by a man who thinks that it is okay to violate women. We are being lead by a man who is bolstered by white racist as well at the Ku Klux Klan. Our Vice President is a man who shares openly his disdain for LGBT communities and seeks to criminalize anyone who applies for marriage licenses.

We now rise up in order to guard our ways of live and what privilege we have gained. We unite but let us also remember that while many are new to the fight against oppression, there are communities which have been on the frontline of this fight for the last several hundred years.

People are rising up in anger and frustration that their way of life is being jeopardized but did nothing when Tamir Rice was shot dead in a children’s park, playing with a child’s toys. That last sentence I borrowed from a comrade. How many more black men need to be assassinated?

White America, is it time to wake up and realize that the oppression that we fight against is the same system that dismisses the weekly shootings of black and brown bodies at the hands of racist police. While we are being threated with the loss of marriage rights or reproductive rights there are citizens losing the right to be alive.

We must get loud. We must challenge the system and flip it on it’s head. The system did not suddenly become broken, it has been broken for hundreds of years. It is only now when the system aims itself at white America’s comfort-zone.

Our schools have been broken with a school-to-prison pipeline yet because it primarily impacts communities of color, it does not matter is schools are unaccredited. Mass incarceration is not a new problem; It is spurred on as a result of mandatory sentences imposed under Reagan’s War on Drugs which targets communities of color.

Let your voice be heard and let us challenge the system. We must unite as one people and recognize that the United States has been and continues to be a country driven by racist ideology which is in the bedrock of systemic racism.

It is time to get out of your place of comfort. If you are a comrade who is concerned about our brothers and sisters being killed daily, join us. This is the time of revolution. Let us rise up in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Miami, Seattle, New York and across the United States. We stand now in oppression of what is and what is to come. Let us unite against the oppressors.

I stand in anger and resistance!
11/11/16

Do not tell me not to be angry. Do not tell me not to be fearful for we have been shown what there is to be afraid of. Do not tell me not to protest, for I am a veteran and I have served my country with bravery. I, with my brothers and sisters stand in solidarity against bigotry, misogyny and everything that we have fought to move past during the past several decades. We stand and march now in solidarity, for the forces that would seek to destroy us are marching through the gates. You may not be with us now but there will be a time in the future when it is far too late to join in solidarity. The whole world is watching as we have elected a man who embodies unfair treatment of women, sexual harassment, Xenophobia, and ideologies that seeks to destroy and rip apart the very fiber of what this country says it is. As long as I have a breath in my body I will fight, I will stand and I will love. 


In the last few days, we have wondered where did we go so wrong. I do not believe that the United States all of a sudden became a racist nation. We have been and are a racist nation. But we must now seek to support and love our brothers and sisters from communities of color and minorities and women more than ever and show them that all of us are not that way. We must get out of our place of comfort in order to support them. I say over my dead body will you deport our brothers and sisters. You will not reverse decades of fighting that we have done for marriage equality. You will not reverse years of advances we have made for communities hardest hit by poverty.


This is more than just someone who was elected in an election. This is representative of where we are in United States. So as it was in Nazi Germany do you stand in the place of safety with Nazis or do you side with Jews who are being slaughtered, because that only started by people being forced to register? Or in the deep South do you stand in a safe place with the klu klux klan or do you jeopardize everything and stand with those who are being bullied, killed and marginalized?


If you stand in a place on comfort, know that that comfort comes at the expense of immigrants being turned away at our borders when they are in need. It comes st the expense of families that will be ripped apart due to mass deportation. Your comfort comes at the expense of the LGBT community and those living with disabilities. It comes at the expense of women who have now seen that not only is the glass ceiling still intact, but this country values a misogynist who degrades and assaults women more than a qualified woman. 


We are not being over-dramatic we are being realistic. For we have been told what to expect, our very way of life is under attack. So to you I say get out of your place of comfort get and get into the streets, let our voices be heard. This is what democracy looks like. This is our democracy it is in our control. 

#notmypresident #notus #trump #makeracistsafraidagain #nevertrump #trumpprotests

Do not tell me not to be angry. Do not tell me not to be fearful for we have been shown what there is to be afraid of. Do not tell me not to protest, for I am a veteran and I have served my country with bravery. I, with my brothers and sisters stand in solidarity against bigotry, misogyny and everything that we have fought to move past during the past several decades. We stand and march now in solidarity, for the forces that would seek to destroy us are marching through the gates. You may not be with us now but there will be a time in the future when it is far too late to join in solidarity. The whole world is watching as we have elected a man who embodies unfair treatment of women, sexual harassment, Xenophobia, and ideologies that seeks to destroy and rip apart the very fiber of what this country says it is. As long as I have a breath in my body I will fight, I will stand and I will love. 


In the last few days, we have wondered where did we go so wrong. I do not believe that the United States all of a sudden became a racist nation. We have been and are a racist nation. But we must now seek to support and love our brothers and sisters from communities of color and minorities and women more than ever and show them that all of us are not that way. We must get out of our place of comfort in order to support them. I say over my dead body will you deport our brothers and sisters. You will not reverse decades of fighting that we have done for marriage equality. You will not reverse years of advances we have made for communities hardest hit by poverty.

This is more than just someone who was elected in an election. This is representative of where we are in United States. So as it was in Nazi Germany do you stand in the place of safety with Nazis or do you side with Jews who are being slaughtered, because that only started by people being forced to register? Or in the deep South do you stand in a safe place with the ku klux klan or do you jeopardize everything and stand with those who are being bullied, killed and marginalized?


If you stand in a place on comfort, know that that comfort comes at the expense of immigrants being turned away at our borders when they are in need. It comes st the expense of families that will be ripped apart due to mass deportation. Your comfort comes at the expense of the LGBT community and those living with disabilities. It comes at the expense of women who have now seen that not only is the glass ceiling still intact, but this country values a misogynist who degrades and assaults women more than a qualified woman. 


We are not being over-dramatic we are being realistic. For we have been told what to expect, our very way of life is under attack. So to you I say get out of your place of comfort get and get into the streets, let our voices be heard. This is what democracy looks like. This is our democracy it is in our control. 


#notmypresident #notus #trump #makeracistsafraidagain #nevertrump#trumpprotests

Healthevoices16- Others like Me...

It had been a while since I had attended a conference or other activities centered around health advocacy. This was partly due to a choice that I had made to focus more on myself as well as simply focusing on career and my recent return to the classroom to work on my Master of Social Work at Saint Louis University's School of Social Work, part of the College of Public Health and Social Justice. All in all, life had been going well. There is this strange duality that I have felt, we fight to be healthier so we can have "normal" lives. I have found that as of late I have not made as many videos. When I was first diagnosed with HIV on June 6, 2011 making videos was therapeutic for me. It was my way of handling the news. 


I found my voice and through it all I shared my life with viewers from around the globe. Many who would tune into YouTube in the hour of despair to find that there was someone else like them. There was someone living with HIV and that made them feel better. This was even something that I had done when I was first diagnosed. There is this natural desire to reach out and to feel that we are not alone in a world that is changing directly under out feet. A world with which we are not familiar and we do not yet know all of the rules or implications. 


Then after a period of time things "normalize" and we settle into our new health routines. We adjust to the limitations or changes which occur. What was once unfamiliar and scary now is simply part of our DNA. So it goes for my work on youtube and other health advocacy. When I saw a friend post about the Healthevoices16 gathering in Chicago I instantly knew that I wanted to attend. Thanks to Janssen



Video of the Week

Shake It Off...

Where are you in your journey? 

It all started on 6/6/11

We all have those days that will stand out as a day that forever changed our lives. June 6, 2011, 10:45 AM will forever be etched into my mind. From that moment forward my life and how I viewed it would change. 


On that day I decided to not simply be a bystander. I wanted to help educate people and to tell my story so that others would not feel alone. Along this amazing journey I have met amazing people who are doing their part to make the world a better place. 


The most important thing for you to know, if you are reading this, is that you have a voice. You have the ability to help others and to change the world. 

Where Aaron Gets Information...

Mark S. King

Justin B Terry-Smith

Josh Robbins

Mathew Rodriguez

National HIV/AIDS Strategy

As a toddler I was taken into foster care due to neglect and abuse. This was something that would forever change who I am. Instead of running from the fact, I fully embrace it and freely share my experiences for those who might be in similar situations. 


Addiction is something that I talk about quite a lot since I am in recovery and actively working a 12-step program. I share with my viewers on YouTube my journey with addiction as well as My HIV Journey.



Sponsor a child...

CDC Campaign banner of Aaron, a person CDC Campaign banner of Aaron, a person living with HIV since 2011 from St. Louis, Missouri: HIV Treatment Works. Get in Care. Stay in Care. Live Well. Hear his story at  cdc.gov/HIVTreatmentWorks. undetectable. And that makes me unstoppable, says Aaron of St. Louis, Missouri. HIV Treatment Works. Get in Care. Stay in Care. Live Well. Hear his story at  cdc.gov/HIVTreatmentWorks.