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Enrique Franco

A Brighter Vision

Is There "Something Greater" Out There?
August 4, 2010

For the past several weeks there has been a question lingering in my mind. It's been rattling off and on, on and off. To me, it doesn't matter if I ever get an answer to this question. It also doesn't matter if I get the correct answer. I just need to hear other people's inputs for the sake of my mind.

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The Other Pink Elephant in the Room
July 9, 2010

I'm not talking about the HIV, but about people ashamed or scared about getting tested. It is an unspoken subject throughout many homes in America, and throughout the world. No matter what cultural community you are in, people refuse to get even TESTED because they fear others backlashing. It is really sad. Because they choose to live in fear, possibly unknowingly infected, rather than take care of themselves.

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Don't Walk With Your Head Hanging Down
June 1, 2010

The definition of pride is: a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct. The word "pride" standing alone can be viewed as someone coming off as a conceited, pompous, self-righteous, egotistical person. But, when you marry pride with words like honor and courage, it takes on a very different look.

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The Long Exhale
May 28, 2010

I recently read something posted online that almost made me faint. I sprinted towards my living room window to see if any pigs were out and about, flying in the summer sky. My dear friend, and sister, Olivia from, sent me the link. After reading this article, I can honestly say my heart started to beat faster.

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It Ain't Easy: Exercise, HIV and Me
April 28, 2010

I can remember a time when I would get up at 4:45AM and head over to the gym. Hearing that lousy buzzer go off and forcing myself to get out of bed. Sometimes THAT was the hardest part. I would sit up and force my eyes to open. My head was like a computer starting to power up. You know, how you hear that bleep sound and wait for all of the systems to download itself. All of the important icons popping up on the screen, like my thoughts for the day following an order.

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Sense of Serenity
April 7, 2010

Having this HIV in my body sometimes disheartens me. This HIV reminds me of what my limitations are. It can discourage me from running that extra mile. It can also soften my spirit at times. But these thoughts are all brief and insignificant. They do not carry as much weight as does my serenity. When they filter in my mind, I turn to the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The Courage to change the things I can. And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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A Little Guy Named Charlie
March 15, 2010

I first met Charlie at my future in-laws' house. Devin and I were heading out there from Tucson for lunch on one of our first weekends together. I can remember the expression on Dev's face, his eyes all sparkling and this huge grin. "Well, you passed the test with my folks, but this last one is an important one for me," he said. I was already nervous as it was, having to sit down and chat with his parents. That comment gave me a sudden extra dose of nerves. I shrugged it off though, didn't want him to see me sweat. I had seen pictures of Charlie and was told about him. But, I had yet to officially meet him.

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It Applies to ALL of Us
February 24, 2010

My partner, spouse and love, Devin, once imposed upon me a deep thought. I cannot remember how the conversation came about, but it did. I do remember that it was while we were driving somewhere in Tucson. You know, those little comments you throw at one another to help pass the time. Well, he was driving and we were talking and then there was a short silence. After a few seconds had passed, he comes at me with a comment: "You probably are only with me because I have HIV too. You probably would've never given me the time of day in other circumstances, huh?"

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Living Boldly
February 10, 2010

After I was diagnosed with HIV back in 2007, several thoughts came streaming into my mind. One of them I have tried to pay close attention to. This is the one thought that could be of great help. I had a thought that I needed to do something. Something that would contribute to helping the HIV/AIDS cause. Something I could do or say that would make a difference.

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Don't Be Afraid to Let Your Voice Be Heard
January 20, 2010

When I took the D.C. metro on my daily commute to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, there was an advertisement that caught my eye. It wasn't on every train, but I would see it from time to time. It was a simple depiction of 10 human silhouettes. Of the 10 silhouettes, one was all red. It was at the very end, after all of the other silhouettes in black.

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See Also
HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics
The Body en Español
More Personal Accounts of HIV in the U.S. Latino Community

A Brighter Vision

The U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy got Enrique Franco kicked out of the Army. It also, oddly, was the reason he found out he was HIV positive.

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