This video was created to take part in Justin B. Terry Smith's "Write a Letter to HIV" Campaign in partnership with TheBody.com.
Funny meeting you here
Since these are our first words spoken in over 10 years.
But listen to my words, because this is the truth.
I've had a love/hate relationship with you since my youth
When I first met you, Pedro was his name.
The man on a mission to spread that having HIV didn't mean -- living in shame.
and that AIDS is real -- not a game.
The second time I met you, was basketball tragic.
You slam dunked over and infected the one they call Magic.
The third time was the movie Philadelphia that featured Tom Hanks
It brought awareness to AIDS stigma for that I say thanks.
For my fourth introduction, I can't say the same.
I was taught you were a curse, for my being gay was to blame.
But it wasn't until 2001 when we first stared into each other eyes.
When you were finally acknowledged, It wasn't a lie.
I hated you, I thought I would die
I kept you a secret held deep inside.
It took me over 5 years for me to accept you with pride.
Our 10yr relationship has forced me to reflect.
On friends and family the people I used to reject.
Its the Jacks, Mondos, Onginas and Jamars
That inspire me to keep reaching for the stars.
So thank you HIV for giving me a purpose.
I refuse to give up and lay down like a carcass.
So Today I sit here and have nothing but respect.
For the virus that changes you the moment it infects
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