On World AIDS Day, I Reflect on My Journey and Dedicate Myself to Educating My Community About HIV
November 30, 2018
I figured that AIDS was a "gay" disease or for those who are IV drug users.
As a former leader of a gang, I used to have many women interested in me. I never realized that HIV would affect me, until one day, in March 1990, when I went to get tested and the realities set in. I was diagnosed HIV positive.
Living with HIV and now AIDS has affected my entire life. Emotionally and physically, I began to change after my diagnosis. My relationships with friends turned around, and my idea of marriage and having a family has taken a new perspective. And now, I really want to have a wife and [family [http://www.thebody.com/content/81099/yes-hiv-positive-men-can-become-fathers-heres-two.html]].
In the past, I never got involved in helping others. I changed my life by taking on a new and positive direction. I used to be a "bad boy," and now I'm not! I take pride in having completed high school, even though my home was the streets of downtown Miami for so many years. I am proud of having graduated and fulfilling a promise that I had long ago made to my mother and grandmother.
Now, I want to talk to about the bad and good things in my life. I have dedicated myself to educating the Hispanic community. I look to assist youth, heterosexuals, and all others who would look to a peer to relate to. I want to let them know the consequences of high-risk behavior. I will do my best to help reduce other people's exposure to HIV by providing the needed education I never got. I will educate others until the day I die.
I'm a PLWA -- a person living with AIDS. A Hispanic, Catholic, heterosexual man who acts as a group leader for various organizations, both locally and nationally, in the effort of educating others. I look for all types of HIV/AIDS information and distribute them to various organizations in my community. I am also trying to help get HIV medication for people in third-world countries.
I am now a long-term survivor.
Alberto Perez Bermudez is an AIDS activist, educator, and long-term survivor. He lives in Miami Beach, Florida.
This article was provided by TheBody.
The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.