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.
Interested in sharing your own diagnosis story, treatment experience, or another aspect of living with HIV?
How often does someone offer you unsolicited advice on your health?