i reached my phone and got a message from Y. with my eyes still half open, i had to double check.
the message was a stretch and the first few lines were serious. it was very unusual. being best friends since college, Y and I were never this serious.
i even remembered attempting to scroll down further at the end of the message twice before it hit me that it was not a joke neither was an extension of another forgotten bad dream; my friend indeed has HIV.
relatively, i always consider myself as a brave person, who through time have never gave a bull to what other people say. i wanted to say that i always tend look at the brighter side of whatever life throws at me. but never this.
the honest truth is that hiv and aids have always been topics i religiously evade. some say its because of the stigma. but i say its because it has always been depicted with sadness among many films i have seen, books i have read and stories I have heard. hence, for the first time in my life i have chosen to be a conscious ignorant.
i refused to have myself tested, read anything about it, participate in any related activities or even join advocacy groups - until fate decided to hit me closer to home and it sucks. really. really. hard.
i always end up blank and cautious. for a conscious ignorant, i have the tendency to overthink every word and action to Y but with that nagging feeling that you always need to engage. it sucks because you always end up wordless despite your intention of making everything feel almost exactly the same. that despite of it, nothing has changed. but then again, you realize something has to change.
honestly, Y was not the first person to trust me with their status. but despite how many times i receive these, you just never get used to it and it just keeps on getting worst every time. faces just keep on coming up whenever you see statistics soaring. your heart skips and remember names whenever you hear someone talking about it: and somehow, the issues just keep on getting closer and closer to you; that the more you avoid it, the more it puts you on the corner.
but that was two years ago. now, looking back, i told myself I want to use my blog in chronicling my experience and how it changed me as a support, a good friend of someone who has HIV and a better person -- i think.
i want people to learn and laugh with my mistakes, my own ignorance and even my fear. i want to encourage other people in coming up with a more colorful and hopeful depiction of the condition. i want them to understand that like any other shit in life we just have to suck it up and deal with it together; with the hope of eventually achieving a better resolve.
but for now, i just want to gather all my strength to push that "publish" button.
smiling knowing i finally did it.