Ahmad Salcido, San Francisco, Calif., diagnosed in September 2007
If someone comes to me and tells me, "I'm HIV positive," I would say, "Well, how are you feeling? What's in your head right now?" When you get tested and when you get tested HIV positive, all that's in your head is a conundrum with a huge question mark. You have no answers. You have many questions, but you still cannot understand what questions those are and you have no answers. That's how I felt.
I would say, "Hey, I'm HIV positive too. This is a new beginning. It's not as bad as you think it is. Here's my number, my e-mail. Please do not hesitate if you have anything, call me and I will do whatever I can to fulfill your request. In the meantime, I'm going to tell you a little bit about my life story. I'm going to tell you what agencies I went through. Give me the opportunity to talk about my experience from day one -- which is being recently diagnosed. I hope by telling you my story, you will find some answers through my story."
I don't think anything works out better than when you have an HIV-positive person who just barely found out they were positive today and you talk to them about your story. That would be the best help I could ever give to anyone.