“If I hear one more HIV+ man tell me he’s “grateful” for the disease because it made him a more peaceful, loving, open, honest person I’m going to scream. Those afflicted by disease –whether it’s cancer or HIV– have taken a pernicious slide toward rationalizing their conditions as something “necessary” for them to achieve some kind of enlightenment. And we can lay that awful trend on the likes of Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra and that whole positive thinking guru crap that passes for spiritual insight.
“I don’t want to be mean to my friends and acquaintances that have the burden of a terrible condition, but I just can’t be silent anymore. I simply can’t listen to anyone who tells me he’s embraced the virus as a gift because it’s made him a better person. Just last week an acquaintance said, ‘HIV has given me a new life. I needed it to open my eyes to the joy of living. I’m emotionally stronger and I have a new sense of priorities.’
“What a crock of caca. HIV as the path to God? The virus as your friend? This is the kind of fertilizer the fields of Ireland long for. Here’s what I say to all my HIV+ friends: Don’t be grateful; be angry. Don’t carry the burden of trying to make HIV your friend. Like all friends, it’ll expect you to be loyal and introduce it to your other friends. [snip] While HIV is not your friend, it isn’t your enemy either. It just *is.* Learning to deal with it is an admirable accomplishment, but please, don’t tell us it’s a gift. Or that your grateful.” – Author Mike Alvear, writing for the Bilerico Project.