Life can change in a matter of seconds–accidents, births, new jobs; the list is exhaustible. Hearing the news that you have HIV or AIDS is one of those moments, one of those life changing, harrowing, irreversable moments. But living with HIV or AIDS doesn’t have to be the defining factor that controls how you live.
When I was fourteen, my uncle revealed to my family that he had contracted HIV from his long time partner, who was not aware that he was infected. It was the late 1990’s, and not much was known about either HIV or AIDS; the news seemed devestating and final. My uncle was a smart man, and immediatly made arrangments for those he loved. He purchased life insurance that would support his daughter till she reached a legal age, and drafted a will that covered every basis.
But the years passed, and my uncle continued to thrive; we went on vacations all over the U.S., he and his partner took up pottery making, and his daughter graduated highschool with a full scholarship. Time moved forward, and it became easier and easier to forget about the disease that once consumed his every thought.
He, like millions of others living with HIV and AIDS, finally decided that his life was still his own. Nearly fiften years have passed, and both my uncle and his partner are still active, happy, thriving members of society. HIV is still a part of who he is, but it is by no means the majority of who he is.
If you have recently found out that you are HIV or AIDS positive, it is perfectly ok, even advisable, to play it safe and plan for the future. But remember to also live in the now. Enjoy each day, and spend time with the people that love you. Life can change in a matter of seconds, but it doesn’t have to always be for the worse, even when it seems that way at first.