Sunday, August 19, 2007

On the Road to A Pozitive Life

It's been close to four years now. I was an American expatriate living and working in Asia at the time when I found myself summoned to Immigration Headquarters. There, a phone call was made on my behalf. It was my doctor. Who informed me that I was HIV+. I handed the receiver back to the immigration official. To his credit, he wasn't without sympathy--as he hung up and then placed me in detention. Two days later I was deported home to New York City with nothing but the clothes on my back. I'll never forget the anguish and solitude of that two-day period, three if you count the 15 hours I was sitting on the plane. It just so happened to be January 1st, and after crossing the international date line, it was still January 1st when I landed at JFK--a new year's nightmare that refused to end. In three days I learned that HIV could take away friends, family, job and everything you had worked so hard to accumulate for the past ten years. As I stood outside the airport, I felt the coldest welcome in the world.

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