Meng Lin, age 53 / Beijing, China


I told my family, and I do not have a full knowledge about HIV/AIDS, but I tell them I’m HIV-positive. The same day I’ve been kicked out by the family. And all my friends get away from me.

But I am so lucky that I meet a very good doctor. She’s just like my mother. Give me lot of comfort. Although she has nothing to medically give a treatment to me, she, together with me, we work out solutions together. Then I survive.

I think that if you have been abandoned by the whole world – abandoned by your relatives, your family members… If you abandon yourself, then God won’t help you, rescue you. So at that time, I also consider about suicide, but I think about but dare not. But later I think that if you dare not to die, then you need to go survive. That’s the only choice – you have nothing more to make. Everybody would have the right to abandon you, but you yourself shouldn’t abandoned you.

There is no hard or easy in life. I just survive. Just live. I just live for today.

Face all different kinds of stigma, discrimination, exclusion. I’m going to challenge them. I’m going to face them. That’s part of my life, and it’s my work, and my fun, inside.

I feel that many people support me. They use different form to support me. I’m not alone. I’m not alone. But because stigma and discrimination, the many people who dare not to face all these, so they support me silently. So in the perspective, I sometimes feel that I’m not powerless.

Then, I would just try my best to do what I can do. I’m not the God. I’m not the one who can have the power to save everybody. I fulfill my duty as a citizen. No matter I can change the world or not – I have the right to decide. But I try my best to make these changes happen. Finally, maybe some days in the future, I will pass away. And then on the other side of the world, nobody will abandon me. I hope my next life – if there is indeed such a thing as reincarnation – that I will not come back to this world as a human being.

This interview excerpt is based on the original, on-the-spot translation from AIDS2014. More detailed transcript and accurate translation forthcoming.