The most amazing thing happened when an HIV-positive man dared people to touch him: 'I'm HIV-positive. Touch me.'

When an HIV-positive man stood on the street and dared people to touch him, nobody expected what happened next.

Janne, the HIV-positive man, stood next to a sign that read:

%shareLinks-quote=""I'm HIV-positive, touch me."" type="quote" author="Janne" authordesc=""%

He stood with his eyes closed and arms outstretched in an effort to see whether the negative stigma attached to HIV would prevent people from embracing him. Completely vulnerable, he waited to see what people would do.

The first round of onlookers neglected to touch Janne. Then, people softened and got closer to him. There were a few handshakes and shoulder pats, and from there something incredible happened.

Janne received one hug after the next! People were engulfing him in full-blown bear hugs. Even young children got in on the action.

There's no better way to make someone feel loved, accepted, and human. Overwhelmed by the support, Janne smiled through tears. His HIV doesn't define him.

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Watch this video to learn more about the negative stigma attached to HIV:

Cookie Johnson on the HIV and AIDS Stigma
Cookie Johnson on the HIV and AIDS Stigma

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