I work with people who have HIV as a part of my job. If you have HIV please remember:

HIV can be controlled by medications for a super long time (think 30 years+). It is more like getting a diabetes diagnosis than a death sentence.

No matter how your infection happened you deserve to live and have a happy life.

By federal law in the United States there is tons of resources to help you get medication for FREE.

You can find partners who will accept you and love you.

You can have children who are born HIV-. If a child is born in a first world county with medical care the likelyhood of transmission is rediculously low.

On medication your likelyhood of infecting others decreases significantly depending on your viral load.

PEP and PrEP are exciting things to look into to be able to have unprotected sex and prevent transmission.

HIV does not have to be central to your identity.

People who take their medication like prescribed can actually have as few as 2 doctor appointments a year for their condition !

Don’t let stigma, fear and lack of education get you down! You are a wonderful person and can achieve wonderful things. Don’t give up.

And if you don’t know your status please get tested. Please!

HIV can be controlled by medications for a super long time (think 30 years+). It is more like getting a diabetes diagnosis than a death sentence.

I just… I can’t get over this.  I mean, it’s true, at least in the US and nations with affordable, available healthcare, but I haven’t thought about it before like that, and…

I remember, as a kid, how many people we lost.  I personally worked on at least 20 squares on the Quilt.  My pastor’s brother died.  My best friend’s uncle died.  Two people from church.  One from Dad’s work.  People in the neighborhood.

I remember, vividly, when it was a terrifying death sentence.  When it was stigmatized and kids were getting thrown out of school and people were getting thrown out of housing.  I remember the garbage that those shitheads in the White House in the 80s threw at us, I remember the cover-ups and the suppression. 

We could have gotten here so much sooner, and so many fewer people could have died.

But we’re here.  In thirty years, we have gone from ‘unconquerable epidemic of suffering and inevitable death’ to ‘it’s like diabetes or another treatable condition’, and in the public eye we’ve gone from ‘thing that kills bad people like the queers and the drug users’ to ‘you are normal and fine’.

Jesus fucking Christ..  Thank you, everyone who’s worked on this over the past decades. Thank you.

Reblogging because this is news to me, and I suspect many others of my generation.  I’m 32.

I also worked around HIV prevention and these are the most important things when talking about HIV these days!1

We discuss this a lot in our advocacy work, but I know from experience people still know very little about HIV. And I think the most necessary thing at the moment is destigmatization and mainstreaming of these issues.