I have been living with HIV/AIDS for 40 years.
In 1983, I was infected from sharing a syringe to inject crystal meth and was launched into a reality I never would have dreamed of. In 1984 I was told I had cancer or 'this thing called AIDS' and to prepare for the worst.
I am serious about prevention, education, reducing stigma, raising awareness and funds in the fight against AIDS in the United States and beyond.
I speak passionately about the disregard we too often have for our most marginalized youth and adults and the dire need to address issues such as racism, homophobia, addiction and poverty.
It is imperative that we quit ignoring the pink elephant and fight for a more united, empowered and enlightened society regardless of AIDS.
Near the end of my 11 year marriage, and the loss of my best man, I committed my time and energy to making a lasting impact in this fight and sharing my life story through my words as well - as a feature length documentary, The Fire Within.
In 2005 I founded the nonprofit educational organization, HIVictorious, Inc. I am wholeheartedly committed to not sugar coating the harsh realities of this pandemic, speaking truth to power and kicking some serious HIV ass. (and having a good time doing it!)
In doing so, I also honor the memories and courage of my dozens of friends from all walks of life who were taken from us far too early. It is to you my friends who have passed, and to the courageous souls surviving and thriving with this disease, that I will never ever surrender in this fight!
I bow to you, as well as my countless friends, and to my family for your unconditional love and support throughout these many years! It was surreal beyond all comprehension to have celebrated my 59th birthday this year!
Compassion is our cure!
You have, like the phoenix, risen from the ashes through your own determination and will. Remember that what has risen from the ashes is not a toad or mole, or skunk or weak lil' worm but a beautiful strong soaring phoenix that has spread his wings over and around us. So soar on, my friend, and enjoy the the wind in your face and the warmth of your friends and the beauty of your accomplishments.
"I can't even begin to put to words what it is like to be on the other side of AIDS documentary film/movie-The Fire Within on long term HIV/AIDS survivor Bob Bowers the camera when someone you have grown to love and care about is puking for 40minutes straight and you can't put the camera down to rub their back or get them water...
Bob knew I had fought my own mental, emotional and physical war so he trusted me and he let me in...
I have grown as a human being in ways I could have never imagined in the last three years. My heart and soul have been ripped wide open and I am so grateful to the Bowers for teaching me so much.
I hope this documentary film will not only educate but also inspire people around the world to look openly at whatever challenges they face and to appreciate every day-for life is a gift."
- Dr. Leanne Whitney
I just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come & visit me on Saturday. I'm so glad the weather was nice, and I had SUCH a great time. I had forgotten what a playful and fun person you are. We used to have so much fun in the WOW class with you, I remember being so bummed when you left. But I'm really glad that we have stayed in touch and I'm even more thrilled that things are going well for you, and you're feeling good. Y'know, I had wanted to tell you this before, but we were gabbing about so many things. Have you ever heard that country song by Tim McGraw, where he sings about being diagnosed with cancer, and how that prompted him to 'live' more? Do you know that song? It reminds me of you every time I hear it. You are the epitome of the chorus he sings "I went skydiving, I went Rocky Mountain climbing, I went 6.2 on a bull named Fu Man Chu............. I hope someday you get the chance to live like you were dying." Did he ever meet you? I think he wrote that song for you. = )
You are a reminder to everyone you meet how precious and tenuous every day we have on earth. Your energy, enthusiasm, and positivity are truly contagious. I wish there were more people in the world with a heart as big as yours. You really are an amazing person, and I am so blessed to know you and call you friend.
Love & Peace,
To know a real-live hero is an awesome responsibility...a bit like knowing an angel, This is what you are for so many people...the lives you touch are forever changed. You plant the most important seed in the minds of young and and old...this too can happen to you! We love you and cherish you. Take care and you will always be 'Our Pirate"
~ Marty Bell
The Fire Within is a compelling feature-length documentary film chronicling a year in the life of long-term AIDS survivor Bob Bowers. Bob was infected with HIV in 1983.
Your connection happens with so many kids as you make it REAL while you speak your truth and tell your story with words they hear. You are truly an old soul with much wisdom and a big heart! Thanks for doing what you do and making it electric!
Copyright © 2000 - 2023
Bob Bowers aka One Tough Pirate
Houston, Texas - All Rights Reserved.
Never ever surrender!