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Anonymous
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stories
      #192259 - 05/19/06 12:14 PM

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search avert.org Copyright © AVERT

We appreciate any stories from young positive people. If you would like to add your personal story of living with HIV or AIDS, then please e-mail us with what you would like to say. Further stories of people living with HIV can be found in our stories section.

Anon Anna Maria Tequilla
Martin Monica Ralina Maria
Sophie Clara Paul Matt
Anonat 16 never thought it would happen to me i had just moved to england a few years back and i could say i was cought up living my life in the fast lane. met a really nice guy who was a freind of my cousins he was south african. i had sex with him for his birthday and didnt use protection because i was on the depo-vera contraceptive injection STDs never crossed my mind at the heat of the moment.

a month later he went on holiday with his family back to south africa. just a few days after he was gone i started having severe abdominal pains so i visited my doctor who suggested food poisoning. after taking the required sosaged of anti-biotics the pain did not go anywere.

i returned to my doctor who then suggested it was thrush caused by the anti-biotics i was taking so i had the day treatment. since my GP had told me i had thrush i decided to get a full check up to see if anything else was wrong so i got a sexual health screen.

two weeks passed and i didnot hear from the clinic so i was very happy because they had said " no news is really good news" but then my fone rang when i was watching T.V with my family and it was my health adviser from the clinic she told me i had to come in because the test had revealed i had chlamydia so i had to pick up my treatment

i was very reluctant to go because i thought it was nothing serious but when i got there i was taken to a small room and had the news that I WAS HIV POSITIVE frankly i did not know what my reaction was supposed to be. my boyfreind came back and i told him the news on his day of arrival and evrything has changed we have drifted apart

well i cant say anymore because my boyfreind just came back a week ago and the story of my life continues a life at the moment seems so empty but i guess there is a reason and a plan for everything so in god i will believe

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AnnaMy name is Anna, I am 10 years old living in Namibia. I realized at my very young age that i am HIV positive. I develop lots of skin problem which never heal , and i heard my so called parent talking that i am HIV positive. I am not shock Because I did not look for it i don`t know sex i only hear people talking about it. I know even if i die i am going to heaven.

My mother passed away in 2000,for HIV related illness, i saw her, when she was sick, She was very thin and i used to read in different books about this deadly illness. I don`t know who my father is. But i know that both my parents are dead and i have no parent left. I only have my brother from a different father. My life is a disaster, i have my aunty who is looking after me but that is not enough. My parents are very important to me. There is a man who claim to be my father but i know that is not true. I wonder if my really father liked me. Although i don`t know who he is. I also wonder why he gave me to Samuel my so called father. I am saying my so called father because i don`t know if he is my really father.

What i really want is love i want someone who will love me as i suppose to be loved and care for me and my brother. Please help or i should just die and go to where my parent are..........

Thank you.

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MariaToday is November 12th 2003.. You can call me Maria ..I wanted to share my story cause GOD pressed it upon my heart to tell it ... and also the majority of the women who told their stories are similar but very different than mine .. I ask you to be patient and read my life..

I am a 18 year old female ... Born with HIV ... I was reading some of the stories of the women giving birth to healthy babies ... but not have heard of the ones who have giving birth to HIV infected ones. I am not aware like most of you how I got HIV ... Meaning my parents, I made a decision not to ask or want to know, cause it does not matter now.

My mother and father were both HIV positive. MY mother died when I was only 3 years old. To this day I do not know what it is like to have a mother. I can feel the pain she felt knowing that one day she would not be around to raise me or watch me grow. Leaving everything in gods hands I know she's at peace. I grew up not knowing why I was taking meds or why I visited the hospital every month or why they took blood...till one day my father told me. He's currently living still HIV positive at the age of 65. I sensed it was hard for my father to raise me not knowing himself when he might pass. But god has been so good to me and my family. In the midst of 7 operations my father underwent, always in and out of the hospital. God has seen us through... I remember one time I was about 6 my father had a seizure in my house, I had called 911 they came. I remember being so scared. when the paramedics got there his heart had stopped to a couple of seconds and they put the shock to his chest to make his heart beat again ... I was praying so hard to god to let my father live. Because he was the only thing I had left. Then his heart began to beat. As I grew older I became a woman all by myself. Because my father couldn't show me how to become a woman. I took on responsibilities ... And when I hit my teen years. This was the most difficult time for me to understand why & how & why me & my family... I went to church regularly. By this time I was off medication because it made me feel worse then it did better. I never told my father or doctors I wasn't taking them. Which I'm not saying is a good idea but I wanted to be in control of my life... I had a good relationship with God and I knew he would prove the world wrong thru me. It is not up to your doctor to say how long you will live or how sick you will get.... Here I am 18 years later and about to celebrate my 19th birthday next week... AND THEY SAID I WOULDN'T LIVE PAST 8 YEARS OLD. I haven't been on any Medication and I have been undetectable for 9yrs somebody tell me how?? I have just recently confessed to my doctors and family that I have been off medications. They support anything I do. I also thought it would be so hard to find a boyfriend who would except me the way I am.. and I have. I was young but God brought me love ... at 13 I met my boyfriend to this day. I told him a week after we met he said he loved me and it didn't matter. we have been together for 5 years now and are older and understand how serious my HIV can get. But with god's help we will continue a normal life. kids the whole 9 yards... Now you must be thinking how IM going to have kids right? well its silly but true.... Turkey basters. aaa yes ... don't ask but it works. I've herd of stories like that.

Thank you for letting me share my story. DEDICATED TO ALL HIV POSITIVE MOTHERS BECAUSE I CAME FROM ONE AND I DON'T REGRET ONE DAY IN MY LIFE OR HER FOR LOOSING HERS AND LEAVING ME TO LIVE MINE WITH STRENGTH FROM HER & GOD.

GOD BLESS ... YOU ALL..... MARIA ... NEW YORK CITY ....

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TequillaI have been HIV positive for almost two years and I'm 13 years old. I found out I was positive when I was 12 years old. My mom took me to the hospital and they tested me and told me to come back in one month. So we waited that whole month and it was time to go see if I had HIV. My mom and I went back to the hospital and the nurse came in and she said you are HIV positive. My mom broke down in tears and I was just looking at her and the nurse asked me if I understood and I shook my head. The nurse said you can die if you don't take your medicine. She gave me and my mom a number with some writing on it and she said schedule an appointment to see a doctor. We left and when I got home my mom told my step daddy. He was crying and we sat down and we had a long conversation. We scheduled an appointment and they told my mom to bring me that week, so she did. We went to my appointment and the people were very nice and respectful. They took me and my mom in a room and they talked to me. They told me about all the medicine that can keep me alive. I met people who knew about HIV and I was thinking they can teach me some things about HIV. They told me do not stop taking your medicine because the virus would find a way to start making you immune to your meds. I started to play around and runaway and not take my meds with me and I got sick, so they had to stop those meds. They gave me more and I took them and I got better. Stay safe and protect yourself against HIV.
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MartinI was very bad at home and on Christmas Day I was very ill. I was being sick, not eating anything much at all. I remember Christmas night I was just sitting in a chair slumped in a heap. I had a massive temperature and I was curled up in a ball just baking hot. That night Mum had to put me to bed early. Then I was waking up at night with these terrible sweats, just waking up with my clothes all soaking wet, and my hair just soaking with sweat.

It came to Boxing Day and the doctors decided I should come to the hospital to be admitted, to have more tests done. I was on the children's ward and I remember shivering and feeling freezing cold. Everything was an effort to do because I was so tired and so worn out, and I remember my breathing got a bit strange and I felt very faint. It was as if I was just going to pass out.

I know now that I had PCP [HIV related pneumonia] and that I was very, very, very ill with high temperatures. I was in such a lot of pain that I was on Pethidine [a pain-killer] for days, which wasn't the nicest of experiences but it did control the pain. I didn't really have any choice at all, I had to have it. My Mum was with me a lot, and she did calm me down through the pain. And my Dad has been very good as well. But it was just so frightening.

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MonicaI am 15 years old and my best friend who is a male has AIDS and we were really close so one night we experimented and after the fact that we "did it" he told me that he had AIDS. I was so angry at him and scared. I told my mom and she took me to get tested right away. Unfortunately I was HIV positive. I went in my room and cried for days. The only other thing I was worried about was my family and father, that they would be so ashamed of me but I am glad that now I found this site and am able to vent out all my issues.

------------Monica 15

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RalinaI am a 24 year old female youth. At the young age of 10 years old, I was being babysat by my best-friend's cousin and ended up getting brutally raped several times that evening. Two years after the rape we were finally able to prosecute the guy and get him incarcerated for a short term of only 3 years. Within 3 months of the start of his incarceration, my mom got a visit from the local health department saying that the guy who raped me tested + for the HIV virus; and that it would be a good idea for me to find out. Well a couple weeks went by and I got the bombshell dropped on me. My test also came back + when I was 12 years old. Because of the lack of knowledge about the virus I ended up getting forced out of high school, because they didn't want it in their community. I have since got my GED and Bookkeeping degree and I was able to pick up and prove everyone wrong. I am a proud mom of a 6 year old NEGATIVE child. Good luck to all!!!!

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MariaI have HIV and I've known I've been living with it for four years. I was told by my doctor. When I first found out I had the virus, I thought that I was going to die very soon. I cried so bad but my mum and dad comforted me. I was 9 years old at the time. It was like I'd lost a piece of my heart. Pity, anger and sadness were what I felt. Also the question, why me, out of billions of people, why me!

But I'm glad that I was told because I would have carried on living my life and falling sick, without knowing why. I think it's useful being told if you're sick because if the worst comes, there'll not be many questions to be asked. It's important to be told.

I take lots of medicines, big tablets which are generally the size of a 2p coin. I take 15 tablets a day - altogether 105 tablets a week! It's a hassle but it's for the best. I find taking DDC the hardest because it's so big and takes time to take. But I'm used to it - the medicines are part of my daily life and my life is a part of my medicines. I hope that they can make an easier way of taking medicines. But most, I hope they find a cure for all those like me.

If I fall sick, it is simple cases like the flu, but I have to be admitted to hospital because it could lead into something like a chest infection. When I'm in hospital I feel so sad and lonely - I like it when people visit me. I've had chicken pox twice and shingles four times, and chest infections and other infections. There was one time when I was so sick. I was 10 or 11 and I had some infection in my stomach. I had to have a biopsy [when tissue from the body is removed and examined] and I was in so much pain. I'd lost weight so I was being fed by a drip. I thought that I was going to die, but they got me better and I stayed on in hospital for two weeks. I hate getting sick, I don't think anyone likes it. When I wasn't well, I used to say I wish I could just die in my sleep, just so the pain could go away forever.

I can't join in some conversations when my friends are talking about AIDS or HIV. Like someone would go " I'm glad I'm OK and haven't got HIV". I don't like it when people say horrible things like that. It makes me feel bad. For example they say things like " you mustn't touch anyone who has AIDS or you'll catch it too".

I've been going to my hospital for five years now so they know me quite well. I get lots of help from my doctor called Steven and other people and whenever I need someone to talk to they're always there.

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SophieI am not very sure how I came to get the virus. When I had my test, one of my ex-boyfriends had just died in an accident. So maybe he had the virus and didn't know it, I don't know. Now maybe we never will. Sometimes it is quite difficult to hide from [HIV] because of all the medication and college and everything. The good thing is that it is normal for a girl to get into a toilet cubicle with her bag. Many times I take my medication in there. There is always a drink in my bag and what I now call steroids. When I don't take them, I become breathless, tired and at times irritable.

I started getting sick about two years ago and with time, it has become worse. At first I was just feeling tired and weak. Even when I had had my breakfast, I would find it an effort to go upstairs to my room. This would happen for a day or two then disappear. Later, with the tiredness, I would not be able to hold my food down ... or up. I remember times when I would long for 'Matoke', but once I have taken just two spoonfuls, I would lose my appetite. This continued for about six months and I had really lost weight. The people who came to see me showed it in their face that I was a 'gone' case. My mum really tried to hide it, but her tears said it all. That is when you know who loves you and who is a true friend. The people, both families and especially friends who constantly came to visit me in hospital when I was totally gone are the ones who I call real brothers and sisters.

How I feel about having the virus is mixed. There are times I am quite accepting and days when I just feel like revenging back. For example when I am in the good swing, I think that I should not spread it to other people, and l go to functions and such. But during the bad swing, I feel that it is unfair, why me?

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ClaraMy first boyfriend was a guy called Steve. We started to grow apart when we left school, and I started college. Just before my 20th birthday, my parents were diagnosed with cancer and I heard through my friends that Steve had started getting ill. Steve had barely reached 20 and I found myself at his funeral.

Three months after both my parents passed away, I went out with Daniel. He had known Steve and I from school. One night at a nightclub, he mentioned that his sister had told him that Steve had died of AIDS. I snapped back at him &no one knew Steve like I did and he would have told me.& Daniel made an appointment for me to get an HIV test. The night after I went for the dreaded blood test, I asked him &what will we do if I'm positive?& I should have guessed by his answer, &I'm banking on the fact that you're not.&

Well, three days later, my life ended. I was so sure that it would be negative I had taken the wee girl I looked after with me. I phoned my sister-in-law to collect me, the news was bad. I was at my lowest and felt so insignificant. I told my previous boyfriends and their reaction was bad enough, as if it couldn't get any worse. I was threatened and judged like I should have known Steve had AIDS - I was only 17 then for goodness sake. A child, that's all I was. Daniel, my boyfriend told his parents, and that was it, I was alone with nothing left.

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PaulI found out that I had HIV in 1991. I believe I got the infection from an ex-girlfriend who I now know slept around during our relationship. During this time I was only sixteen. I was in love with her but I did not feel comfortable with sex. She is also HIV positive.

When I was diagnosed, there was not much information on HIV around. I knew that the most common route of transmission was between men. In December 1991 I was very ill, at first my GP thought I had glandular fever, then I was asked to take an HIV test. This was my fifth test, and as I had never slept with a man, I thought there was no way it would be positive.

I had the test and had to wait for weeks for the result. I cannot express to you what it was like waiting for that result to come back. The day came when it was time to go back to the doctors for my result. I went into the surgery feeling very alone and frightened. I was called in to see the doctor, my heart was now racing. I sat down and the doctor just said to me, &I am very sorry but you are HIV positive.& I just sat there, I don't think it really sank in. It was very hard to take in. I was not offered any support or counselling. It seemed like &I'm very sorry - bye, bye&. I was not asked if I was OK or anything. At the time I had left home and my girlfriend and was living in a bedsit in Southend. I do still feel angry about that. I just went away thinking I would be dead in two years.

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MattI knew I'd been unsafe a couple of times but I really thought the odds were in my favour. I felt well, happy, very much alive. On January 18th at 10.00am I was diagnosed HIV positive. My stomach and heart plunged, yet I sat calm and attentive, listening to how my life was to change irreversibly. I had no precedent for what I was experiencing, no etiquette for reaction. I stared at the two hospital counsellors looking for contradiction in their eyes. I saw none.

I cycled to the common at the rear of my house and looked homeward. Life continued there. Within those walls sat my partner, also HIV positive, awaiting my return. I sat on a bench and wondered how I would tell him. Would my diagnosis be apparent by the expression on my face? I went home. I opened the door, wheeled my bike into the hall and calmly said &it was positive&. My partner walked toward me, hugged me and I began to cry.

I cried on and off for most of the following week. My head was filled with a maelstrom of thoughts and emotions. Everything and nothing had changed. I saw the same reflection in the mirror, still enjoyed marmalade on my toast, still loved my partner. Yet I felt contaminated with an invisible disease. I felt dirty inside, unclean. I felt like a timebomb, I felt dangerous.

One month later, I have good days and bad days. Today is a good day. Today I feel strong, today I feel resilient. While I know my mood will fluctuate, I am and will remain very much alive, of that I am determined. I am each day learning to live positively.

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Last updated January 30, 2006


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Teens
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UK
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search avert.org Copyright © AVERT

We appreciate any stories from young positive people. If you would like to add your personal story of living with HIV or AIDS, then please e-mail us with what you would like to say. Further stories of people living with HIV can be found in our stories section.

Anon Anna Maria Tequilla
Martin Monica Ralina Maria
Sophie Clara Paul Matt
Anonat 16 never thought it would happen to me i had just moved to england a few years back and i could say i was cought up living my life in the fast lane. met a really nice guy who was a freind of my cousins he was south african. i had sex with him for his birthday and didnt use protection because i was on the depo-vera contraceptive injection STDs never crossed my mind at the heat of the moment.

a month later he went on holiday with his family back to south africa. just a few days after he was gone i started having severe abdominal pains so i visited my doctor who suggested food poisoning. after taking the required sosaged of anti-biotics the pain did not go anywere.

i returned to my doctor who then suggested it was thrush caused by the anti-biotics i was taking so i had the day treatment. since my GP had told me i had thrush i decided to get a full check up to see if anything else was wrong so i got a sexual health screen.

two weeks passed and i didnot hear from the clinic so i was very happy because they had said " no news is really good news" but then my fone rang when i was watching T.V with my family and it was my health adviser from the clinic she told me i had to come in because the test had revealed i had chlamydia so i had to pick up my treatment

i was very reluctant to go because i thought it was nothing serious but when i got there i was taken to a small room and had the news that I WAS HIV POSITIVE frankly i did not know what my reaction was supposed to be. my boyfreind came back and i told him the news on his day of arrival and evrything has changed we have drifted apart

well i cant say anymore because my boyfreind just came back a week ago and the story of my life continues a life at the moment seems so empty but i guess there is a reason and a plan for everything so in god i will believe

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AnnaMy name is Anna, I am 10 years old living in Namibia. I realized at my very young age that i am HIV positive. I develop lots of skin problem which never heal , and i heard my so called parent talking that i am HIV positive. I am not shock Because I did not look for it i don`t know sex i only hear people talking about it. I know even if i die i am going to heaven.

My mother passed away in 2000,for HIV related illness, i saw her, when she was sick, She was very thin and i used to read in different books about this deadly illness. I don`t know who my father is. But i know that both my parents are dead and i have no parent left. I only have my brother from a different father. My life is a disaster, i have my aunty who is looking after me but that is not enough. My parents are very important to me. There is a man who claim to be my father but i know that is not true. I wonder if my really father liked me. Although i don`t know who he is. I also wonder why he gave me to Samuel my so called father. I am saying my so called father because i don`t know if he is my really father.

What i really want is love i want someone who will love me as i suppose to be loved and care for me and my brother. Please help or i should just die and go to where my parent are..........

Thank you.

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MariaToday is November 12th 2003.. You can call me Maria ..I wanted to share my story cause GOD pressed it upon my heart to tell it ... and also the majority of the women who told their stories are similar but very different than mine .. I ask you to be patient and read my life..

I am a 18 year old female ... Born with HIV ... I was reading some of the stories of the women giving birth to healthy babies ... but not have heard of the ones who have giving birth to HIV infected ones. I am not aware like most of you how I got HIV ... Meaning my parents, I made a decision not to ask or want to know, cause it does not matter now.

My mother and father were both HIV positive. MY mother died when I was only 3 years old. To this day I do not know what it is like to have a mother. I can feel the pain she felt knowing that one day she would not be around to raise me or watch me grow. Leaving everything in gods hands I know she's at peace. I grew up not knowing why I was taking meds or why I visited the hospital every month or why they took blood...till one day my father told me. He's currently living still HIV positive at the age of 65. I sensed it was hard for my father to raise me not knowing himself when he might pass. But god has been so good to me and my family. In the midst of 7 operations my father underwent, always in and out of the hospital. God has seen us through... I remember one time I was about 6 my father had a seizure in my house, I had called 911 they came. I remember being so scared. when the paramedics got there his heart had stopped to a couple of seconds and they put the shock to his chest to make his heart beat again ... I was praying so hard to god to let my father live. Because he was the only thing I had left. Then his heart began to beat. As I grew older I became a woman all by myself. Because my father couldn't show me how to become a woman. I took on responsibilities ... And when I hit my teen years. This was the most difficult time for me to understand why & how & why me & my family... I went to church regularly. By this time I was off medication because it made me feel worse then it did better. I never told my father or doctors I wasn't taking them. Which I'm not saying is a good idea but I wanted to be in control of my life... I had a good relationship with God and I knew he would prove the world wrong thru me. It is not up to your doctor to say how long you will live or how sick you will get.... Here I am 18 years later and about to celebrate my 19th birthday next week... AND THEY SAID I WOULDN'T LIVE PAST 8 YEARS OLD. I haven't been on any Medication and I have been undetectable for 9yrs somebody tell me how?? I have just recently confessed to my doctors and family that I have been off medications. They support anything I do. I also thought it would be so hard to find a boyfriend who would except me the way I am.. and I have. I was young but God brought me love ... at 13 I met my boyfriend to this day. I told him a week after we met he said he loved me and it didn't matter. we have been together for 5 years now and are older and understand how serious my HIV can get. But with god's help we will continue a normal life. kids the whole 9 yards... Now you must be thinking how IM going to have kids right? well its silly but true.... Turkey basters. aaa yes ... don't ask but it works. I've herd of stories like that.

Thank you for letting me share my story. DEDICATED TO ALL HIV POSITIVE MOTHERS BECAUSE I CAME FROM ONE AND I DON'T REGRET ONE DAY IN MY LIFE OR HER FOR LOOSING HERS AND LEAVING ME TO LIVE MINE WITH STRENGTH FROM HER & GOD.

GOD BLESS ... YOU ALL..... MARIA ... NEW YORK CITY ....

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TequillaI have been HIV positive for almost two years and I'm 13 years old. I found out I was positive when I was 12 years old. My mom took me to the hospital and they tested me and told me to come back in one month. So we waited that whole month and it was time to go see if I had HIV. My mom and I went back to the hospital and the nurse came in and she said you are HIV positive. My mom broke down in tears and I was just looking at her and the nurse asked me if I understood and I shook my head. The nurse said you can die if you don't take your medicine. She gave me and my mom a number with some writing on it and she said schedule an appointment to see a doctor. We left and when I got home my mom told my step daddy. He was crying and we sat down and we had a long conversation. We scheduled an appointment and they told my mom to bring me that week, so she did. We went to my appointment and the people were very nice and respectful. They took me and my mom in a room and they talked to me. They told me about all the medicine that can keep me alive. I met people who knew about HIV and I was thinking they can teach me some things about HIV. They told me do not stop taking your medicine because the virus would find a way to start making you immune to your meds. I started to play around and runaway and not take my meds with me and I got sick, so they had to stop those meds. They gave me more and I took them and I got better. Stay safe and protect yourself against HIV.
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MartinI was very bad at home and on Christmas Day I was very ill. I was being sick, not eating anything much at all. I remember Christmas night I was just sitting in a chair slumped in a heap. I had a massive temperature and I was curled up in a ball just baking hot. That night Mum had to put me to bed early. Then I was waking up at night with these terrible sweats, just waking up with my clothes all soaking wet, and my hair just soaking with sweat.

It came to Boxing Day and the doctors decided I should come to the hospital to be admitted, to have more tests done. I was on the children's ward and I remember shivering and feeling freezing cold. Everything was an effort to do because I was so tired and so worn out, and I remember my breathing got a bit strange and I felt very faint. It was as if I was just going to pass out.

I know now that I had PCP [HIV related pneumonia] and that I was very, very, very ill with high temperatures. I was in such a lot of pain that I was on Pethidine [a pain-killer] for days, which wasn't the nicest of experiences but it did control the pain. I didn't really have any choice at all, I had to have it. My Mum was with me a lot, and she did calm me down through the pain. And my Dad has been very good as well. But it was just so frightening.

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MonicaI am 15 years old and my best friend who is a male has AIDS and we were really close so one night we experimented and after the fact that we "did it" he told me that he had AIDS. I was so angry at him and scared. I told my mom and she took me to get tested right away. Unfortunately I was HIV positive. I went in my room and cried for days. The only other thing I was worried about was my family and father, that they would be so ashamed of me but I am glad that now I found this site and am able to vent out all my issues.

------------Monica 15

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RalinaI am a 24 year old female youth. At the young age of 10 years old, I was being babysat by my best-friend's cousin and ended up getting brutally raped several times that evening. Two years after the rape we were finally able to prosecute the guy and get him incarcerated for a short term of only 3 years. Within 3 months of the start of his incarceration, my mom got a visit from the local health department saying that the guy who raped me tested + for the HIV virus; and that it would be a good idea for me to find out. Well a couple weeks went by and I got the bombshell dropped on me. My test also came back + when I was 12 years old. Because of the lack of knowledge about the virus I ended up getting forced out of high school, because they didn't want it in their community. I have since got my GED and Bookkeeping degree and I was able to pick up and prove everyone wrong. I am a proud mom of a 6 year old NEGATIVE child. Good luck to all!!!!

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MariaI have HIV and I've known I've been living with it for four years. I was told by my doctor. When I first found out I had the virus, I thought that I was going to die very soon. I cried so bad but my mum and dad comforted me. I was 9 years old at the time. It was like I'd lost a piece of my heart. Pity, anger and sadness were what I felt. Also the question, why me, out of billions of people, why me!

But I'm glad that I was told because I would have carried on living my life and falling sick, without knowing why. I think it's useful being told if you're sick because if the worst comes, there'll not be many questions to be asked. It's important to be told.

I take lots of medicines, big tablets which are generally the size of a 2p coin. I take 15 tablets a day - altogether 105 tablets a week! It's a hassle but it's for the best. I find taking DDC the hardest because it's so big and takes time to take. But I'm used to it - the medicines are part of my daily life and my life is a part of my medicines. I hope that they can make an easier way of taking medicines. But most, I hope they find a cure for all those like me.

If I fall sick, it is simple cases like the flu, but I have to be admitted to hospital because it could lead into something like a chest infection. When I'm in hospital I feel so sad and lonely - I like it when people visit me. I've had chicken pox twice and shingles four times, and chest infections and other infections. There was one time when I was so sick. I was 10 or 11 and I had some infection in my stomach. I had to have a biopsy [when tissue from the body is removed and examined] and I was in so much pain. I'd lost weight so I was being fed by a drip. I thought that I was going to die, but they got me better and I stayed on in hospital for two weeks. I hate getting sick, I don't think anyone likes it. When I wasn't well, I used to say I wish I could just die in my sleep, just so the pain could go away forever.

I can't join in some conversations when my friends are talking about AIDS or HIV. Like someone would go " I'm glad I'm OK and haven't got HIV". I don't like it when people say horrible things like that. It makes me feel bad. For example they say things like " you mustn't touch anyone who has AIDS or you'll catch it too".

I've been going to my hospital for five years now so they know me quite well. I get lots of help from my doctor called Steven and other people and whenever I need someone to talk to they're always there.

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SophieI am not very sure how I came to get the virus. When I had my test, one of my ex-boyfriends had just died in an accident. So maybe he had the virus and didn't know it, I don't know. Now maybe we never will. Sometimes it is quite difficult to hide from [HIV] because of all the medication and college and everything. The good thing is that it is normal for a girl to get into a toilet cubicle with her bag. Many times I take my medication in there. There is always a drink in my bag and what I now call steroids. When I don't take them, I become breathless, tired and at times irritable.

I started getting sick about two years ago and with time, it has become worse. At first I was just feeling tired and weak. Even when I had had my breakfast, I would find it an effort to go upstairs to my room. This would happen for a day or two then disappear. Later, with the tiredness, I would not be able to hold my food down ... or up. I remember times when I would long for 'Matoke', but once I have taken just two spoonfuls, I would lose my appetite. This continued for about six months and I had really lost weight. The people who came to see me showed it in their face that I was a 'gone' case. My mum really tried to hide it, but her tears said it all. That is when you know who loves you and who is a true friend. The people, both families and especially friends who constantly came to visit me in hospital when I was totally gone are the ones who I call real brothers and sisters.

How I feel about having the virus is mixed. There are times I am quite accepting and days when I just feel like revenging back. For example when I am in the good swing, I think that I should not spread it to other people, and l go to functions and such. But during the bad swing, I feel that it is unfair, why me?

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ClaraMy first boyfriend was a guy called Steve. We started to grow apart when we left school, and I started college. Just before my 20th birthday, my parents were diagnosed with cancer and I heard through my friends that Steve had started getting ill. Steve had barely reached 20 and I found myself at his funeral.

Three months after both my parents passed away, I went out with Daniel. He had known Steve and I from school. One night at a nightclub, he mentioned that his sister had told him that Steve had died of AIDS. I snapped back at him &no one knew Steve like I did and he would have told me.& Daniel made an appointment for me to get an HIV test. The night after I went for the dreaded blood test, I asked him &what will we do if I'm positive?& I should have guessed by his answer, &I'm banking on the fact that you're not.&

Well, three days later, my life ended. I was so sure that it would be negative I had taken the wee girl I looked after with me. I phoned my sister-in-law to collect me, the news was bad. I was at my lowest and felt so insignificant. I told my previous boyfriends and their reaction was bad enough, as if it couldn't get any worse. I was threatened and judged like I should have known Steve had AIDS - I was only 17 then for goodness sake. A child, that's all I was. Daniel, my boyfriend told his parents, and that was it, I was alone with nothing left.

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PaulI found out that I had HIV in 1991. I believe I got the infection from an ex-girlfriend who I now know slept around during our relationship. During this time I was only sixteen. I was in love with her but I did not feel comfortable with sex. She is also HIV positive.

When I was diagnosed, there was not much information on HIV around. I knew that the most common route of transmission was between men. In December 1991 I was very ill, at first my GP thought I had glandular fever, then I was asked to take an HIV test. This was my fifth test, and as I had never slept with a man, I thought there was no way it would be positive.

I had the test and had to wait for weeks for the result. I cannot express to you what it was like waiting for that result to come back. The day came when it was time to go back to the doctors for my result. I went into the surgery feeling very alone and frightened. I was called in to see the doctor, my heart was now racing. I sat down and the doctor just said to me, &I am very sorry but you are HIV positive.& I just sat there, I don't think it really sank in. It was very hard to take in. I was not offered any support or counselling. It seemed like &I'm very sorry - bye, bye&. I was not asked if I was OK or anything. At the time I had left home and my girlfriend and was living in a bedsit in Southend. I do still feel angry about that. I just went away thinking I would be dead in two years.

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MattI knew I'd been unsafe a couple of times but I really thought the odds were in my favour. I felt well, happy, very much alive. On January 18th at 10.00am I was diagnosed HIV positive. My stomach and heart plunged, yet I sat calm and attentive, listening to how my life was to change irreversibly. I had no precedent for what I was experiencing, no etiquette for reaction. I stared at the two hospital counsellors looking for contradiction in their eyes. I saw none.

I cycled to the common at the rear of my house and looked homeward. Life continued there. Within those walls sat my partner, also HIV positive, awaiting my return. I sat on a bench and wondered how I would tell him. Would my diagnosis be apparent by the expression on my face? I went home. I opened the door, wheeled my bike into the hall and calmly said &it was positive&. My partner walked toward me, hugged me and I began to cry.

I cried on and off for most of the following week. My head was filled with a maelstrom of thoughts and emotions. Everything and nothing had changed. I saw the same reflection in the mirror, still enjoyed marmalade on my toast, still loved my partner. Yet I felt contaminated with an invisible disease. I felt dirty inside, unclean. I felt like a timebomb, I felt dangerous.

One month later, I have good days and bad days. Today is a good day. Today I feel strong, today I feel resilient. While I know my mood will fluctuate, I am and will remain very much alive, of that I am determined. I am each day learning to live positively.

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Last updated January 30, 2006


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