A Woman with HIV
What is it like to live with HIV infection? A young woman tells WebMD her story.
"I plan on keeping on trucking. I plan on doing great. I wouldn't be this
way without the medicines and theoretical advances and technology. And I
haven't gone through half of the drugs yet, and that makes me happy. But it is
a hard disease to have.
"It is a lot better now. Because I know I am going to be OK. I know it has
gone this far and it is only going to get better. It is a bad situation, and I
am making the best of it.
"I know now that people know more about HIV and
AIDS. It is not now a hush-hush thing. On TV there is AIDS awareness.
People want to help others and care. But I am not one to say, 'Look at me, this
is what I have.'
"I feel like people are more aware now than they ever have been. But just
because there are medicines out there, and things like MTV spots and speakers
who come to schools and speak to the students - even so, young people still
don't think it will happen to them. You still have to be careful.
"I think, especially for younger generations, they couldn't even imagine
knowing someone with the disease. They all
sleep around, they don't care. They protect themselves, but that doesn't
always help. They think nobody they know could ever have HIV. They would never
guess I do.
"My message to other people with HIV is that I know it is hard for people to
cope with. But, living though my experience, I know it is livable. You have to
keep yourself healthy and be smart. You are going to be scared. It is only
natural to feel that way. But your truest friends and those who love you will
be OK. If you care about them enough, they will be understanding. From what I
have seen, everyone has been understanding, even though I thought they wouldn't
be. Everyone has loved me more, not less, from knowing how strong a person I
am. So don't be scared is pretty much my message.