Through Positive Eyes

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My name is Raphael, I live in Mellotte and I am 32 years old.

In 2004, I went to take a test and I found out I was positive. When I first found out, since I did not really understand what HIV was, it really did not make an impact on me. I took it like a fever, like a cold, like any sickness that keeps you in bed. I don’t really remember in what moment I got it. I was in a relationship with a woman. We enjoyed each other, we made love, I penetrated her without a condom and she said, “Hmmm, you did not wear a condom?” When I went to get tested, I remembered that moment, and thought maybe that was the time I got it.

Now when I take photos, I know how to analyze them, and this means a lot to me. And I will use that knowledge. When I take photos by my house, I can’t use the tripod at night because I just moved in the area, and security is uncertain. I found a way to use the camera to my advantage. I hold it firmly, which pushes me to take photos in an original way.

I want to tell people in Haiti to stop talking about things they don’t know about. When you hear that there is a disease that is a force of destruction, learn to know what it is before you criticize us, before judging us on account of the disease.

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