We just need love, care, equality and some support
I found out that I was born with HIV when I was eight. Not many resources were available in those days to get enough information. I was on meds, and I didn't know when I would be free from this process. Soon I learnt that there was no cure, and I would have to lead my life this way. I gathered information from the internet and practised everything that would improve my health.
I felt that if I told someone that I was positive, they would judge me and wouldn’t accept me. So, I have kept it a secret for more than 20 years but keeping it a secret made me feel alone and isolated from the world. I was depressed, felt a lot of stress and at times, even planned to end this useless life where I could not be myself. I felt like my situation couldn’t be understood and it became hard to trust people. These old beliefs were making my life harder each passing day. I saw no hope or purpose to live but family. They were my everything.
After a while, I found out that I was undetectable. I was happy to accept this but again due to the old stigmas, I was scared to share it in public. The fear was still there. Society stills see us as if we've committed a sin.
I was in relationships but not involved in anything sexual. I soon had to put an end to giving them lame excuses. To date, I'm still trying to help myself improve my mental state.
I started reading, a lot! From psychology, to self-help books to wisdom reads; I kept myself engaged in work, reading and friends so that I didn't have much time to think about it. I developed passion for studying and became a successful engineer.
Now I want to learn more and to pursue a masters from a different country to understand life on a deeper level. Yet, I'm scared by the fact that the embassies won't allow me to travel abroad, let alone study. The laws are vague and not clearly defined. People need more information in a clearer tone. I feel like there should be more awareness (a lot of it) among people so that, least of all, the community suffering from this can live freely and accept themselves. More support groups and counselling should be given on a regular basis so that at least the stigma of HIV is removed.
We are not dirty. We didn't do anything wrong. We just need love, care, equality and some support so that we can keep up with ourselves. I am living a completely normal life with no diseases other than this infection. I have no problem with this but the hiding it part scares me.
What we say
Lots of people worry about sharing their HIV-positive status in case other people will judge them or won’t accept them. However, talking about HIV often helps other people to understand what it means, and can help you process your own thoughts and emotions. If, like Krish, you don’t feel comfortable talking to the people around you, you could look online to see if there are support groups in your area or talk to your healthcare advisor. See our page to learn more about sharing your HIV status.
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These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes and names have been changed to protect identities.