Today is a day that plays close to my mind and heart. I have now lived for 23 years with HIV and I am grateful for everyone of those years. I can remember back in 1986 when I first found out I was positive and the doctor told me I had six months to live. There were no medications available to help fight this disease at that time and I believed that my life would be over before I could explore and enjoy it more than I already had. Some how I got lucky because those 6 months came and went and then it became years. Through the years I went from surviving to being very ill. I lost many friends and acquaintances over those years. Somehow I kept going. I lost my partner of six years in 1993 just before the new miracle drugs were introduced in 1994. I have been on those medication ever since they became available. Every day is a constant reminder that I have to keep on going and that every day there is a battle being fought inside me. I lost another partner in 1998 even after the new drugs were introduced. I am very aware that this disease only wants one thing and that one thing is something I'm not willing to give iit.
At the same time millions of people around the world have and are facing the same day by day existence some doing it better than others. This disease is not going away and with no vaccine still to this day and on going newly diagnosed individuals occurring every day I am concerned that we have forgotten what this disease can do. How it can destroy lives, tear families apart and bring pain to so many. I don't mean to preach I just want people to remember that we still need to talk about HIV and to respect ourselves, our partners and one another. Respect yourself by using protection and keeping your self and your partners safe and well. Respect others and open your hearts and minds to lend someone a helping hand if they need one. Most importantly don't be afraid to talk as we need to keep the conversation going so we can continue to fight and maybe just maybe we will eventually win.
You can find out more information by clicking the World AIDS Day picture below. As I said be safe, take care and stay well and don't be afraid to talk about it.