13 Quotes About Being HIV+ That Will Help Break The Stigma Of Being Poz

Learning that you’re Poz can be a scary moment, but it isn’t a death sentence. This is one of the most crucial takeaways so many members of the community want to share with those who have recently been, will one day be, or know someone who has been diagnosed. The reality is that being HIV+ is not what it once was, and in an effort to shift the stigma attached, here are some of the most poignant quotes about being Poz that might just help you understand the community a bit better. 

1. “It occurred to me: What if everything I’ve ever been through was preparing me for this moment?”

“What if everything I’ve ever been through was preparing me for this moment – to be strong enough to share this, and to share it on my own terms. Part of that for me is to process what’s happened, but the bigger part is that I wanted to do something to move the conversation forward in a meaningful way around HIV/AIDs, and what it is to live with HIV, and to humanise and normalise a lot of the things I talk about.”

— Jonathan van Ness

2. “People with HIV and AIDS are nothing to be afraid of.”

“People with HIV and AIDS are nothing to be afraid of. They are people just like every single one of us, and each has a story to tell. These people should be helped, embraced, and not dismissed. We need to open our hearts and our minds to them, and we just may learn we’re pretty much all the same.”

— Lisa Lampanelli

3. “You have to involve yourself as much as you can.”

“I have a lot of friends who are infected with HIV, and you wanna protect them… To increase the awareness of it and to find a cure for it, the human lives we would save would be a really awesome thing. You just have to involve yourself as much as you can.”

— Tara Reid

4. “HIV/AIDS is a disease with stigma…”

HIV/AIDS is a disease with stigma. And we have learned with experience, not just with HIV AIDS but with other diseases, countries for many reasons are sometimes hesitant to admit they have a problem.

— Margaret Chan

5. “Breaking stigma will have a legacy everlasting.”

“This journey of education and breaking stigma around HIV is something that will have a legacy everlasting.”

— Gareth Thomas

6. “I’m living so that I can tell the story.”

“I’m living so that I can tell the story. There’s a whole generation that was here, and I stand on their shoulders. I can be who I am in this space, at this time, because of the legacy that they left for me. So it’s time to put my big boy pants on and talk… There’s no more stigma — let’s be done with that. It’s time. I’ve been living it and being in the shame of it for long enough.”

— Billy Porter

7. “These conversations are important.”

“You have to have these conversations because they are important. Especially coming from me: I am living with this virus. I don’t want [my kids] to ever have it, so I have to tell them… what can happen to them if they do the same thing I did.”

— Magic Johnson

8. “It’s a chronic illness, not a terminal one.”

“I think the thing that surprises most people is just that it’s a chronic illness and that it’s not a terminal one. The treatment has come so far. It could be treatable and totally manageable, much in the way that diabetes is. You just need to make sure that you have access to healthcare. So that’s all.”

— Jonathan van Ness

9. “It’s important that we continue to talk about it and spread the importance of knowing one’s status.”

“While testing is becoming more and more accessible, it’s important that we continue to talk about it and spread the importance of knowing one’s status. At the same time, we need to advocate for protected sex. I know and understand that this might be easier said than done, but there’s a power when your voice is loud and you continue to talk about it and I’m hoping that my voice is.”

— Ryan Ong Palao

10. “This thing is real and doesn’t discriminate.”

“I’m not saying this because I’m looking for a soft cushion wherever I’m heading. I just feel I’ve got thousands and thousands of young fans that have to learn about what’s real when it comes to AIDS. I’ve learned in the last week that this thing is real and it doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone.”

— Eazy-E

11. “There needs to be investment in educating people as adolescents when they’re still HIV negative.”

“People are so involved with immediate care, but at the same time there needs to be investment in educating people as adolescents when they’re still HIV negative.”

— Charlize Theron

12. “HIV does not make people dangerous to know.”

“HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug: Heaven knows they need it.”

— Princess Diana

13. “AIDS tests our ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.”

“Like no other illness, AIDS tests our ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes — to empathize with the plight of our fellow man. While most would agree that the AIDS orphan or the transfusion victim or the wronged wife contracted the disease through no fault of their own, it has too often been easy for some to point to the unfaithful husband or the promiscuous youth or the gay man and say ‘This is your fault. You have sinned.’ I don’t think that’s a satisfactory response. My faith reminds me that we all are sinners.”

– Barack Obama

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