Bong – Bong – Bong – the stroke of midnight, it’s here and I’m excited. I always get like this for World AIDS Day. It’s like a birthday or a special anniversary – married to the virus for eleven years! There must be something to commemorate that, silver, gold, diamond, ruby, even if it’s only paper. A testament to the fact I have survived the ‘marriage’ to HIV for that length of time. Actually, I’ve just looked it up on Wikipedia and the eleventh wedding anniversary is steel – well, you definitely have to be made of steel to cope with HIV, although I most certainly didn’t want to ‘marry ‘it! But as in the case of many arranged marriages I think I have made the best of a bad job and tried to get along with my unwelcome ‘spouse’ the best I could. So happy anniversary to me – to all of us living with HIV and long may we rein victorious.


Another reason for celebrating WAD this year for me is that I have fulfilled my goal of reaching a million hits to this website, in fact, thanks to you, it’s now way over that figure – 9,219, 846 since July 2010 when I installed my stat globe. How I love that globe and seeing all the visiting countries, so many, which could mean two things – the HIV population is growing at an alarming rate or that people are more interested in gaining awareness about HIV, which is what I set out to do at the outset in an attempt to reduce HIV related stigma.

When I first started hivine seven years ago there were only a handful of people blogging about HIV, but now there are many more brave bloggers out there prepared to speak out on behalf of those who can’t. We are becoming a united force and a force to be reckoned with thanks to the internet and social networking on face book and Twitter etc. There are ‘positive’ groups we can join where we can find support and gain a communal strength from each other, a worldwide joining of positive hearts and minds and of those who support us, which I hope hivine has contributed to. Because of this we no longer have to feel isolated and like social lepers, we have each other and there are thousands of us, millions even. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it must have been for those poor souls who had to struggle alone when the AIDS paranoia was at its height and so many people died or lost loved ones to this cruel disease. I feel a huge debt of gratitude for the early activists and how extremely brave they were – really when you think about it by fighting for the basic human rights of people living with HIV, especially in regard to medication, they gave us life – our HIV parents. I like to think that the attitude of the world is changing slightly towards us but even if it isn’t, at least we still have each other – the hivine is growing and stretching all around the globe. So goodnight world hope you all have a wonderful WAD and please keep visiting me till the next one rolls around.

In memory of my dear friend Marc Rushton


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