Hey, I’m Michael, 24, and I live in Belmont, NC. I was diagnosed with HIV on May 2, 2019; come September 29, I will be three years undetectable.
When the nurse told me that the confirmation test came back positive, my mind blanked, and I didn’t have any thoughts or words to describe how I felt about the news. As I let my mind process, I didn’t feel devastation or defeated that I was now HIV positive. The only major worry I had was how I was going to pay for the medication. Luckily, my health insurance and co-pay programs have helped me in that I have not had to pay a single cent for my medicine.
Ultimately, I had the strength to keep moving forward, living a normal life. I’ve become a supportive person for a friend who later found out that he was HIV positive, helping them keep their head high and to have a positive outlook. Knowing how far the medication has come, it is reassuring that being HIV positive is no longer a death sentence.
My hope is the end the HIV/AIDS global epidemic and eradication of stigma and discrimination that we face in society just for our HIV status. Regardless of one’s HIV status, we all have a responsibility in the world to treat every human with respect and dignity and to educate those who do not understand or lack thereof on how to prevent HIV and to live a normal life as an HIV positive individual.
Undetectable = Untransmittable
#hivadvocate #stigmawarrior #hivpositive #undetectable #hivawareness #hivprevention