My Status? Negative.

1 Dec

Given that today is World AIDS Day, the HIV/AIDS cause is one that is near and dear to my heart.

I’ve actually been part of a small cause of my best friend’s dancing group that put on a production to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS some years ago. It was a touching thing that he did – mainly because he was affected by it in his personal life. Since then, he’s kept the cause close to him and does what he can to raise awareness and I back him 100%.

Though I know of people who are infected with the virus, I can’t say I know what living with it is like for them. But I know what losing someone to the complications of HIV/AIDS is like.

When I was a little girl, maybe four or five or six (my memory is a little hazy with my age) there was one man who I remember distinctly who played a huge role in my life. He was the father figure in my life when my biological father was absent. He was the man who knew how to make my face light up just by walking into the room. As far as I knew it – he was my Dad. There weren’t many men in my life that played a significant role or made big impressions on me, but he did.

For reasons that were inexplainable to me at the time I was just a little girl, this figure in my life grew ill from HIV/AIDS and he was gone and out of my life just like that. I saw him growing up as this uplifting and happy person and that’s how I always remember him. But the virus truly takes that away from people when it gets the worst of some people. I know that he fought as much as he could, but his better days are what he has left behind because when I think of him, I always think of his bearded smile and his olive complexion.

So, because of him and the knowledge I have about protecting myself about what other things there are out there and viruses I make it a priority for myself to get tested. More so whenever I’m entering a new relationship. Even when I’m not in a relationship, I just get tested out of precaution and to know my status. Some people can’t tell you the last time they were tested for HIV. I was tested just two months ago. My status – negative. My best friend’s theme for his performance a few years ago was “If You’re Not Infected, You’re Affected.” Know Your Status! Get Tested!

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