When the doctor told me we needed to discuss the results of my blood test, I already knew I was positive. I guessed it because Alfredo, my lover, had been diagnosed already. It was a hard blow for Alfredo. He felt really bad.
But the disappearence of Alfredo was even worse than learning I was HIV-positive. We had lived together for five years. One afternoon he called to tell me he was coming home. He never arrived. His family, friends and colleagues at work never knew what happened. Seven years have gone by and we still haven’t heard a word from him.
I have never suffered from living with HIV. My daily life has not changed and I’m still working. The only difference is that I have to take my meds. For some time I was a professional dancer, but the struggle between dancing and working forced me to abandon this intriguing activity.
Each of my images depicts a footprint in time, a mark left by the environment or by society. The cars, houses and trees in my photographs keep their essence despite these marks. Their condition may not look appealing, but we cannot change it. What we can change is how we see.
Just as these images cannot be modified, neither can my HIV status. However, with a good attitude and by facing the facts, I can help people take a different view of this pandemic.
Each of our actions leaves a mark, sometimes on ourselves, sometimes on others. If I can influence at least one person to change his or her perspective about HIV, then I also will have left my mark.