Bob Bowers, also known as "Da Pirate," or "One Tough Pirate," is a 25-year thriving survivor of HIV/AIDS. To broaden his message of survival, youth prevention through education, hope and compassion, he founded HIVictorious, Inc. in 2005. As an HIV positive speaker, Bob knows first-hand the importance of putting a face to the disease in hopes of reducing AIDS stigma. He is far from the 'stereotypical' image of a person with AIDS, thus having a profound and lasting impact on his audiences. He is generously outspoken about his life struggles and personal choices prior to the time of his infection. Through his public speaking, he shares how HIV disease has helped him to make better choices and to appreciate the very simple beauty of day-to-day life. "For everything negative I can say about HIV, I can also find something positive to say. It's all about choices and playing the hand you are dealt."
Contracting HIV over two decades ago, before HIV testing was available, and shortly after receiving his ‘official’ diagnosis before anti-viral medications were available, Bob’s hope for survival turned immediately inward to mind, body and spirit. Since that dramatic turning point at a young age and through an 11-year marriage, he continues to fight the daily battles of adverse drug reactions through his intense desire to live. His tough muscular and tattooed appearance is softened by his inner sincerity and compassion while sharing his 25-year experience with this devastating disease.
Mr. Bowers is truly dedicated to making a lasting difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as other social issues. He is a powerful and motivating public speaker that reaches out to a large array of diverse audiences. He is a tireless and passionate advocate helping to shape HIV/AIDS policy. He is also active in fund-raising events, camps for youth affected or infected by HIV, guest-speaking engagements, and youth prevention education in schools, colleges, jails and community organizations. He has been interviewed through TV, Radio, Magazine and Newspapers, and has written articles featured in Web-MD, The Body, and AIDS Project Los Angeles’ Positive Living. The feature length documentary, “The Fire Within”, follows his life during 1999 as a moving story of courage, passion for life and the healing use of choice. Some of Bob’s awards are: FWA Winner of Best Speaking Panel-Human Sexuality, San Diego State University; AIDS Network Client Services Volunteer Award and AIDS Network Executive Director's Award for Outstanding Community HIV/AIDS Service, Madison, Wisconsin.