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Stories Behind Facing AIDS – Photo-sharing

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Chris Barnhill

Christopher Barnhill, School Engagement Manager, Metro TeenAIDS

Why I Face AIDS
By Christopher Barnhill

It is said that you will find your purpose in life, but I truly believe that your purpose finds you. I am honored to wake up every day to the work I do at Metro TeenAIDS to educate youth in Washington, DC’s public and charter schools about comprehensive reproductive health. When I was a teenager, I always dreamed of having a career in music publishing. I lived and breathed singing and writing. But that changed. I remember so vividly the day I tested positive for HIV at the age of 16. I was terrified of the effects of HIV but I was mostly terrified of the huge mantel that I would carry.

I disclosed my HIV diagnosis to my guardian and then my guardian told me that my birth mother had died of AIDS. That news shocked me, but what shocked me even more was when my guardian told me that “this would be our secret and you don’t have to tell anybody about it!” Those words brought me to where I am today.

With the revelation of my mother’s death from AIDS and my own diagnosis, I felt that God was laying the foundation of my purpose. It sometimes gets scary speaking publicly about being HIV-positive. Often, I want to hand in the towel, but then I think of the many people who are positive, waiting to hear about my life with HIV. I am here to remind them that they still have a life. We hear that we are born and die alone but we don’t travel through this life alone. I think of my life’s purpose as a relay race. The second runner can only run when the first runner makes it around the track and passes the baton.

I do the work of public speaking and educating DC youth because I have learned that I have a baton to pass: a baton of a better tomorrow, a healthier youth population, and a reminder that people with HIV can live and lead a prosperous life. This is why I run this relay race. The plan for my life is tied into other people’s destiny — and if I don’t run, they can’t run. This is why I face AIDS!

We all have a story to tell about why we’re facing AIDS. Upload your photo and Facing AIDS message for World AIDS Day at facing.AIDS.gov or download the Facing AIDS iPhone app!

Learn more about photo sharing sites on AIDS.gov.

Comments

  1. Sheila says:

    11-28-2012

    To: Whom this may concern.

    Good Morning,

    I was exposed to HIV, by the man I married. We were separated for over 20 years. The reason for the separation was because he became a crack cocaine abuser. When I seen him after all these years, my heart deceived me and I felt sorry for him and wanted to help him all I could. I’m a christian, my father is God. I’ve been a child of God since March of 2000. I had unprotected sex with my husband in September of 2009. He never told me that he was HIV positive. After I found out by a healthcare professional that was taking care of him. I asked him why?, he did not tell me. He told me because of his pride and shame. At the time it made no sense to me. But, I still told him that I forgive you. Because I know my father in heaven would of wanted me, too. I’ve have been getting tested every year. My results have all been negative. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Because I’m my father’s child (God). I know my God is greater than all and any sickness. Even if the test would of return positive. I know where my healing come from; my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John 10:10 and Isaiah 53:5, But every since this happened to me this experience. I know it happened for a reason. I faithfully walk with God, whatever I face in life it’s for God’s glory. I’am not afraid of no sickness or disease. Because our God heales all sickness and diseases. You just have to take it to him in prayer and read his promises in the bible and hold him to his word. Then wait and see his goodness. It doesn’t even surprise me that man (speaking of our doctors) don’t know the cure. Our bodies was design by God;not man. Doctors are a blessing but every man have limitations. That’s why doctors will say either they don’t have a cure or we have to wait and see what happens next. A lot of our help can come from natural herbal products. Aids is a virus. Viruses are not treated by antibiotics. You have to treat the symptoms. Using these natural herbal products can be successful. Vitamin C cures cancer. God said my people perish for lack of knowledge. A doctor stated if you take vitamin c 1000mg, take 20 of them daily. If your body can tolerate it. How you know that your body can tolerate it. If it makes your bowel loose (diaphrea), too much. Take 10 tablets of 1000mg, this fights all infections. Keep your immune system build up. Also, take your multi-vitamins each day. Exercise daily. I know God already had prepared me for that encounter with my husband. Because I always exercise and take my vitamins. God had prepared me physically. I’m not afraid of HIV AND CANCER and no other sickness or disease. My doctor told me that my cholesterol was high. I found out that raw garlic is excellent for cholesterol and high blood pressure. I have a sister that’s dealing with diabetes. Cinnamon is great for control of diabetes. It’s important to know who’s you are. God, have all the answers. You win with God, that’s why Jesus said, it would be to our advantage if he leave. Because he would leave of with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will teach and help you with and in all situations. 2Tim 1:7, God do not give us a spirit of fear; but of power and love and a sound mind. If the enemy can get you to fear then you will. So, don’t fear. If no one knows, God does and God is the one who made us. What better one to consult with. Well, thanks for giving me a chance to share my experience with you. You are right, it’s alot of people living in fear. That’s why and how the enemy is winning. It’s time to step up and speak out.

    With love,
    Sheila

  2. DeBorah says:

    This young man is to be commended because it takes much courage to do what he is doing. May he find continuous strength in knowing that he is in the hearts and minds of many and the prayers as well. God bless you. I love you.

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