Learn about living with HIV and how to change communities through conversation. Explore the Brave Center
It's more complex and nuanced than that, of course, but when you boil it down, Octavia is here for others no matter their situation—whether living with HIV or a person of transgender experience, or both, like Octavia. She had to navigate that complex health journey on her own, and didn't want others to have to go at it alone.
“When I was first diagnosed in my early 20s, it was an eye opener for me. You can go one place to get your regimen for your virus, but you didn't have a physician to get your hormones as well. It was an ‘either or’ situation for many of us.”
With her eyes open, Octavia began her journey as a Transgender Health Coordinator, where she helps those who are gender nonconforming or trans navigate the healthcare system, serving as the main point of contact to put them in touch with the right primary care physician, infectious disease doctor, etc. She also helps them speak with those healthcare providers to forge relationships, and also lends a sense of allegiance for those having fearless conversations.
“No matter how many degrees or certifications, I believe in trying to be the best human I can be and showing others that we're all deserving and all worthy, and we all deserve to be here.”
A guiding light in Octavia's life came in the form of a mentor, Avery Wyatt, who she says helped save her life and give her a new purpose to help others. Wyatt also gave Octavia a mantra that she lives by daily, and that helps drive her professionally and personally: “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”