The Journey

Hello Everyone! Allow me to thank you in advance for taking the time to even consider reading my 1st Official blog post exclusively found at and our mobile app. (#SHAMELESSPlug)


The Journey will take you on many rides though the urban black gay male eye, as it is seen today. We will also feature members of N.Y.P.S (National Youth Pride Services) to get their views, thoughts, and opinions. We will weigh in on trending topics and pressing issues concerning our community. I will also use this space in sharing my own personal stories and experiences.

I hope you don’t mind, but I would like us to get to know one another. I always love to hear honest and real feedback.

Allow me to tell you a little about myself. I’m Maliek but close friends call me Muff. (Either one is fine with me) I’m from Birmingham, Alabama. I’m sure you have heard of it a one time or another. (LOL)

I don’t want to bore you with the “ABOUT ME” facts! Who reads that anyway? Right? Lets be honest you are still reading this because of the headline. It’s exactly true though.

HIV is my saving grace in so many ways. When I was 19 years old I tested positive for HIV. It was only two years after I had graduated from high school. I was really just coming to accept who I was and becoming secure in my own sexuality. Looking back on it now I feel like I couldn’t have tested positive at a better time in my life, I was still teaching & learning more about the man I would come to love. Don’t get me wrong; HIV pushed me back in a very dark closet I had proudly broken out of. I was forced to live what felt like two lives. Even though I wasn’t lying to my friends and love ones, I wasn’t going to tell them. I initially only told my parents, grandparents, and godmother, you know the hierarchy of the family. I spent a year researching HIV, finding people though social media to connect with who were already open about their HIV positive status.

You see I needed to know the REAL.

It was almost like I went into “Damage Control”. Coming from my community, I knew that this was something I wanted and had to say first. My thought process was if there is going to be strange conversations about me when I walk by people, I might as well give you the right information first hand. Call me defensive, but I refuse to live my life anyway but open and honest.

You see, testing HIV positive was my saving grace because essentially it brought me closer to GOD, makes me value life (the good and the bad)

At its core, HIV took me off a destructive path of life and gave me the voice I was searching for.

That’s All for now. Don’t forget, I want to hear from you guys tell your feedback, thoughts, topic ideas, and own stories by just emailing SUBJECT: THE JOURNEY BLOG

Maliek Powell serves as a brand ambassador for National Youth Pride Services.

National Youth Pride Services,

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone. 773-YPS-8051