When I was found to be HIV positive, I deemed my life over. I told my family after crying profusely, and began to get my affairs in order to bid my final farewell. It seemed as if I was rapidly approaching the end when a friend spoke with me. She too had been diagnosed with the HIV virus, and had a few words of advice to give.
First, she told me to live to the fullest. My friend emphasized that a diagnosis did not equal sudden death. Many who came before me were found to be HIV positive and made it through without fatal effects. Several others were actually living what some called “normal” lives, with a career, family, friends, and other great amenities. She, an HIV patient for twenty years herself, was one of the few others who were able to carry out such normalcy.
While she did not deny that the illness is life-changing, and as such didn’t disagree with my decision to speak with my life insurance agent, my friend encouraged me to place my focus on other things. She told me spend more time at the gym, ensuring that my nutriton was right, and less time in bed waiting for the “inevitable” to take place. “Get out and learn something new,” she told me. “After all, you only have one chance to seize the moment.”