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The Latest Stories By Louis "Kengi" Carr

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Louis "Kengi" Carr

Louis

Louis "Kengi" Carr is a California native, born and raised in Santa Monica. He is a published photographer, writer and guest speaker. Formerly a private chef and events caterer, this formerly homeless, HIV positive, proud Angelino is now a activist and advocate for people with HIV and homeless individuals. He is the creator/founder of Project Kengikat, Do Something Saturday, Unplugging HIV and the author of 29 Months.

A lover of photography, blogging and vlogging and USC Football, Kengi has been rediscovering his love for Los Angeles, ceramics, painting and cooking while elevating the conversations of HIV and homelessness. He enjoys being outdoors, spending quality time with his friends and his amazing rescue dog Dodger.

Apr03

Six years in

Thursday, 03 April 2014 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Gay Men, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Louis "Kengi" Carr

Kengi says “ Recently someone asked me if there was some magic trick to living with HIV. While smiling, right away I replied “Yes, there is a trick and it's pretty simple. Just remember to live”

Six years in

So many people diagnosed with HIV forget the fact that they still have a life to live out. All their hopes, dreams, goals, trips, celebrations and whatever they have planned are still very much possible. The trick is to keep focused on living and enjoying your life and not allowing yourself to be focused on HIV, adherence to care and all else that goes along with HIV. It's so vital that one does not allow one's life to be dictated by HIV. 

Please don't get me wrong, being diagnosed with HIV or any life threatening disease can be very challenging and many people get knocked off their feet by such a diagnosis. This is why it is so important to right away find yourself a solid support system. By support system I mean something that encourages you to accept the diagnosis, be adherent to treatment, but most of all be very clear that life still exists and it is worthy to be lived. 

What's worked best for me is to surround myself with soild friends who love me - people who want the best for me and people who encourage me to move forward with my life. Now I have to be honest, for me this was sort of a task because when I was diagnosed I was homeless, so there was the entirely separate beast that I was dealing with. Let's face it, homelessness is a state of temporary everything. Each day there is some new challenge that one must deal with. Add to this the diagnosis of being HIV positive and a person is dealing with a great deal all at once. 

With homelessness and an HIV diagnosis, I can pretty much assure you there will be some depression to deal with. It may be situational or could be something that requires one to consider taking anti-depressants, but in the midst of any situation it becomes vital that one visualize the land while riding through the storm. It's so very important that one holds on and clings to all the good that still exists of one's life.

No matter how dark the day or long the night, there is still good in our life and in spite of the rain that makes it so very difficult to see all the beautiful colors that are still present, we must hold on, trust and believe that our life is still worth living. 

Simply typing this brings tears to my eyes, but this time around they are not tears from sadness, confusion or doubt, but tears of joy, because as I look back at all that I have come through, all that life has allowed me to experience and endure, I am thankful because my life is intact and I am still here, still smiling, still giving love and receiving love and my life is richly blessed, all because I refused to allow something like HIV to have power over me. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014, I will celebrate 6 years of LIVING with HIV. I celebrate all the greatness of my life and the people who surround me and encourage me to soar like an Eagle. 

I WILL CELEBRATE ME! 

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