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HIV Is Not a Gift. HIV Is an Opportunity.

By Reggie Smith

February 24, 2013

In my travels, I have heard that some people, as a result of their economic situation, have actually wanted to and tried hard to contract HIV so that they would be eligible for the social services that would not ordinarily be afforded them if they were not HIV positive. In that regard they refer to HIV as "the gift."

Looking at this phenomena from a material perspective, it seems deplorable that there are conditions that people live in that encourage this type of behavior and thought, but the way our society is set up makes our unmet needs a real catalyst for this type of decision. The problem of satisfying our needs of eating and having shelter are very real, and many are challenged to meet them based on the circumstances in which they live. There are so many factors that go into creating the situations that make this a problem in an abundant world that I will not begin to itemize them, but suffice it to say that it is the case.

Our goal, in this case, is "Getting to Zero" in new HIV infections, which would indicate (at that point) that we have "outsmarted" the HIV virus. What we have found as a result of the experiences of many long-term survivors of this WAR is that positive thought and action play an important part in our spiritual and mental wellness. As a result of positive thought, our physical wellness is enhanced. So it is in our interest to look at some of the tactics and strategies that we should consider employing in order to achieve our goal of changing our thinking and speaking in order to get to zero new infections. I submit that changing the way we look at HIV from a spiritual and mental perspective will be an important weapon or tool in our arsenal, and it is one that helps solve many of the issues that are at the core of those things that keep us from satisfying our basic needs too!

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Instead of looking at HIV as "the gift," we can consider HIV as an opportunity. A opportunity for what you ask? A opportunity for wisdom, self awareness, service, improved self discipline and many other thoughts and actions that would help raise our individual vibrations, and thereby the vibratory rate of the planet. In other words, we could tap into that God energy that is seemingly necessary in order to RISE above the battlefield of life!

Those of us who have had the experience of being a host to HIV have been forced to focus on the decision-making process that went into creating this new reality in which we live as individuals and as a part of the collective. This retrovirus has forced us to understand some of the patterns that result in suffering and death IF we resist the changes in our thoughts and actions. Using drugs, exchanging bodily fluids, stress, poor nutrition, being unforgiving and not giving and receiving love are all contributing to the proliferation of the disease. They are also circumstances and behaviors that would seem to be beyond the medical or scientific community's ability to change. Science and medicine have played, and continue to play an important role in us reaching our goal of getting to zero new infections, but we have seemingly reached a plateau. Now we need new strategies and tactics. We need to employ new wisdoms.

When we are courageous enough to live honestly in that reality, meaning when we are able to disclose our situation to ourselves and others so that we are truly living in the flow of life, we become a part of a higher vibration. That higher vibration seems to have an important effect on individual physical wellness. It also has assisted in the evolution of thinking about HIV, and has helped to diminish the fear of, grow the knowledge about, and help develop solutions for changed behavior as it pertains to HIV. It just so happens that the same process and strategies we have used in this instance can be replicated in every area of our lives!

For those who are interested in preventing contracting HIV, knowledge is powerful. But, knowledge applied is wisdom. Fear can be a useful tool as well as long as it does not keep us "stuck on stupid!" Preventing or living with HIV is a challenge for us all. Providing for our basic needs such as food, shelter, sex and clothing present some of the same challenges. In our effort to satisfy those needs, it is not surprising to me that some would go as far as to consider, and even attempt to become a host to the HIV retrovirus for the purpose of getting access to resources that are not available to all. I think it is crazy that in a world that is as abundant as the one we live in, that there are so many who are living without, but that is another story for another time.

I am simply saying that what some have called "the gift" can more effectively be identified as "the opportunity" if we truly want to gain the new perspective needed in order to be "Getting to Zero" new HIV infections. Let's take this opportunity to practice the behaviors like deciding to use condoms, or employing harm reduction methods like needle exchange, or living authentically and not allowing shame and stigma to cause the kind of stress that makes people more susceptible to transmitting HIV, and situations more likely where HIV will find a new host. I know that when we do that, we will be in the final stages of an era, and at the dawning of a new beginning in which we as a human race acknowledge that love heals all.

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See Also
Ten Things You Can Do to Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being
Depression and HIV
Feeling Good Again: Mental Healthcare Works!
More Personal Viewpoints on Coping With HIV

Reader Comments:

Comment by: William W. (Salt Lake City, Utah) Thu., Mar. 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm EDT
You are correct HIV is not a gift. It is for many a life sentence of hard labor with occasional torture, and not a manageable disease either.
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Comment by: activistinspireharmony (India) Mon., Feb. 25, 2013 at 12:06 am EST
Conflicting ideologies clash with an indiscriminate enemy. "Miss HIV" is the award-winning documentary that brings into the open the little-known struggle for dominance over AIDS education and prevention. The film exposes the heated rhetoric, high stakes, and the heavy toll this battle has taken. "Miss HIV" also explores innovative strategies to counteract one of the largest obstacles in the battle against HIV: stigma, the paralyzing shame brought on by this disease.
Unapologetic and courageous yet consistently inspiring, "Miss HIV" shines a spotlight on the competing agendas that are a complication to an already complex global crisis.
http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/11049
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RISE4WAR -- Focusing on Wellness, Awareness and Recovery


Reggie and Dionne Smith

Reggie and Dionne Smith

My name is Reggie Smith. My wife Dionne and I have lived with AIDS since 1984. I am HIV+, she is not. We have experienced the suffering of families affected by HIV. With the love and support of many, we have focused on sharing holistic healing solutions for the infected and affected in an effort to diminish the stigma and increase awareness about the unmet needs of U.S. families and surrounding HIV. You are most welcome to share with me here and at my website, ReggieSmith770.


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