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A Poem of Celebration for National HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day

By Khafre Abif

June 5, 2014

On June 6th I will be 48 years old. I have been living with HIV/AIDS for more than half of my life.

On June 5th, Long Term Survivors Awareness Day ...

I celebrate!

You Are the Brave

You are the brave who do not break.
It's reported that one out of every three black MSM are positive.
You are the brave who do not break.
I've revisited my sexual experiences from the past year.
You are the brave who do not break.
Dismiss physical symptoms altogether.
You are the brave who do not break.
Recognizing your fear from the usual amount of anxiety.
You are the brave who do not break.
So this is what a panic attack feels like.
You are the brave who do not break.
Unfortunately, I don't have the results yet.
You are the brave who do not break.
I returned to the clinic two days later.
You are the brave who do not break
Sitting in the waiting room,
You are the brave who do not break.
"This is it, I'm HIV positive."
You are the brave who do not break.
Still here twenty-five years later
You and I are the brave who do not break.

--Khafre Kujichagulia Abif

First published in Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems & Affirmations for People Living with HIV/AIDS (AuthorHouse September 2013)

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See Also
More on HIV Medications
More Personal Accounts of Longtime HIV Survivors


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Freedom Rider

Khafre Piper

Khafre Abif

Khafre K. Abif, AIDS activist, has been thriving with HIV for more than 20 years and is a father of two teenage boys. Khafre is the Founder/Executive Director of Cycle for Freedom. Khafre is one of five men in the inaugural class of The HEALTH (Health Executive Approaches to Leadership and Training in HIV) Seminar Program developed by My Brother's Keeper, Inc. He has also served as the Community Co-Chair for the New Jersey HIV Prevention Community Planning Group. As a librarian in his first career, Khafre was the first recipient of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)'s Dr. John C. Tyson Emerging Leader Award. Forthcoming books include Raising Kazembe and Cornbread, Fish & Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems and Affirmation for People Living with HIV/AIDS.

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