Today is World AIDS Day!
Last year, and all the prior years, this event meant nothing to me. All I know is that people set the first of December as a day to fight HIV and support people living with HIV.
Today marks my first World AIDS Day as a person living with HIV. That's right, I'm now a part of this event. Pozzies and non-pozzies alike celebrate it to support people like... ME!
Today also marks my first year since several AIDS opportunistic infections kicked in, starting off about this time last year with TB, then another infection after another! Undeniably, it's sad to be tagged as a PLHIV and it's hell scary to get AIDS infections. But, this is no longer the time to despair. As for myself, I believe the worst is over. I'm on the recovery stage. I believe my health is improving exponentially from my worst condition 4-6 months ago. Indeed, it has really been a year since I started getting serious illnesses. But, I'd also like to say that...
- It's been a year since I've had zero alcohol in my system.
- It's been several months since I started getting more sleep.
- It's been months since I made career decisions with work-life balance in mind.
- It's been a while since I stopped having casual sex.
- It's been quite some time since I stopped wasting enormous hours on PR, Grindr and Jack'd.
- It's been months since I stopped spending hours in saunas and massage centers.
- It's been some time since I stopped risking getting caught having sex in the car or in public places.
- It's been 6 months since I've felt sincere concern and love from family, close friends and lover.
- It's been a while since I started being grateful, appreciating life more.
HIV diagnosis is truly life-changing. Life-changing because my immune system is now compromised, and for that, I need to make some adjustments: taking extra precaution, taking tons of meds, etc. But I must also say that it is life-changing as it made me change my lifestyle for the better, discarding the shit out and appreciating every simple little gem that life offers.
Today is World AIDS Day. It's a time to fight HIV. It's a time to celebrate LIFE!