Digital print, 24 x 36 in. 2013
"Choice" 2013, giclée print, 18 x 24 in.
Where were the leaders in research, the scientists, the knowledgeable few medical professionals, the front line service providers, the AIDS service organisations ? Where were the pillars of support that so champion the fair treatment of those living with HIV? Or those that stand in solidarity against discrimination especially against those that stand up to be counted?
All these experts with their heads so deeply buried in the proverbial sands of ethical paradox that the only stream of discourse is a contradiction in counsel.
"You're healthy, the virus is undetectable in your body, but there is still a chance you can transmit."
"The risk is extremely low, but there is still a risk no matter how small."
The statistical bogeyman of cynicism is against you. There is no guarantee. Despite having made a choice, there are still enough skeptics, there is still enough misinformation and there is still much resistance to the idea that you will in fact be able to be anything other than part of a viral class whose rights are best determined by the moral authorities of public health. Law can't keep pace with policy recommendation and medicine can't keep pace with science. You be the judge but suffer the consequence of your irresponsibility. These are the impressions that have imprinted on me the cold side of a system that should dignify, and care - but oh what lofty goals and far fetched dreams have poisoned me with such leftist queer political utopias.
I am fortunate and privileged to have access to medical care and treatment. I am fortunate to have found love, and a tremendous partner who gracefully transcends the stigma and challenges of my HIV positive status.
So strong is our love and longing to be one, that our mutuality translated into a desire to become pregnant.
In the face of this after all, it is OUR choice.
With love and gratitude to Dr. Stephanie Smith and Dr. Mona Loutfy
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