An Interview With Alora Gale
By Sam Folk-Williams
IN MANY RESPECTS, 21-year-old Alora Gale has grown up in what she calls an "average, middle-class, Caucasian family." She was born in San Diego, but she and her now 19-year-old brother, Mo, were raised primarily in the smaller towns of northern California: first in Grass Valley outside of Sacramento, then just outside Mendocino, in a 400-person town close to the coast. Today, Alora and her family live in Boulder, Colo.
When Alora was growing up, her mom was a graphic designer, and her father was a "jack of all trades" who usually ended up in various grade-school teaching positions. Her parents were both health-food nuts who raised their children in a conscientious, liberal manner. Until she was 6 years old, the only things Alora thought were unusual about her life were the fact that she had never been allowed to eat a candy bar and that her mom had to drive three towns over to find a suitable grocery store.
In 1992, when Alora was 6 years old, her mother, Linda Brosio, went with a group of girlfriends to get tested for HIV. Alora's mother was the only person to come back positive. Right away, Alora, Mo and her father Gary were all tested as well. Alora and Mo were both positive, but their father was negative. The day Alora was diagnosed, she recalls stoically, was her mother's birthday: March 17. Her mother died almost four years later, in November 1995; not long afterward, the family moved to Boulder, Colo., to be closer to the resources they would need to turn to for support.
Photo courtesy of Gary Gale
Alora, 6, at her mother's 43rd birthday, also the day on which Alora and her brother Morgan (left) were diagnosed with HIV. Their mother had been diagnosed two weeks earlier, after she was tested with a group of friends. The Gales had no reason in the world to suspect their family could have been exposed to HIV. Up to this point they had been, in their words, an "average, middle-class, Caucasian family." Alora's mother passed away almost four years after this picture was taken, in November 1995 -- just before the advent of effective AIDS medications. Alora and her brother Mo are still going strong.
Alora can find a reason for optimism in just about any situation, and is understanding about the ignorance and fear she has seen in people unfamiliar with HIV. She recognizes that in a society often afraid to talk openly about anything related to sex, people can't help but be ignorant. So, she takes it upon herself to become educated about HIV and spread that knowledge the best way she can. She has been speaking to school groups about HIV/AIDS since she was in junior high school.
Alora's father has dedicated his career to providing access to information about pediatric AIDS through the nonprofit organization he founded, National Pediatric AIDS Network.
What was it that made your family decide you should all be tested for HIV?
My mother was in some kind of women's group, and one of the women there brought in an article about HIV one week, and they all thought they should go get tested. So the whole women's group went into a clinic together. All the other women came back negative and my mom came back positive. She didn't get tested because of any symptoms. At that point we were living in a really rural part of California and they never would have suspected it.
Can you tell me a little about your family at the time you were all tested and diagnosed?
If you look, now, at all the symptoms the three of us had when I was little, it would have been obvious; it would have been hard not to see. But, because we were your average, middle-class, Caucasian family, in rural California, who had never been IV-drug users or had a blood transfusion, no one would have thought.
You mention that the symptoms you, your mom and your brother shared seem obvious in retrospect. What were some of those symptoms?
My brother would have night sweats and really high temperatures. And there was no reason, he wasn't sick or anything. It was just classic night sweats. I would get pneumonia or bronchitis every winter. And I got MAC [mycobacterium avium complex] about a year before I was diagnosed. I was born in San Diego, and apparently MAC was common in children there because of something in the water. So they thought maybe that's why I had it. My mom would have hair loss and chronic fatigue. My brother was a chubby kid until he hit kindergarten, when he went from being that cute chubby little toddler to being a tiny little stick.
Does anyone have any idea why your dad remained negative?
Well, women are eight times more likely than men to become HIV positive, first off. I'm not so sure anymore, but for a long time they thought that some people might have a resistance gene against certain strains of the virus, and that he might have the resistance gene. That might also explain why my brother and I were healthy for so long. My dad's never participated in any studies or anything like that.
When you first found out that you were HIV positive, can you remember what kind of thoughts you had?
Photo courtesy of Gary Gale
Alora and her father, Gary, in 2000.
"When I was told I was HIV positive, it was described to me like this: There was a monster living in my blood. The monster's name was Hivvy, and Hivvy would eat up all the good things in my body, especially the things that helped my immune system."
At that point, I was 6 years old. My parents explained it to me in kind of an amusing way. A lot of people who are perinatally infected, if they are told at a young age, are told in similar ways. When I was told I was HIV positive, it was described to me like this: There was a monster living in my blood. The monster's name was Hivvy, and Hivvy would eat up all the good things in my body, especially the things that helped my immune system. I was the kind of kid who would continuously ask questions, like, "Why is the sky blue? How do you get it? What does it do?" I gradually learned more and more by asking questions and reading. It probably fully hit me, what it meant for my life that I was HIV positive, when I was in seventh grade. So, it took a while -- about six years from the time I was diagnosed.
When you were hit with that full realization in the seventh grade, do you remember what your thoughts were?
It meant that until a miracle cure occurred, I would be on medication, going to doctors and getting my blood drawn, and that I had to be careful with my blood. And, I probably would have to think a lot more about whether I could start a family. The entire ramifications hit me.
How have your feelings about what it means to be HIV positive changed since then?
It depends what point of my life I'm at as to what I think about it, and how much I think about it. Sometimes I'll go for a month just taking my meds as a daily routine and not even thinking about what they are for. And then sometimes I'll look at them and think, "Wow -- these are what's keeping me alive." Now I'm at a point where I look at the pills and think, "Yeah, these pills -- this fistful of pills -- are what's keeping me alive [laughter]." It's hard to describe. It was hard watching my mom die of the disease that I had, that I knew I had. I knew I could end up like her. It's hard having that realization at such a young age. It kind of changes your whole life. It really does.
Comment by: Eve
Fri., Aug. 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm EDT
Thanks for sharing your story!
Comment by: Allie
Mon., Oct. 24, 2011 at 9:18 pm EDT
Wow! Amazing story. Inspires me!
Comment by: Brianna
Sun., Sep. 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm EDT
I am touched by your story. Both my parents were HIV when I was born but I was spared and dont know why to this day. My birthmom was a remarkable woman. She was a strong christian and lived to be 33 without any medication. I still miss her to this day. My birthdad is in prison now but takes medication and is in good health. I commend you and all of you fighting this. I wish there was a cure a long time ago for this so maybe my birthmom would still be here. Keep your head up and stay strong! Keep faith!
Comment by: jennifer l.
Wed., Sep. 7, 2011 at 8:17 pm EDT
my mom and dad died of aids i was 13,14.its been a long road im now 30 i can never forget,i was bless to be negative!! MAY GOD ALWAYS WATCH OVER YOU
Comment by: Anonymous
(San Diego, CA)
Tue., Mar. 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm EST
Alora! I went to middle school with you in Boulder and I vividly remember you telling your story. It was the first time that I had heard about HIV/AIDS. I moved away from Boulder shortly after hearing you speak and it always stuck with me. I am now working in HIV prevention at a community clinic in San Diego. I stumbled upon your story today and am amazed at how much you have influenced my life and how connected we are.
Comment by: s.l
Thu., Dec. 16, 2010 at 7:44 pm EST
im touched by this story and very inspirational ..im hiv positive for over 10 years an its good to hear story like this stay strong Alora
Comment by: Cath
Sat., Dec. 4, 2010 at 3:35 am EST
I am really touched by your story and even though I don't have the disease I still felt and emapthized the pain you have gone through. My mother had it and died, I was tested negative. Yet I still remember having to look after her as she withered away. I am happy for you and doing your talks. I think an education is very important. You have shown people how HIV does affect your life but how you can still be normal. Your story is inspiring and wish to help make an effort to put awareness into HIV/AIDS and it's sufferers.
Comment by: kassahun
Wed., Sep. 15, 2010 at 10:52 am EDT
realy,amazing strengeth and inspiring those who who are in despair and denial. I appericiate Alora. continue! I wish you bright life in the future
Comment by: Cruselda Pelesa
Wed., Sep. 15, 2010 at 6:40 am EDT
I am an HIV Positive Mother Have a 14yr old boy
I have not told him that he is HIV Positive but
I realise that i have decided to tell him on his birthday in Dec 25
Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Allie
Mon., Oct. 24, 2011 at 9:21 pm EDT
You should have let him grow up knowing he had it.Not insulting you or anything, just something you should know. I hope he takes it well.
Comment by: Chris K.
(Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa)
Wed., Sep. 1, 2010 at 8:55 am EDT
the story of every person that is HIV positive is sorriful. when you have have been told tha you are HIV positive, you feel as if you are no longer part of your family, community, culture,..
most especially in Africa, no one will like to play with you, eat with you, be with you and confort you. in such case you feel asolated and omited from everythig. this is not right. i think people with the virus need to be care for.
why? because they have the chance to live like a normal person.
my final words are this:
LET US STOP DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE WITH THE HIV/AIDS VIRUS.
Comment by: charllote m.
Wed., Aug. 25, 2010 at 9:53 am EDT
am very proud of the girl and her parents even though one passed away they make so much diffrent on people living with hiv and aids and even to these people who have never went for hiv test,even my self i haven't went to clinic for hiv test,but think knaw am ready to make an hiv test because what read on this aticle gaves me the reason not be scared of hiv test.
Comment by: terri
Mon., Aug. 23, 2010 at 3:54 am EDT
I KNOW THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT INVESTMENT THAT WILL HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE WORLD BY OPENING PEOPLE'S MINDS. ALL OF THE PEOPLE ON THIS WEBSITE THAT ARE SHARING THEIR STORIES(TRUE HEROS) I'M THANKFUL AND PROUD OF YOU ALL THANK YOU FOR TEACHING THE WORLD.ONE WORD AT A TIME. AWESOME PLEASE DON'T STOP
Comment by: Satendra
(India, new delhi)
Mon., Jun. 7, 2010 at 1:45 am EDT
Great.. Go ahead in your life with a new hopes and happiness :) nothing else matters
Comment by: desta g.
Mon., May. 24, 2010 at 9:42 am EDT
alora i have seen abaut you when i was at the time of reading i am becaming ubnormal i fel vene ferest of all i appreshet your streth any way these all cames fore good you must have hared worker in any direction of your life okkkk
Comment by: Ejike
Sat., May. 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm EDT
Postive living is not an easy thing, especialy for some of us at this part of the world.can you belief that as a person living with the virus i still hide to take my pills becouse of stigmatization
Comment by: Qhawekazi
Tue., May. 4, 2010 at 9:13 am EDT
hi am 18 yrs of age ,my mom is positive and am very proud of her
Comment by: abhishek.a.
(ahmedabad , india)
Thu., Mar. 11, 2010 at 9:09 am EST
BBRRAAVVOOO..! u r such a brave girl at so small age .. i did get so much courage to hear from you..mysef abhishek from ahmedabad city .. i m too a positive boy having hiv since around 6 yrs . i m very healthy since i daily go for a workout and follow a good routine ..
Comment by: Desiree
Tue., Feb. 2, 2010 at 4:30 am EST
Hello I just want to thank you for your story. My cousin just told me he was HIV positive and I feel like my entire world is coming to an end. He is really strong though, taking the news and moving forward. Your story has helped me to realize that HIV isn't a death sentence and I plan to become more educated on the subject. Still pretty heartbroken but I'm sure God will help me heal. Thanks again for your story and stay strong!
Comment by: Mat
Sat., Jan. 2, 2010 at 2:44 am EST
I was searching for some info on HIV/AIDS and came across The Body site.
I saw Alora's photo and thought how this young pretty girl copes with the disease.
I'm impressed with the story, and I'm thinking about her dad. He is negative, but the disease deeply affected his life.
I have to say that I'm hiv negative (just HPV and Herpes) but I'd like to invite all of you who would like to find your another half to www.stidatingclub.com it is a dating site dedicated to people with any std including hiv.
Comment by: jackie
Thu., Dec. 31, 2009 at 7:13 pm EST
i found out i'm HIV pos when i got pregnant with my son. it was the worse day of my life but that was four yrs ago. i'm not givin up a cure will come soon. i have to be strong for my family. my fear is i want to be here to c my lil boy grow up sunshine 32 gmail.com
Comment by: qhawekazi
Tue., Dec. 29, 2009 at 2:57 am EST
high i am hiv positive and started treatment 5months ago i am 23 years old and its hard at times bt i jst take everyday as it comes
Comment by: Aditya
Thu., Dec. 17, 2009 at 8:08 am EST
your story gives me courage and hope for life, Actually I had some oral sex encounters and on my last test was something suspicious.I may test it again in order to find out my status.I am worried a lot and looking for some support.Plse contact me on my email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment by: Zachary
(South East Asia)
Thu., Dec. 10, 2009 at 9:06 am EST
I am truly touched by this story. I jz got diagnosed with HIV few days ago and it was not easy for me to face the truth. I dont know who to talk to coz I really in need or motivation and support. Thank you for this piece of story.
Comment by: Sweetness
Sat., Nov. 14, 2009 at 7:00 pm EST
I was so touched by your story. You and your brother are so brave. I don't have the virus myself, but hope that if I had to face something as difficult as this situation I would be as brave as you. I wish you long and happy life.
Comment by: Sravan.S
Wed., Nov. 11, 2009 at 8:12 am EST
My sister was infected with HIV positive but she is living with our family members happily without any hiatus but outside most of the HIV unknown people are treat very ugly those whoever treating like they all are more dangerous to society and as per me it's a crime and we should punish them cruelly.
Comment by: Lindsay Boyd
Thu., Oct. 15, 2009 at 5:22 am EDT
This is trully expiring hearing the voices of so many people. HIV Positive or not we are trully all God's children.
Comment by: Hope
Sun., Oct. 4, 2009 at 12:53 am EDT
you so brave ! God bless u! i just learned I am positive two months ago. I haven't told my families or friends. But I am ok with it and soon will start the medication
Comment by: K
Fri., Sep. 18, 2009 at 9:30 am EDT
HIV sucks my father died of it in 1994 after a blood transfusion. I remember the nurses in the hall way saying he hiv was his own fault. It's not easy to be open with this but I guess it helps to be with people that understand. I hope a cure comes in our life time. HIV lives on in my mind and even though it left our family with my father it still effects my life today.
Comment by: Uche
Wed., Sep. 9, 2009 at 11:03 am EDT
I'm highly impressed with all that I have read above.I work as a pharmacist in our facility,and we are into HIV care and treatment.I'm very willing to share my experiences from practice with HIV positive people all over the world. With Jesus Christ, HIV marks the beginning of a better life for anyone diagonosed of it and I'm very certain about it. Alora,keep on doing the good work. Would you have affected these number lives without HIV?. God is taking you to higher grounds. I could be reached on email@example.com
Comment by: Jonathan Candelaria
(New York, N.y.)
Thu., Sep. 3, 2009 at 7:04 pm EDT
I am 19 years old and was diagnosed with hiv at the age of 17. Thank you for sharing your story.
Comment by: SHANIQUA
(wilmington, north carolina)
Thu., Sep. 3, 2009 at 11:05 am EDT
HI I AM A 17 YEAR OLD FEMALE AND MY MOTHER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH HIV WHEN I WAS 13. I HAVE BEEN TESTED BUT IT KEEPS COMING BACK NEGATIVE. I JUST THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE AND MERCYS EVERYDAY... FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE IT BE STRONG AND GOD WILL PULL YOU THROUGH!!!
Comment by: anonymous
Fri., Aug. 21, 2009 at 2:58 am EDT
alora you are a true insparation to all of us. i just found out that i am hiv postive i was so shocked i didn't believe that this is happening to me. i even blamed god, but i realized that nothing has changed even if i am 23 yr old postive lady. i told my fiance about my status he was supportive ..he hasn't tested yet, but previously all his tests come out negatively so i thought they was no reason for me to go and test so it looks like i have infected him. he understands it and says our love is greater than this HIV. we are getting married this saturday, thank god for that..my main corncen is that i don't have a baby of my own which i would love to have one day...it feels good to share my story cause i haven't disclosed my status to anyone....
Comment by: Mamusali
Mon., Aug. 17, 2009 at 11:28 am EDT
Hi, I am inspired by your story. I am positive and have a 13 year old daughter is who positive too. I have not told her status and why she is taking medication or why she has to go to the hospital for routine checks every quarter. Doctors and family members are putting pressure on me to tell her, but I cannot bring myself to let her know her status as she is a young lively girl who leads a normal teenage life. I am scared that it would crush her. We have talked about HIV and she knows all about it. I divorced her father when I was diagnosed and so she has never seen him sick (he was quite ill two years ago).
I am passionate about helping women and children in my situation but feel helpless as i have not come out in the open about my status.
Good bless you
Sat., Aug. 15, 2009 at 9:29 am EDT
Hi Alora,your story is very enspiring,i'm hiv positive but coulding come to terms with it,just by reading your story knowing what you went through at that early age and still going through, gives me courage and hope. I am 21, was diagnose a year ago,i still don't know if i should tell people about it.
Comment by: Happy
Tue., Aug. 11, 2009 at 6:20 am EDT
Hi Alora. Your story is truly inspiring,I am living with the virus myself thanks to an unfaithful ex boyfriend. I think ur attitude towards the virus is incredible, may God keep u so many people can learn from u and ur experience.
Comment by: Grecia
(Salt lake City, UT)
Tue., Jul. 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm EDT
I admire your positive attitude toward all this.
people should be educated on HIV/AIDS. When i was younger i used to think you could get HIV/AIDS by just touching others, but little did i know i was SO WRONG... thats why people should know.
I'm currently a Pre-Med student and i'm planning on medical research. I want to find cures for diseases such as AIDS. I want help people with HIV/AIDS. People like you inspire me to keep looking for that cure.
Thanks for sharing this story.
Comment by: GISSELLE
Sat., Jul. 25, 2009 at 10:57 pm EDT
MY EX BROTHER IN LAW DIED OF AIDS LAST YR,MARCH 2008.HE FOUND OUT IN FEBRUARY AND DIED IN ONE MTH. MY SISTER WAS DEVASTED AS SO WAS I. I AM SCARED TO GET TESTED AND FIND OUT LIKE THAT. I AM CURRENTLY PREGNANT AND GOT TESTED THIS MTH BUT STILL HAVENT GOTTEN RESULTS I HOPE EVERYTHING TURNS OUT OK BECAUSE I AM ALMOST DUE. I HOPE I AM AS STRONG AS YOU ARE IF I COME BACK POSITIVE.
Comment by: Nicole
(San Francisco, CA)
Mon., Jul. 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm EDT
Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring and comforting story, Alora. I recently got tested, and received a letter in the mail to call the doctor. Of course this happened on a Saturday when the office was closed, and I was so scared all weekend, couldn't sleep or eat and basically convinced myself that I have HIV. I planned what I would do immediately upon finding this out, who I'd tell, contacts I would make (you being one of them), and how I'd live. I received my results, did NOT show antibodies for HIV, so it was negative. I am so relieved but I can still feel the worry I experienced over the weekend. Thinking about it now, and even while I was waiting, I have come to realize I could still have a 'normal' life with HIV. Of course there would be hardships, and different than 'normal' lives, but any life has difficulties. I could die in a car accident tomorrow for all I know.
I think I would just like to express and emphasize how grateful I am that websites like this exist. How grateful I am to people like you for sharing your story. How grateful I am that people with HIV/AIDS are strong enough to speak their minds, share their experiences and provide comfort and support to people like me. Thank you for living so strong, I admire you for being so wonderful. You will always be in my thoughts and in my heart.
Comment by: Shera
Sat., Jul. 18, 2009 at 4:36 am EDT
This story is inspiring but I was disheartened to read in the comments...from Monique (Maryland) that her doctor said HIV is better to have than Lupus???!! What...I may have Lupus and that is terrible to read.
Comment by: Imani
Sun., Jul. 5, 2009 at 4:50 pm EDT
You are so brave I don't have HIV, but i love your story it's Beautiful and i wish you luck Keep God First
Comment by: warren
Wed., Jul. 1, 2009 at 9:10 am EDT
I am impressed by Alora as she is a very beautiful girl with a lot of spirit. Her story really impresses and amazes me. I myself do not have HIV but had a serious scare after I found out a girl I had unsafe relations with on a overseas holiday had HIV. I went into depression, anxiety and stress until I got the all clear from the tests. I had a naive attitude towards HIV until I had this scare. But it opened my eyes to reality and I feel that I have been spared the disease and that it is my duty to others who have the same outlook I did to change their attitude. Plus warn my friends to protect themselves and their partners. The stuff that helped me get through the scare were sites like these and movies like rent, philadelphia, etc. As they made me feel that I wasn't alone in the world when it came to facing the fact I may Have HIV. So a special thankyou to this wonderful girl for sharing her story. firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment by: Michele
(brooklyn NY )
Thu., Jun. 18, 2009 at 12:53 am EDT
God Bless, your story is inspirational. I wish you and your brother all the health in the world.
Comment by: Monique
Mon., Jun. 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm EDT
Hello, Yes, I am HIV positive for 3 years now. I found out 24 hours after I caught my fiance in our brand new house with another woman. After he phoned the police, disrespected and had me removed from the house, I thought this was this worst I would have ever experience in my life but I was totally wrong. Until the doctors office called to say it was urgent for me to come in. I had already tested negative for Lupus because the two are similiar, but HIV is better to have per my doctor. I cried all the way to the doctor's office and still today no one knows but the old fiance, the woman in the house and my sister. I have a child and I always talk about the issue without disclosing that I am positive. I have my days, but GOD is a healer and it has brought Christ into my life. I hope for better physician compassion because they look at you like you're crazy. I had to tell one doctor, YES I AM and I never returned for my tests! I am also single because of this disease and having to disclose it and be mistreated. Please be kind to all individuals because you never know what someone is living with or going through.
Comment by: Prakesh
Fri., Jun. 12, 2009 at 10:40 am EDT
Hi everyone here who wrote the comments on this brave girl. Thanks for your encouragement.
I would like to admit myself HIV positive & married for 2 years with 9 months old kid. & i am recently tested positive & i still don't have dare to explain my status to anyone in my family even to my wife . Thanks to almighty that both my Wife & Kid are negative. I may or may not review my status to them but for sure i will not spread this to any individual, this is my first oath taken after I tested positive. Please you all do the same & save lives as we are already left alone.
Any one with positive status can contact me as i feel I am alone & cornerned. please help by being my friend
Comment by: charbel saba
Thu., May. 28, 2009 at 8:54 pm EDT
Dear Alora. Hy again Princess.i hope you are very well and always inspiring people. you know i was scared to death that i could be hiv positif and did not have the courage to do the test as i was showing million symtoms after a risky sex relation:i was every day checking the internet i saw your story by luck but i think it was destiny because i saw how brave you are and i decided to go and test myself as my fear has gone with your assistance without knowing me. I want to tell you i'm at your disposal at all times. i know you are busy with big community services and may god, jesus and all the saints be with you and with all people. Please find my personal email and feel free to contact me at any time :email@example.com as i want to be your friend if possible. i know that you have millions of friends and people who admire your courage, there is one new admire ( charbel saba)
Please take care and i will wait for your reply if possible i will keep seeing my email for your reply.Take care and i'm always available, if you need anything i know that you have a great family : BIG HI TO DADDY AND YOUR BROTHER, but consider me as a new friend which want to know you more. i'M WAITING and i'l keep on waiting for your reply.
By by princess god bless you
Charbel saba / 33 years old / christian / from lebanon & living in dubai. God bless you all hopping for you the best luck in the world.
l keep checking my mail and anyone needs my help i'l be available.
Comment by: charbel saba
Sun., May. 24, 2009 at 12:02 am EDT
God bless you and all the best wishes for you. i'm not hiv positif, well i thought i was but i was tested negatif and as i'm seeing here that you have been a great inspiration for many many people, so i would say the best of luck for you and big HY to your dad. i'm charbel from lebanon and living in dubai and i'm at your service for any assistance cause like i saw a brave girl with the heart of a fighter like zeina the warrior. i admire that , with the best of luck for you all and please if any one needs my assistance. please feel free to contact me at any time on my email:firstname.lastname@example.org
and i shall reply immediatly, take care all and alora keep on the great job as god has provided for you the will of living and loving and helping people. i;m at your disposal all of you as well as princess alora of course.
my best regards
charbel from dubai
keep on fighting and jesus and saint amry are your savier for all times.
by for you all and waiting your eamils to reply as soon as possible.
Comment by: baby girl
Mon., May. 18, 2009 at 3:19 am EDT
i'll be turning 29 this year, and was diagnosed in 2001. when i was pregnant i took the test, and i was sure it will come out negative. i lost my daughter 4years ago, she was positive. it hasn't been easy, i have been angry at the whole world for the wrong reasons. my family knows about my status but my friends don't know, they have never tested and they always think they won't get it but they still have unprotected sex. they think people who have hiv are dirty and they deserve it. I want to tell them but i know they will tell the whole world, and i'm not ready for that.
i'm so scared of dying. last night i read through everybody's stories, and i woke up with a different mind set to what this virus is about. i'm more positive about life, and ready to go and do my cd4 count test, coz i've been scared to start using ARVs. it feels good to share how i feel with people who understand what i'm going through. Thank you to people like Alora, i'm positive about life. God will make us strong guys, don't give up.
Comment by: Brian
Wed., May. 6, 2009 at 10:59 am EDT
Thanks for your inspirational story. i didn't have a real experience of a child surviving with hiv to your age and i believe you have a very long and happy life ahead of you. my girl friend is hiv positive but hasn't accepted her status. all the best in life Alora.
Comment by: shahid
Tue., Apr. 28, 2009 at 2:22 am EDT
keep it up! God is with u dear
Comment by: RX
Sat., Apr. 25, 2009 at 12:28 pm EDT
Hats off to you..
Comment by: Nyarayi
Sat., Apr. 25, 2009 at 9:04 am EDT
I was recently diagnosed with HIV and even though things looked bad in the beginning, being HIV positive has made me become a better person, I appreciate so much i used to take for granted and I believe God is greater than HIV, being HIV positive does not mean a death sentence especially if you know you have it, it just means adjusting your life accordingly and making the best out of life.
Comment by: Risper
Sat., Apr. 18, 2009 at 6:52 am EDT
Hey, that's more than a hero's tale. All things works for them that the lord loves. May He give you the grace to be an icon of inspiration. I know he has a reason to keep you alive.
Am encouraged. Keep the brave fight.
Comment by: Benson
Fri., Apr. 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm EDT
Thank for opening up to the world. If not infected, you are affected. Fortunately today's H.I.V is not a death sentence rather a manageble disease (chronic). I had unprotected sex on febr. 2-weeks later i developed aseptic like meningitis. I am waiting for 3 months to get tested, but so scared. I got relieved after reading the story. God bless all
Comment by: Arlinda
Tue., Apr. 14, 2009 at 8:05 pm EDT
i like your courage to come out and tell your story most people like to keep it secret. I'm Hiv negative, but i like to read stories of hiv people, because i think they are doing a good job to prevent others from getting the disease and i'm very careful with my life and respect people. when i was 9 i watched my biological mother dying from that disease. My mom took really good care of me even when she was getting sick and i didn't know anything of what was going on. When i turned 9 that was where she couldn't keep it up anymore and i still didn't know the truth about her status because all my aunts, my grandma always told me at the time my mother had lung cancer, which was a lied,when she was getting really sick even though i was 9 i was young i took really good care of her at home, she was my baby. She got it 3 years after divorcing my dad because their relation wasn't doing well, she met a guy from NY whom she thought was clean and wasn't, cause during the 90's people were ignorant about hiv and it consequences.When i turned 17 one of my aunt told me the truth about the death of my mom, she wanted me as growing up to be careful of what life can carries in my own life.Now i'm about to turned 21 next month, i'm healthy in good shape i live with my dad, who is as well a negative person. Still i respect people living with hiv, and admire those that have the strength to tell their stories. My beautiful Mom died in front of me,in my left arm and i was 9. i know it's not easy living with it and it's even harder dying from it,cause i have seen my mom dying from it and i know one day GOD will give the cure for this disease because a lot of innocents are dying from it. My boyfriend of 4 years thank god he is a respectful guy, he respects himself a lot and i also told him how my mom died in order for him to take care of his life as well. He wouldn't give me something as he always said and i wouldn't either. We got tested together everything is fine. we watch after ourselves n each other
Comment by: miranda
Tue., Apr. 7, 2009 at 6:32 pm EDT
That is a very sad story. How do you stay so strong? I found out a few years ago when i was pregnant and i still do not know how to deal with it. It has effected everything in my world. I can't get out of this deep dark depression. I have told no one except my son's father. He is negative but very supportive. Although he is supportive i don't think he has any idea how i feel and we rarely discuss it. Thank god my child is negative! I am sure this is a secret i will carry to my grave! I feel horrible about myself and i am having a hard time moving past this. I do not know how people find the strength to go on with their life and also help people in the same situation. I must be a very weak individual. I hope one day i will be able to help others in my same situation and share my story. Honestly, i don't ever see that happening but one day maybe i will stop being a coward!
Comment by: Julia
Tue., Apr. 7, 2009 at 5:33 am EDT
Hey girl, you are just the reason why God gave you this, in order to teach others. May God bless you and your family. I know you will live longer for God has plans for you.
Comment by: Emily
Mon., Apr. 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm EDT
You are very brave to be living with this disease for so long. I am fourteen and was recently diagnosed with HIV. Keep living your dreams!
Comment by: timothy
Thu., Apr. 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm EDT
i like your courage and dedication. i was diagnosed this month, just a few days ago, after developing shingles. i got married in december and have not had any sexual contact with my young wife, i don't know what to do. now they say my cd4 count is 157 and i am about to start the medication, please can someone tell me what the side effects looks like i am scared.the thought of being on drugs for the rest of my life is very scary. please can someone get back to me thro this forum, if it's ok.
Comment by: zakiya
Fri., Mar. 27, 2009 at 8:56 am EDT
Hey gal you're a brave courageous gal, you have given me hope as I am 21 years old and had found out last year that I was positive. Only my mum and dad know about my status.
Comment by: AISHA
Wed., Mar. 25, 2009 at 8:18 am EDT
Alora u are such a wonderfull girl may God bless u in whatever u do in this world and may u live to blow a hundred and one candles. May God be with u babie. Be blessed.
Comment by: camielle
Fri., Mar. 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm EDT
continue to live a happy life and may God bless you
Comment by: chipo
Fri., Mar. 20, 2009 at 11:44 am EDT
god bless you Aro u a so brave you makes me brave as well! keep taking your meds! god bless
Comment by: dwi
Wed., Mar. 18, 2009 at 3:55 am EDT
how i wish i can be brave like you alora... thank you for sharing ur story with me. god bless u...
Comment by: slash
Thu., Mar. 12, 2009 at 11:34 am EDT
that's like a brave girl sister.I wish for u n all infected ppl a very happy life ahead.And I am sure very soon a cure will be found out. So enjoy life. Scientists and doctors are working hard in order to find out cure. And god gives good results of hard work. I strongly believe that this epidemic has an end. So have a good feeling and believe in god.
Comment by: francis
Thu., Mar. 5, 2009 at 1:06 pm EST
you are brave.
Comment by: Lily
Tue., Mar. 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm EST
God bless you.
Comment by: Talika
Fri., Feb. 27, 2009 at 11:17 am EST
She is a brave girl and reading her story made me realized that I have got to fight this virus in me. I am getting a new job in medical and still going through the 'accept' and 'facing the truth' process. As they have pre-employment check up and Anti HIV is one of them.
Thank you for sharing your view. You helps most of us women with HIV living our life...and hope that one day, it will be something to cure us.
Comment by: susan
Wed., Feb. 25, 2009 at 1:58 am EST
Wow! you are so brave. I keep thinking of how to break the news to my family. It's like everyone is so dependant on me and telling them would just break my heart because I know how dissapointed or shocked they would be. I am a nurse, divorced and have no kids. sometimes I really feel so lonely. I wish I could have those guts... I talk about HIV to others but not about myself!
Comment by: trinidadian girl
Wed., Feb. 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm EST
I don't understand how her mom got it, if he did not and still don't. Is it that her dad is not her real dad? I don't understand. But what a brave girl!
Comment by: leni
Tue., Feb. 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm EST
i must say it is amazing that your dad wasn't infected, but keep doing what you're doing. You inspire many many people and i know you will be blessed in return. Hats off to you and your family.
Comment by: TITHI
Sat., Feb. 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm EST
U R AN EXTREMELY POWERFUL WOMAN.I REALLY ADMIRE U.GOD BLESS U.
Comment by: elsy
Thu., Feb. 5, 2009 at 3:22 pm EST
Que el Señor permita se cumplan todos tus sueños, tengo VIH hace 12 años y doy gracias a Dios que hasta ahora no me he enfermado. Lo unico que a veces me asara es la intolerancia de las personas, mi esposo murio hace 8 años y encontre otra pareja que me ayuda a olvidarme de la enfermedad, el amor de nuestros seres queridos es una de las medicinas despues de Dios. Ojala que en mi Pais algun dia las personas entienda que tambien tenemos derechos y que no le hacemos mal a nadie. Conozco personas que han muerto por la intolerancia de otros. Dios ayude e ilumine a las personas como tu y ojala algun dia termine el rechazo hacia nosotros.
Comment by: hi
Tue., Feb. 3, 2009 at 3:51 am EST
i rili admire that u are that strong. i am not sure whteher that am i hiv or no i rili hope no and i 15 this year .i am rili scared evryrtime thinking of it i will cry and feel that i had dissapoitned my parents so i hope that those doctors out there trying thier best for those who have aids o and i thought that aids can be cure.may god bless u guys and me 2 :)
Comment by: Alinafe Kunsamala
Tue., Feb. 3, 2009 at 2:18 am EST
Sissy,what a wonderful courage you have.I am really inspired with your story. You know although we tried to fight against stigma,i think that there is still stigma among us, that's why most of us we fail to come into the open and discuss these issues nor getting tested. We need more stories like these that I hope can really help our societies.I am a broadcaster in one of the Christian radio Stations in Malawi,Africa. My email is email@example.com
Drop me a email and we can chat.
Comment by: Santosh
Mon., Feb. 2, 2009 at 3:10 am EST
Hi Nice meeting you! this is santosh from nepal and I'm also HIV positive for 12 years and i'm on ART now and it's been 2 year's. hey i like ur's smile and alway want you to keep on smiling. if you wanna chat and talk to me you feel please add me on firstname.lastname@example.org or mail me on santosh.chettri @gmail.com me now working in a national Network of PLHA here in nepal. see ya take care god bless you
Comment by: coeur de lion
Wed., Jan. 21, 2009 at 5:11 am EST
your story gives me courage and hope for life, Actually I'm having some HIV symptoms and I'm afraid because according to people around me, the girl I went out with some months earlier must have the virus, I will get myself tested in one week and I have decided that no matter what happens, I will keep following my dreams and give the best of myself to spread the word about HIV.
I'm a christian and I thank God for everything in my Life.
I don't really know how people after being diagnosed decide to infect other, Me the only thought I have is that even though she gave it to me on purpose, I will never do the same, Because I want to die alone, and this disease will die with my Body, but it won't affect my soul, because I'm created to live forever in God's kingdom.
This Message is for people living with HIV, Please die alone so that the virus come at his end one day.
God is talking to you now,if you have planned to infect your partner, don't do that, Pray to GOD to give you courage and hope for the rest of your days.
You are a strong person, Alora, may the lord allmighty bless you and your family.
Comment by: Sistas
Mon., Jan. 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm EST
You r an inspiration my dear. i'v just lost my dearest brother, he could not take it because he kept on saying that he was very careful (using protection). the worst thing is that the person who had infected him is a family friend and i've discovered that after his burial and she did not have the guts to tell him and that makes me think that she did not do it intentionally. At least my brother is resting in peace now and maybe i've fulfilled his wish of finding out the person who had infected him and that how cruel the world/people can be. Let's come together irrespective of race to fight the pandemic and with God at our sides everything is possible as he is everywhere. Let us give thanks and praises to him for our lives and families and even those who are no longer with us. We must love and support each other no matter what. I might be HIV negative but the trauma i've been through is unbearable.Let's pray that the scientists do get the for cure for HIV Aids. This site with its personal stories had given me my life back as i'm not crying anymore but thanking God for giving us a chance to have a brother like him. we will always celebrate his short but meaningful life with him. Thanks a lot Alora and The Body.
Comment by: CAMILA
Wed., Jan. 14, 2009 at 8:04 am EST
Gob bless u sister! am also an HIV positive lady but i dont have the strength and courage u have my dear, i have only revealed my status to a few members of my family, my best friend and my boyfriend. I wish u and all who have the same status like us all the best!
Comment by: netsayi
Sun., Jan. 4, 2009 at 8:52 am EST
It's amazing how time heals. I have been diagnosed 5 years ago and I choose to remain positive and everyday I thank God for life. I have chosen to live and not die. Now I have accomplished in all areas fo my life. At 30 I'm now a manager for one of the biggest health organisations in the UK. HIV will not and will never stop me. Thank God.
Comment by: Zany
Fri., Dec. 19, 2008 at 11:15 am EST
A truly inspirational story,i read your story each time i feel depressed with my sons who was tested hiv pos although each day is like a struggle but stories like yours keep us going am so thankful and i even print your story each time its been updated just to help me to tell my son when he is old enough about his status, as a single mother its so hard when go for tests and to see him crying i just dont know, thank you
Comment by: Rudo
Thu., Dec. 18, 2008 at 6:48 pm EST
A truely inspring story, as i was reading through it opened up avenues of hope in me.Three months ago i dicovered that i was positive,talk about the darkest days of my life.i still have not gathered enough strength and courage to tell my family.I hope to do so though with time, first i need to heal.
Comment by: Nokwanda
(South Africa )
Fri., Dec. 12, 2008 at 2:39 am EST
Well done girl, this is not an easy journey but, hey, we are on it and we are surviving. I also found out I am hiv positive 5 years ago. I do not know by now what to make out of it, cos it really was an eye opener and a wake up call in all areas of my life.
I am living my life to the fullest, we can do this together!
Comment by: g
Sun., Dec. 7, 2008 at 11:46 am EST
i might have HIV. i'm scared that the world would never look the same again. i wish i could have your courage.
Comment by: selena
Sat., Nov. 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm EST
You are a very amazing woman. You are also a beautiful woman that has educated many people with your story. May God bless you.
Comment by: sk
Sat., Nov. 15, 2008 at 2:53 am EST
I like your energy and your view about life.
if you want i may be a friend to make you light and energize you to go forward.
please touch your friend at
Comment by: WELL WISHER
Fri., Nov. 14, 2008 at 11:11 pm EST
dear daughter may God bless you and your brother.I am a mother infected by my husband who knew about it all along but i am blessed because after this betrayel God gave me a daughter who is negative .As a human being i know you fear and concern as well as the why me? but believe me your parents and we all love you .as a mother like figure hug and kiss on your and your brither forehead from me and may God cure us all and especially the kids as they are His promise..........
Comment by: rose
Mon., Nov. 10, 2008 at 6:03 am EST
I also found out I was HIV positive, but funnily I immediately accepted. Thanks for the inspiration ALORA
Comment by: rose
Mon., Nov. 10, 2008 at 5:53 am EST
i found out i was hiv positive a week ago, i told my boyfriend immediately, but i thank god that he accepted, though it hurts i have accepted and think i am lucky that i found out at an early stage. I'm only 20 and my boyfriend is 22, i know that he didn't infect me, i infected him, but god bless him for understanding as we are planning on getting married and having our first child next year. please pray for us because i am having a difficult time conceiving, i am a born again christian but my boyfriend isn't, he smokes and drinks. please pray that he stops and receives jesus christ as his personal savior -- god bless you all.
Comment by: khalid
(Secretary-General for sudanes People living with HIV/AIDS Care Association( khartoum state))
Tue., Nov. 4, 2008 at 11:02 am EST
I would like to know the brothers living with HIV
I have been living with the AIDS virus for more than 8 years
my: E-mail : email@example.com
Comment by: gayle
Thu., Oct. 30, 2008 at 3:41 am EDT
Thank you for sharing your story so that others can understand HIV. I read your story to help myself be ready to support a friend who recently found out she is HIV positive. I appreciate your openness!
Comment by: bahta
Sat., Oct. 18, 2008 at 4:05 am EDT
I will pray for you always.God bless you.
Comment by: Natasha
Tue., Oct. 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm EDT
Alora. I don't have HIV, and i was always scared of people who did have it. after reading your story, I'm no longer scared. Your story is truly inspirational, and thank you. i want to be a doctor when i grow up. I'm 14 right now and I really want to research AIDS and HIV. Ur story has motivated me. Thank you
Comment by: x
Wed., Oct. 8, 2008 at 6:37 pm EDT
I just wanted to start by thanking you so much for opening up and sharing your story. As you and everyone else on here reads these comments, you can truly see how inspiring you have been, and continue to be. Speaking of this disease that now affects some 60 million people shows that anyone can have this disease whether is be child or adult, and there is such a stigma with people that live with this. Now people can see from your testomonial that this can affect anyone and that we have to speak up and out againts this to put an end to the stigmas that are associated with having this illness. We have to educate and continue to inspire to bring people together and share their stores and let everyone know that is will be OK. You being strong and going out in the communities and schools to speak about this is the first step in changing people's perspectives about Hiv and to get the ball rolling to help educate and help prevent this disease that I know we will find the cure for. I think it lies amongst us! God bless you and everyone else who lives with this. Let's come together as a community, be strong and fight this thing till it exists no more. I am HIV postive myself and I will continue the fight with you!
Comment by: deepak
Fri., Oct. 3, 2008 at 2:55 pm EDT
thats like a brave girl
GOD BLESS U
Comment by: Babygirl79
Wed., Oct. 1, 2008 at 5:29 pm EDT
I too am 29 and living with HIV. I found out last year around June, totally devastating to my life. Still have not yet come to terms with being HIV positive, but I'm dealing with it. i haven't told but a few select members of my family and church family. My family members are still denying it and can't believe that I have the disease. It's kind of hard, although I have been living with it for a year and some months. Still can't believe that I was the one who ended up getting the disease. I pray that one day I will have the courage to speak up and speak out to others about this because we really need advocacy where I live.
Comment by: Chansa
Tue., Sep. 30, 2008 at 5:37 am EDT
This is a truly inspiring story. I am also living with HIV, almost a year now, but haven't found the strength to tell my family yet. When I talk to them about the topic, their comments make me feel they are not ready yet. You are very brave.
Comment by: harry persaud
(guyana, south america)
Thu., Sep. 18, 2008 at 12:36 am EDT
hi alora, you are so wonderful and sweet. thank god for your dad. he will give you all encouragement.you are so strong and brave to live a normal life.i will pray for you and your brother and dad to have strength. you all also pray and have joy in the lord and give him all your heavy load. i will, always give you support. jesus christ is lord.
Comment by: Sibongile
Thu., Sep. 11, 2008 at 9:13 am EDT
I am also living with hiv and I admire you for being open about it. Am still not ready to discuss my status but after reading your story, I think the next step I will take is to tell those I care about. Thank you for sharing your story.
Comment by: curt
Mon., Sep. 8, 2008 at 3:41 pm EDT
you are my hero... I wish i could be strong like you.. i will try
Comment by: purity
Wed., Sep. 3, 2008 at 5:38 am EDT
wow,i am inspired as i am also living with the virus
Comment by: Nureen Glaves
Sat., Aug. 30, 2008 at 3:44 pm EDT
I was researching information for my project on HIV and its effects on human sand i got on this website and read your story. Thank you so much! You have helped me express my concence and beliefs on this topic and I'm going make the project as informative and truthful as possible and hopefully through my work I can change someone options and open their eyes to the truth. HIV is a bad disease but like anything in life, it's a challenge to go though but it makes you a stronger and better person and you have proven that. So shine your light and be strong because the world needs people like you. God bless you!
Comment by: rachel genna
Thu., Aug. 28, 2008 at 5:20 pm EDT
i was in prison for 3 years when i came home in 2001 the first person i sleep with knowing gave me h.i.v. his wife died of aids, he lied. Now we're not together and he has a another girl. I don't think it's fair, do you? I have a dream and a story to tell. How can i do that?
Mon., Aug. 11, 2008 at 1:51 am EDT
God Bless You
Comment by: Vasto
Sun., Aug. 10, 2008 at 9:59 pm EDT
I Pray inThe Name Of God Will Heal & Bless U
Comment by: Sarah
Sat., Aug. 9, 2008 at 11:37 pm EDT
Its great to hear inspiring stories about you and so many other people living with HIV. God has given you the power and selected you to raise everyones voice against ignorance. I am immensely proud of you. I have been doing research in this field of medication and people like you are an inspiration every step of the way. I pray you live a prosperous and healthy life. Amen
Comment by: Joy
Thu., Aug. 7, 2008 at 5:29 am EDT
You are truly amazing, and a wonderful testimony of God's unfailing love. I urge you to continue to provide hope and inspiration to millions of children who are also living with HIV. I pray that you continue with the good work continue in good health and live to witness the promises of God in your life. Thank you for sharing the story.
Comment by: Sunny
Mon., Aug. 4, 2008 at 9:12 am EDT
I love your story Aloe. Your life is full of challenging, but you never ever give up for your life. I am really appreciate you. You are the only one person who I am admire. Good Bless You Aloe.
Comment by: Hlly
Thu., Jul. 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm EDT
I am positive and I recently had a child who is also infected because I didn't know until it was to late. I nursed him and two weeks later found out that I was positive. Now, I try to stay involved with support groups and continually wonder what Trevor will say when he gets older. I don't want to watch him get sick because of me. Thank you for your story because it gives me hope that he can grow up healthy. God bless you and I hope you stay safe while enjoying life to the fullest.
Comment by: brina
Wed., Jul. 30, 2008 at 4:10 am EDT
you're very inspirational. best of luck to you Alora.
Comment by: dr anita
Tue., Jul. 29, 2008 at 2:14 am EDT
god bless you...may he be ur guide and ur refuge.......may he be ur strenght....so that u cud help others by the life u live
Comment by: Philipina (Tanzania)
Wed., Jul. 23, 2008 at 5:12 am EDT
your story is insipiring. God will keep on Blessing you and am sure you will get married to a happy man and God shall Bless you with beautiful kids. God Bless you sister.
Comment by: Juliana Musiimenta
Mon., Jun. 30, 2008 at 4:45 am EDT
i am not hiv positive, but i work in Uganda with an organization that takes care of HIV patients and we have many children and youths. We are faced with many challenges and so i found this story very inspiring. I would wish to qoute it to the youths in their group meetings if this is okay. i hope it will help them see things differently since most Africans do not imagine a white child born and living positively with HIV. Thanks a lot Alora for being an inspiration to many.
Comment by: Mrs. Malloy
Mon., Jun. 23, 2008 at 10:34 am EDT
I pray that God will continue to bless you on this journey. You will continue to be delivered and I pray God's strength during this time. You appears to be a very happy young lady and I hope that one day we will find a cure for AIDS. However, in the meantime, you continue to educate us and may God continue his blessings in your life. You are an inspiration to my life.
Comment by: sabelo
Mon., Jun. 23, 2008 at 6:31 am EDT
The girl should be strong and be motivated at all times.
Comment by: thu
Fri., Jun. 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm EDT
Your story is an inspiration for me to live better everyday of my life. Thank you for sharing it with me.
Comment by: sophi
Fri., Jun. 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm EDT
I've realized while reading the interview,you're really mighty persons that you can continue living with this terrible,poignant feeling. To tell you the truth,there're a lot of healthy humans in the world but they can do nothing needful for others;to my mind,it's very significant for you to evade yourself from getting selfish cause it doesn't mind how many years a man lives or how he finishes his life,it's more important how he lives and how kind he've been to other people.Good luck ( :
Comment by: Shimon
Wed., Jun. 11, 2008 at 12:33 am EDT
The story of Alora Gale is very entertaining like a movie story i think. Your story make me think everybody has even several types of viruses, bacteria, and other parasites, in his/her body and HIV maybe just one of the viruses. I do not down play the fact that HIV is dangerous, but it is just a virus. For this reason people with HIV (millions of them, maybe 40 million by 2007) have other problems and needs, and they should be taken seriously and with love by the society.
Comment by: dashia
Fri., May. 30, 2008 at 12:52 pm EDT
in the story alora i want to ask a question what did her mom feel about having h.i.v. what did you feel?
Comment by: jean
Thu., May. 29, 2008 at 3:30 pm EDT
you are a very strong person and i wish everyone was like you. i was diagnosed with hiv two years ago and found it hard to imagine but now i think i am one of the lucky one because i had a choice of taking medication when someone didn't. i am a full time social worker but i have chosen to keep it to myself and i find it okay at the moment. with time i will tell my family and friends. but the negativity still stuck in their brains makes me shut up at the moment. i admire you and thank God for who you are. bless you
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