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A Decade of Positive Faces: Krista Shore

Summer 2011

Krista Shore

Krista Shore, 28
Regina, Saskatchewan
Homemaker, advocate/activist, Board member at All Nations Hope AIDS Network and Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network
Diagnosed with HIV in 2007
CD4 count: 935
Viral load: undetectable

"A mother, first and foremost, an educator, an activist and an advocate in the HIV/AIDS movement in Canada."

How would you describe your health?

I feel very blessed with my health and ability to have healthy children. I maintain a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle with proper nutrition, sleep and exercise. I love smudging, Reiki, attending traditional talking circles and seeing my Elder regularly. I make an effort to maintain balance within the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual quadrants as well as regular monitoring and proper healthcare, treatment and support from the Western ways.

Are you experiencing any specific issues around HIV or your treatment?

I deal with discrimination, stigma and ignorance on a regular basis, whether from my community or society more broadly. But I am strong and fortunate to have a strong support system surrounding me, so I am able to cope with it healthily.

Have you gone through any major life changes since appearing on the cover?

On October 12, 2009, I was fortunate to give birth to Arayah Sunshine Heaven. After I had proper treatment, care and support during my pregnancy and took drip meds during delivery, Arayah was placed on an oral medication for six weeks. She was tested at birth and then at two months, six months and one year. When the docs said she was HIV negative, at that moment I just wanted to do a happy dance. I gave thanks to God, for listening to my prayers and those that others put forth for me, and thanks to my partner, who is HIV negative and very supportive!

You mentioned in your cover article in Winter 2009 that you wanted to start a baby formula program in Regina for HIV-positive moms who can't afford costly formula. What's happening with this?

I met a lot of challenges and barriers due to pregnancy and being HIV positive. I had a lot of trouble with getting baby formula covered under my disability insurance. I've been trying to start up my own Aboriginal AIDS organization that focuses on and provides services, including a formula program, to help at-risk women during pregnancy and after birth. I want to provide our women with access to care, treatment and support that is sensitive to pregnancy, so that they and their children have the best possible fighting chance when faced with an HIV diagnosis and pregnancy. This is my passion, commitment and vision. It is a necessity and vital to our Aboriginal women and children, especially taking into account our high infection rates as Aboriginal people and women and the fact that Saskatchewan is leading in rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

In one word, describe this moment in AIDS.

Progressing. I say that in light of women's advocacy and activism in the movement. I'm very hope-filled.

In 10 years ...

I see myself sustaining my health to the fullest ... happily married and guiding my children to live a happy and full life ... continuing my involvement in my community and being a knowledgeable educator and a support for people living positively.

What song is the soundtrack of your life?

"Waterfalls" by TLC or "Changes" by 2Pac.

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This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. It is a part of the publication The Positive Side. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
See Also
More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS

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