TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – South Florida resident Dab Garner was one of the first American people to be diagnosed with HIV in 1982.

He and dozens of other HIV-positive Floridians will get to tell their story beginning this week when the Florida Department of Health launches a statewide project to humanize the effects of HIV and AIDS.The Florida Department of Health is launching a statewide project to humanize the effects of HIV and AIDS.

The Faces of HIV will kick off with a mobile art exhibit in Tallahassee this week, followed by stops in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville.

The Faces of HIV project uses larger-than-life portraits, interviews and a library of journal entries. The project examines the effects of stigmas, personal relationships and medical care issues associated with being HIV-positive.

Health officials are hoping the stories of real people will help break long held stereotypes about the disease.

One of those people is Dab Garner who talks in a candid on-camera interview. Garner was diagnosed with HIV early in the epidemic when it was referred to as GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency.

He and the other participants from all over the state were given black journals and told to write about their lives. Those journals will be available at the exhibit.

The mobile exhibit will tour the state for six months.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  1. Robert says:

    Yeah, CBS is on a vcloenie (and oversexed sitcom) kick lately, it seems. I don’t think I watch any CBS shows, which is saying something, considering all the TV I watch.I did like the Budweiser commercial with the white dog that gets splattered with mud, though.

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