Friday, April 3, 2015

I Am HIV Positive & I am a WHOLE person

There are many closets to come out of and I have come out of the closet at the age of fifteen and identified as Gay/SGL and I have always known who I was attracted to from an early age. I came out of the closet as an Atheist  and I am UNAPOLOGETIC ABOUT WHO I AM. I respect and accept all of my intersections that make me Ashton P. Woods. I generally do not disclose my HIV status unless I know that I will be sexually active and have always felt that it was no one's business.

I am not coming out of this closet just for me, I am coming out of this closet for everyone who has be ostracized and made to feel nasty. Those of us who have HIV are healthier than most out in the general population, yet we Black gay men die at a higher rate from HIV than those who are in the group where HIV infection is actually the highest. I live UNAPOLOGETIC ABOUT WHO I AM, I accept me for who I am. It is time that you accept you for who you are! We are not nasty people, we are not contagious, we are doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers! I am HIV positive and I live a healthy life, I am a person , a whole person and I exist.

I think, as someone who lives with this every day of my life that we need HIV education that is all encompassing and inclusive of all communities. I am HIV positive and I am more than just that, I have stood when no one else would stand. Stand with me for my humanity, stand with me to break stigmas and help to educate our brothers and sisters about truths and break the myths.

My name is Ashton P. Woods and I am HIV positive.