It has been ten months since I have been diagnosed HIV Positive. It has been a tough road and journey these ten months. Some of the struggles that I have faced so far are: telling family members and friends, and trying to date. Telling my family and friends that I am HIV positive was easy. I just told who I felt like sharing my new normal life with. (You are not obligated to tell everyone that you are HIV positive. The only people you are obligated to tell are your potential sex partners and doctors). Dating has been the hardest part that I have faced so far in these ten months.
Stigma is still alive and people are still not educated about HIV/AIDS. But I refuse to let Stigma step in my way of having a Romantic life. You shouldn’t either. The more we as a whole push back against Stigma and use that time to educate, we will eventually stomp Stigma out. I know it is hard to do this, but we are women and we are strong. When I get rejected because of my status I use that time to educate them on how it can happen to them and tell them to get their self tested. I feel if we take time to educate people that aren't educated, we will eventually stomp Stigma and put an end to AIDS/HIV.
Some other things that have helped me are I have done research on when AIDS/HIV first started back when it was known as GRIDS. I have learned how far HIV/AIDS has come. Our Brothers and Sisters have endured so much. They watched their friends, family, partners, etc. die in front of them. Not only did they watch death knocking at their doors, they had very toxic meds - more toxic meds than we have now. The meds they had did more damage than help. We are blessed to have the meds we have now. Thanks to many of the long term survivors, because HIV is no longer a death sentence, but it’s a life sentence. I am very thankful for all of my brothers and sisters for all they have endured and all the fighting they have done for all of US. I have also watched Dallas Buyers Club and that showed me a small insight to what they endured. This helped me to think, “Wow, if they endured all that, I can deal with this.” You should definitely check out Dallas Buyers Club (I rented it from Redbox).
This is why I have decided to join the fight to end Stigma and AIDS/HIV.
Peace and Love