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Queer, Ill, and Okay: Artists Write to Their Younger Selves on World AIDS Day

Juicebox 2

Juicebox, @juicebox82

Multidisciplinary movement/dance, producer, writer. Photo by Kiam Marcelo Junio.

Hey Juicy,

I'm your future self. I see you just found out that you’re HIV+. I would like you to pick your face off of the floor and listen. From the day of transmission, I have been on a journey to find love and acceptance for myself. But I realize that I never was the problem. Society tells you: you’re not loveable. NEVER BELIEVE THEM! Anytime, a person greets you with ignorance—drop them. There is too much beauty in you to waste. Your bloodline is a direct connection to the poz, queer ancestors who died before you. Your blood has history. The stigma is ancient, irrelevant and full of ignorance. The best self-love you can give for yourself is look for empowerment within. Keep a circle of people, who love you. Take lovers who don't stigmatize you and always walk away from bullshit. 

I guess this is hard to hear at the start of transmission. You feel alone. You feel unattractive and diseased. That’s a lie! Gurl, you are too cute to be trippin! There is PrEP, PEP, and tons of manageable HIV regimens. And the biggest truth of all! You, as an undetectable person, are less of a risk sexually than someone who doesn't know their status and thinks they are negative. So own it baby, love your HIV, love sex again, and love everybody who loves you.

All the Cute, 

Juice Box

P.S. Don't date Johnathon.

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