SPEAK OUT is a new category on the blog. It is YOUR platform to express yourself on any gay topics you would like to share with A4A blog readers. Whether you want to share your opinion on gay marriage or child adoption, whether you would like to tell us a big secret or get advices from other gay men, send us your text to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post it on our blog.
Below is our first text from a young poz guy, hope you enjoy it ! Feel free to leave your comments, encouragement notes or advice for him!
Have a great weekend guys!
“Hi guys my name is Raul, I am 22 years old, and I am HIV Positive. Sometimes I attempt at sharing my status with people, hoping they understand, as I hope you do. I was infected more than a year ago through my carelessness. I sometimes want to go back and change my decisions, but then other times I don’t, not because I like living with my disease, but because I am learning and trying to help more than before. The good thing is that this disease is not the same as before, it is not the death sentence we saw in the 80’s or 90’s, but it is still the same epidemic amongst all of us. We need to help those who are helping and the ones who need the help.
I remember back to my first diagnosis, the first time I sat in one of those free clinics and waited to get tested. At the time I was with my ex-partner. We cracked stupid jokes to pass the time. I had gotten tested recently, so I felt this as just routine. Everything was fine during the testing. Even though I was terribly nervous, I thought that getting pricked by a needle would be the worst part. But, it wasn’t. My life changed that day, the diagnosis was positive. I wanted to run, to me it was the end, I was so scared, no I was terrified, I never thought this would happen to me, and that biased idea was in my head that there’s nothing after this. My ex and I were quiet driving home. All we had was an appointment card, that horrible feeling and a book about places for people with HIV, people with HIV that was me, now. I thought my life was over, even though I had my share of information, now I knew it wasn’t the same as having this disease. I was sitting in bed trying to comfort my ex, and trying to think of what to do. I looked at the book, something told me to pick it up, and it’s funny the first page I opened was for Project Vida. I quickly took the number down and called, the first person that answered, and who I thank so much to this day, was Andrew. He talked to me about treatment, Case Management, and more testing.
The next day we had a meeting, I was more nervous, but their help was above amazing. I got all my information. I attended the Core center, which was instructed by Andrew, they are also fantastic, I have not yet felt more comfortable at a clinic in my life. I have been meeting with them and Project Vida ever since, and I would not like to change that at all. The coolest part is that they are helping me pass out information now, for HIV testing and prevention. Since there isn’t much of help around my school, College of Dupage, I feel it is my duty to help. In honor of those who helped me. Currently I am going to school for Political Journalism. My grades are good, even if I have a few classes. I want to help all of my community, and I do not mean the LGBTQA community, I mean all of us who need help. I think we should all help to have places like Project Vida open not only here, but around the places that are missed. Some people who don’t have the money for help, or treatment, or they are just scared, they will really need one of these places close by. It would be cool to open even another Project Vida or Core center, a place where they can get all the help they need; To be active in their community, to be more safe, to get treatment, and whatever else they need. Well, I thank all the help I received, because without it I would be lost. My family has been supportive, my peers, and many other people, who are here today or not. Because of all of you and others, Today, I am proud to say, I am Raul Romero, 22 years old; I am a family member, a college student, a helper of my community, a homosexual, a writer, HIV Positive, and above all a Human being.”
Member name : raulgm