Cindy's Survival Story
I was born to an alcoholic drug addict under the influence of whatever she consumed. It wasn't food. I had many health problems. I had an enlarged heart, wouldn't eat, and had diarrhea. My doctor came in and immediately fired my nurse. I was airlifted to another hospital. Then I was at L.A. Children's Hospital. I had 2 heart failures before I was 5.
Family and HIV
Fast forward. I got pregnant the first time at 14 and by the time I was 21 I had 4 children with the same man. He infected me after the last child. I wasn't very well because all those kids wiped my health out. I was working every day while my kids were in school and it was go go go.
My symptoms, testing, and diagnosis
Anyway, my boss looked at me one day and said, "You feel okay?" I said yeah but I was having night sweats, low-grade fevers, and shingles so he suggested I go get tested. So I did. 2 weeks later, I went back for my results and he shows me all the receipts all numbers matched. He said "First you need to make a will and put your kids in foster care. You will die in one year." I couldn't understand what he meant. So I get in my car put the key in look ahead and all I could see was black. I cried for hours in front of the health department.
Acceptance and rejection
I went home and told my dad. He just put his arms around me and never acted mean or disrespected me. He embraced me but all the other family turned me and him away. My father is gone now I feel so alone without him. I've been spit on had poop thrown on me made to leave a bar while sitting alone. It's been like hell.
Interested in sharing your own diagnosis story, treatment experience, or another aspect of living with HIV?
At what age were you diagnosed with HIV?