Personal Stories of People Affected by HIV/AIDS
We asked African Americans living with HIV: If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you say?
"Trying to explain to the lay person what 'undetectable' means is nearly impossible," blogger Shana Cozad writes. "You go through all the motions and the basics and the common-sense stuff, but there is still all too often a glazed look of 'You have something inside of you!'"
For Bruce Richman, this year's July 4th marked six years of undetectable viral load. He celebrated freedom from the years of isolation when he felt toxic to others, now that he knows about treatment as prevention.
"I decided to reach out to a few people older than me, who have lived longer with HIV, to learn from them," writes Deondre Moore. "What insight do they have for a younger me -- or a younger them?"
"So many other people that are of trans experience want to have a family and want to have love and want to go to school. I don't take that for granted," says Octavia Lewis, who was diagnosed with HIV at 25 a decade ago.
"Disclosing one's HIV status is a very personal decision, especially to one's parents," Middleton writes. "But disclosing my status to my parents turned out to be one of the best things I ever did."