I’m a son, a father, a grandfather, a brother, and I am HIV+.
As we are approaching Father’s Day, as a father of a beautiful daughter, I am especially grateful. You see, in 2014, I had been struck down hard with the AIDS virus working and living alone in Iowa away from all my family.
Following diagnosis and a seven-day hospital stay, it became evident early on I was in need of care.
Immediately, my child extended her hand, opened up her family’s home in South Florida, and welcomed me with open arms.
Placing me under her care was of vital importance to my recovery, resurrection, and rebuilding of my life, which at the time was being destroyed by AIDS.
So, on this Father’s Day, I am forever grateful as my child has made me forever proud, not only in her care for me, but juggling a household with two young boys as well.
I’m fortunate my family took the time to learn and educate themselves on HIV and living with an HIV+ person.
Trust me, their comforting love is ever so important, and a reminder for me this Father’s Day to appreciate those closest to me and extend my gratitude for their love and care, showing Family Matters but more importantly, showing HIV+ lives matter.

 

 

Michael “Zee Strong” Zalnasky was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and currently resides in Pompano Beach, Florida. He has cycled his way out of AIDS, riding a bicycle along scenic A1A, where he’s become Stronger Than Stigma, More Powerful Than AIDS. He is the founder of Heterosexual POZ #OurPresenceMatters. HIV/AIDS Stigma… A Battle Beyond An Illness