This past Word AIDS Day my family and I were invited to speak in San Francisco at the National AIDS Memorial Grove.
It was indescribable that day, the feeling of love, hope, and acceptance as hundreds of people came together to pay homage and respect to the many lives lost to AIDS.
I stood on a stage and I listened to my husband and my daughter recount with tears our personal struggle and ultimate triumph with HIV. Afterward, I found myself in a grove of trees, standing in front of a monument called the “Circle Of Friends” where the names of hundreds of people whose lives were touched by AIDS are engraved in a large circle of stone. I stood there, my toes touching on the edge, reading the names of families and partners, sisters and fathers, men, women and children. For a moment I couldn’t speak, but I could feel and what I felt was their courage and their strength and their legacy that, nearly three decades later, still lives on. I’ll never forget them.