There are different kinds of struggle a person who is HIV positive goes through in the span of his/her life. The lightest struggle involves taking medications and prescriptions ranging from months to a lifetime depending on the situation. Antiretroviral medication is taken until you face death since there is no known cure for HIV yet, which still gives you a life that can be managed and prolonged for as long as your mind and body wants to. Complications brought by AIDS through acquisitions of Opportunistic Infections (OIs) such as pneumonia and tuberculosis when left unattended with no proper medical care is not a light struggle to deal with, but can be prevented. Ideally speaking, HIV is a virus that can be controlled, but reality says otherwise.

The psychological impact of HIV is commonly greater than it’s physical effects to people who are consumed by fear probably due to lack of proper guidance or information. What our mind believe to choose may affect our body since our mind controls every aspect of our physical anatomy. Depression may stop us from doing what we normally do and may cause lack of appetite or lack of energy to live. Not every person who is tested as HIV positive lives in a supportive society, as discrimination is still rampant on areas not properly educated with HIV. Those who were not given a proper counseling may think that HIV is a life sentence. This is the sad reality our society is facing and the hardest struggle a person who is HIV positive goes through – that fear usually consumes the logical part of our mind.

AIDS candlelight is celebrated to commemorate people who died from AIDS complications through a lotus ceremony performed by lighting candles outlining the shape of a red ribbon. The recently held AIDS Candlelight Memorial gave Miss PAFPI a moment to celebrate life and not death. A moment to share a struggle fought with courage and determination. This is to remind the audience that despite the number of death due to AIDS complications, there is a life to be celebrated and hope to be shared. In the eyes and mind of a person who is strong enough to face a struggle, Life and Death balances the harmony of life and living since we are born to live a meaningful life and die to leave this Earth with a mark for other people to remember.