Exclusive: HIV Activist Tyler Orr Finally Speaks
In 2015, Tyler Orr was arrested for allegedly not disclosing his HIV status prior to a consensual sexual encounter. Now he wants to say something.
After nearly 3 years of waiting, with his life on pause and his sexual encounter discussed with law enforcement, national media, within the HIV community, losing his spokesperson opportunities with a national HIV campaign, and his family hearing more details about his sex life than he ever wanted them to know, Tyler Orr is ready to speak again. He shares an exclusive message with imstilljosh.com for all those that supported him throughout this experience.
Days after his arrest, Orr participated in an exclusive 2-part video interview detailing the alleged circumstance of not disclosing prior to having sex with someone allegedly HIV negative. After that interview was highly criticized by some well-known HIV activists in the anti-criminalization community, Orr went silent publicly. [It is worth noting that those who critiqued his interview with imstilljosh.com, and are highly touted as the leaders of the anti-criminalization movement, appear to have done very little in actually assisting Orr at all. It’s certainly very interesting to consider that the groups we think would step up and help in these types of circumstances, are more quiet than crickets when the court papers start piling up.]
In September of 2017, imstilljosh.com exclusively reported that the criminal case appeared to be put on hold, indefinitely. Although Orr was not willing to comment on the record at the time, we were assured that when he could speak, he would.
Well that time is now!
Tyler Orr releases a statement exclusively to imstilljosh.com and it is being published in its entirety. We are thrilled that Orr can close this unfair chapter in his life and we are very proud to have stood up and publicly supported him in every way we knew how. Readers of imstilljosh.com launched and supported a viral campaign to stand beside this HIV activist because it could be anyone of us in that same position facing tremendous scrutiny unfairly.
Tyler Orr Speaks
“I do not even know where to begin when it comes to saying ‘thank you’ to those who have stood behind me the past 3 years and those who still stand strong behind me as I now can start my life again.
It’s been a tough road, but without my wonderful family, friends, and people that have supported me during this difficult time in my life… I am at a loss of words and will never be able to say ‘thank you’ enough for being there and helping me get to where I am today!
HIV is not a crime. Most importantly, I am very healthy and plan to live a long and successful life sharing my story with others, in hopes to be able to just reach at least one person (more the merrier), letting him or her know that at times life is tough and that living with HIV is not all that bad. Together we can be greater than AIDS. We most fight to end HIV and AIDS stigma because this disease does not define who we are as people!
Again, I thank each and every one of those who wrote me private messages, gave me a hug, gave their shoulder for me to cry upon, and helped provide the courage to keep moving forward. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
❤️Blessings to Tyler and thank you all for standing with [imstilljosh] in launching the #isuppORRt viral campaign and doing the right thing of sticking up for one of our own!