"For every person who makes a stand, however tiny, we are closer to being accepted, freely and fully."
I'm a white, (young), middle-aged woman who has been positive 8 years now. I'm very lucky in that I have a fantastic consultant who goes above and beyond to help me, and a network of what I call my 'alternative family'. All this has come at a cost to both my mental and physical health though. I had to fight for every single benefit, appealing for DLA on no fewer than 18 occasions for myself and others... There's far too little support, less money and still the stigma, and I'm sorry, anyone who says it's altered dramatically is living in a fool's paradise!
All the nonsense about HIV being 'just like diabetes'! I ask you: can you sit in public and discuss your HIV freely and without fear? NO. So like diabetes huh? For some strange reason, this little virus marginalises us, leaving many people adrift and isolated. So, what do we do?... Get out there people, in any small way you can. If one person changes their attitude because of you, it's a step forward!
DEMAND better treatment, get the benefits you have a right to and above all, fight! Even if your battle is a small, quiet one, we need to move things on, and for every person who makes a stand, however tiny, we are closer to being accepted, freely and fully. It's just a virus. A life-changing and frightening thing, but just a virus.