HIV: BRINGING THE COMMUNITY OUT OF THE FOGGY HAZE

world-aids-day-kc.jpgThe community has fallen into a fog because of HIV and we are still waiting for the the sun to shine bright for us all.

 For far too long we’ve been muddled and unfocused, unsure of which way to turn. HIV has been a fog that prevented us from seeing where we’re going or where we’ve come from, and we’re afraid if we move too quickly we might run into something hidden in the mists that seem to surround us. Being in this fog slows us down by limiting our visibility and for the past 30 years we’ve been pulled over and wait for the murkiness to clear. If we move at all, we go slowly, feeling our way and keeping our eyes open for shapes emerging from the haze that scare us. Far too many of us are hesitant in relying on the taillights of man in front of us as we try to make our way along the road, as we are filled with too much sadness, fear and nonacceptance. 

 By and large, most of us prefer to be able to see where we are going and move steadfastly in that direction, but there are gifts that come from being in this fog. Sometimes it takes an obstacle like HIV to get us to stop and be still in the moment, doing nothing. In this moment of involuntary inactivity, we may look within and find that the source of our fogginess is inside us; it could be some emotional issue that needs tending before we can safely go full steam ahead. Being in a fog reminds us that when we cannot see outside ourselves, we can always make progress by looking within. Then again, HIV may simply be teaching us important lessons about how to continue moving forward with extreme caution, harnessing our attention, watching closely for new information, and being ready to stop on a dime.

 We cannot predict when HIV will come, nor can we know for certain when the fear of it will lift, but we can center ourselves in the haze and wait for guidance. We may find it inside ourselves or in a pair of barely visible taillights just ahead. Whether we follow the lights out of the fog, wait for a gentle breeze to lift it, or allow the sun to burn it away, we can rest certain that one way or another, we will move forward with clarity once again.

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