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Newly Diagnosed? Words of Encouragement from HIV-Positive Women

January 15, 2013


Yolonda Reed

Yolonda Reed, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., diagnosed in 1989

I can remember when I was diagnosed. It was 1989. Because HIV wasn't out in your face the way it is now at the time when the doctors told me that I was positive, I was like, OK, well dang, now I can't go into the military, which is where I was headed. I called my mom at work and she passed out, but I couldn't understand why she was passing out. Now today I understand.

I would also tell someone who's newly infected that, guess what? You have a choice. You can either die of the virus or you can live with the virus. I would say, "Choose the latter. Choose to live with the virus. Go get health care. Get your nutrition right. Take care of yourself. That's it."

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