M, from Tunbridge Wells, was diagnosed with HIV in 1984. He has written a poem, partly to celebrate over 25 years of survival since his diagnosis, and also to raise awareness of HIV.
Positive Living: A poem for World Aids Day
Time has passed since the day I thought
My life is what I'd lost
A new disease is what I've got
A moment it took and never forgot
A deadly virus is what I'd caught
Time for sharing
Time for loving
Time for living
Lost their meaning
Aids was the name in those days
Silent and lethal it was here to stay
Finding its way like a plague
Human life is now at stake.
My love story with no fact
Knowing more I could act
Guilt, Anger - what impact
Loosing my mind is how I react
Clinging to life with nothing to gain
People around can't see my pain
Looks bring terror inside my brain
How is my life to be sustained?
Poisoned blood is all I've gained.
Lack of knowledge about the infection
A touch, a kiss, some simple affection
Could this bring contamination?
Leaving me in a state of desperation
Days are passing without solution
My doors shut to all in confusion
Only loneliness is my conclusion
In all my dreams I seem to fall
Nights and days become a sprawl
Strong emotions take control
Emptying out my body and soul
News is gathering every day
The condition is here to stay
Attention is brought for being gay
After all, someone has to pay.
To friends and family I cannot say
Fearing their love will go away
For a cure, I can only hope and pray.
Autumn is almost passed
Will this Christmas be my last
I still feel like an outcast
Could these emotions ever last?
What is there to help me out?
Before my feelings black me out
Till the day a friend reached out,
And gave me the confidence to come out.
Looking at me he could tell
That I wasn't all that well
Through my eyes he felt my hell
Like a knife he cracked my shell
A kiss, a hug, it felt so good
Nothing spoken but understood
Giving me hope though my mood
Told me ways for me to gain
And not to keep it all contained
Reaching out can be sustained.
Hoping those feelings will never end
Time for me to make amends
A clinic invited me to attend
A drug is what they recommend
My hope for living on that depends
Life seems good and very bright
For a while things sound all right
But inside the virus was gripping tight
No more strength for me to fight
Not a glimpse of a ray of light
An image in my mind comes clear
Getting home for me is dear
Now the time for death is here
My loved ones I need so near
To face my end without the fear.
1996 is what I recall
Some good news broke this fall
Somewhere an angel had answered my call
New medications could take a new role
Could this bring some hope for us all?
All it took was a consultation
Months on end of experimentation
With different drugs in desperation
Brought some hope for my recuperation
Fighting the way with determination
Bringing some stability for my salvation.
Medication brought me a new quest
For a life I had never possessed.
Just for how long, cannot be guessed.
With all my heart I hope for the best
All I've got now in my prayers is blessed.
But pills day and night I have to ingest.
If my story has made you aware
Of how a life can be in despair
Have a thought for those who bear.
There is no cure, for that beware.
All I hope and through my prayer
Is for you to take more care
So that at death you will not stare.