Living with HIV, I have achieved many things that I never thought possible—public recognition, great roles both in the cinema and in the theater— all since I became HIV- positive. This has given me the strength to encourage more people with HIV to take the same stand: “I am HIV-positive and I won’t give up on my goals. If something is not working out, I can change it and find a way forward.” That is what I did.
What made me go public about AIDS was the need to break the stigma that people living with AIDS are ugly, that they are unproductive, and that they must be isolated or treated like wretches. People living with AIDS will remain who they were before HIV, independent of it. Those who were good people will remain good people, and the same goes for those who weren’t. Independently of having HIV or not, people are still human beings. They still have feelings. They love, suffer, cry, and laugh.
HIV didn’t fundamentally change my way of life. Sure, I now have to practice the discipline of taking medication. Death left my subconscious and entered my conscious mind. But in no way can HIV get in the way of my life. In fact, I started living more after HIV. May people live life independently of being positive or negative, may they be happy, build their life projects, continue their studies, continue working, continue loving. Because HIV shouldn’t be stronger than life.