I was having some symptoms in jail, really wasn't feeling good… they asked me if I ever took an HIV test. I told them no, they asked me if I would like one and I told them, yes. And that is when I found out I was HIV positive…I have been living with HIV ever since then…
When you go to prison, or when you go to jail they don't want to give you your treatment. They don't want to give you your medications, and you can end up dying in jail by the ignorance of, you know, the law… I had to wait until I got out of jail to get the care. They give you a paper letting you know that this is where you go to clinics and this is where you go for treatment. [They] don't have nothing else to do with it, just tell you you're positive and send you on your merry old way.
In many practices, it is believed that there are inherently therapeutic properties derived from the stages of breakdown to breakthrough. These periods, both internal and external and ranging from large to small components, are at their best transformative processes resulting in a release of emotional and physical confinement.
The feat of releasing pain, relieving trauma, and progressively healing in spite of ongoing institutional racism, systemic discrimination, and structural stigma is an impressive display of dignity and defiance. Furthermore, to reach a higher level of consciousness where one is capable of the advocacy of awareness and forgiveness, is perhaps the ultimate form of sight and vision.
It has been said that, “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you,” 2018