Let me explain what losing hivine meant to me – to me hivine is more than just a website, it means so many things to me.
I started it seven years ago to help people living with HIV feel less isolated and alone like I did when I was first diagnosed. I wanted to reduce the stigma which I hate with a vengeance and I tried to do that by using humour as a ‘cunning ploy’ to attract non positive people as well as positive people to the site. Even in my ‘humorous’ blogs I always mentioned something to do with HIV so people would have a glimpse of what it is like to live with this disease and for people who were living with it, offer them a touch of motivational hope.
Aside from that it contained a record of all the media work I’ve done for TV, radio and newspapers to raise awareness. Then there was my all my artwork, my paintings, sculptures and my book, “The Spider and the Fly” – in fact it was my life I suppose and everything I’ve tried to do to turn the devastation that HIV caused to my life back on its head. I hoped it might do the same for other people and from the comments I used to get on the original site it did.
In other words it was my legacy and something I felt would carry on doing some good even when I was no longer around – and then suddenly it was gone, wiped out without a trace. I suppose I can (and I am) putting some of the things back and uploading the old blogs but the task is quite overwhelming and at 64 I am not getting any younger!
I feel as though I have lost everything I have worked so hard for, so I hope you can understand why I am so upset. Nevertheless, if there’s one thing you can say about HIV, it toughens you up and makes you more determined to fight the stigma and prejudice that unfortunately exists in this world and sadly is the reason this site was targeted.
Well, as my mum always used to say, when one door shuts another door opens. Being diagnosed HIV positive felt like the door to normal life was being shut in my face, but other doors have since opened. If you are newly diagnosed I urge you to open those new doors and you may be surprised how your life can turn around - and often in my experience for the better.