HIV-related stigma is worse than ever. Not the external kind, where a society is panicked about the new plague. Thankfully, the days of being shunned by hospital orderlies or funeral homes are over. But I'd prefer that kind of stigma over today's internal stigma, where a community shuns its own.
Are you currently facing stigma? Well, know this: You matter, your life matters, and you are filled with purpose! You are no less of a person because you have HIV. Your dreams are not infected. Don't let HIV take away your power; instead, become empowered and rise up to HIV!
I believe one antidote to stigma is pride, and by taking pride in our HIV status, we can foster a feeling of responsibility and openness -- to seek medical care, disclose our status to our partners and serve as models for those who are too afraid of HIV to even get tested.