I came to Rio from the central western region of Brazil, bordering Bolivia, to grow as a gay man, to come out, because with my family I couldn’t do this. I also came to Rio to get a better job and to get ahead in life.

I found out about my HIV status in September of last year. It is difficult to live with HIV, facing discrimination and prejudice. We are already stigmatized for being homosexual. Being HIV-positive is something completely different. To be gay is to discover oneself, it is to be what we want to be, whereas being HIV-positive is a cold, hard fact.

I really believe in scientific evolution. I believe that one day there will be a cure. I live with HIV, but I hope for a cure, a complete cure, a scientific cure. I think one day there will be a definitive cure for AIDS.

I am a member of ABIA, an HIV organization based in Rio, which sponsors events for interaction and integration. They show gay films every Friday, and there are outings to cultural centers. There is a fulfillment in this coming-together of reading and leisure—this interaction completes me. HIV-positive people need information, need to interact, need to develop, and ABIA gave me the structure that I really needed.

Our true treasure lies within ourselves, and the introspection that I practice in my life brings me a certain balance between being HIV-positive and being gay. I want to pass on to every HIV-positive person in the world that they should explore all the internal resources that exist within them, because the true solution of physical healing and emotional healing lies within oneself. I don’t know whether at some point I will come down with an opportunistic disease. I have not had one yet. But if I do I will handle it by looking for my personal power.