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James' Story

I am a best friend, a poet, aand a cook. And I'm living with HIV. Let's Stop HIV Together. Antron

This is my story of HIV. My name is James. I am a normal man just like any other. And just like a lot of men these days, I had an attraction and a like for both sexes. I enjoyed sex often with both sexes. For 6 years I indulged in bisexual encounters, never worrying whether or not I should use protection - thinking I was invisible, that nothing bad would happen to me. Most recently l became very tired all the time. I started to feel some flu like symptoms and knew something wasn't right. I decided to go to the doctor and get checked. After some testing, the doctor came back with the news. He told me I have AIDS. I was devastated, even crushed. How could this have happened to me? I couldn't tell my family because of their conservative nature. I couldn't tell my friends for fear of what they may say or think about me. I was at an all-time low. I lost the want or will to live. I was at the end of my rope but still kind of hanging on. I wondered if I found someone to tell, to confide in, would I maybe not feel so shattered and helpless? I reached out to a girl I just recently met. A person I didn't know that well. I needed to tell somebody. I needed to get out some of his sadness and anger. Little did I know that girl would help me. She would help me to regain my will to live by showing me the love and affection of true friendship I needed. She helped me to realize my life was not completely over, just changed. And now, rejuvenated, I want to share my story with everyone. I want everyone to know that even when you're down and low and think it's the end, don't give up. Don't throw in the towel. Reach out to someone for support. Don’t forget that this is not only your struggle and your fight. There are others who love you and want to see you through. For those with HIV, I encourage you to take your meds on time all the time. And please don't give up. There are so many ways to get help and support. Thank you for listening to my story. I hope you pass it on to others so that they may also be informed.

James, Illinois
 

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