I saw a meme that read, "When a photographer can't change a scene, he changes his angles and lens to capture the best of that scene. Similarly, when you can't change a situation in your life, change your perspective to make the best of that situation." This meme sets the tone for what I am about to attempt to do in this blog with the way we as a society regard HIV, and people living with HIV. As everyone who already follows me knows, my perspective on contracting the virus is really different from someone who may not have been living with it for their entire lives. Being that I don't know a life without HIV, my perspective may be a bit unorthodox.
I often hear people refer back to the day they seroconverted as this devasting, painful, ugly, scary, end of the world, shameful, life changing moment in their lives. However, for me it was the day I was born. They often celebrate their HIV anniversary, if the trauma of that experience wasnt too much for them to remember it, as a milestone to how far they have come since that traumatic experience. My HIV anniversary was by birthdate, and it wasn't a negative experience at all. Although, my family probably made it out to be and I would assume shamed my mom for her actions that led up to me being born with HIV. I often hope that through all that shame I was my mom's greatest blessing, and the reason she fought so hard to make a change later in her life. I, on the other hand, was just a baby, and innocently naive to how the world viewed my experience. What if living with HIV wasn't viewed as such a negative thing? My mother wouldn't have been shamed for having me, and I wouldn't sometimes still feel ashamed for just existing with it today.
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