HIVSTER + Pandora Boxx
1.) Can you tell us about yourself?
Oh, what’s to tell? I’m a sassy, brassy lass just trying to spread love, laughs and glitter across the universe!
2.) How have you been affected by (or your experience with) HIV?
I have several friends who are HIV+ and one who found out after we had been friends for years. That was tough. You just feel helpless because all you can do is give your support. It devastated him. A few years later and he really has flourished in his life and is happy and healthy. I fortunately have not lost many friends. I’m happy that people can live longer, better lives today. That said, it greatly saddens me and actually makes me mad that some people seem to think that the disease is not around anymore and choose to lead risky lifestyles. It’s just not worth it.
3.) What comes to mind when you hear “HIV”?
The first thing is just how people are not taking the simple precautions anymore. Or at least that’s what it seems to me. It doesn’t take much effort to have safe sex yet some people just don’t seem to think it will happen to them. It could happen to anyone.
4.) What has been your greatest struggle in life?
My greatest struggle in life continues to be the greatest struggle in life and that is to love myself. I never did growing up. That, amongst other things, lead to a few attempts on my own life. I still battle with loving myself and depression today. I don’t know if it ever goes away but you can fight past it. It’s much easier to tell everyone they are fabulous than to believe it yourself. I’m in such a better place with it today but every once in awhile those feelings creep in. You just have to fight it back. You have to look at the world and see what wonderful amazing things there are and focus on that. You have to find things that make you appreciate life and the beauty that can be all around us. Once you think of those things it can bring you around to think, “Hey I’m a part of this beautiful world and I am thankful I am alive to revel in it.”
5.) What do you value the most?
Love. Not just the “in love” kind of love. I’m talking about love as a whole. The love of a partner, the love of a family (that which we have and that which we choose), the love of nature or jobs or anything we feel passionate about. If you don’t have the love of something in your life you will never be truly happy. Find the love. Find the passion in your life. But you’ve got to love from within to be able to love what’s around you.
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