"I remember hearing about HIV on TV, but my family was certainly not talking about it, and High School was not talking about it. I knew the basics, but didn’t have a firm understanding of the disease as a whole. I dropped out of high school, and when I turned 18 I moved to New York. When I got off the plane I felt liberated and free. I got into a relationship and I remember a particular night where I felt like I needed to talk about HIV with the guy I was dating, but I was mortified. I didn’t know how to talk about it. Instead of figuring it out, I decided to not talk about it. I remember thinking that if I made him feel a certain way, he would think that I don’t love him. At no point did I say I should ask him, because I care about myself. I let fear stop that conversation from every happening."
"Over time it got easier each day. I still got left on dates, but I started moving past that. I started setting goals and seeing my value. I knew the hardest part about finding myself was going to be challenging myself. I finally looked into the mirror and said 'yes, HIV looks like me.' It was so liberating, I lived my truth, and I lived without hating myself. I just started living. My love story involves me forgetting to love myself. Long before we can talk about same-sex marriage, or happy and healthy relationships, we have to talk about a healthy relationship with ourselves and what loving ourself truly means."
"I wanted to talk about my HIV status with the same level of casualness that I talk about the color of my hair. Overtime I realize I could get a head of the fear. By disclosing my status it meant that I could own my truth."
"My situation came from someone who was not brave enough to disclose their status, and I lived in a ‘well I don’t sleep with guys who are positive, and so if I don’t know then it must not be an issue’ type of world. That is ignorance."