In a Perfect World

Submitted on Jan 25, 2010 by  jae001

In a perfect world it wouldn’t matter if I was HIV+.  As you all know, this isn’t a perfect world. I came to realize this better the weeks following my diagnosis. I told my family. They are my family for Goodness sake! They are going to support me, right? Well, most of them did. I was soon ostracized from certain family members. My grandparents were accepting of me. Then again, I am not sure they understood what HIV was. I was soon uninvited to Christmas, Birthdays, Thanksgiving and any other family get together there was. I lost one of my best friends, she was an in-law to one of these family members. For awhile I felt very alone. 
I don’t want to give the impression that my whole family and all of my friends were this way. On the contrary, most of them (that i told) have supported me. But my everyday contact with these family members came to a screeching halt. I tried to educate them, to no avail. I believe if I wasn’t around they wouldn’t be reminded that this could have happened to any of them.
I think this is why I don’t tell many people. I am afraid that the friendships that I have made over the years will be broken. As educated as we all are, it’s just not enough. Most people would rather send money to show their support for a cause. When the cause is staring them in the face it becomes much more real. Not many people can handle that.

Submitted by Sharon Douglass

I believe you are very right when you say that people forced to see themselves in a problem, wish the problem would go away. University students believe that HIV can't happen to them, until it does and then they don't understand why it happened. They know to take precautions, but darn that person doesn't look sick; so they take a chance. Hopefully the students enrolled in the HIV course at the University of Central Florida will understand by the end of the semester, HIV doesn't care who you are, what wealth or poverty you come from, who your friends are that you know in high places, what care you drive or religion you believe in. If you have an immune system, HIV is an equal opportunity infection.

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