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A Woman with HIV

What is it like to live with HIV infection? A young woman tells WebMD her story.

continued...

"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.

"If people don't understand, it is their loss. That is how I think of it. There are people out there like that, but I have not met them. Like my middle-school teacher, they just don't know. They think if you get it, you are going to die. They don't know enough about it still. Their education level on it is slim.

"I love my doctors so far. I appreciate them and know that without them I would not be here today. People say doctors just do it for the money. But what they have done in terms of research and treatment has saved my life. I say thank you.

"Looking forward? Honestly, I don't know. I don't think there will be a cure. Eventually, maybe there will be a cure, but more likely it will be you can live with it and you will be fine."

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