Darren - London, United Kingdom
My life is very much focused on family and my responsibilities as a parent of eight children. HIV is a very small part of my life and it is not something that dictates how I move or how I view myself. I have a very supportive family. They all know about my HIV status and it has never been an issue for them. We were able to plan to have our babies safely, so thankfully all of them were born negative.
I am a full-time dad at the moment. I am not working. I haven’t been working for some time. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis of the spine, which causes a lot of problems for my mobility. That is one area of my life that is very dark. It is very depressing. Especially being an African man, I’ve always been used to being the provider. There is a need for me to go out every day, just to free myself of any pain or burdens or issues, so that when I walk back into my home it’s happy days.
Religion plays a very big part in our family. My closeness to Christianity has given me a lot of courage. It has given me the direction and comfort that I’ve needed during the difficult times in my life.
We’re a fun, fun family. We are always either dancing or singing. There’s a lot of love. We are not short of love in our home.
When I was behind the lens taking pictures of my little kids, somewhat morbid thoughts were going through my mind that if I did die before my time with my HIV diagnosis, at least there would be this album —beautiful pictures to remember me by.