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Born With HIV, Diagnosed at 17: A Young Mom Shares Her Story

An Interview With Lolisa Gibson -- Part of the Series This Positive Life

May 1, 2011

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Absolutely. So now what advice would you give to someone that just found out that they were positive?

I would just say to keep going. I believe everything happens for a reason and I wouldn't take HIV back if I could. I think everything happens for a reason. I believe in God very strongly too so I think that he wouldn't bring us anywhere just to leave you there. If he didn't think you couldn't handle it, I don't think he would have gave it to you. If I was born with it, I would have found out at 2 years old. Who knows what I would have done at 2 years old, you don't know what HIV is. But I was 17, so I was old enough to understand.

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So if you just found out, just take your meds and ask questions. The doctors, they'll talk fast, but you got to tell them, "Slow down because I don't know what you're saying." And make them, because that's what they get paid for, make them explain what's going on to you, so you can understand what they're talking about. That way you'll feel more comfortable and that way when they're taking your blood, you'll know why and you'll know why you're taking the medicine. You'll know why you have to go back to visit your doctor in three months. You'll understand everything if you ask. You just have to ask.

I told my mom the same thing. I'm like, "Ask them." She comes home like, "What does this mean?" I'm like, "Why don't you ask them? That's what they get paid for. You're not paying me for this. Ask them." And then some of the stuff she gets it all twisted up, so I can't really understand what she's saying anything. So I had to go with her to her appointment a few times just to explain everything because she would just sit there and shake her head yes, and don't know what the hell they're talking about. And I have to sit there with her and explain to her what the doctor was saying. And the doctor was looking at me like, "Wow, you're smart."

But just ask questions and be aware of what's going on with you. Most of the doctors, they don't have to take the medicine, so if you have to take medicine that you don't like, or makes your stomach hurt, makes you sleepy, tell them. They have different medicine. That's their job, to find one that fits your lifestyle the best and to help you out.

Beautiful. Well is there anything else you want to say or anything else you want to share or add?

I have a book coming out.

Yes, plug the book.

Let me plug my book.

There you go. Get used to it because you're going to be talking about the book a lot.

"I just wrote the book for everyone, for children that have come from broken homes, for people that feel like they couldn't make it, for anyone if you need some inspiration."

I just wrote my first book, which is a memoir about my life and it talks about my life after HIV, but also my life waiting for HIV when it came into existence. And I've had to go through a lot of things before HIV was even thought of. So it just talks about my childhood, growing up with family members being on drugs and all different types of things that you probably couldn't even imagine is in this book. The book comes out June 27th, which is National HIV Testing Day. I just wrote the book for everyone, for children that have come from broken homes, for people that feel like they couldn't make it, for anyone if you need some inspiration. It's going to be an inspirational book. The book will be available on my website, lolisagibson.com. And you'll be able to buy it on my website.

Starting on June 27th. And what's the name of the book?

The name of the book is called, "The Way I See It." I named it that because everything is from my point of view. I know a lot of people may not agree with everything that I'm saying, but I named it "The Way I See It" because it's the way I see it. If they don't like it, I'll help them write their own book. They could put it out the way they see it. But for now it's the way I see it. if you get a chance to read it, I hope you like it.

Thank you so much for telling us that. Everyone look out for Lolisa Gibson's book coming up in June.

Thank you so much for talking with me. It was wonderful to have the chance to speak with you today.

Thank you for coming.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Olivia Ford is the community manager for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

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This article was provided by TheBody.com.

See Also
More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS


 

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