I am an openly gay man who happens to be HIV-positive, but I’m not so open about my HIV status. In my photos, I remain anonymous. I don’t really reveal myself. I’m there but I’m hiding, I suppose. Actually, at times I feel very isolated and very alone.
Living in London, in a big modern city in today’s world, as a gay man, people don’t want to see the cracked or broken me. But there are many days when this is exactly how I feel. I am not perfect. I am damaged, and I am somewhat broken.
I’m projecting a veneer, because it can be painful and hurtful to show all of yourself, if it is something as personal as being HIV-positive.
I take up to ten or twelve pills a day, including my antiretrovirals and medication to deal with the side effects. I also have to take pills for depression and pills for aches and pains, which are linked to HIV.
This is an essential part of my daily life. It keeps me healthy. I mean, ultimately, it keeps me alive. Still, I don’t enjoy it andit brings all sorts of unique pressures, particularly, you know, because I’m not open about my status. I don’t want to hide my HIV status, I want to be comfortable about it, but it’s not easy.