How you observe milestones on your journey living with HIV is a very personal decision. Whether you mark the anniversary of your diagnosis, becoming undetectable, or a milestone of living well, some people living with HIV choose to mark an important landmark in their lives.
For some, it’s enough to quietly reflect on how far they’ve come and enjoy living well for another year. Others want to shout from the rooftops that the virus messed with the wrong person.
If you choose to mark an important milestone and have decided that you’d like to help others living with HIV, we’d love to have your support.
Support others affected by HIV
Asking for donations when you mark a milestone is a great way to help us provide vital services for other people affected by HIV.
Hints and tips for creating your fundraising page
- Include images and stories explaining why you've chosen to support us.
- Decide on an overall fundraising target and add it to your page.
- Add the link to your page to your social media posts, emails and messages to friends, family and loved ones.
Lewis Wilkinson from Manchester tells us about how he marks milestones in his journey of living well with HIV.
'Saturday 4 September this year marked exactly three years to the day that I was diagnosed as living with HIV.
'There’s a lot that’s happened in the years since I received that news. Just like everybody else, there have been big challenges on my journey, but I’ve started using healthy coping mechanisms that benefit me and others.
'One thing that’s remained consistent from the very first 12 months of living with HIV is marking my key dates: the date of my diagnosis; and secondly, the date that my levels became undetectable, fortunately only two months after my diagnosis. I also mark dates that have helped me to appreciate the struggle in the first few months of living with HIV, which started with denial that I was unwell. Then I began to question the medication. After this, I felt an overwhelming fear that my life prospects had been narrowed by my diagnosis. Now, I can take a step back and see the difference in myself now from how I was at each stage.
'Everybody approaches their milestones differently. Some friends I’ve spoken to don’t remember them or reflect just on diagnoses or undetectable dates, but for me it feels right to remember these moments of change. They’ve become more important than annual events like New Year’s Eve or even my own birthday. These milestones are not about just about celebrating living well with HIV, they mark my personal progress.
'It doesn’t matter how you see it, celebrate it, reflect on it or do something else to mark it, if it feels right to you.
'On my living well milestones, I’ve decided that I would like to help others by fundraising for charities who have helped and supported me like Terrence Higgins Trust. I do this by setting up a Facebook fundraiser and inviting my friends and contacts to make a donation. It enables me to mark my progress and give back for the support that I’ve received. If you feel similarly, the money you raise could help other people like me get onto treatment early and live a long and healthy life with HIV.'