Living with HIV before Charlie Sheen’s disclosure

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Chris MacDonald-Dennis HIV

Chris MacDonald-Dennis

As someone who has lived with HIV for more than 15 years, I decided to do my #livingwithhiv Twitter session again because of Charlie Sheen and his recent disclosure. His doing so brought out all of the ignorance and judgment people have around HIV, namely his drug use and his sexual life.

I brought it back at the request of Luvvie Ajayi, the renowned humorist who runs the blog Awesomely Luvvie, in a thread she had about Sheen’s disclosure. Below is an excerpt.

What’s changed about #livingwithhiv from when I was diagnosed to now? Medical advancements, such as Truvada, which prevents those who are uninfected from getting the condition before and after exposure. And, really, the lowering rates of new cases. People now feel like HIV is a “livable” condition.

What I also mean by “people before profits” is our needing compassion, including for people like Charlie Sheen. We never verbalize to or about smokers that they deserve to die from cancer because of their decision, why do we feel comfortable doing this to people with HIV or AIDS?