[pullquote_left]Because[/pullquote_left] I released a video on YouTube (the first ever actually, I later discovered), of me being told (recorded live) that I was HIV-positive by a doctor, I have be blessed to have been followed/friended/liked/page viewed by literally thousands; and hundreds of those have personally engaged me with their amazing, sometimes terrible, stories of how HIV affects them or their friends. Because of that awesome responsibility and honor, I have a duty to continue to empower these amazing and weathered digital friends with the best possible applications, blogs, videos and content that I can create. And I feel like, I’ve done that– or at least tried. But it’s not enough yet…
You see, a person that learns they are living with HIV has a quick choice:
1) to either become a victim or a statistic of whether or not they get into and stay in treatment, or
2) whether they take care of themselves WHILE being a hell of an ambassador for prevention
and anti-stigma, reducing the amount of new infections on their local level.
It is my opinion that, if you reach this individual as soon as possible, with simple encouragement (that they still have a purpose, that they are still capable of making a difference, that they still can live and love, and that they are still LOVED by many), and a powerful call-to-action for prevention, that then– they will become the greatest tool to ending the spread of HIV because at their local level, they are literally putting a personal face, name, and story on a virus that others can relate to, thus encouraging those people to protect themselves from and prevent new infections. I know… because I’m one of those examples. This opportunity changes the energy from hiding the diagnosis of that individual, towards excitement and a focused energy to help others living with HIV and help others from becoming a new HIV infection. Please understand this isn’t utopian logic, it is, in my opinion, one untapped avenue for assisting us all seeing the end of HIV. This driving force of my blog and passion is exactly why I’ve had the chance to meet and hear so many newly infected individuals stories.
We are DYING to tell everyone, but as a community, we are scared. Lets change that!