Addicted to hiv

Tuesday 8 August 06

Addicted to hiv
Can I really compare quitting hiv with giving up the cigarettes? In a way, I chose to smoke in the first place, that’s right, whereas hiv may seem like a curse that has descended on me from a much darker place.

Consume hiv in moderation
Or is it that we have let our environment persuade us that hiv was real and a threat? That like alcoholism and heroine addiction there are only painful ways to get our body rid of the poison? Even if we succeed, as 12-steppers in Alcoholics Anonymous know too well: “it is in you.” You may no longer drink but you are still an alcoholic. The fallacy of this argument resides
in the fact that alcohol induces addiction in everyone. Whether you become dependent on alcohol is a matter of the perceived benefits of letting you slip into this addiction. Hiv becomes a sweet addiction. The story of one’s life. It is a shortcut to say “oh look at me, poor me, this is because I had unsafe sex OR I injected with an old needle OR I am the victim of abuse.” Hiv means somebody else did it to me. Hiv means society in its entirety must look after me. If you
don’t, you are rejecting me. Or else, I can do the same to you.

We prefer not to re-appraise the hiv-causes-aids paradigm because we feel safer dabbling with the little that we know. When I choose to quit hiv, I am like a hitch-hiker in the Amazonian forest. Nobody in my team to look out for the natural dangers. Yet, if I find my way out of the green maze,
hundreds will follow my steps later.

I quit hiv because I don’t agree with the death sentence that was put upon me: my 10 years of grace have expired and I am still here. The doctor was wrong. To err is human but to persevere is even more human.

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