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Yo Soy ... Women Living With HIV (English)

September 15, 2011

Catalina Castillo

Catalina Castillo, 42
HIV positive 8 years as of December 2010
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am a woman, mother, grandmother, wife and activist, but I am as simple as what you can see. I am what you see. I am the way you see me.

Evelyn Saván

Evelyn Saván, 18
HIV positive as of birth
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am Evelyn. I am 18 years old and I live with my sister, Tamara, and my dad, Charly, in Moreno, in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. My dream is to become an artist. I love everything that involves the arts. Mostly, I love acting and dancing. These are my true passions. A year ago, I also began learning to play the drums. I want to dedicate myself to learning everything that the arts can teach me so that I can apply it in my life.

Marcela Alsina

Marcela Alsina, 45
HIV positive 15 years as of December 2010
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am from a beautiful city, the city of Mar del Plata, with the best sunshine on the sea and gorgeous nights under the stars. Life led me through the path of activism and that's how I became an activist, feminist and human rights advocate. I believe in mutual respect. I'm not afraid of life; I travel to places with light, shadows and at times darkness, in order to be with friends, who are the most wonderful present I have. I have been angry at life many times, but over the years, we've become friends; we got to know each other little by little and today I can say that I'm happy!

Maria Sanchez

Maria Sanchez, 30
HIV positive 10 years as of June 2011
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am Maria and I am only 30 years old. I have been living with HIV for 10 years, but the disease doesn't scare me. People think I'm a nice person because I'm always smiling. I enjoy listening to people who are in a similar situation. I feel a sense of solidarity with them. I am currently in a relationship. He is HIV negative. We're always careful and take care of each other. I feel happy with him. HIV has not stopped me from being a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a godmother. It also hasn't stopped me from working as a professional nurse. I've always said that I bet on life. Life is beautiful. We always seem to value it only when something goes wrong. But for me it's like a rebirth, a chance to start over again. I always plough ahead. I never give up.

Mariana Iácono

Mariana Iácono, 28
HIV positive 9 years as of December 2010
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am Mariana Iácono, from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I'm a social worker and student of history. I love swimming in the sea if there are no jellyfish. I love reading and practicing sports. I work in education at two high schools and I'm also an HIV/AIDS activist with RAMVHIS (Network of Women Living With AIDS). I'm a member of Fundación Buenos Aires SIDA and I represent them in an INADI (National Institute Against Discrimination) forum. I have a mother and a father who are lovely, really lovely; a female dog who is my daughter; and a love who fills my heart. Living with HIV, at this stage of my diagnosis -- nine years ago, I'm 28 -- is not a problem anymore. Every day, I fight against the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

Nadia Tevez

Nadia Tevez, 20
HIV positive as of birth
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am Nadia. I am 20 years old. I've loved dancing ever since I was 12 years old. I like all kinds of music, but I am really good at hip-hop and reggaeton. I think I am a pretty social and fun girl. Sometimes things are tough. If there's one thing I don't like, it's lying. When it comes to HIV and discrimination, I try to take stuff with humor and not let it affect me too much. Usually, it doesn't get to me.

Rosa Beatriz Retamar

Rosa Beatriz Retamar, 46
HIV positive 10 years as of December 2010
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am very jealous. Very grateful too. I am forgiving. I am independent, although I like to be taken care of. I am true to what I do and to my hospital mates. I am and I feel a virtuous person. I am very reflective. I am very much loved and very sensitive to pain in others. I am fearful of God and death. I always doubt when it comes to affections and personal decisions.

Sofía Ocampo

Sofía Ocampo, 16
HIV positive as of birth
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am Sofia. I love animals. I love my family and hanging out with friends. Above all, I love God. I am his creation.

Tamara Sosa

Tamara Sosa, 20
HIV positive as of birth
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am Tamara, but I like to be called Tami. I like stuff like dancing, acting and sports, especially swimming. I like spending time with friends. That's me. I am who you're looking at.

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