Happy New Year! – The Channel, HIV, Citizenship & Biktarvy Update – 2019

Happy New Year! – The Channel, HIV, Citizenship & Biktarvy Update – 2019

Okay. Haha [claps] Woo! Here we go! End of the year vlog, happening now. What’s up you guys? Raif Derrazi here and this is my final video for 2018. So
I’ve been thinking about what I want to talk about for my last video of the year
and I decided that with the new year and all good things that are coming I really
just want to take a moment to say, ‘Thank you’ to everyone. To uh recognize the growth
that has been made this past year and appreciate everyone’s support and
comments and encouragement and love in helping me build this awesome community
where we can all be here for each other. And and talk about not only HIV but
fitness and just living a healthy life and just becoming our best selves and
living our best life! So with that said, ‘Thank you so much!’ In
the last year–about a year ago–I had maybe 85 to 100 subscribers. I now am
just about to hit 6000. So that’s really freaking awesome in one year. And let’s
see, last year I was putting out content I would say maybe once every two
to three months. And then towards the end of the year I was slowly creeping
towards once a month. At the beginning of this year for the first like quarter to
half of the year I was doing once a month, maybe every two weeks for a while.
And then in the fall I really started to ramp it up..do every two weeks. And then
this last quarter I’ve been really shooting to do every week. So I’m putting
out content a lot faster now, a lot more. I’m trying to improve the quality. Like I
said before, I got a new camera, a new mic setup. And I just bought a new macbook so
that I can edit. It’s like…so I’ve been working on this macbook that’s it was a
too late 2011. And when I had to export videos out of Final Cut it would take
me three/four hours to to export a video
that was like three or four Gigs. Now I, I export in under a minute.
It’s crazy. It’s saving me so much time. So I’m really stoked about that
and then I’m of course you know working on improving my Photoshop and my editing
and all that technical mumbo-jumbo you don’t really care about but hopefully
at the end of the day it brings you better content. You guys I get I get
messages every single day from not just here in the US but all around the world.
From Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica…no, I’m just kidding. Not
Antarctica. But all over the world and it’s freaking awesome. You guys are so
supportive and you guys are so open sharing your personal stories and the
hardships that you’ve gone through. And I don’t know. It’s just really, really cool
that we’re all connecting in this way. And that we’re able to be there for each
other and help each other grow and learn and and have hope and optimism: for the
future, for health, for like the, the…all the new…what’s the word I’m looking for?
All the new progress and new possibilities for a cure for HIV, And all
these things like Gammora came out. And then recently there was this other study
where the HIV in sleeper cells is being killed. And yes, we’re not at a cure and
we’re not in certainly not a trials but there are so many avenues from which a
cure can develop. So that is so like motivating…he agrees. And it should
inspire you guys to know that like people are working hard all over the
world coming up with ideas. New things are cropping up all the time. It’s just a
matter of time before things merge and make sense and we’re able to come up
with a practical cure. But yeah, so I love, I love the comments. I love the messages. I
try to do #mydailymotivation on Instagram stories. Some of you guys
have seen that. Every day I’ll post a message that I’ve received or a comment
that’s really inspiring and motivating to me. And I’ll post that up for you guys
to see–anonymously of course because I know a lot of you guys don’t want to be
seen or known. So I keep everyone anonymous, unless you say otherwise. Never have to worry about that. And then also I received a couple pieces of mail through
snail mail. Which is really cool! You guys found my my address. So that’s..good for you!
Good job on your sleuthing. But yeah I recently got this very, very nice,
thoughtful card and letter. You can see that. Let me…come on…there you go. This was
very nice! ‘Thank you!’ to the gentleman who sent this to me. Also wrote a very nice,
thoughtful letter there. So yeah, appreciate that. And also right there…another nice
card that I had received in the mail too. So thank you so much, you guys! You don’t
have to do that. And I don’t know it just… Any time I’m feeling maybe a lack of
motivation or if I’m questioning what I’m doing and whether it’s worth it,
whether I should keep going and… These kinds of things really keep me focused
and motivated and keep me on track to keep doing what I’m doing. So thank you
so much! I really, really do appreciate it. So, oh yeah, so I didn’t update you guys
on my citizenship. I meant to do that. So I went and took the citizenship–it was a
civics test and the English test. Went into an office. Sat down with a guy and
he did a verbal like English test Obviously I passed that; I’ve been here
since I was five years old and went to school here since I was five years old. So that was really, really easy. And then the civics test, I just had to study for
a few days. That was, that was easy too. You’re supposed to get six out of ten
questions right. The first six he asked me I got right so he didn’t even bother
asking me the last four. So that was cool. So I was looking down, so just to get–story time. So I was looking down at this little like, he had a manila envelope. No,
that’s wrong. He had a…what’s it called? Is it a Manila? I don’t know. It’s, it’s
those…it’s those typical filing. It’s just a filing folder that’s like yellow. He had a yellow filing folder and inside were all these papers that looked so old. And I was kind of like, he was taking notes and writing things down, and I was
kind of like trying to like peep a little bit and see what, what it was. And
I saw my mom’s name and her writing and I realized, ‘Oh s**t, those are the papers
from when we first came to America in 1990.’ Like those are old. They’re yellow.
They’re warped. It was funny because there was even a coffee stain on on the top
paper. I’m like what? Who? What? Who was drinking coffee and spilled coffee
on my immigration…on my mom’s and my immigration papers? What? And then so I
asked the guy, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Are those the papers from when we came here.’
And he’s like, ‘Yeah, these are these these are…this is everything. We keep it all in
a file. We had it shipped here to Los Angeles for your interview.’ And then he
was like, ‘Let’s let’s see what’s inside.’ He was super nice. Really friendly.
And started sifting through the papers. And then one of them I saw had my baby
footprints on it and my baby handprints when I was, you know, four and a half years old.
That was cu–that was cool. And then there was this envelope; it was
like this big. It was sealed. And I was like, ‘Huh, what’s that?’ and he goes, it’s
probably a picture from when I first came here and he’s like, ‘Let’s find out.
Let’s open it up.’ So we got a little letter opener cut that boy open and
inside was this adorable black and white little picture of me and when I first
got here. F.O.B. (Fresh-Off-the-Boat), when we arrived in Boston. So and he’s
like, ‘I’ll photocopy it for you so that you have it. You can show your mom. And so
he gave me a photocopy of that. In 1990 I was not even five years old in Boston
when I first came to America. Needless to say, it went really well. I passed and now
I’m just waiting for my oath ceremony where we all come pledge
allegiance. And that’s the last step. And that’ll be Tuesday the 15th at 7:15 a.m.
in downtown Los Angeles. I’ll be swearing in for my citizenship. Yay!
So now yeah so now I got that done. And then that’s really what I was I’ve been
waiting for so that I could start going on trips outside of the US. I just didn’t
want to deal with customs and all that. I already get pulled aside when I come
into the airport from out of the U.S. Like the last time I came from from the
Netherlands they pulled me into a room and just started questioning me and
badgering me really. They’re like, ‘Did you, did you go to Iraq while you were there?
Did you go to Afghanistan? Did you go to soldier training camps?’ Just, all kinds of
crazy stuff because my name is Arabic and my biological father’s side of the
family is Moroccan. So I immediately get pegged for stuff like that. It’s really
annoying and I just don’t want to deal with it. So I’ve been waiting to get my
citizenship before I travel abroad again. And I’m planning to go to Bali, Indonesia
in October. I’m definitely gonna film all of that. I want to go for at least two
weeks. And I decided while I’m there, for those of you living in Indonesia/Bali, I
want to do some good outreach work. Maybe working with some local HIV/AIDS
organizations…see if I can help or if I can at least bring awareness. I would
love to do some vlogging of all that. So that’s to come next–those are some of
my ideas for next year. And maybe I’ll do a trip, maybe like a week, in Australia.
I do have some family on the East Coast there. So I’d love to go up and down the
coast for like a week in Australia if I can manage it. You guys, I have so many
ideas. The more that I’m doing this the more that I have been churning this
stuff out every week and realizing that I can turn it out every week; that it is
possible with my full schedule. I can do it. And I can get the editing done and
have it out every week. My creative juices have really been flowing lately. And I’ve really been feeling inspired to do more and to talk about more. So what I
do is whenever I have and idea I immediately just put it…I
have a notepad, I have a notepad app in my iPhone. And I have a section that’s
just all for YouTube vlogging and as you can see I just just put down all my
notes as I go along. And then that’s how I decide what I’m gonna do next. And when
you guys give me ideas, when you comment or DM me or whatever,
I definitely record those too. And I add those to the list. So please feel free in
the comments below if there’s things that you want me to talk about, you want
me to go over, I’m definitely open to suggestions. Anyway, is that, is that it?
Is that all I have to say right now? Oh yeah, okay. So at my last doctor’s appointment
I was switched over to Biktarvy. I was currently taking Genvoya and my
doctor switched me over to Biktarvy. And I said I would be talking about my
experience on Biktarvy…but I had a surplus of Genvoya that I was running through
first. So that as I’m getting Biktarvy every month I’m still I’m still
consuming the Genvoya that I have. And therefore I’m building up a stockpile of
a Biktarvy. So I’ve just run through my Genvoya. I decided, January 1st I’m gonna
start Biktarvy. And I will start, I’ll record my experiences on that
medication, any side effects, any weird feelings or anything like that. And I’ll
update you on that too because that’s one of the latest best drugs that have
come out recently, thus far. And I have my doctor’s appointment on January 9th.
I am planning on recording that as well. I’ll make sure that we vlog that
too so that you guys can stay updated on my journey with my doctor. And I know
that the last one was really helpful for a lot of you guys. There was some really
good information. My doctor, Jay Gladstein, he’s awesome. He was in the interview in
the recent vlog too. He talked about supplements and any interactions with
with the medication. And basically said there aren’t any interactions that you have
to worry about…contrary to what a lot of you have been told by your doctors. There
isn’t a concern with whey protein or creatine or any of that really. Unless
you have pre-existing liver or kidney problems.
Then for the average person it’s really not an issue. The only other
concern was with, I believe, it’s magnesium. Yeah, but you have to take
magnesium in such high doses at the same time that you’re taking medication for
there to be any kind of interaction. And the average person just doesn’t take
anywhere near that. So even as taking it as a supplement like I am for
bodybuilding, it’s still not a concern. And I take magnesium on the opposite end
of the day as my medication, anyway. So it’s just a non-issue.
It really is. Anyway, my point is there was a lot of really good information
from that doctor’s visit. So I definitely wanna do that again because I’m sure
that we’lll uncover some more nuggets of goodness related to that, that will be
hopeful to all you guys. Okay so, is there anything else? Hmm I feel like I’m gonna
forget something. I think that’s it. Yeah, I think we’re good. Expect so much more to come
this year you guys. I’m so amped! I’m so excited! I have so many ideas. And my momentum is
only picking up and getting bigger and better. And I want to start collaborating.
And I was thinking about even like going out on the street–I live in West
Hollywood–I mean ‘hello!’ It’s like one of the gay Meccas in the US. So I’m
thinking about going on the street and just doing some impromptu interviews
with people to get their opinions, see what they have to say, what they think
related to HIV and whatever. And just kind of get out there and do some more
interactive stuff like that. So anyway, you guys. Thank you! Thank you! From the
bottom of my heart. You guys make this possible. You guys make this worthwhile.
Yeah, you really make my channel alive, not just a place where I’m recording
videos. But it’s a, we’re turning into a community and there’s so much good
coming out of it. And there’s so much, SO much more good that’s gonna come out of
it. I’m so excited and hopeful about the future. So
thank you! Thank you! Thank you! If you like this video, like it. If you haven’t
subscribed…if you’re new here, go ahead and hit the subscribe button. I’ve got so
much more content coming for you. Happy New Year everyone! Happy Holidays! I hope
you guys are all rocking it. Killing it out there! Living your best life! Stay
tuned. I’ll see you soon, peace.


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    A Scott

    RAIF ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ˜. Doing street interviews is awesome ! So many LGBTQI men aren't really up to speed on HIV !

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    Assim Green

    U look happy and blessed I am so glad seeing you like that. Happy 2019, literally this video is overflowing with positivity and hope. Stay happy Raif we love u so so so much

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    Rodrigo de la cruz

    Happy new year! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿคฉ Raif ๐Ÿ˜˜ wish you all the best this 2019
    Greetings from Peru ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช

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    Maximiliano Riveiro Silva

    So… Creative juices, huh? ;D XDDD Happy new year! I'm feeling so exhausted lately, don't know if it's the pills or the crazy job schedule I had lately… Or both, who knows D:

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    Congrats on such a fulfilling year as I'm sure there will be many more of the same and better to come! I can't wait for you to start the Biktarvy to compare notes as I've been on it for about a month now. So happy for your fast approaching citizenship,that's fantastic! I too will be researching and submitting my application in the next few months. I as well was brought over very young at 2 weeks and have been here since and would love to feel that 'you belong' sensation from the country I reside in. Again, Love you and your vids man!๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜„

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    Oh, honey… https://www.eturbonews.com/177039/indonesia-travel-lgbt-visitors-indonesia-may-soon-face-prison-time-caning

    Can't you just get back into voice lessons and start auditioning? You are coming into your own. You have something to offer the theatre. Don't forget it.

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    John Chilton

    Raif …. 'manila folder' – you were there, you had it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mate, happy & prosperous 2019. I like your vlogs as you're a kind, brave and obviously very sweet man on a mission to care and educate others about HIV. Supremely important goals, so carry on with your noble crusade! From an Aussie downunder! And 'yes' magnesium, calcium and also iron supplements are commonly minerals that you must take minimally 2 hours before or 6 hours after antivirals meds – best eveyone check their specfic drug interactions on a site like Postively Aware or similar; https://www.positivelyaware.com PS. Please come to Australia …. i think you'd love the country and our people and 1 week won't be enough!

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    Letty Rodriguez

    Hey Raif, do you think it's possible for your body to reduce your viral load to zero? I know it's undetectable in your body now, but from what I understood, you can still have it? Do you think you could strengthen your immune system enough to completely rid your cells of thr virus? ๐Ÿค”

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    Mario Lopez

    Iโ€™m hiv positive and I got denied health care I think Iโ€™ll just die from not taking my medsand give up

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    sum guy

    Keep going Raif cuz you inspire a lot of people! I expect you to get many more subscribers. Congratulations on getting citizenship! โ˜บ I'm thinking of asking my Dr to switch me to Bictarvy too. I've never been on just 1 a day. I've been positive 17 years and I'm 36 now so I guess I'm a long term survivor! Happy New Year!

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    Lorenzo Mares

    Hey Raif itโ€™s Lorenzo so happy to hear that things are going awesome!!! ๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป and congratulation on your American citizen hope it will make things to the best I canโ€™t wait for new video and seeing your positive spirit all over ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿผyou are the best !

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    Michael Peyper

    No idea if it's the new camera or because it's a new year, but your confidence is GLOWING Raif. You look so much more relaxed in front of the camera (starting to see a silly side to you and that's great, because you made me laugh) Happy New Year to you and Duke. May God bless the two of you. I am excited about your new content and what the year holds for you. Much love from South Africa ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

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    My man! Congratulations on your citizenship, that's so exciting! Hopefully throughout the year your channel grows into something really big that touches many, many people.. More people need to hear your message. Much love.

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    Ranica del vallia

    Hey Raif do you know about gammora? Itโ€™s a cure for hiv/aids 1months ago release in Israel . Itโ€™s true right?

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    Raif, you are such a good person to be with. Your positive energy, love, joy, and enthusiasm help all of us. Simply put, you are a boost in spirit for all of us. Congrats on your citizenship to our country! We need you so much with this current political dictator oppressing all of us. Love you, man, and thank you………>Ray

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    Joseph Guttie

    Hey man thanks for video I try to watch them all, I thought that u would talk about getting your citizenship and possibly be in trouble for been infected w hiv.

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    Joseph Guttie

    Hey man thanks for video I try to watch them all, I thought that u would talk about getting your citizenship and possibly be in trouble for been infected w hiv.

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    Migs 42692

    Hello Raif! This is Migs from back in December! Happy New Year and hope you had a fantastic holiday season. I've watched some of your bodybuilding videos and wanted to ask: what tips would you give to someone not necessarily wanting to add muscle mass so much as wanting more definition? I.e. "more cut." I have about a 14% body fat percentage so I don't need to lose weight (I weigh 154 lbs, give or take), but I've noticed some of the "lines" I used to have in high school and college are gone or disappearing. As always, thank you for your channel and may 2019 bring you happiness and productivity.

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    Roc Star Studio

    Oh snap,…..you put in a side shot….NNNIIIICCCEEEEEEEE. I hope you have an AWESOME year…. MAC's are great for editing way better than pc. I wanna thank you for taking the time to reply to my messages it only shows how true you are to your audience and it makes me wanna see your videos even more. Your spirit is captivating and I enjoy seeing you as always. Till next time stay cute keep making videos and keep smiling. 1love

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    Bruce Bosch

    I'm just in awe of your bravery. I wish you an awesum and long journey going forward. From a LTS in Africa – 30 years and still going strong coz of people like you. Bless u!

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    Glyn Robinson

    Wow! I didnโ€™t know the United States government done anything that early! (7:15am) ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Congratulations!.

    As you know, I already love your content. Please โ€œkeep doing what Iโ€™m doingโ€. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผโค๏ธ

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    vivian jimenez

    Raif, Thank you for publishing! I hope everything continues to go well. Your blog brings me joy. They are very educational and positive. Please continue to publish. I really look forward to seeing them. God bless you. Hope your year is wonderful.

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    Train Supporter

    Thanks for your video Raif…I'm afraid I am late in commenting…but I did enjoy so much this video…to see the growing number of subscribers…to see someone cared enough to send you a Christmas card…this is wonderful to see others caring about you…I am most grateful for this. I don't like to give just trite phrases, but will you accept my heartfelt wishes for this new year for you Raif…and God's watch care over you. It's people like you who brighten the corner where they are and make this world better. Thanks for all you do.

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    Andrรฉ Dudatt

    Hi Raif, just found your channel a few days ago and surely your approach concerning to health is so inspiring and positive. I do have some themeยดs suggestion for you:ย health insurances who cover HIV treatment in USย , the prices of some of the newest ARV (I did a lot of research in sites and articles and even found one on this link – https://bit.ly/2QRiz7P, but didnยดt find a single video talking about this). Many blessings for you in this new year, hugs from Brazil ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    Sean Shimamoto

    You know whatโ€™s even more impressive? Itโ€™s only April and you just hit 9,000 subscribers!!! Thatโ€™s a 50% gain in โ…“ of a year!!! Congrats Raif! That means that youโ€™re inspiring a LOT of us! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿค™๐Ÿฝ

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    Scott Odell

    You know Iโ€™ve had HIV from birth, and the last few months. Iโ€™ve been really depressed, and mentally unwell. from my friends putting me down. Isolation for four months man. Stigma dude

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