Getting Tested Could Be the Wake-up Call That Saves Your Life

willisedwardsBy Willis Edwards, National Board Member of the NAACP

Cross-posted from TheGrio.Com

And still I rise, morning after morning to the blaring bedside alarm, only to find myself desiring a few more minutes of peace. Some days I hit snooze. I pull the comforter over my head because I am not done with sleep just yet. Usually I get up, thankful to God for the first moment of a new day and eager to go out and change the world.

The truth is that my morning rituals have changed little since I was diagnosed with HIV in the 1990s. I still prefer less work, more money, good company and exciting weekends. I still love the life that I have, the friends who have been with me through thick and thin, and the family that has loved me no matter who I was or what I did. The truth is that I still rise to live a life that is pleasing to God and fulfilling for myself. Oddly enough, I sometimes forget that this virus has changed my life. At times I ignore my mortality (the same mortality we all face as human beings) and live life in an unassuming way. However, there are those days when getting out of bed is physically impossible and I know it is not just because I am tired or went to bed too late. It is in those moments that I find myself at a place of understanding about the choices I made in life and the choices that could end my life prematurely. In spite of this, I am happy to be in the land of the living; I am happy that I got tested. More than anything, I am relieved that I know my status.