The Word AIDS and All My Emotions

Submitted on May 29, 2024 by  TSLatina74

This writing is in no way me calling out or harming those with an AIDS diagnosis. This is simply about my emotions and feelings when being called out for a status which is not true for me.

I never thought the word AIDS would be so stigmatizing when associated with my persona. This weekend at my place of employment I was stigmatized by a painting an individual that is also living with HIV did about me and displayed it so everyone would see.

Let me first start by saying I am the Onsite Property Manager for a homeless shelter In Los Angeles. This shelter houses individuals with mental health Issues. This resident is a cisgender female who has been harassing me since the day I had to create a barrier between her and me. She had started to harass me, triggering my own mental health. I asked my superiors and the Department of Mental Health to address the issues with this client. They asked me to have patience since the client was not on medication at the time. I agreed, but this weekend she did a painting where she put my name and the word AIDS with sexually explicit pictures for other people to see. When I saw the painting, I wanted for the floor to sink in and eat me. I thought Why am I feeling this? As many of you all know I am a Proud Positive Trans Latina Women of Color. This shouldn’t bother me I guess, since I am HIV Positive and I am not ASHAMED to say it. I work every day not to get an AIDS diagnosis.

I don’t want to stigmatize PLWH or PLWA status any more than we are already. I just wanted to express how I have been feeling. I have had to take some mental health days off due to this matter. On another note, when I brought this incident to my supervisor's attention, he just said, We can’t do anything to the resident. Don’t take it personal and just throw the painting away. I understand mental health is a big issue in today’s society, but what happens when the mental health of the provider is at stake here. What should we do?



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Submitted by Destiny1995

thank you for sharing this first off I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this kind of situation. I also want to let you know I have those same feelings when it comes to AIDS and not because I am judging others who have had that diagnosis I think its just because I wouldn't know how to react if I were to get to that stage of this virus. I also want you to understand wholeheartedly your mental health MATTERS!!!! and to advocate for yourself you deserve and are worthy of a work environment that cares about your mental health also. Sending so much love.

Submitted by Marig2016

Thank you so much for sharing this. 
First off please know that your feelings are just that you’re feelings and you are allowed to feel how you feel. Secondly I wish that your job handled the matter in a much better way. On meds or not your mental health is important and when expressing how you feel, your emotions as much as a residents should be considered. 

please know that you matter and you are worthy. Love you! 

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