The video features people from The Reunion Project who have lived with HIV for decades discuss their legacy. It’s quite a remarkable thing, to watch a parade of faces filled with history as they consider what they have accomplished since the pandemic began. Much has been written by long term survivors about their singular experience, of course, including my own essay, “Surviving Life Itself.”
But rarely do we get to watch a diverse collection of them reveal their lives to us, as this video does. The sum effect is something altogether moving. We’re watching lived history, the kind of archive you might find about the survivors of a world war. And yet, because we are dealing with HIV after all, the veterans on display here have the courage and resilience that only the truly marginalized can convey. They never got a ticker tape parade. Many were never celebrated at all, not before, not during, and not even since the health crisis began. There’s really no sense in my explaining them explaining themselves.