I will never forget the day I found out my status.
I had never thought that I would actually contract HIV, given how careful I was.
But not only was I poz…I had full blown AIDS.
I had gone for years not bothering to get tested…I was in a monogamous relationship, and he kept testing negative.
Like an idiot, I took the stance of “I must be too then”.
And as a result of waiting so long, the virus did immense damage to my immune system, and I was on the verge of getting a fatal complication. Getting on meds was paramount.
LIFE GOT BETTER
I will tell you on the World AIDS Day, that getting tested and knowing your status is one of the greatest acts of self-love and respect you can give yourself. I still beat myself up for allowing my body to get the to the state it did, simply because I was afraid of the test. Had I known what I know now about how to manage the disease, and live a very full healthy life, I would never have hesitated.
I have stated often, that in a very odd way HIV has been a blessing in my life. It has enabled me to not get so wound up in the superficial issues of life. Yet..it has also shown me that sometimes….the little things ARE the most important. Things that I took for granted before…I no longer do. And other things…are not worth tolerating.
The greatest gift HIV gave me, was honoring myself. Living a healthy life with this disease means listening to oneself, taking care of one’s own well-being. And reaching out to others when you need it.
If you are someone who has a fear of HIV…please hear me out: my life has been immensely fulfilled since I got my news. I am healthier now than I was in my thirties. I am incredibly happy in all my endeavors, and have a very rich life. And a few months ago, I married the man of my dreams. Back in 2006 when I received my scary news, I never thought THIS life was possible.
Well, it is. And I am very grateful to be able to enjoy it.
Please…don’t fear HIV…fear ignorance.