My new girl introduced me to her uncle. Meeting family members is always a big deal. But after a handshake and a big hug, I felt instantly welcomed.
She told me he was HIV-positive – right in front of him! He didn’t even seem to mind. But I still couldn’t believe it. I mean, he seemed... normal. I shocked at how relaxed she was about it. But what tripped me out even more was that the HIV-positive man didn’t really look positive. If you know what I mean.
He looked like the rest of us. Normal. He wasn’t skinny like those people they always show you in posters. He didn’t have dry skin and open sores all over his body. Instead he was this happy, charming guy with truckloads of confidence. I couldn’t help but like him.
The whole experience was a lot to take in. Later that evening, when I could finally get the words out, I told her: “He looks normal, just like us.”
She didn’t skip a beat with her response: “What were you expecting?”
There are no visible signs to show that a person is infected. People who get HIV can stay healthy for many years. Many infected people do not even know that they are HIV+. Getting tested is the only way you can know if you have HIV and once you know, early treatment keeps you healthy.
This story was written by Tune Me community member.