Recently, I have started volunteering for Ex Aequo, a Belgian non-profit organisation that works to promote health and to decrease the rate on STDs, including HIV, among men who have sex with men. This community association, composed of a team that includes both HIV-positive and negative persons, gives consultation and raises awareness about sexual health, and offers free and immediate HIV screenings as well.
Last week, I had the chance to do my first consultation on my own. It has been a great experience helping other people, while at the same time feeling a part of a diverse community of peers who are all equally ‘HIV-concerned’.
Realizing that I didn’t have to adapt or that I didn’t have to wait for someone else ‘to save me’ gave me much strength and self-confidence. Deciding to practicing yoga and going to therapy were key moments of that process.
Becoming aware of the possibility to turn negative situations into opportunities has been life-changing to me. It is an ongoing process of course, but for a long time I have been accepting what was happening to me without really taking action.