Albany - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I used to be a very naughty person, very crazy and totally irresponsible. I had no love for my body. I had no love for myself. When I discovered my diagnosis I was very fragile. The doctor told me I had contracted HIV about eight or ten years before. He said, “Albany, today you’re a person living with AIDS.”
What got me down the most was meningitis, an opportunistic disease that affects many people living with HIV. For a time, I lost my eyesight, I couldn’t talk, I lost my sense of touch, I couldn’t hold things. I almost died, but God gave me everything again. The doctors gave me all their support, moral and ethical. I knew then that I had to be different, that I couldn’t live with the mistakes of the past. I couldn’t waste any of this life.
So I have had to change my story, my life. I have suffered a lot with HIV, but today I am sure that I have changed. I have balance, and I have goals to live by, because I contracted something very serious.
Today I’m an AIDS militant. I left the nightlife, the nightclubs. I’m not dating anymore, but I’m always with my activist friends. This is how I survive. This is how I live, how I love those close to me, how I’m coherent, and how I’m patient. I am open, I show my cards, and I’m much better now, thank God.