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Marco, 1972 (#1100)

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Well, to me, the idea of HIV has changed a lot. Very, very much. I am not HIV positive but, in my mind, I believe I am HIV positive. I started in 1996. One of my best friends got ill all of a sudden. Unfortunately, life changed completely. In less than three weeks, I lost him. He vanished. He almost went from his house to the hospital, and from the hospital to the cementery. Because it was something that I did not really understand, I became depressed. I had arrived in this country, had no friends, knew no people, so it was like a world of change comes into your life, and simply goes through half of your body and you have to face people. They speak of the person you love in a negative way. Refer to him as an outcast who had to get out of your life. So I arrived in San Francisco looking for a lot of answers. And I found the answers with a person who asked me if I wanted to do something. At night I began to travel from Sacramento to San Francisco, and I started helping distribute condoms in The Castro. Then I met more people here in the Bay Area and I decided to move there and to keep distributing condoms at night. Later, there was a support group and I started going to the meetings, and later on I started working with that same group. Since I had already been tested, I could be even more useful in working with them. So I started distributing condoms, spreading flyers about getting tested. I started to work more at an agency, and now I already have... and that was in 1998. Since then, I have been working as a case manager for people who are positive. I am very proud of what I do, I am very proud of those who have come along my way all through the years, being their case manager. I see people, how life has changed them. I see people who are happy, people who have their families, their children, their profession, a good job. They are happy people, they are very optimistic, and above all they have been my source of inspiration to improve. They have been my source of inspiration to fight, to live, for things in life to be better. I will always say it, and I will always believe it: My best experiences in life have been working with positive people. In two instances I tried to stop working in this field. For two years I paused my work there, because it was very tiring. However, experience brought me back to keep on doing the same work. I say it again, in my experience it went from less to more service, and I hope to... to continue to at least plant a little seed in the lives of these people and to make a difference especially in their lifestyles. And I think that there is a need for more inspiring people because today it is someone else who is in front of me, and tomorrow I could be, let's hope not, on the other side of the table. When I am sitting with a person who hears that he or she is positive for the first time, I always tell them that I am the one who is ready right now to help them but tomorrow maybe there will be someone else giving me a hand to get up. So those who are going to work on this project, maybe it will be something that will have a lot to give. A lot more than in just one video. And there is so much to give to the community as well.

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Duration: 4 minutes and 5 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: bobuensuceso on Nov 20, 2017

The above video is recorded in a foreign language. To activate English subtitles please click on the closed captions (cc) button.

The Generations HIV Online Video Archive is an interactive media endeavor brought to you by THE HIV STORY PROJECT (http://thehivstoryproject.org), based in San Francisco. It features questions, answers and stories by people from all walks of life who have been impacted and affected by the disease. Videos were recorded inside a video booth that has been staged 10+ times since 2010 in San Francisco, Oakland, and Washington, DC. Learn more at http://GenerationsHIV.org.

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