For the last thirty years, the world created controversy and stigma around people who have been living with AIDS. The gay community was affected at a larger scale and this condition became something to be ashamed of, a reality you needed to hide.
It has been a struggle to be a person living with HIV until recently, when the social movements and activists finally got results. Living with HIV is no longer something to be ashamed of, nor something you should be defined by. And to end this stigma, many people stated that they were proud to live with HIV, because besides this they are human, they have careers, they have families, they are just like everyone else.
“I am alive, I am an artist, I am gay, and I am HIV positive. I am who I am, and I enjoy every day of my life. This is a reason to be proud. Yes, it is.” Gabriel Estrëla, artist and AIDS/HIV activist writes in an article meant to end the stigma around this condition.
It is too soon to say that prejudice vanished, that those affected by the virus are no longer struggling, and sadly enough, they struggle more with the label society puts on them rather than with the virus. But look at the progress, people took action, scientists took action and there are better ways to keep the condition under control and live a normal life.
Gabriel has been living with HIV for five years and he is finally proud to talk about it, and encourages others to do the same. Hopefully, through his project, he will reduce the disgraceful way people see this subject and give back the dignity to those who have lost it, not because of the disease but because of a judgmental society.