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Mourning the Loss of a Beautiful Soul
The STI Project lost its first friend to HIV/AIDS this week, Mirvan Ereon.
I have been mourning since; I was not at all prepared for how this would affect me and quite honestly, I felt a little silly being so taken aback as I had only just recently met Mirvan.
Some of you may remember Mirvan’s STD Interview – HIV Did Not Deter Me. Mirvan, 21, passed away on August 15th, 2012 after having been diagnosed with HIV in February.
Mirvan was a prolific writer, wise beyond his years, hopeful, energetic, and open.
He shared his experiences on a number of different blogs and websites and maintained an infectious positive outlook. Mirvan wrote some very poignant poetry on his personal blog, http://thesexysquid.blogspot.com/, and had an active tumbler account at http://posithive-cutie.tumblr.com/.
He was a lover of one of my favorite movies of all time – Across the Universe – and we had similar tastes in music. One night in particular, we chatted about his love for Carla Bruni, Annie Lennox, and Tori Amos. He was a kindred spirit.
Mirvan understood the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and all STDs, in general, and wanted to face the problem head-on with empathy.
Instead of being angry, he was reflective and understanding.
As the youngest writer for PositiveLite.com, Mirvan wrote about the stigma and living in the Philippines whilst being HIV+, he talks about his incredibly low CD4 count of 2, and he tells his story – raw, gritty, and sincere. PositiveLite.com, in turn, wrote a lovely eulogy mourning the loss of their youngest contributor.
A fellow HIV+ friend also wrote a beautiful reflection on Mirvan’s life (his actual name was Marvin, but his pen name, Mirvan Ereon, was a scrambled version of the actual letters in his given name).
Living with an STD – A Legacy
While the loss of Mirvan came as a shock and feels so very tragic – he was only 21 – I can’t help but turn this into an uplifting lesson for myself, my work, and my view on living with an STD.
I believe this is what Mirvan would have wanted – the public to remember his overall message and for his death to only emphasize how important his words really were and continue to be for all of those who have contracted an STD – especially those of us who are living with an incurable STD.
In his interview for The STI Project, Mirvan wrote,
‘This is not a curse or punishment. It’s up to you how you will interpret why you got HIV. For me, I took this virus as a message of hope and self-empowerment. I want people, positive or negative, to follow their dreams. Life is really too short for regrets. Instead of dwelling on our mistakes, we should make sure that every day is an opportunity to learn and to be better.’
I believe as he did that,
‘This virus is just a disease of the body. We should never let it also be the disease of our souls.’
It’s up to each and every one of us to continue in his footsteps.
To make his incredibly short 21 years worthwhile by doing exactly as he would have wanted: living our lives wholly, positively, and without regret. Regret, although seemingly appropriate, only stands to bring us backward, to quell our motivation and leads us to believe we must continually punish ourselves. It’s simply not true nor what Mirvan would have wanted for anyone else.
He would not accept that he could not be loved, that he did not have a future, and that he could not be successful, influential, and a legacy.
Neither should you.
As soon as you accept those things about yourself, they define you. You embrace the stigma and all growth stops.
Don’t let it.
Take Mirvan’s beautiful message and run with it. He couldn’t. But you still can.
To Help Mirvan’s Family with Unpaid Medical Expenses, please visit this link!!
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Did you know Mirvan? How did his words influence you? Have you lost a loved one to HIV as well? Did they leave behind a positive message? Are you living with HIV and determined to make a difference? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!