A couple of weeks ago, I attended a community town hall meeting hosted by a local AIDS organization via Facebook live. The purpose of the meeting was to educate and inform attendees about HIV/AIDS transmission, local infection rates, prevention methods and other pertinent information every person should know. The panel included people living with HIV/AIDS, service providers, community activists and well-informed allies. The overall message of the meeting was "Get Tested" and consider starting PrEP for prevention. As we commemorate National HIV Testing Day today, I am reminded of the bad old days when I had to wait three weeks for my results. Those were the longest, most tedious weeks I had ever experienced. Today, with a quick finger prick and 20-40 minutes, someone can know their status. Although testing and prevention methods have advanced, I feel safe in saying that receiving a positive diagnosis still stings now the way it did seventeen years ago when I tested positive. It is a life altering event that has the power to either destroy or catapult a person into a life they never imagined possible.
To read this blog in its entirety, click here.