Carlos’ HIV story
When you hear people living with HIV talking about U = U, it’s tears of joy. At the end of the day, there is hope. My name is Carlos. I’ve been living in Toronto for the last 13 years.
Back home in Ivory Coast, there was a huge stigma around HIV. We couldn’t talk about that at all. When you heard that someone was dying from AIDS, you could feel the silence in the neighbourhood. I got diagnosed in April 2012.
In January 2013, January 2nd, actually, I started my treatment.
Text on screen: The only way to know your status is to get tested.
So, when I went for the first check in, my doctor told me that I was undetectable.
Text on screen: Treatment prevents the sexual transmission of HIV.
Not everybody living with HIV is aware of what U = U is. The research proves that, if you take your medication, you reach the level where you cannot transmit the virus to your sexual partners. It’s something that would change my life as a person living with HIV.
Text on screen: People with HIV on treatment can live long and health lives. U = U (undetectable = untransmittable).
Now with U = U, the way I interact with people, it just gives you a sense of rejuvenation. You feel this kind of fresh air. You don’t feel stress when you wake up in the morning and your HIV status crosses your mind. All this stress, all this negative environment, it disappeared, and a major thing that put me there, at that level, it’s U = U. It’s a huge transformation.
The fear of being stigmatized, completely disappeared.
When you reach that point, the way you felt heavy, it’s the way…you feel so light that it’s like you can fly.
Text on screen: Get the facts about HIV. Together, let’s stop stigma. Visit Canada.ca/hiv.
A message from the Government of Canada.
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