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Word on the Street

From Me to You: Tips on Dealing With an HIV/AIDS Diagnosis

HIV-Positive People Share Their Experiences and Offer Advice

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Loreen Willenberg

Loreen Willenberg, Sacramento, Calif., diagnosed in 1992

I would tell someone who just found out that he or she was infected with HIV: Don't forget to breathe.

Knowledge is power. Now we have the Internet. There's just an amazing volume of information out there, thanks to Web sites like TheBody.com. There's just so much great and accurate information that we can access, compared to what there was 15 years ago when I was diagnosed.

I'm a book reader, so I grabbed books off the shelves like crazy back in 1992. Also, I would say, maybe if their health is up to it and their psyche is up to it, not to be afraid to find out ways that they can become involved. Not necessarily always on the political level, because that can become overwhelming in itself, but seek out support. Use a hotline if you don't want to have your face out there. There's all kinds of things available. [Click here for a list of hotlines]

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