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David Robertson

David Robertson

Photo courtesy of: Multicultural Center

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HIV/AIDS specialist David Robertson to speak Feb. 7

In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, David Robertson, a youth and young adult empowerment speaker and sex education prevention specialist, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 in the Baker University Center Theatre.

Currently, one in five Americans don't know that they are living with HIV, so Robertson is on a mission to bring his message of HOPE (Helping Other People Evolve) to youth and young adults globally. He wants to educate youth and young adults about the power of knowing your status.

Diagnosed with HIV in June 2007, Robertson's HOPE campaign progressed to Honesty Opens People's Ears. Once diagnosed, he knew that he had to help educate not only his peers, but also the next generation of youth. The media largely educates this generation and they are provided with little educational and preventative information regarding protection from sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Robertson wanted to change youth's impression of HIV diagnoses, informing them that knowing their status is greater than fear and doubt.

He infuses film, art and global awareness into a presentation to help others embrace what he calls "The Four Basic HOPE Invoked Qualities" Self Love, Self Respect, Global/National Community Activism and Global Citizenship.

Robertson is the founder of the David D. Robertson Foundation, which promotes the healthy development of youth and young adults of color. In 2009, he produced his first documentary "Helping Innocent Vessels" and in 2012 he wrote and published his second book, "At the Foundation of Love there is Victory."

He has served as ambassador for amfAR's (The Foundation for AIDS Research) 25 years of HIV/AIDS research campaign as well as a consultant for many other initiatives. Robertson's goal is to inspire youth of color nationally to become ambassadors of HOPE within their own communities.

This event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Programs and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board. It is free and open to the public.