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Coming Out as HIV Positive: "I Blacked Out and Went Into My Own World"

By Mathew Rodriguez

August 13, 2013

Lolisa Gibson-Hunte

Lolisa Gibson-Hunte

How can you talk openly about your HIV status when you don't even know what HIV stands for? When Lolisa Gibson-Hunte was diagnosed with HIV over the phone, with her mother listening in, she thought the doctor had made a mistake, but she soon found out that she had a viral load of over 100,000 copies/mL and a T-cell count of 115 cells/mm3. Now, after lots of education, Gibson-Hunte has gone on to work for several AIDS service organizations and has even helped establish Delaware's first needle-exchange program.

Like many people living with HIV, Gibson-Hunte's path toward disclosing her status and living openly took a lot of time. Regarding her first steps, Gibson-Hunte said:

I started doing research about what HIV was, and I found out I wasn't the only one living with it. It took me about six months to really begin to understand what I was dealing with.

After her initial research, Gibson-Hunte determined she must have been born with HIV. Read the rest of her story, brought to you by the Black AIDS Institute -- including Gibson-Hunte's decision to speak at her Delaware high school, her marriage and the birth of her son.

Mathew Rodriguez is the editorial project manager for and

Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Excerpted from:
Coming Out: Lolisa Gibson-Hunte by The Black AIDS Institute

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