When I was first diagnosed with HIV, I was shocked. I was gripped by fear. Then I thought to myself, “Should I tell my employer about my condition? Should I share with my flatmate that I have am HIV positive?”
The answer was “NO”!
If I tell others I have HIV, they will surely avoid me like the plague! Instead I kept everything to myself. Keeping the silence made my heart heavy with worries. I had no one to share my problems and my fears. One question that kept ringing in my ears was, “what if I should die from AIDS?”
I am the only child and both my parents had passed away. It was painful to think that I have let them down. If they were alive still, I would have been so ashamed to face them. I am sure they would have felt great sorrow and shame to have a son like me. I had no one I could trust to confide in about my HIV status.
Out of shame and guilt, I kept to myself and alienated myself from my friends. I led a very lonely life just going through the motion of everyday living without meaning or hope. This went on until I was introduced to the CARE Shelter.
When I finally got myself admitted to the CARE shelter, I felt a sense of relief. The people who stayed there were like me. I didn’t feel the need to hide the truth. I could be myself, at last! I was able to talk freely about my illness, my worries and fears. Furthermore, the staff understood us and did not discriminate against people like me.