Through Positive Eyes

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Octavio MexicoOctavio

It is very important for me to be public about my HIV status, because I am not just a number, and I’m not falling apart.

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My HIV infection was the consequence of a gang rape. When the doctors gave me the diagnosis, I felt my life was over. What else could happen to me? I had been a very abused child. My mother was homophobic. So I left home.

For a long time I indulged in sex work and kept fooling around. When I got sick, I ran away from the hospital because I didn’t want to die there. Suddenly I got a message from a community group that helped me a lot. They encouraged me to make a commitment to myself and to life.

I am now a sexual health advisor. We promote a quick HIV test, along with which I offer counselling. In addition, I work for a company where I’m in charge of preparing and organizing events.

It is very important for me to be public about my HIV status, because I am not just a number, and I’m not falling apart. I’m a passionate man, committed to what I do. And passion is a lifestyle. It’s what keeps me going. Photography is one of my passions.

Working with the camera on this project was a difficult process for me because I was determined to capture only those images that really spoke to me. And I thought, how am I going to do this? All of a sudden I would have these moments of inspiration while walking by a place that made me think, “I want that picture!” Finding these spots was fun. I am very daring in all aspects of my life, and my pictures reflect that.

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