My Thoughts for December 1, 2019, The 31st World AIDS Day

I have been expressing my thoughts on the most important day in my life, as a person living with HIV since the age of 21. It’s been 36 years. 57? THAT’S how old I’ve become! And proud of it, too. 

It’s been a long and arduous road filled with insanely difficult to overcome obstacles, both man-made and disease-related. I survived a decade of silence: carrying around a secret so burdensome that no one was supposed to know. It almost crushes you. 

I have survived a decade of complications, won the medication trial “lottery”, and was twice saved by modern medicine. I survived the next decade of anguish and pain caused by external influences I had no control over.

And now I’m ready to embark on the next ten or fifteen years of my life ‒ however many are left. I’m ready to cement my presence into something meaningful for next generations to benefit from. 

Social media has been a godsend against isolation. Reconnecting with those who genuinely care, and building new relationships and interests is what I focus on. Doing good for the community, and pulling all registers and talents to create a lasting memory of that nanosecond of presence I had on this blue globe is what is important. 

December 1 is always that day when I look inside me, take inventory, and recommit to the cause. It’s the day when I remember our fallen warriors, and rejoice with fellow survivors that we’ve come this far. The next chapter may be the hardest, but also the most rewarding of them all.

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Michael Sartori

Michael H.A. Sartori has 30+ years of business, marketing, hospitality and North Atlantic relations experience. He’s been living in Los Angeles for the past 25 years, moving from his native Ticino in Italian-speaking southern Switzerland, to oversee the revitalization of West Hollywood's historically significant Sunset Tower Hotel and a handful of other prestigious Hotel projects in the U.S. Michael is a former Board of Directors member of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, and continues furthering the interests of Swiss-German-American friendship originally started by the SARTORI Family.