I am a 30-year-old openly gay male who is proud to celebrate 7 years of living with HIV. I was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 23. I contracted the virus from my first partner, the first person I had ever been with. His choice not to disclose his status impacted my life. I was not given the choice to say yes or no.
However, there are no mistakes in life, only lessons. After my diagnosis, I kept a good attitude and pressed forward. My first objective was to change my habits and improve my overall health. I was suddenly filled with a new desire for longevity and an overwhelming desire to live a life full of accomplishment.
I should have always desired these things, but prior to my diagnosis, it was more about the heat of the moment and the thrill of an encounter than my own safety. We talk about what a problem HIV is and how it ends up devastating so many lives. But we don’t talk enough about what it is like to actually have to deal with the condition of HIV.
Because of HIV, I have been able to evolve into a powerful human being. In my darkest moments, I learned that this gift was given to me to help and empower others who are like me and to educate those who cross my path with information to make healthy choices.
I am currently living in Delhi. I am an HIV activist who spreads the message of hope and awareness as a motivational speaker. The darkest moments in my life have been my biggest blessings. Therefore, I say I love you, HIV! Throughout my life I have learned that friends encourage us, family humbles us, but only an enemy can promote us to greatness and success.
Through my journey, I realised how the past forms our present. I now know that all the answers and solutions to our challenges lie within us. My mission is to help others on their journey to fully integrate their mind, body and spirit. My most satisfying achievement will be to help others identify and overcome the obstacles that are keeping them stuck, keeping them from living life at its full potential.
I want to be an instrument in helping others find their own peace, love and happiness. There is no greater satisfaction for me as a motivational speaker living with HIV, a friend and a human.
People need to understand the truth; there is a serious void in our discussion of HIV. Far too few are talking about HIV realistically. It’s my hope that by being truthful and explaining the harsh reality of the situation I can help prevent others from making poor decisions as I made. I’m making sure that others in my community have the tools to make sure they are aware of the serious issues surrounding their health.
I don’t view myself as anything but a normal human being. I take my meds and I live. What greater way to stand up and show how wonderful it is to be alive? I’m one person, but collectively I’m part of a great number of people who are holding each other up and applauding our joy and zeal for life. If I were to live off the embarrassment or shame because of my HIV, then that would be a tragedy.
It is so much easier to live with others knowing, because I know I’m not alone. It gives me strength and power. I am strong and you can be too. I hope the reader of this can believe in living today like tomorrow never comes.
My ability to accept my own sexuality and HIV status has allowed me to speak and my openness has allowed me to be a listening ear for many brothers and sisters from my LGBTQ community. My philosophy is based around self-love, self-happiness, inner peace, compassion and acceptance of living life in a completely abundant and prosperous state of mind.
No matter what obstacle or challenge one is facing, there are no mistakes in life, only lessons that can help us evolve into a greater outcome.