I was diagnosed in 2004 when I was living in Spain. (I was born in Mexico and have been living in London now for eight years.) I was quite shocked and said, “How long do I have?” I was still full of outdated information from the 1980s and 1990s. I remember going back home on the bus, looking at all these old people, and thinking, “Oh my gosh, I am never going to grow old like them.” I felt stupid for having made the wrong decisions. But the reality is that, I mean, at twenty-six you are very sexual. You like to have fun and you like to have sex.
Nowadays, HIV has become a minuscule thing for me. You just talk about which pills you take, and that sort of stuff, but it’s not a death sentence anymore for us. There is not really drama around HIV for me anymore. The only thing I worry about now is the mundane: looking after the bills, getting a job. I have to worry about the mortgage and things like that. Pensions.
Alongside these problems, there’s hope. I’m living a quintessentially British life in London. I’m trying to pretend I’m creative. I am really into gardening. I love seeing how something grows from a seed. Sometimes you can see the whole meaning of life in miniature things like this.
HIV has affected me, but the great medication that we have now allows me to just live my life as normally as everybody else, which is fantastic.