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

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Praying for the beautiful community of students, teachers and parents at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.

I spent an amazing day lecturing there in October, 2015. Here is a video of the students approaching me to shake my hand after that talk.

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Here's a short video of the throng of students who stayed behind to thank me after my talk at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

Feelin' like a rock star!

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One of my assignments the past month to the students at Colby College was to write a letter or a poem entitled "If You Grew Up" to a child who died of AIDS in the 80's. I encouraged my undergrads to tell these children, who would now be a few years older than the students themselves, what their lives would have been like, had they been given the chance to grow up.

One student chose Janie, who was 18 months old when she died of AIDS. She had very little motor control and was fed through a nose tube, but she was able to smile every time a face appeared over her crib. Her favorite song was the Itsy Bitsty Spider.

Here's a small part of Danielle's letter to Janie:

"If you grew up, you would know joy. Simple, easy joy. Unwrapping a new toy from under the Christmas tree or swinging outside of your family home on the island. Smelling roses. Eating pasta. That's all joy.

If you grew up you would have your first kiss. You would be awkward in middle school. You would wear dark eye liner hoping to fit in. Someone would have their friend ask you out for them in the hallway by your decorated locker. And he would kiss you outside in the middle of the street, illuminated by streetlights.

Janie, if you grew up, you would learn what is imperfect. You would learn what it's like to be brave, to face what's imperfect head on and to accept and to forgive.

If you grew up, you would see grass sprouting each spring. You would lie down with your friends on the hill. The stars would shine and you would laugh. You would know that happiness is the cause of weightlessness.

Janie, if you grew up, you would know love. Real love. You would persevere and you would find it. You would learn that love is the most important thing out there." ... See MoreSee Less

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I’m proud to share that I’m teaching up in Maine all this month, as an adjunct professor at Colby college. Using the past three decades living with HIV, I’m giving my beautiful and inquisitive undergrads a multidisciplinary approach to HIV/AIDS. This first week, we are studying the emergence of the epidemic, from the Reagan Administration’s non-response to my HIV support group’s influence over the making of the musical RENT. We’ll cap off the week with an in-depth study of the science of AIDS: from the life-cycle of the virus to opportunistic infections and drug treatment.

It’s such a thrill to help them realize that they are all standing on the shoulders of ghosts, young men and women who died long before they were even born. They are beginning to recognize the invisible burden and the awesome responsibility of growing up in a world with greater knowledge and hopefully, deeper compassion for a better future. ... See MoreSee Less

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Here's a throwback to 1998. I was 34 years old and had just been cast in a role on "The Guiding Light" as Bart, a guy with AIDS, when producers at the Sally Jesse Raphael show invited me to talk about my character and my life with HIV. It was an AIDS episode filled with "risk-group stereotypes." On stage with me were an IV drug user, a hemophiliac, a sex worker, a Haitian and a straight man. As soon as I walked onto the set, I realized they picked me to fill "the gay man with HIV" slot.

Twenty years later, while AIDS is still a worldwide issue, we no longer relegate the disease to stereotypical risk groups. We've come so far, yet the message is still the same: every life matters.

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As we commemorate another World AIDS Day, and as I celebrate my 30th anniversary of living with HIV, I’d like to share my thoughts on gratitude.

Please take a moment to watch. I hope you enjoy.

Scott

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