It was considered a death sentence in the 1990s when one was diagnosed with HIV, as it signified that one's quality of life would be reduced significantly. People living with HIV had a life expectancy of less than 6 years.
With the advancement of technology and research, being diagnosed with HIV is no longer a death sentence; rather, a person living with HIV can live a healthy and long life if they take good care of themselves and follow recommended treatment guidelines.
Taking care of oneself when living with HIV entails taking antiretroviral medications (ARVs), eating well, and engaging in regular physical activity.
People living with HIV have been stigmatized and treated differently by society and their communities for a long time, which is one of the reasons why many people opt to keep their HIV status a mystery.
Numerous people have chosen to disclose their HIV statuses to the general public in order to promote awareness among young people and those who feel that HIV is a myth and that they would never contract it.
In this tweet, user @Thembisile Q elected to disclose her HIV status a few years ago; she was diagnosed with HIV when she was 15, and she is still in good health 17 years after being diagnosed.
She recently uploaded images of herself on Instagram with the following caption:
"This is what a person who is infected with HIV appears to look like. Consider your options before concealing that condom."
This is to teach people to be extra cautious, especially those who believe people living with HIV look a certain way. In reality, they appear to be no different than any other healthy person. They are virtually indistinguishable from one another.
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