When I found out that I was HIV-positive, my life went dark.
Two years after I got married, my wife and I were unable to have a child. I was diagnosed with low sperm count. At the hospital I had a blood test, which was positive for HIV. I started wondering how this could have happened.
I remembered that I had gone out one evening. I was intoxicated and made a mistake—even though I was aware of HIV at the time. I thought I had safe sex, so I don’t know how this happened, but the mistake must have occurred there. I felt like because of one mistake my whole life is ruined.
I went to the top of a building to commit suicide. Then I stopped and said no, there must be thousands of people like me. I thought: let it go. A new life has started for me now.
Afterwards, I was wondering how to tell my wife. I took her out and calmly talked to her. She was worried after I explained it. I took her to the hospital for a test. Her results were negative and I said: Thank God, at least she is safe!
Five years passed with me being HIV-positive and her being negative. At that time, however, we incurred a huge debt and were under pressure. I told my wife, “It’s up to you, you can live with me if you wish. If not, I will give you a divorce. It is your life, your choice.”
My wife has been remarried for a year now. We had been together for ten years, five before HIV and five after. We still talk on the phone and she still loves me. Her parents must have forced her to leave me.
Now I am a community volunteer and I am living a normal joyful life. I want to be somebody. I am earning and sending money to my mother. I want to take care of my family and also help and inspire others to live better.
When I held the camera in my hands I felt like I had a new chance in life. I am able to photograph my life, and I can also become a good photographer. My life is all mixed up—happiness, sorrow, darkness, light. That’s why I thought my photographs should also be mixed, like my life is.
To people who are HIV-positive, the message I want to share is this: If you are unhappy about something, look at me and live happily. My life is hard, but still I am living with joy and so should you.