Ahmad Salcido, San Francisco, Calif., diagnosed in September 2007
The first person I told I was positive was my best friend Ramsey, who lives in San Francisco and who is the one that extended his hand to me and said, "Look, I live in San Francisco. San Francisco has these great agencies, has this great program for gay and HIV-positive people, so you're more than welcome to come over."
It turned out well. He was the right person. You picked the right person.
Exactly! I've known my friend for five years and I told him, "You're like my little angel, you know?"
In Islam, we believe that if you're a true Muslim, God takes care of your problems before they come to you. It's funny because I've known him for five years, and it's like, "OK, when I met you, I met you for a reason. God knew what was going to happen, so he put you there as my little angel."
I think when you're positive you're like, "I need support. I feel lonely," because that happened to me. When I tested HIV positive I felt lonely and deserted. I felt really bad inside. There was this pain that wouldn't go away. It was this permanent pain in my heart that was making me so sad, making me so depressed. Within the same week of me being diagnosed, I was like, "I need to tell someone. I cannot handle this on my own."
If you have a true friend, I think your mind, your instinct, will tell you, "I strongly believe this is the right person that I can talk to." Once that instinct tells you this is the guy you should talk to, then you analyze them.
I remember I considered: "What are the negative and positive results of me disclosing to my friend Ramsey?" I thought about it, and there really would have been no negative outcome if I were to tell Ramsey, because throughout the five years that I've known him, he's been an excellent, excellent friend.
Automatically, when I thought about telling someone because I needed someone's support, he was the first person who popped into my head. I only had positive outcomes by telling him. When I analyzed the situation, I had more positive outcomes than negative outcomes. That's pretty much how I did it.