Written by 7:08 pm Education & Self Improvement Views: [tptn_views]

The Time To Speak Up Is Now: How HIV Honesty Can Save Lives

Well, where should I start? 

Many people living with the human condition of HIV think that they’ll never find love, or they’re very afraid of the stigma and shame HIV carries. They’re extremely afraid of dating and disclosing and would somewhat stay alone, or not disclose until after the very fact which could be very dangerous, or could backfire due to lack of honesty because of fear. I can inform you I even have never been rejected even before “Undetectable equals Untransmittable” higher often called U=U. In case you don’t know, U=U implies that an individual living with HIV is on an efficient treatment plan and the virus is so low that it’s not traced within the blood and they can’t pass HIV on to anyone sexually. Science has advanced so much in these 40 years and I’m certainly one of the worldwide ambassadors for the fierce movement that fought every global medical establishment to finally come out and say the reality: we should not infectious. And this truth has set us free to not live with the burden of passing HIV to our partners. 

But even with disclosure, I can attest that I even have not had a single rejection on dating apps, or in person. I’m extremely public, and I immediately direct anyone to my social media, which boldly has “HIV” in the course of my name. When men or women are on my social media, I direct them to Google me where they’ll see it in my bio and in all my social networks. They either immediately ask and I educate them, or they’re already educated, as I even have extensive information in all my social media outlets about living and thriving with HIV.

I proudly stand as a world ambassador for The Well project and as a CAB  member which is a corporation specifically for girls and girls who live with HIV or are affected by it nationally and globally. We are here to guide by example and empower other women which is the important thing to not only surviving, thriving, and living with HIV but additionally to creating others understand that it’s not the 80s or 90s. People can get married; have children; go to highschool. Some women are even breastfeeding– I never thought I might ever see that. As a 35-year survivor, I even have seen science advance astronomically, and being diagnosed with HIV not seems like a death sentence. When I used to be diagnosed in 1991, it felt like I wouldn’t be here for much longer but I’m and I proceed to live and tell my story.

My mission could be very easy: give hope to the hopeless and save lives. One of my biggest fights is against the HIV stigma because stigma is the most important killer and as ACTUP New York said “silence equals death.” Lack of education and fear fuels stigma, leading people to not take their medication or get STI testing. And frankly, those that are passing HIV are those that should not getting tested and passing it to others unknowingly so please get tested. 

Get educated and understand that as a human being living with HIV that’s undetectable, not only am I saving my very own life, but I’m saving other people’s lives as well. HIV stops with me. 

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