A Life of HIV: The Good, the Bad, the Purpose.

My story with HIV starts from my very beginning.

Born with HIV

I was born with HIV in 1988 to a mother that received her HIV from a blood transfusion. I was on ART, only AZT was available at the time since I was an infant. My mother passed from this world to the next four years later from AIDS-related complications, leaving me in the care of grandparents.

Impact on family

I have seen the toll HIV can take on a person, on a family, leaving a gaping hole that can never be filled. I had no idea what actually happened with my mom, or what was happening to me until I was 11 years old. Finally able to fill the missing pieces in the puzzle, I found a reason to mourn: for both her and myself. My family told me to keep my HIV a secret, thankfully I didn't listen.

Finding purpose while living with HIV

In the years that followed, I learned and grew, educating those around me on HIV and what it was like living with it. Now, in my adult life, I work in public health as an HIV/STD Health Educator. My passion stretches beyond that, however, leading me to greater advocacy; doing all I can to spread the truth about HIV and stigma. HIV took a lot from me, but it gave me a purpose: show the world that those with HIV are not to be feared, but embraced.

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