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HIV Advocate and Award-winning Speaker Scott Fried Lectures at Eastern

Published on September 10, 2015

HIV Advocate and Award-winning Speaker Scott Fried Lectures at Eastern

On Sept. 9, national public speaker, author and health educator Scott Fried came to Eastern Connecticut State University to talk to students about love, HIV and social media in a lecture titled “Swipe Right for Sex: Love and HIV in the Age of Dating Apps.”

Fried was charismatic and engaging while he used his experiences as a gay man with HIV to teach students about the importance of avoiding situations that put them at risk. “We are contradictions. We say one thing and we do another,” he said. “We say we’re never going to drink again and then hit the bar with some friends the same night.” He stressed that human beings make bad decisions and take unnecessary risks but we can mitigate these risks by keeping in touch with our own emotions and communicating with friends, partners and significant others.

Fried emphasized just how risky dating can be, especially in the age of social media, where people on apps like Tinder and Grindr often misrepresent themselves. “You can’t weed people out just by asking,” said Fried. “All it takes is one lie or someone not quite telling the whole truth to change your whole life.”

Being a gay man with HIV has not always been easy for Fried, but through his struggle he hopes to help people who are dealing with similar issues and promote a better understanding of the issues they face in today’s society. “I value my life and I value my mistakes,” said Fried. “Everyone should feel that they’re deserving of love and be able to look at themselves in the mirror and say ‘I am enough.’”

Written by Ryan King