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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

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Miss Yvonne.. (Melbourne,,,AUSTRALIA..) Sun., Jun. 22, 2014 at 10:12 am UTC
i have been working with people ling with HIV/Aids, in Melbourne/ Sydney , Australia , since the late 70,s, at a STD clinic through our first diagnosis of a thing called "Grid" This was called a to o. I am independant, and have now run a drop-in centre , providing a 3 course meal, every Friday, and have cooked over 555,000 meal,s with no Government Funding.. I do it with giving the attendee's some affirmation to help me in the kitchen, and preparing the meal's. I am so proud of the men/boy's /women who attend and can talk openly and to be in a safe space...and also laugh, have a glass of Wine, over a nutrious meal.. Thank you for sharing your story... oh, by the way, I did the Demo in the park in 1984/5/ in L.A. against the Reagan Government not giving access to
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Comment by: (ohio) Tue., Jun. 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm UTC
Im glad to see others living and fighting to live!
im 40+ and been hiv + for well over 23 years that I known and since I found out and tcell count was below 200 I had it for a while. im alive and will keep living!
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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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