such a thing
as a force
in our lives,
Watch for Bob Bowers'
appearance on VH1's, Couples Therapy - Season 5 starting this
September! Stay tuned!
Thank you for taking
the time to visit my
However you got
here, I'm thankful
you did. I sincerely
hope that you enjoy
browsing through the
OTP has been
in existence for
fourteen years now.
This site is a
testament to hope, survival
and the power of
compassion in the
AIDS. It also pays
homage to the
over 36 million of
sisters who were
taken from us far
too early in life.
I've lost dozens of
dear friends to the
disease and I do my
very best to honor
their lives and
courage. I miss them
I have survived
living with HIV/AIDS
for three decades
now and have
dedicated my life to
empowering youth and
adults about this
dreadful scourge we
I am honored to wear
multiple hats in the
these many years of
being a long-term
survivor of AIDS, an
AIDS activist, and
through my advocacy
as a youth HIV/AIDS
educator, I have had
the honor to speak to
of students and
adults. As a result,
my life has been
enriched in a deeply
Without a doubt,
our greatest weapons in helping to
stop the spread of
HIV. The goal of my
outreach: to fight
stigma, slow the
spread of HIV and
people about the
33-year toll of AIDS
on our planet, and
most importantly -
change on our planet.
Without a doubt, I
did not get here
alone, and I
sincerely believe it
is my God-given
give back that which
I've been so freely
given! I extend my
heartfelt thanks to
who have blessed my
wondrous journey in
life - past and
involvement in my
life, as well as
your words of love
are forever embedded
in my heart, carried
with me on my
mission, and can be
found on the many
Pirate Production, Inc.
is extremely honored and proud to partner with Skinny Bitch's Cookie
Company in spreading awareness and education of HIV/AIDS. Stay-tuned
for more and how to get your hands on one of these delicious OTP
Just released from UNAIDS, HIV is the leading cause of death and
disease in women of reproductive age!
HIV/AIDS educator Bob
presentation with students
at North Bend High School in
SPREADING THE WORD
Preventing HIV is goal of North Bend graduate
After speaking to the students at North
Bend High School Tuesday, Bob Bowers
poses for photographs in the gym.
Bowers, a 1981 graduate from the school,
has been living with HIV for more than
30 years and travels around speaking to
raise awareness of the disease.
leads by example and puts his all out there in
order to get the message out there that AIDS
knows NO boundaries! Through education people
can learn AIDS does define the person who have
AIDS! AIDS MUST END!!
you have a friend who is an actual hero? I do!
Meet my friend, Bob! In the 80's, he was livin
life and having fun. One mishap changed his
life! BUT, what he did was AMAZING! After
swallowing his diagnosis, he STOOD UP and pretty
much said, "screw you"! For over 30 yrs he has
tried to educate and break the stigma of
HIV/AIDS. To look at this hunk of a tattooed
man, to see his contagious smile and actually
see inside him, I'm pretty sure his heart is
made of gold! Take a few minutes to read this.
And check out his website. The youth HIV/AIDS
awareness poster's themselves will bring hope to
your heart! I love you, Bob!
HIV/AIDS educator Bob
Bowers' complete YouTube
at North Bend High School in
Heartfelt thanks to
The World Newspaper, KDOCK Radio, and KEZI TV in North Bend, Oregon
for providing amazing coverage of Bob's Ribbon Warrior MC Pacific
Northwest Tour! Knowledge and awareness are priceless! CURE HIV! END
By Lou Sennick, The World Oct. 22, 2013 Bob Bowers
arrives inside the gym at North Bend High School on his motorcycle
that he travels around the country on. Bowers, a 1981 graduate from
the school, travels to raise awareness of living with HIV. He has
been living with it for more than 30 years
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
you are one
keep an ass
you down! Be
Much love to you from the Teen AIDS Task Force peer educators and coordinator in Northern NY... It's nice to be reminded that there are other "HIV Warriors" out there fighting the fight with us - even if we don't see them...
Peace and Love, ~
Today I am thankful for my friend Bob
Bowers. I had been looking at
films for my AIDS class and had come across a
documentary about his life. A week later I was working at AIDS Walk Wisconsin
and looked up to find him at my window. He visited that semester for a screening
of the film and presentation. Living with HIV/AIDS for 30 years, he has been
through so much but has given so much more. He has spent much of his life with
HIV working to educate young people, sometimes at the expense of his own health.
He is affectionately known as One Tough Pirate and is a wonderful advocate. He
also inspires me to keep working to educate about HIV/AIDS no matter how
discouraging it can be.
~ Jennifer Peterson
Assistant Professor at Mount Mary University
can truly say when I read Your page it gives me Hope, And makes me feel great knowing that there is a HERO named Bob Bowers out there fighting for everyone...God Bless You Bob
Youth HIV/AIDS educator Bob
Bowers and Senator Tammy Baldwin
Bowers is a
As someone who
has lived with
AIDS for over
30 years, Bob
is not just
He works passionately
to fight complacency
the lives of
him. His commitment
about the importance
of healthy choices
in their lives,
and his advocacy
of quality health
care for those
AIDS, are just
of his numerous
why. You are
told it is
cancer or an
years and a
do you do?
Thanks so much
for doing what
you do. VERY
people feel they
anyone who has
DO know someone
it... they just
don't know that
are so scared
still that it's
openly. It needs
to be talked
about. I have a
been living with
AIDS for over a
anyone who asks,
he doesn't lie
about it, but he
either. Too much
stigma, too much
at risk for him
to lose. Things
Thank you so
much for your
site and for
doing what you
do. It's so
Best wishes to
Youth HIV/AIDS educator Bob Bowers with Powers, Oregon
and school teacher, Sam Stevens
An abundance of
gratitude to Powers High School and Powers Elementary
School in Oregon for having us present to the 3rd
graders and high school student body on HIV/AIDS
education and awareness! Dab The AIDS Bear and I look
forward to future visits!
END AIDS! #ENDaids!
is living proof that the human spirit can survive against all odds.
"I don't have to tell you that we all have our own shit to deal
with, mine just happens to be AIDS," he said.
The ink on his body was injected with a small needle
that moves up and down at a rate of several hundred
vibrations per minute. It penetrates the skin only by
one millimeter but can leave grown men in tears.
It only takes one look to know Bob has felt some pain in
His tattoos tell a story. Somewhere in the living
mural is a beginning and an end. Bob goes back to the
parlor year after year adding to his body new cryptic
"I shared a needle with my girlfriend one time," Bob
said. In 1983 Bob and his girlfriend wanted to get high
and so they shot up some crystal meth. It changed Bob's
life forever. Two years later he was diagnosed with the
tattoo means one more year of survival. He
celebrated 20 years with a tattoo of a blue bird. AIDS
is trying to kill him but Bob is fighting back. I don't
want sympathy and I don't want people to perceive me as
a victim, he said.
Bob will do anything to survive the disease. He lives
one day, one dose at a time. Drugs have turned his
automatic death sentence into a painful but manageable
disease. He estimates that his prescriptions cost about
$3,000 per month.
"I'm a walking testament to modern medicine," Bob said.
He opened a medicine bottle and poured a heap of pills
into his hand-the "morning dose." He tried to pop the
handful into his mouth all at once but couldn't do it,
there were too many.
He passed around a hypodermic needle for everyone in the
classroom to see. The needle is more than an inch long.
His body stopped producing testosterone a long time ago
so he will inject some of the hormone into his thigh.
"That's a lot of meat to go through!" he jokes.
He has a big smile on his face. To him, this all feels
like a miracle. The drugs keep him alive.
Years ago he was being injected with mice cells just to
experiment for potential treatments. Some of the drugs
he was once prescribed made him so sick he couldn't eat
a house salad without vomiting.
In 1989 he started what was known as "monotherapy," or
AZT. It was the first drug approved for the treatment of
HIV. The drug stops the virus from spreading to new
cells but does nothing for cells already infected. To
Bob the medication is like a Band-Aid over a gaping
wound. "There is a multitude of ways they attack it but
they're just slowing it down," he said.
Bob used monotherapy for seven years until the FDA
approved new drugs called protease inhibitors in 1995.
Bob started taking the combination therapy, also known
as the "cocktail." According to the Center for AIDS
Information and Advocacy, combination therapy "radically
altered the course of HIV disease."
But the cocktail made Bob feel sicker than ever. He
began to wonder what chemotherapy must feel like. "They
wear on your body and your mind. Then try going to work,
shitting yourself, vomiting yourself." The side effects
of the medications got worse. He stood in his shower for
hours vomiting everyday.
"We kept hope for a new drug." One pill made him numb
from his mouth to his belly, like a shot of Novocain
from the dentist's office. One pill put him in a
wheelchair. He didn't care about the side effects; Bob
was surviving to see tomorrow.
He kept score as the "cocktail" had a great impact on
the AIDS community. Deaths attributed to the disease
dropped drastically wherever combination treatment was
available. In 1997, for the first time since 1990, AIDS
dropped from 8th to 14th place as a leading cause for
death in the United States, according to the national
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1999 the
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
announced they had finally traced the origin of AIDS to
a group of subspecies of chimpanzees in Africa. Bob had
been living with the disease for 16 years already.
Bob can look back and remember everything that has
happened. He can remember his friends dying. He can
remember all his girlfriends and his 11-year marriage.
While living with AIDS, Bob owned a gym in Los Angeles
and he can remember that, too. He looks back and thinks
about his mother dying of breast cancer when she was 35
"I never thought I would see 35, no way," he said. Bob
is now 43. "It's a miracle." Most of all, his dreams
have kept Bob going. "Every dream I ever had even before
I had AIDS has come true," he said.
Bob was 21 years old he went to the doctor. He
thought he had simply been partying too much. Swollen
glands, fever and fatigue called for a blood test and
the results came soon after.
That was how it all started: the treatments,
medications, blood tests and injections. The insults,
anger and confusion, they all started, too. In 1985, the
only thing spreading faster than AIDS were the
misconceptions about the virus.
HIV and AIDS were called "gay diseases" and people
believed they could be spread from sharing water
fountains or kissing. Bob was afraid to share a soda
with anyone. Some of the doctors refused to enter the
room because they were afraid. Other doctors wore
protective gloves and masks just to talk to Bob.
"People have no clue as to the passion, the anger I have
that today we know exactly how AIDS is spread," he said.
Bob is on an endless pursuit to spread awareness about
He started fighting AIDS in his body. Now he is fighting
it from spreading to other people. He is fighting at
home, at elementary schools, rehab centers, prisons and
even in the nation's capitol. He flew to Washington D.C.
to lobby for cheaper drug prices because people with
AIDS are dying on waiting lists in the United States.
Bob is fighting to live and he is fighting for everyone.
"People really get it when you tell it real," he said.
"I try to put into context what it is like to live with
HIV and AIDS." To Bob, spreading the truth about HIV and
AIDS is as important as finding a cure. "If you think
about the homophobia, the job discrimination, the
ignorance involved. Throw in compassion and everything
changes," he said.
Bob is living proof that the human spirit can survive
against all odds. "I don't have to tell you that we all
have our own shit to deal with, mine just happens to be
AIDS," he said.
People ask Bob how he got here and he tells them it is a
combination of everything. Its more than just the drugs,
they are far from a cure; more than his friends, many of
them have died; more than just his tough childhood, he
is a grown man now. "None of those things slowed me down
and I'm not about to let HIV/AIDS slow me down," he
- Libraries, schools,
and work places
shipping and handling
- Non Profits
shipping and handling
"As a six time
AIDS Rider and Crew, nothing struck this personal beyond the ride experience…Bob
captured that, shared his pain and anguish and all I could do is go in a corner
and cry and reminisce. He brought me to a place that I didn’t want to go again,
challenged my sense of worth and made me want to do this all over again. He made
me reach out to other Brothers and Sisters, daring them to ride again...The
DVD takes you through some tense moments but you have to endure those valley
experiences to appreciate the mountaintop. While he pumped his body and pushed
his limits, we were there with him, cheering, crying and aching along those
routes. A true inspiration…To Bob—I salute you. Your soon to be “Black Soul”
Brother in the cause of this mission."
~ Mike McKinney
News Anchor-NBC 15
SLATES EXCLUSIVE NETWORK
PREMIERE OF POWERFUL AND
“THE FIRE WITHIN,” AN
EYE-OPENING LOOK ABOUT
Premiered June 6,
2010 & ran for 2years-
THANKS again to the
Documentary Channel for
airing The Fire Within!
is a powerful, eye-opening look at real people stepping up to the
challenge that life has dealt them. AIDS has not disappeared from
society and Bob tells it like it is. Bob is amazing, tough and a
powerhouse. Shawn is an true supporter of this struggle and a strong
companion. Interesting that this is rated unsuitable for children
under 14 because I think you will find that our children are a lot
more experimental than we might believe. Our children, as well as
adults, need to view this. It is a wake up call and a celebration of
a journey. Inspiring and humbling.
husband and I watched 'The
Fire Within' last night. It was so powerful and heartfelt. You
are an amazing spirit Bob. You are a brave 'WARRIOR' and you put up
a good fight against HIV/AIDS. I hope you are doing well today! It's
a day at a time. I thank you for the work you are doing and the hope
Peace, Good Health and Many, Many Blessings friend, ~ Nancy ~
Really insightful as to what it's like living with HIV.
Teaches the truths about the disease; worth watching and
will give you something to think about. Everyone can learn
something from this.
an appropriate title!! It is your passion and drive that keep you
going!!! With all the terrible news happening daily, it is so
uplifting to see a video like this!! And I am still crying!! You are
an inspiration!! You will survive, you are soooo needed!!
due to a
day -- a
Bob Bowers' presentation on HIV/AIDS at
KEZI 9 News
Bob Bowers and friends, carrying
the ACT UP banner and
demonstrating in front of the White House
By Jeromy Dunn
Over the past several years, the word ‘activist’
has been used in a disparaging light. Being labeled
an activist as of late, brings with it some negative
under tones that makes one think that being an activist
is ‘bad thing’.
If it weren’t for activists, women may not have
the right to vote, segregation would still be law
of the land, or the United States could still be
under British rule.
I am an activist. I am proud to call myself an activist.
I am a gay rights activist, cause I believe so strongly
that everyone in the United States has the unalienable
right to be treated equally and with out prejudice
under the law. I am an
activist, because living with this disease carries
with it a stigma that can sometimes be so damaging
that I waited years to be
tested; I was simply too afraid of how people would
have treated me if I tested positive.
Well I did test positive, and thankfully, for the
most part I have been treated well by most people.
This isn’t to say there are
not people out there who think that my having HIV
is my punishment for being gay.
I speak out, simply because there are those who
living with HIV/AIDS who can’t speak out for
themselves. I speak out
because I believe that just because I am living
with this virus doesn’t mean that I can’t make a
difference, it’s because I know I can make a difference.
If I am able to get just one person to see me as
a person first and HIV second, then I have done
Activism comes in all shapes, styles and people.
I am proud to be an activist, and I gladly accept
I want to thank a couple of people, who have inspired
aka One Tough Pirate founder of
for not only fighting this
AIDS but for encouraging me to do my part to
stigma of HIV/AIDS to educate people on the
facts of AIDS, and mostly I am proud to call him
Peter Staley, founder of AIDSmeds.com, for creating
a space that allowed me to fuel my fire to fight AIDS,
who was there at the beginning when I found out
I was positive. He showed me that I have many more
years left to fight on, and make some change in
this world. I am also very proud to call him my
friend with the deepest admiration.
I will gladly stand with you both, arm in arm, and
You are always in my thoughts & prayers. You are a true
inspiration...a beautiful heart of gold...and a soul full of spirit
=] Thank you for being you & for being a friend to so many...Much
love to you...
~ Jen xoxo
educator Bob Bowers after
speaking at Pitchess Detention Center in Los Angeles,
ink is AMAZING! You are truly an inspiration, and I
applaud all your energy and effort you have dedicated to
such a worthy cause!
world needs more people like you Bob. Your
an inspiration to many and that includes me!
you Bob, but I think I am the blessed one to
see such a wonderful person committed like
you are and so positive and loving:) God's
many blessing to you
world needs more people like you Bob. You're
an inspiration to many.
tripped over your website and found it
inspiring and your
tattoos cool as hell. Keep doing what
you're doing man, you're making the world a
tattoos are amazing, and keep up the good work. i know too many
people my age (20's) who are finding out that they have
HIV because they didn't use a condom... Thank you for doing what
are an inspiration to so
many... Keep on keeping
NEVER EVER SURRENDER!
Dab the AIDS
I told Mrs.
Puls to have
our time got
back to our
Da Pirate, my friend,,
Camp Heartlandnd, the ACT Rides, a rally in Texas, or an informational session in Los Angeles, you are amazing. More than that, you are a beacon of hope that 20+ years is possible. Keep up the good work.
long-term survivor Bob
Bowers, One Tough
Pirate, also known
simply as " Da
years. Bob started
HIV positive speaker
with peer education
programs in Los
after his diagnosis.
To broaden his
personal message of
of the disease, Bob
organization, HIVictorious, Inc.
One Tough Pirate
advocacy in the San
Francisco Bay Area
and throughout the
through Bob's public
speaking and its
if it Were You?"
is a leading and
well respected AIDS
advocate and leader
the fight against
As a long-term
someone who has lost
dozen of friends to
AIDS, Bob is
youth and young
adults about the
HIV/AIDS, as well as
living with AIDS
is a champion for
hope and survival
despite some of the
ALL face in