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HIV does not define me/El VIH no me define

May 28, 2013

new maria 5.28.13Well, I was told by someone that made a comment on my pic  and my personal Facebook profile (which is this one) that although they admired my work and spirit, I shouldn’t make HIV so “Fashionista.” He went on to tell me that HIV/AIDS is something very serious and a matter of life and death…Well, I have been living with HIV since I was a teen…got infected at 16 in 1989 and diagnosed in 1991. I know what living with HIV is, and I for damn sure know I am more than this virus!

Do people really expect people living with HIV/AIDS to look sick and to be suicidal and depressed? Well..NO!! I refuse to be a victim!! I am a survivor. I am just a normal human being that is PASSIONATE about HIV education and prevention!!! But this does not mean that I am not going to take care of myself, my appearance, my spirit, have fun, live life to the fullest and try to be as happy as I can be. Does this person really expect us to be all down on ourselves with an ‘oh poor me’ attitude? NO! I do not choose to live this way!! Please, be the happiest you can be!  You can live with HIV or any other trial or struggle and still make the best out of a negative situation! In life we choose 2 paths…we take the path of life, love and success (with all the trials and struggles) or we can choose to live like we are dead! So yes, I am in love, I have my career, I try to be the best human being I can be, I love to help others, I love to travel, eat, shop, work out, and I love fashion…pretty much a normal woman that is living with HIV and made it to 40..but, DOES NOT LET HIV DEFINE WHO SHE IS!

Love and light,

Maria Mejia

 

Bueno, me dijo alguien que hizo un comentario en mi foto en mi perfil personal (que es éste), que a pesar de que admiraba mi trabajo y mi espíritu … No debería hacer el VIH sea “Fashionista” Él continuó diciendo que el VIH / SIDA es algo muy serio y un asunto de vida o muerte … bueno! He estado viviendo con el VIH desde que era un adolescente .. me infecte a los 16 años en 1989 y diagnosticada en 1991 .. Yo sé lo que es vivir con el VIH .. y yo soy más que este virus! ¿La gente realmente esperan que las personas que viven con el VIH / SIDA parescan enfermos y que seamos suicidas y deprimidos todo el tiempo? pues.. NO! Me niego a ser una víctima! Soy un sobreviviente .. Soy sólo un ser humano normal, que tiene gran passion por la educación y prevención del VIH! pero esto no quiere decir que yo no voy a cuidar de mí misma, mi aspecto, mi espíritu, divertirme, vivir la vida al máximo y tratar de ser lo más feliz que pueda ser. esta persona realmente espera que todos nosotros estemos tristes a toda hora? oh pobre de mi ? NO! Yo no elego vivir de esta manera! y por favor .. sean lo más feliz que puedan ser  se puede vivir con el VIH o cualquier otra prueba o lucha y aún así hacer lo mejor de una situación negativa! en la vida que elegimos 2 caminos .. tomamos el camino de la vida, el amor y el éxito (con todas las pruebas y luchas) o podemos elegimos vivir como si estuvieramos muertos! así que sí !!! estoy enamorado, tengo mi carrera, trato de ser mejor humano, me gusta ayudar a las personas ,me encanta viajar, comer, ir de compras, hacer ejercicio, y me encanta la moda  osea una mujer normal que está viviendo con el VIH y llegó a 40 .. pero, que NO se deja definir por el VIH

48 Comments
  1. May 28, 2013 3:20 pm

    As a person being infected findout my status on my birthday I kind of understand this person’s thought process,now depending on your level of acceptance with being HIV+ and history of illness but for me after watching my lovely wife die from lung cancer where they removed one side of her lung,four of her ribs and could not remove the cancer on her spine,for fear of paralyzing her. I watched her fight back but as a person with a compromised immuned system in her passing I live to become an activist realizing I had to put some fight in this game, or I die. Education is my Balm in Gilead.

  2. May 28, 2013 3:40 pm

    So I guess he shall come to understand that we are not just cd4 and viral load we are people just like anyone else.

  3. May 28, 2013 3:46 pm

    pay not mind to people. Your trying to DE-stigmatize it! and help your communities to engage in productive behavior. Negative Nelly’s, don’t validate their BS. But I know your all about exposing the crap that gets dished out. Stay strong Sista! I admire your courage and honesty. oxoxoxox

  4. May 28, 2013 3:47 pm

    this brought a smile to my face. very well said and very inspiring. lots of love to you.

  5. mariatmejia
    May 28, 2013 3:49 pm

    I am sorry about all your trials.I almost died from AIDS a few years ago and I also beat Cancer. the thing is that this man has to understand that people living with HIV or Cancer or any condition have all the right to live the best that they can . again I do not let HIV define me or make me feel less than. I have been living with the virus since I was 16 years old and now I am 40. this is just my spirit and I have the right and so does anyone else to try to make the best that they can with the cards that were dealt to them :) we are not victims..we are survivors :) and if it makes a woman or a man with any condition happy to work out,dress well,work,try to live an active life ( when they are feeling well the more power to them!! this particular man is HIV positive himself ..I ahve helped him so much.but I can answer him 24/7 I have around 500 emails a day from all over the world. he also was upset cause I told him I was married to a woman and I havent been able to add him on fb ( so I made it public so everyone that wants to join the convo can ) it is very sad that some have to put down others to make themselves feel better. I wish him light

    but we are more than HIV

    love and light

    Maria

  6. mariatmejia
    May 28, 2013 3:50 pm

    Ty so much Linda :) and believe me I wont <3

  7. May 28, 2013 4:09 pm

    You do great things mi amiga! I am proud to know you and am grateful for your sharing…you never know who you will touch, or how much it will mean to them. Stay strong, and thank you for always being honest. Mucho amore hermosa hermana!

  8. mariatmejia
    May 28, 2013 4:11 pm

    Ty Alex!! I always try to keep it real and I am too grown to let anyone or anything define me :) enough we the self stigma or stigmatizing each other right ?ox

  9. Wanda Brendle Moss
    May 28, 2013 6:33 pm

    Maria, my beautiful passionate and oh so correct sister! You did well to “seize the moment” to educate the poor man with blinders on. We ARE living breathing vital people, humans, allowed to do what humans do!

    It would be a crime of nature to gift your amazing external beauty! It provides so much hope and inspiration to those who are newly diagnosed, or still stuck in the anger/blame stage….to see your light shine as beautifully as the Northern Lights, or a full moon, or a mystical rainbow!

    Let your light ever shine. Like a lighthouse, helping guide others through the treacherous waters until they are able to let their lights shine!

    Love,
    Wanda

  10. Free permalink
    May 28, 2013 9:30 pm

    Hi Maria, Thank You for your spirit of life and living life to the fullest.

  11. mariatmejia
    May 28, 2013 10:24 pm

    Ty so much amiga Sita <3 love and light

  12. mariatmejia
    May 28, 2013 10:25 pm

    oh my Wanda how I love you <3 thank you for always uplifting me

    love and light

  13. mariatmejia
    May 28, 2013 10:26 pm

    Ty free for your words xoxo :)

  14. kenneth permalink
    May 29, 2013 2:15 am

    Walk tall my Sister u are an insipiration to us. People with such comments are still ignorant about Hiv. I wonder where He lives.

  15. Elsie permalink
    May 29, 2013 4:19 am

    A positive attitude is the way to beat HIV. Continue inspiring others, my dear!

  16. mariatmejia
    May 29, 2013 1:30 pm

    Ty Kenneth and yes I will continue to walk tall xox

  17. yanira permalink
    May 29, 2013 2:49 pm

    Eres hermosa y a pesar de tu enfermedad y tu pasado te condidero una luchadoran con una fe enorme en Dios, sigue adelante que Dios es bueno mas de lo que nos podemos imaginar.

  18. Gabrielle Linton permalink
    May 29, 2013 9:02 pm

    Ah another UN-educated hater! I have had my “little friend” for 20 years and the only problems I have is dating! Some times I feel like I am the ONLY lesbian in the world with HIV. Thank you for posting this and continuing to educate people about HIV. I am thinking about getting back into advocating..I had to take a break because I was burnt out and I am So glad I found this web site! THANK YOU!!!

    • mariatmejia
      May 30, 2013 3:43 pm

      Ty for your words :) add me on face book maria hiv mejia I have a huge international support group there :) love and light

  19. Bob hunley permalink
    June 3, 2013 10:48 pm

    Hi Maria I really admire your courage and integrity for sharing your story. So far after 4 tests I’ve come out negative but last year I had become quite promiscuous and I still test regularly. You are beautiful within as you are on the outside. And you are right. Our malady does not define us as I’ve been sober for almost 16 years. I was irresponsible last year and used protection 95 percent of the time. But that 5 percent is why now I’m testing every 3 months for all this year. I just want to thank you for your courage and your you tube story gives me comfort. Bob Hunley

  20. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 4, 2013 10:10 am

    Hi Maria I hope you got my message about my appreciation of your story. I’m inspired and and since I’ve seen the epidemic unfolded in 1981 and then myself start out in committed relationships for years , I ended up in friends with benifits type of relationships ,I felt so much Shame after each encounter. I am now in a “sex is gross” phase and left these partners behind. I try to tell the young guys at my work,(I’m 48 and they are in their 20′s) that they should be very careful . Especially because there are two new groups on the scene. Bug chasers and gift givers. It’s scary out there. I’m due to take my next test soon and vowed for celibacy. I have a good friend who has HIV and we always talk about the complacency of the youth and he actually was worried about me having so many female partners. He has told me I don’t have to be celibate but after having a throat infection earlier this year and still testing negative my lustful desires have vanished . Anyway I take it 24 hours at a time. I will continue to follow your story and there is another lady who uses you tube . She goes by HIV Chick. You both have brought me great peace. My e mail address is Robert.Hunley@yahoo.com,I’m not computer savvy so I can’t tell if your able to read my comments. God Bless . Bob

  21. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 4, 2013 1:27 pm

    And I admit I’m scared

  22. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 4, 2013 2:13 pm

    And the person who criticized you is so blocked by obsticals of ignorance. Being sober 16 years and helping people Recover from addictions as I’m am recovered (still a work in progress) I’ve been criticized for my efforts. I call them “sharp shooters” . But no one can make me mad without my permission. I don’t surrender my my emotional independence (emotional sobriety to anyone). Stay strong girl , no matter what my results are , I so admire your in – spirit-action. Take care . Bob Hunley

  23. mariatmejia
    June 4, 2013 2:21 pm

    Ty so much for your words Bob!! love and light

  24. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 4, 2013 2:35 pm

    I will try. I haven’t checked my Facebook forever. I’m kinda interverted
    And on weekends hanging out with my boy. He will be 14. Sheesh he’s a handfull but a lot
    Of fun. I will work on that but very respectful of people’s space

    Bob

  25. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 4, 2013 2:42 pm

    Also I wanted to know when I test and get results I can share them with you and others? It would be nice to have support. I kinda break down when I test. I’m very intelligent but do the stupidest things. Like my female binge last year. I wiil get back on Facebook to see about being added along. That’s very kind of you Maria. Bob

  26. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 4, 2013 8:44 pm

    I’m located in Hawthorne Ca. I will try to get to my Facebook or do a new one this week. I will look at your you tube latest footage before I take my test for solace and comfort. The one thing I didn’t share with you was my experimitation with beautiful transgendered women. I thought I was fine after all the HIV tests but my dr insisted I take one more test. I told him I’ve only been with one biologically born woman regularly this year with full protection but he still insisted. So here I go again. Anyway I’ve given you my story Maria and I’m not much of an e mail/ text person. And I know you are busy as I myself speak my experience strength and hope to recovering people. Anyway I am going to Long Beach to do the test and will look at your you tube inspiration before I take it. It’s the pin prick one and I find out in two min. I will keep you updated. Thank you again for responding back Maria and now stepping back and let my Higher Power take over. Bob Hunley. : )

  27. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 6, 2013 12:36 am

    Hi Maria it’s Bob. Actually I have a profile on Facebook I haven’t checked for a few years which has pics of my boy and I when he was much younger. And created a new one. I tried to follow your direction of communicating through there but like I said. Facebook isn’t my trip and I have a circle of friends in my 12 Step fellowship and a lady friend (no commitment) and my boy and family. I even put a Jim Morrison quote on it. My other one was philosophy. Anyway I’m even uncomfortable e mailing you because we are complete strangers. But I close my eyes and think about what you stand for and you are a Guiding Angel when I’m full of fear. But because of my trials in life I usually stay in the background. Anyway I wasn’t going to even send you any messages. Talking to strangers must be a little odd so I’m signing out but thanking you. We are not our bodies. We are Spirit. We are not our ailments. We are Spiritual Beings living the human experience. Take care Gaurdian Angel. Bob

  28. mariatmejia
    June 7, 2013 11:21 am

    love and light

  29. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 15, 2013 11:05 pm

    Hi Maria you are the reason I’m
    On Facebook. And the whole alumni has contacted me. Anyway you are stiil my main inspiration. I’m hanging with my autistic son. Hope all
    Is well. Love and light. Bob

  30. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 24, 2013 11:54 am

    Hi Maria I’m scheduled to have foot surgery for bone spurs and planters fashi itus this month . I know it has nothing to do with HIV but I will be out of work for 6 weeks. I have a friend who is going to go with me to take the pin prick blood test in support ill find out in a matter of minuets. I’m prepared for whatever the results. I even found an HIV dating site in case I come out positive and my insurance covers the cocktail. But you are the light and inspiration at the end of the tunnel. I only have one lover now and always have used protection. An Asian gal. We’ve never had one argument or hard word torwards each other. Anyway I wanted to check in and say hi. I hope all is well with you. You are a true sweetheart. Kind Regaurds , Bob Hunley.

    • mariatmejia
      June 24, 2013 1:14 pm

      good luck on your surgery BOB!! and I hope that you’re HIV negative :) if not..you already know what to do :) and I am here for you!! love and light and thank you for your kind words xox

      Maria

      • Bob Hunley permalink
        June 24, 2013 2:15 pm

        Thanks Maria I am gonna test soon. And I quit being promiscuous. 16 years of sobriety from being a pot head but switched addictions. Like switching seats on the titanic. But I’m not gonna stop searching for a soulmate whatever the test is. I want committment someday. You are a light for all of us. When I first saw you on you tube I hung on to every word. So intense. And your strength just , I better stop I’m getting emotional. It’s cool I cry when my boy is upset or little house on the prairie. Godspeed. Bob

  31. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 26, 2013 12:55 pm

    Hi Maria it’s Bob. I’m waiting in front of the clinic to take the pin prik test. I’m not to nervous like usual and leaving it in Gods hands. I’m prepared for whatever happens. Can I contact u after results? I’m on Facebook too well , I’m going in now. I keep sAying I’m not my body I’m Spirit. Bob

    • mariatmejia
      June 26, 2013 1:06 pm

      hello Bob I am with you every step if the way :) of course you can contact me

      love and light

      • Bob Hunley permalink
        June 26, 2013 1:55 pm

        Hi MAria I came out negative . I’m only concerned about contacting u because I don’t wanna seem creepy because before I knew your life as it is now and saw your beAutiful face I was like I don’t care her status. She’s a Goddess. Then I saw your other you tube stuff I said no she’s the sister I never had. I have OCD I’m 16 years clean n sober so I already have a malady called addiction that’s 16 years in remission. But when I saw some sadness on your face I cried because I hate to see beautiful women sad. Well any woman or my autistic son. And I respect ur bounderies. I’m not creepy and too lazy for that. Lol but I’m gonna continue to keep in touch I threw my lust out the window and if u ever need a friend I’m there for you. I do refer to u as a Gaurdian Angel. Bob

  32. Bob Hunley permalink
    June 30, 2013 10:15 am

    Hi Maria it’s Bob. I still wanted to know if I can check in with you and your community from time to Time? Even though I’m negative but still came very close to catching it I feel
    A connection with all of you and a big supporter of your work. I saw your panel on Facebook and it’s simular because I was panal leader in AA trying to carry the hope to other for 6 years which kept me sober. My Facebook experience has been more of a nighrmtmare because my old classmates were putting me in a postion where I was uncomfortable. I spent the day with my autistic son who is gonna be 14 and we have a blast. And my foot surgery Wednesday. After my test last week I took
    A free magaIne about the latest developments of medications. And I saw a movie called “and the band played on” which is about the beginning of the epidemic and “we were here” the survivors of the Castro in Frisco and how they caught it in 1976 but as we all know it didn’t present itself until 78 to 81 because im of the incubation period. Anyway I love your work and purpose. God didn’t bring you this far to drop you. I hope someday I will find someone as beautiful as you inside out regaurdless of her status. Take care, Bob.

  33. July 4, 2013 11:39 am

    Hi Maria I had my surgery yesterday and all went well. Of course my foot throbbed when I first came out of surgery but I’m taking anti amflamatories and antibiotics but even without the meds my foot is fine. But I’m keeping off it till it heals. Just wanted to give you my update. Hope all is well with u. God Bless. Bob Hunley

  34. Bob Hunley permalink
    July 10, 2013 6:56 pm

    Hi Maria it’s Bob Hunley I’m just checking in. I’m recovering from foot surgery and let u know all is well. I don’t check my Facebook as much but i posted pictures of my boy on there. I had to not look at Facebook as much because I started feeling depressed. Come to find out there is a syndrome called “social media depression”. If one is well balanced it won’t effect them. But since I’m prone to it I don’t look at it as much. Thinking of deactivating it. But the good news is since I’m not seeing transgendered or having promiscuous encounters I’m dating one woman that’s leading to a committed relationship. She took a keen interest at me at work and I figure this is a safer route. Anyway I still consider u my Gaurdian Angel and almost like a sister and that’s why I open up to you and feel safe talking to you. It was your message on you tube that stuck to me to change my lifestyle. Ill forever be greateful because you might of saved my life. Kind Regaurds , Bob. : )

  35. Bob Hunley permalink
    August 2, 2013 4:28 pm

    Hi Maria it’s Bob. I’m very emotional now and thought I’d reach out to you. You have inspired me ( I used to be really active with newcomer men in AA sponsering them and taking them through the 12 Steps) which has been my pathway to The Inner Voice which I call God. Or Good Orderly Design for living. And I got so exhausted taking a break but I’m reaching out giving my number to newbies again to get out of self and be if help. Which always makes me feel
    On the beam. And it was one of your latest you tube blogs to get me back in to
    Action to be of service. Anyway I hope all
    Is well with you , I’m or I think i might be in a depression of some sorts. I sleep alot during the day I’ve been off healing from my foot surgery except when I reach out at meetings. And my friend who has followed me along since 81 when the first reports came out and we discussed what the rare illness was then somehow I think because of the link to Facebook saw my message to you about calling you my Gaurdian Angel and told me it was corney. He’s not as hypersensitive as I am. But that what is creepy about the Internet. Seems like people can be on the sidelines and see but I guess this is a public forum and I still stand strong you are my Gaurdian Angel no matter what people think. And giving up the lifestyle I lead last year it seems I’m going through a Spirtual detox because I’ve modified that behavior. I mean it’s no secret I have sex addiction and have prayed and done moral inventory about it in my Step work. Maybe my depression is due to that detox and I feel unloved and undesired. And I’ve gotton calls from the friends w benifits even though I don’t go there it gives me a temporary elation and then I spiral into feeling depressed. Anyway I don’t know if u ever felt that way but I’m standing strong of not going back to the dark side. If you have any words of advice or encouragement I would Luv to hear back. Love and light , Bob Hunley.

  36. August 5, 2013 3:52 pm

    To Gabrielle, I read your post and ill put this as respectful as possible. If I was a lesbian with a negative status and you being positive I would date you. For one thing you are a human being and another thing from what I have researched woman to woman contact is much lower chance to infect. I’ve dated women not knowing their status in my more irresponsible phase but if she would of told me she was positive it wouldn’t have mattered . I’m not a bug chaser. It’s just Love is much bigger than this malady. I would just take direction from her. But if I loved her or even falling in love or even just starting out it wouldn’t matter. Now in the 80s and 90s I was younger and terrified but I’ve grown and changed. I’m bi sexual (I fancy gorgeous transgendered) and I was in a relationship with one and she without warning entered inside me unprotected. In the heat of the moment stuff happens. But I loved her so much mixed with the passion it happened. The only thing was I at first jumped out of bed in terror. But composed myself. The result, we were both negative. Don’t ever give up. Bob

  37. mariatmejia
    August 6, 2013 11:21 am

    you can always come here and vent Bob I will always be here for you :) love and light and just continue on the spiritual path and live as happy as you can be :)

    Maria

  38. Bob Hunley permalink
    August 25, 2013 10:33 pm

    Hi Maria it’s Bob. Just wanted to say hi and see how you and your significant other ( I forgot her name , sorry) are doing. I’m going back to work after 2 months of recovering from foot surgery to play buisness man. I was thinking of leaving AA and found a lady with a cause , anti AA activist who has exposed alot of concerns I had about certain AA groups a couple years back. I decided to stay in AA And ill be 16 years clean n sober on the 27th of sept. the problem with this anti AA movement is there is no Higher Power or GOD and they put down the very steps that have saved my life. And although I said goodbye to the lady amicably I felt the other bloggers were keeping score on me. So in a way they have become what they despised. And I’m in an AA fellowship that there seems to have no problems like in other areas . I know this has nothing to do
    With your cause but since ur my friend I’d thought I’d let u know what’s up. Did you here about the new disease that attacks the immune system and is dangerous , it’s not HIV but a new immune deficiency syndrome I saw on the news. I don’t think they know how it’s transmitted or has a name yet. I feel
    Like its 1981 all over again. Anyway I thought I would let you know this new info. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Take care, Bob

  39. Bob Hunley permalink
    September 9, 2013 3:01 pm

    I didn’t know I waS blogging negative. I apologize I been going thru hell I’m not A troll. I will leave this site. Bob Hunley

  40. Bob Hunley permalink
    September 30, 2013 11:40 pm

    Maria , for the record , I got your latest post on your site about being annoyed from bloggers on your site. I haven’t followed it or even blogged or anything. I have my own issues to deal with. I guess you are referring to others because like I said , I haven’t been on your site. With that said I hope all is well and my cry for help didn’t annoy you. I guess it’s the price to pay to be an activist. I have heard simular complaints from a recovery activist. I just try to stay in the present moment. I know u are not a doctor but maybe people see you as a comfort zone. Plus anyone who is educated knows you will out live all of us. This 5 year crap ( excuse my French) is 1980s garb. You are a courageous person and the meds I take for my disorder are taking a toll on my body. Anyway I just haven’t been online much. Take a deep breath and close your eyes and just breathe. This too shall pass. Bob

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