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Six Voices Part Three - Reflections

In 2015 we sometimes forget about the impact that living with HIV can still have on a person’s life. Here is part three of a six-part series, describing what it is like to live with HIV in Perth in 2015.

DO I BEGIN WITH MY FIRST ENCOUNTERS WITH THE VIRUS PRE MY DIAGNOSIS?

Do I start from the moment of diagnosis 27 years ago? Do I look at key defining moments over that time or do I look at the here and now?

There has been so much to say, to share and to reflect upon that makes up what has been a complex, dynamic and interesting journey to date. This is still a work in progress, my life that is, and do I focus on the good, the bad or the indifferent?

I find strength in writing, in sharing, in expressing myself even though at times I have also felt restricted.

Over the past 27 years I have been privileged to know and be part of the lives and journeys of many lives. People who I have shared, laughed, cried, enjoyed, cared and loved; who have allowed me into their lives and who in return have gotten a glimpse into mine.

HIV does not define who I am but it has impacted on my life journey to date. I have had HIV for more than half of my life and to say that it did not have an impact would be to discount so many important life experiences that have contributed to be being the man I am today.

There have been many milestones and triumphs, dilemmas, challenges, sad times and joyous ones as well. Each one of these episodes on my life journey have taught me important lessons about who I am and have given me strength and added to my character.

Over the course of the past 27 years I have questioned my place in the bigger picture, but have never allowed myself to wallow in negativity and self pity, even when I was recently faced once again with my own mortality.

Time to move, close off, take the responsibility for your deeds, hide it, maybe in an other world, saving children for persons hateful so called truths, of fathers so call wrongful deeds. To live part of your life at the cost of losing close contact with children, what a terrible price to pay. But no turning back from damage you have caused, hopefully, lovingly repaid as time lengthens. Always fear of name calling of yourself to children and children’s children, tells you to stand back, recede, don’t get too close, lose yourself in the crowd, as hurting your children; once is enough. Even though I am what and who I am we are what and who we are but someone, society states to be different to the norm.

As times I have thought, I should have lived that lie, taken the easy road, with less heartache, not so many twists and turns, less potholes to fall into along life’s way. I have been called the luck one by late partner and friends alike, as I have lived another fruitful life and through that, was given the most wonderful gift of all, my children and children’s children, who no one can take from me.

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Our Mission

To minimise the impact and further transmission of HIV, other blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections. To reduce social, legal and policy barriers which prevent access to health information and effective support and prevention services.