Welcome to the homepage of Scott Fried – international award-winning speaker, youth educator, and HIV/AIDS advocate.

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The season of summer camp begins with two glorious days of lectures at Emma Kaufman Camp in Morgantown, West Virginia. ... See MoreSee Less

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Proud to share that I recently delivered a TEDx talk at Marlboro High School on AIDS and the Gifts of Awkwardness.

As soon as the folks at TED release the video, I'll post it. In the meantime, stay tuned for some awesome excerpts. ... See MoreSee Less

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Here's a short video that explores the question, "Where does it hurt?"

youtu.be/XRQbtbhVxEQ ... See MoreSee Less

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On an unexceptional morning in the early June of my least favorite year, I stood in the office at the Department of Health, waiting to receive my HIV test results. It was 29 years ago today.

After hearing my number, I was ushered into an office and felt like an insecure actor on an empty stage, unsure of what to do with my hands. Then I heard the words, “I’m sorry... it’s positive.”

Time stopped. The room exploded into emptiness. My eyes saw only the white of absence. Gone, the four cinder-block walls that shut out the smell of fear in the waiting room. Positive. Gone, the gray metal desk the test counselor leaned against, manila folder in hand. Positive. Gone, the expectation of relief, the involuntary ability to ever again exhale. Positive. I tried wrestling the word away from my ears, which were instantly flooded with blood, but I was already immobilized and pinned to my past. Pieces of my childhood broke up into particles and projected themselves onto the now bare canvas of my mind as a series of fugitive moments: my mother’s profile...the back of her head...my father’s voice... Sunday morning sunlight through a window...the brown dresser in my childhood bedroom...a stuffed animal...my mother’s left hand gripping a white rag...my father calling out my name... ‘What have you done this time, Scotty? I can’t fix this one for you. What have you done?’”

Moments later, with some phone numbers in my hand and a souvenir in my bloodstream, I walked out of the test counselor’s office and back into the waiting room. Time had somehow re-started. With the word “positive” repeating over and over in my ears, the noise of the day rushed back in, deadening its echo. I heard a television set blaring reruns of the old game show, “Let’s Make a Deal.” I heard the vibration of my footsteps descending the empty stairwell. The creak of the front door. The silence of the day that lay open before me.

In grammar school, I loved the sound and feel of mornings in early June. The heavy rattle and easy roll of windows lifting open. The warm weightlessness of air entering the classroom. The dawning of longer days, of light that lingers, of heat that heals. The sound and feel of expectation, announcing the arrival of change. Now standing in the doorway of the Department of Health, I had reached the end of my adolescence. Like shrapnel to my senses, the promise of summer assaulted me. I dug my hands deep into my pockets, turned my face away from the sky and walked past the nameless statue in the center of the courtyard. With a newly carved-out chasm in the landscape of my life, I took a deep breath and crossed the street into my future.

It would be many years and countless lessons later that my friend, Cheryl, would lead me by the hand back to the center of that courtyard outside the Department of Health. On a late October evening, there in front of that nameless statue, we would dance.

Today I am not broken. I’ve been there and tomorrow will be better. ... See MoreSee Less

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Thanks to Gaby Sepu for painting my now famous "lecture jeans" and also to the folks at Goucher College for finding this pic from a few years back. #intheflow ... See MoreSee Less

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