Diagnosed in 2010
I am from Guadalajara, Jalisco, in Mexico. Three years ago I moved to a smaller city in the same state, because I got a promotion. I decided to move here and concentrate all my energy and efforts on succeeding in my new job. Four months after I moved, I decided to take an HIV test.
I don’t know why I decided to do it except that I felt that I needed to. Somehow I knew something was wrong with me, though I wasn’t sick or anything like that. My test came back positive. My entire world crumbled. I felt suddenly in shock, like my life was torn apart and everything changed. I talked to my partner and he took the test. He was negative. I felt so relieved, but I wasn’t the same. I felt all stressed out and I started to suffer from depression.
I felt I was alone and nobody understood the way I felt. I didn’t have support from doctors, and I haven’t told my family yet. My partner was totally supportive, but it wasn’t the same, because he was not in the same position as me.
I started with all my checkups, and a year later I started treatment. I was scared and nervous about it. I had heard so many stories, and the doctors didn’t help me a lot.
June will mark a year of taking medication, and I feel great. I am undetectable now.
Almost three years later I feel happy. I am doing yoga, swimming, and I am studying kabbalah. They all help me a lot, especially kabbalah. I now understand I am not a victim, and I need to take responsibility for my actions. I see life differently, and I want to help others understand that this is not the end.
There are a lot of people to help and to make realize there is hope. Here, where I live, there are no support groups. I’d like to create one, to offer newly positive people an opportunity to express themselves and feel they are not alone. I am working so hard, and doing all I can to be in a good physical and mental condition.
I see things differently. I am not depressed anymore. I feel full of life and energetic. I want to live and help others as much as I can.
I know my story is not as unusual as many others’. But I consider myself a survivor. I survived ignorance, depression, and a victim state of mind. There is a lot of things to do. I just need to be clear about where to start.
What three adjectives best describe you?
Friendly, ambitious, intelligent
What is your greatest achievement?
To succeed in my professional field, doing what I like and helping people become better citizens
What is your greatest regret?
Not being honest with myself
What keeps you up at night?
Things I have to do the next morning
If you could change one thing about living with HIV, what would it be?
Doctors’ and the health care system’s indifference
What is the best advice you ever received?
You are not a victim.
What person in the HIV/AIDS community do you most admire?
I don’t know anyone with HIV in my community.
What drives you to do what you do?
The thought of waking up and finding new opportunities to help others
What is your motto?
We are here for a reason.
If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
A panther. They are beautiful, strong, and they are survivors.