By Zizi Phillips
This month’s spotlight will be featuring a person with a courageous and empowering story. The person will be referred to as Anonymous. He is a Queer male who is 33 years of age. He discovered that he was HIV positive in 2012. He contracted the virus from his monogamous partner of three years. He was aware of his boyfriend’s status. At the time Anonymous was experiencing homelessness. He had become homeless based on his lifestyle and lack of support with finding who He was as a Queer Male. At this time anonymous partner was housed based on the fact that He was HIV positive; because of anonymous love and need for housing, rendered the tough decision for Anonymous to tactfully contract HIV in order to succeed life as a homeless person navigating temporary resources for places to get sleep and eat consistently. After a year of unprotected sexual endeavors, anonymous finally became reactive of the HIV virus. He soon navigated housing, and was luckily still in the demographics to qualify for housing in 2014.
Although Anonymous felt safer in His living situation, He still felt as if having to get a virus that was known to offer a shortened lifespan amongst his peers was a very unfair reality for himself and other people in the community who also purposely contracted the HIV virus for housing. Anonymous wasn’t open to expressing his status to friends and relatives due to shame and fear of how these loved ones would view him. He developed a routine to have a constant regime for His viral suppressant medicine. He felt alienated, and isolated from others, Anonymous believed that he was bonded with His partner, even when they both felt it was time to end the relationship amongst them. This bitter codependency sparked resentment and violence within Anonymous romantic relationship! The one thing both parties agreed on is that either of them could not live a normal life, and experience normal lives being HIV positive. The toxicity of their union had eventually caused for both people to agree to live separately in life. Anonymous Continued His viral suppressing regime. In 2018 He was declared undetectable. He felt that with this He could lie a more normal life and open himself for the possibility of loving someone again. Anonymous sought out support groups and workshops for HIV positive Men. He now has devoted to use his story of survival and injustice to advocate for others who may not believe in leading a happy life after contracting the virus! He hopes that his trials and triumphs will lend strength to those living in regret for having HIV. He hopes that he can touch the hearts of people and normalize the advocating of black men who are living with HIV/AIDS. He is diligently doing trainings on sexual health and proper usage of condoms. He is also working to get young men of color to be knowledgeable about PREP and PEP, with the hopes of decreasing the infections rates and numbers of HIV within the communities of Latino and black queer Men. Anonymous hopes that He will see the day when HIV is studied and understood to specify an actual cure. He is working to navigate venues that don’t stigma HIV as an option to having housing stability for Queer men of color!