HIV is not you. It may be something you have, but it’s not the person in you. Yeah, I have HIV, but I’m not going to let it stop me from achieving my goals or stop me from having my wants or desires, or stop me from wanting to go travel or stop me from wanting to go far beyond places or anything else like that.
The actual diagnosis was confusing and scary… but when I thought about having a relationship with another person with my diagnosis, I think that was the scariest and the most complicated. Disclosing that to someone that you care about and that you are afraid to lose is one of the hardest things that I have had to do after being diagnosed.
Yeah, for a while I didn’t want to take my medicine; yes, for a while I didn’t even want to claim the diagnosis. But after hearing other people’s stories telling me about their type of HIV, and how they dealt with it, it made me want to come out and tell my own story, to let the others know that it’s not a killer disease, it’s not “your life is over.”…What I love about being here at St. Jude is that they made me feel like I was OK—no matter what, I’m OK.
Abridged from Promise, Autumn 2013