I am a young, heterosexual, Caucasian woman living with HIV. I am not in the major demographic of people living affected with HIV, or categorized as a "high-risk" group, but does that mean my story is less important?
You don't need me to tell you that there is stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. Because of that stigma, we who live with HIV are often afraid. Rather than uniting to show the world that HIV has a face, we hide and become ashamed for having this "dirty disease."
Every day we can find a million cliché quotes strung up on walls, on billboards, posters, framed, attached to pictures warning us to heed the words of the wise women and men that came before us telling us of life's precious moments. Warning us to never take for granted the things we have because it is in an instant that a person's life can change forever. Most of us pass these quotes by not even acknowledging them, some stop and read them and remark on their wisdom and beauty, while some stop read them but not only do they remark on the beauty and wisdom; they allow it to change them going forward in life with a new perspective. Too many of us take the little things for granted, some by choice and some who just lose themselves in the monotony of the everyday. We are reminded, when we actually sit and think about the past, of the regrets, the euphoric, dramatic, crushing, painful, instantaneous life-changing, mind-blowing moments; and with hindsight we realize what can happen in just an instant. We realize that maybe, just maybe, those quotes aren't so cliché.