Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Share your story; create a domino effect towards a world free of stigma!

Many people who are diagnosed with HIV or Hepatitis C, or ANY illness will have many questions. Today, people turn to the internet to find answers to their questions, and support. In many instances the information you find will contradict your doctor’s advice.
I have found that just some of the information I find online was something I could relate to. You will not find a one answer fits all when searching the internet for such things as "Could I HIV if..." "How will Hepatitis C treatment be?" "What are the signs and symptoms of HIV or Hepatitis C"? The list as to what you could ask and search for in Google’s search box is limitless and your search results could be in the millions!
The one site that I have found useful and that I mainly rely on is thebody.com, and firsthand accounts from individual blogs and vlogs, and online support groups such as those found at poziam.com, poz.com, and on Facebook; a group called "International place for people with HIV/AIDS, and the people who love us.”  Even with firsthand accounts not everyone will have the same experience as anyone else.
However, having these informational and supportive resources is invaluable, and while you may not be able to relate to everyone or find the answer you were looking for; you'll take something from each person you interact with, each article you read, each vlog  your watch,  and each response from a question you may ask in an online open forum.  More importantly you’ll form connections and emotional bonds with people from all over the World. People with one similarity; people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C.  
Your journey living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C will undoubtedly be exclusive. Don’t be shy about it, tell it, share your story, rise up, stand out, and speak up about it. Telling ones story can be very powerful, liberating, and empowering to others.  Further you could create a domino effect from the beneficiaries of your story.  As more people begin to rise up and tell their story living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis we can work towards breaking down barriers and get closer to a World that is free of stigma about the disease.
If you would like to share your story; I would love to hear it, those who I have befriended would love to hear it, and more importantly; that person who just found out they are HIV +, or long into their diagnosis and just having a difficult time will undoubtedly love to hear it; and will be comforted in relatable aspects of your story and inspired by it.
If you’d like, e mail me your story, and I will post it on my blog.  If you would like to do a vlog entry I can feature it on my you tube channel.  I can help you tell your story, and share it with the World! I was inspired to tell my story; and hope I can inspire you.

Kevin Maloney
Twitter @RiseUpToHIV

1 comment:

  1. Your proposal is laudable and worthy of admiration. That said, I have to say, that in some places, cities or countries, to expose this disease is a social death sentence. This is my case. Not the same, do it in one country or another. In a big city or small town. There are places that only think they know you are a carrier, it would be a personal catastrophe
    Fear of stigma is long and hard. Living in fear and live apart from your social environment is almost the same. No which is worse, if one or the other.

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