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Word on the Street

From Me to You: Tips on Dealing With an HIV/AIDS Diagnosis

HIV-Positive People Share Their Experiences and Offer Advice


Fernando Castillo

Fernando Castillo, San Francisco, Calif., diagnosed in 1993

My ex-lover, who is still my roommate today, is still negative. I said to him, "Baby, I give you back exactly the way I found you, because I have never put you at risk."

Protection, that's my message. Protection, love and care. People with HIV are like negative people: We need love around us.

I would say to someone just diagnosed to reach for help. To get support. To see that he or she is not alone. That we are so many people who are positive navigating together in this. When he or she finds that group of people, it will be completely another game and it will be very positive, very supportive. He or she will find love and support; and, more than anything, the health that he or she needs.

Open up! I ask them to open up. Open up and look for help. Because the help is there, the love is there and the compassion is there.

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