Sunday, August 22, 2010


Last week I posted a video on YOUTUBE that spoke about my brief history living with HIV. In addition, I offered my words of advice for newly diagnosed individuals and their loved ones. Overall feedback from viewers was all sorts of encouraging words thus allotting me the confidence to continue videotaping my fight against this illness.

Let me be clear before I continue with my blog entry. Disclosure is a constant debate. I considered all of the avenues of disclosing my status up until the minutes before recording. My opinion rests that it is solely up to the individual as to whether or not to disclose his or her status to loved ones and friends. This does not include sexual partners of which I feel deserve a right to know. The truth is there is no right or wrong answer as to when one should disclose. Once you tell one person the possibility arises that more people will know without your control. It’s understandable for people to want to wait until they are mentally ready to tell their secret.

I wasn’t open about my status in the beginning as I am now. At first only a handful of people knew about me. I halted my sexual encounters for a while to focus on myself. I thought I was safe that way. Consequently, this action left me in isolation. Days turned into weeks turned into months and I had a less than satisfactory support group. Something had to change before HIV and stress would take over sending me six feet under.

So- I came out of the closet for the second time in my life. No longer will I be hiding in the shadows just because society teaches me to fear HIV/AIDS. I plan to do my part to end the stigmas against this illness. It had shown that my courage has proven beneficial- all of my friends and family stand behind me and wish me all the luck and happiness life has to offer. My support group is larger than ever with nothing stopping me in the interim.

Don’t get me wrong- disclosing will have its up’s and down’s and there will be scary ventures ahead of me. But, if I don’t do my part to help make a difference then who will? I speak for my brothers and sisters who no longer have a voice. I speak for those who are not yet ready to disclose to others and most of all I speak for me, the most important person in my world.

For all those out there who are afraid to speak, refuse to speak, or want to speak louder- I offer you my hand in support and comfort, and will always be here to help you.

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