Mid-term survivor

12 years, 10 months.

Approximately 4,687.27 days.

A few drug regimens.

Stigmatizing traumas.

A HIV- negative child.

What feels like 1,000 and 1 doctor’s appointments.

502 stabs to my left arm.

Because that’s where my good veins are at.


Lonely, tear-filled nights.

And I’m STILL not a long-term survivor of HIV.

Hell, and I’ve had it too damn long and am too experienced at this shit to be considered newly diagnosed.

So here I sit.

Somewhere in the middle.

With the other people who have been living around a decade with this virus.

A generation of people living and thriving with this jawn.

We share so many different experiences.

Maybe not as grim as those who came before us.

And Lord knows, I’m grateful for them.

Cus they give me hope.

But, still, experiences.

Experiences that have shaped how we’ve evolved on this planet.

Experiences that have influenced our decision making.

I mean, I ain’t asking for no trophy or nothing.

An HIV trophy would literally be the last thing on my list of wants.

But I just want to know where I’m supposed to stand.

Ain’t tryna step on nobody’s toes.

I just be needing some clarification sometimes.

Maybe we are like the millennials of HIV or some shit.

Paving the way for those who have come after us, being led by the work of those who came before us.

Hell. Idk.

I just be tryna make it all make sense in my head.

Tip: Sometimes, your truth will offend others. But it is still your truth.

Maybe I’m a mid-term survivor.

And privileged because of it.

12 years, 10 months is a long ass time tho.

Cus I felt each of those days.

I fought for the want to live on many of them.

What not to do: Don’t discount someone’s experience because you feel yours means more.

So that makes me a long term survivor of my own mental health.

I deserve THAT trophy.

A mid-term survivor of HIV/AIDS.

And a short-term survivor of 2021.

That’s cool.

I’ll take it.

As I said before, I just be wanting to know where to stand.

+ Ci Ci +