Is the time finally coming when we destigmatize men living with HIV?
A few weeks ago, Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness came out as HIV-positive. Since then, he has met with Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, openly discussed life with HIV, and seen people feeling comfortable enough to discuss their own lives.
It seems that we are all seeing a moment in which men living with HIV are being more open about their lives and the public condemnation they see on a daily basis. Tylique Nasir Jones is one such man.
According to Aazios, Jones recently shared a post on Facebook about how happy his life is. Though Jones fought with clinical depression, a common mental health disorder among those diagnosed with HIV, he says that he eventually overcame it by being unapologetically himself.
In his post, Tylique wrote:
“I AM LIVING WIH HIV HOW MANY CAN SAY THAT! ARE LIVING OR EXISTING!!?? I LIVE IN MY TRUTH CAN YOU???? ! MY LIFE IS JOYFUL AND FULL OF TRUTH AND HAPPINESS! I AM A MAN THAT IS TRANSPARENT AND HONEST! A MAN WITH INTEGRITY! A MAN WHO LIVES UNAPOLOGETICALLY!
BLACK GAY MAN! POWERFULLY EMPOWERED!
MY LIFE IS MY LIFE I WILL NEVER LIVE IN SHAME OR PAIN! I SUFFERED ENOUGH!
I AM ENOUGH!!”
Unfortunately, 22% of men living with HIV deal with clinical depression. That said, medical advancements have made a long and successful life possible for men with the disease.
In addition, an increased amount of healthcare providers are providing or suggesting psychological help to those who test positive for HIV. These treatments can enhance both survival rates and quality of life for individuals suffering from both HIV and depression.
For more information on HIV, how to treat it, and where to find help, head over to hiv.gov.