CHICAGO -- Jamar Rogers of NBC’s hit reality television show "The Voice" speaks candidly about his music, his struggles, and life beyond HIV in an in-depth interview in the July+August issue of Positively Aware magazine, now available in print and online.
Earlier this year during auditions for the second season of the popular singing competition, which includes judges CeeLo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton, Rogers disclosed to producers that he was HIV-positive. Throughout the run of the show and up until his elimination during the semifinals, Rogers spoke very openly about his HIV status as well as his struggles with crystal meth addiction.
Rogers had previously discussed his experiences with addiction and recovery with "American Idol" producers while auditioning for seasons eight and nine of "Idol," but at the time was not yet ready to talk about the fact that he was HIV-positive. His willingness to open up about his HIV status during auditions for "The Voice" was something that Rogers had decided he was finally ready to do.
“I decided a while ago to live for something greater than myself,” Rogers said in the 30-minute interview with PA, “me just being famous for the sake of being famous wasn’t enough. I wanted to make an impact on the world, and I wanted to really help people.”
While he doesn’t like the term celebrity, Rogers says he is embracing it if it means he can use his celebrity for his own good. “What I’m hoping is that my music is so good, that I won’t be the HIV guy, but I’ll just be this amazing artist who happens to have HIV.”
The full interview audio and transcript is now online HERE, including never before seen photos by Los Angeles photographer Matthew Garsteck, shot exclusively for Positively Aware magazine.
Rogers is also slated to appear at the XIX International AIDS Conference being held in Washington, D.C. July 22-27. Positively Aware will be reporting live from the conference on its website, and sending live updates via Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #AIDS2012 and the Twitter handles @PAEditor and @PosAware.
Positively Aware, now in its 23rd year, is the leading not-for-profit magazine devoted to HIV treatment and health. With a circulation of 100,000, PA is published bi-monthly by Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN). Founded in 1987, TPAN is Chicago’s oldest peer-led AIDS service organization and specializes in treatment information, support services, and prevention.