blog 240617 threelittlewords

I have HIV.

These three little words can have such a big impact.  They can never be unsaid and they can change someone’s perception of me forever.  For this reason, I am cautious before I tell others about my status; these days I only tell people close to me who I have known for some time.

At this point in my life, I’ve decided to keep my status private from people in my daily life, acquaintances, work colleagues and the like.  I keep my HIV status private for my own self-care and, because I feel it’s just not anybody else’s business.

Many people are very uneducated and have limited knowledge of what HIV means today and rely on the stereotypes and myths from years ago as their source of information.  Their beliefs have never changed and can be deeply ingrained.  I’ve found some people’s views about HIV to be cruel and judgmental.

Others have been extremely supportive, empathetic and can see past the myths.  The reality of living with HIV for me is coping with the unexpected, reevaluating my life’s direction, career goals and family goals.

HIV means sacrifice; my time being swallowed up by illness, hospitals and recovering. HIV also means taking one tablet a day and having a great future ahead of me.  HIV means being part of a community of diverse and amazing people and learning to enjoy life.

I have HIV, three little words; my words, that are part of my story, my identity and it is my personal choice if, how and, when I share them.


Published in Talkabout #209 June 2024

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