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HIV Positive and Past 50: Words of Wisdom to My Newly Diagnosed, Younger Self


Jane Fowler, 77, North Kansas City, Mo.; Diagnosed in 1991

Jane Fowler, 77, North Kansas City, Mo.; Diagnosed in 1991

I would have told myself to not be in denial, but immediately accept the fact that I had turned up HIV infected, and waste no time in seeking medical and social services assistance, in order to successfully live, and age, with the virus. I would have said: "Study and learn about the disease and understand that it does not have to be a death sentence. Look outside yourself, and consider, if possible, making some kind of contribution to the fight." Of course, I might also have said: "You ninny! Why hadn't you educated yourself about STIs, and how they are spread? You should realize that nobody ever knows the sexual history of anybody else, so be careful, take precautions."

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