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AIDS Day 2011: Sharing Our HIV Stories

(Continued from Page 1)
by River Huston
EDGE Media Network Contributor

The List of Things I Could Have Used When I found Out I Was HIV-Positive

I'm going to need a storage space,
no, make that a warehouse
somewhere large enough to hold
the shock and later the anger,
wait, make that rage.

I will smile and cope the best
I can as everyone asks,
"Does this test mean you are just HIV-
positive or do you have AIDS?"
I will need a place to put my emotions as I calm you--
you being mother father, daughter, son, friends, lovers.

I will need thick skin as the doctors, each
and everyone, will ask me,
"How did you get it?"
and even thicker skin if I am thinking about
dating or disclosing

I will need an interpreter to help me understand
the language of treatment, activism, disability
then I will need a hefty supply of No
No, I will not be a guinea pig,
No, you cannot talk to me that way,
No, you cannot have one more resident look between my legs,
No, I need to see a doctor not a nurse,
No, I can't volunteer, you have to pay me,
No, I have not found your savior
No, I am not the face of AIDS
No, I am not okay

I could have used people who would
never tell me it is going to be okay
okay was over new game

I needed to know what it is like
to gather all the reserves
each of us is born with
venture, into that place reserved
for all those people
in the moment before
they got hit by the bus

I needed to understand
I was chosen
I can decide
victim/ survivor
I needed lots of water, green grass, love, cookies and milk, naps, small animals, time to myself, sex, friendship, a full life, hope, faith, forgiveness
I needed to know
I get a chance to let go of the mundane
and will be given a glimpse
of life's staggering possibilities
in three little letters: HIV


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