I took a seminar on the language we use when discussing HIV. It really made me stop and think about the words I use when describing myself and HIV.
From the time I was diagnosed I have always hated to hear people say "I'm HIV." Never say that! You are so much more than HIV. You are an empowered, dynamic, unique, and beautiful person living with HIV!
Many of us have been told out of ignorance that we have a death sentence. HIV is not a death sentence. It is a life sentence because we have to take care of ourselves.
We talked about saying vertical transmission instead of mother to baby transmission.
The new language for AIDS is late stage HIV. This is much less stigmatizing.
Another one that made me think was saying I'm infected with HIV. That sounds like a big oozing sore. That is not a person with HIV. You are not infected! You contracted HIV or better yet you are living with HIV.
The most important thing is to think about the way you describe HIV because you are educating others. Are you a victim or are you empowered and fully living the life that is in front of you? SPEAK OUT but be empowered!
And remember, when you speak, others are listening. Give them an empowering message!!!!!