I used to go to a lot of brothels. I had never gotten advice that I should use condoms. One day I woke up and felt an intuition that I had to go and get tested.

When I first heard I was infected, I was very worried. I felt out of place, not normal, agitated inside. I felt stigmatized and discriminated against by my neighbors. I would say hello and, when they found out I had HIV, they would not answer me. Or, if I came to stand next to them to have a conversation, they would move away. That made me feel isolated, like I was not part of this world. I was living in a desert. At one point I even wanted to kill myself, but eventually I found strength and never felt like that again.

I gathered a bunch of my friends and sat them down. I talked to them about my HIV status. I could not hide any longer. If they found out somewhere else, it would give me more problems. I thought that maybe some would stop talking to me. But I realized then that I had good friends and that I had to stay strong.

At the end of the day, my friends and family have never let me down. They are always there for me. I wish for all the people like me to be strong and believe that they are like everyone else, and to not live in isolation. And to always be open to receiving advice, and always going to the hospital and taking the medicine.