After finding out I was HIV-positive, I was very afraid of the stigma, the discrimination, and how I was going to face society. My health started to fail. I was very tired, so I was not able to do housework properly, which my husband did not like. I was emotionally and physically unwell, and my husband was not always able to provide me with medication because his mother is diabetic, and he was taking care of her as well. In this way, he began to put me in the background, fell in love with someone else, and divorced me.

It took me five years to come out in the open as HIV-positive. I came out because of an HIV activist in America who inspired me through Facebook. I already had to cope with another disability—hearing loss—along with having HIV. It is not easy, but I have no choice. I have learned to live with both.

For me, being HIV-positive is a blessing in disguise. I accept it. Whatever is happening to me now or whatever is going to happen in the future is for the best. I have a virus. That is me. If you don’t like me, that is not my problem.

I meditate and chant to connect closely with God, which helps me. Meditation empowers me to do good and purifies my whole soul. What food is to the body, chanting and meditation are to the soul.

Today, I am an information technology professional, a computer engineer, and an Internet blogger, and at the same time, I devote my time to serving people with HIV and AIDS. I always say that viruses don’t discriminate against anyone, but people do, so my message is this: Don’t judge us because of the virus. We don’t want pity or sympathy, just love. Being HIV-positive is a new beginning, the new start of life, a fresh hope. Don’t let the virus destroy you. Life is short. Live it. Love it.