Don't stop believin'

This is the first in a series of articles from a young man living with the HIV virus.

The perfect day would involve sunshine but not too much. There would also be soft music, most likely French, that would play every time I entered the room. It would be something low and cool like Eartha Kitt or every song on the Something’s Gotta Give soundtrack that would signal my arrival.

I would have to be wearing my favorite tank and cargo shorts or rolled up jeans. They wouldn’t be obnoxiously rolled up to my thighs but would lie comfortably on my calves. Three or four cuffs are all it would take to get that right look. My cell phone would be in one hand as I haphazardly text my BFF something important like “How did your bangs turn out?” or “I am thinking of growing out a beard…” while bumping into every single person in my path. Oh, and of course, there would be a Mocha Light Frappuccino from Starbucks in the other. The perfect day would involve sunshine but not too much, Eartha Kitt, my favorite tank, appropriately rolled-up jeans, conversations about hair, a drink for the gods, and being HIV-negative.

I have been positive since I was 19. It was not exactly how I portrayed myself celebrating my last year of adolescence, but I am notorious for taking part in the dramatics and going out with a bang. For two years I have had to learn how to adapt to this “unique situation,” which I have so fondly begun to call it, and to change my way of thinking. Instead of pondering on which guy will be lucky enough to be my next conquest, I think and worry about the day when my doctor tells me it is time to go on medication. There are situations I have faced that I once thought unsuitable for someone my age, for someone of any age for that matter, and there are questions I continuously ask myself that I have no answer for.

There is not a magical incantation that can change the fact that I am HIV-positive. I cannot blow out the candles and wish it away. There isn’t a magical lamp waiting to be found that has Robin Williams tucked inside, preparing to change my life. The only thing I can do, the only thing any of us can do, is be smart, play it safe, and don’t stop believin’.

Signed,

Mr. Positivity
 

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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