Everyone has these group of friends that we may not see them everyday or talk to them everyday but you still call them your friends. I remember one of my friends every time I would see him he looked sick and I kept asking are you okay or I’d ask a mutual friend, hey do you know what’s going on with so and so?
It turns out he had AIDS. It wasn’t long after that that he passed away. His family kinda swooped him up and took him back to where he’s from and we never heard from him again.
It was really hurtful that you know someone who is so close to you and your life who you should you know you share these experiences with and they don’t feel comfortable telling you about what’s going on personally about their health.
My fear is that he was too scared to tell us. If we had created more open dialogue and if we had something like this, you know Speak Out or you know something to encourage him to at least talk to someone maybe he wouldn’t have had to spend his last few weeks by himself at a hospital and I just wish, you know, we could have been there for him.
Daniel reflects on a friend who had become sick, but no one knew what was wrong. With time they learned that their friend returned home to his family and eventually passed away due to complications with AIDS. Daniel wonders whether things could have been different if he and his friends had more open conversations about HIV/AIDS and made the topic easier to talk about. Would his friend have shared his status?
Research shows that people with HIV who have social support are more likely to get and stay in care, which means better health and fewer new infections. The experience changed how Daniel and his friends think about HIV/AIDS and talk about it with one another. They want to make sure this experience never happens again.