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Personal Perspective

Living With "The Monster"

Winter 2008/2009

So the first question I asked was, "Are we going to die like those people on TV?" She said, "No, there's medicine out there that will take care of us. But this is something that will stay with you forever, until they find a cure." So I said, "OK," and acted like nothing happened.

The next day I went to school and told my teacher, "Hey, I got HIV." She made a funny face at me and put me in the corner of the classroom and told all the other kids, "Don't talk to Raven. She is a bad girl." I started to cry. Every time I had to use the bathroom she would call another teacher into the classroom to take me. I never used to go on any class trips, because I had HIV. My mother always asked me, "Raven, why can't you go on any class trips?" I told her that I told my teacher I was HIV positive, and I told her what she did to me. My mother said, "Raven, your teacher is being mean to you." So she went up to the school and spoke to the principal. He told her, "If you guys were not so open about your status maybe she would not be treated like this." So my mom took me out of that school.

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See Also
Read More Articles in the Winter 2008/2009 Issue of Achieve
More Inspiring Stories of Young People With HIV/AIDS

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Inspiration in need (New York ) Wed., Feb. 16, 2011 at 4:47 am EST
THANK YOU! For being brave enough to share your story . & educating people on this particular STD.
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Comment by: Eida (Miami) Mon., May. 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm EDT
Raven, I got your back too! Love and blessings!
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Comment by: Carmen (Atlanta,GA) Tue., Nov. 17, 2009 at 10:34 am EST
WOW GURL YOU'RE SUCH A BRAVE WOMAN DON'T LET ANY ONE GET YOU DOWN. IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT THAT YOU WAS BORN WITH HIV. SO REALLY THERE ARE MANY IGNORANT PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT HIV REALLY IS. ALL THEY KNOW IS THAT IT IS BAD AND IT IS A DEATHFUL DISEASE.. BUT YOU KNOW JUST KEEP ON DOING YOUR THING MAMA AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!♥
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Comment by: Tonya (New Jersey) Tue., Oct. 20, 2009 at 2:28 am EDT
You're a "phenomal woman". You are a hero so brave. And so many people admire you. If you could live with hiv and smile and say I can still enjoy my life, there's no reason why anyone else can't. I'm in tears. You're amazing!!
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Comment by: Ruhee Manji (Tanzania) Mon., Jun. 1, 2009 at 2:53 pm EDT
This a lovely story!!!
it is so nice to know that there are people who can fight for their right. U should always have a positive look at everything!!
that's the spirt of life!! Keep it going, Raven, you will make people realize what they really are and what they can be!!!
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Comment by: Mon., May. 18, 2009 at 11:34 am EDT
We are the students from I.S. 298 in Brooklyn, NY. We were inspired by your story, and learned a lot. The boys think that you look really good, and the girls think that you should keep your head up. We would love for you to visit our school so that we can show you love.
-MRS. WARREN / CLASS 702
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Comment by: thama (south africa) Thu., Apr. 16, 2009 at 8:11 am EDT
You are hot girl

i was diagnosed to be HIV+ on the 2nd of march 2009. i didn't know what to do. but when i read your story it motivated me and i feel like i can also tell my parent that hiv is living with me. I am so happy that there are some people who are living with hiv and still focusing on their career. When i was diagnosed i started to eat too much and gain weight. but know i feel that i have to maintain my beauty look as a lady.
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Comment by: Kia Thu., Mar. 19, 2009 at 11:12 am EDT
You're a very strong, beautiful young woman. Keep your head up and continue to stay strong.
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Comment by: diamond (bronx) Tue., Mar. 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm EDT
loveyou and u will allways be in my heart
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Comment by: k Fri., Mar. 13, 2009 at 8:10 am EDT
i really admire you courage, keep up the good fight and God will always protect you
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Comment by: Tracy Brooks (Winchester,Ca) Fri., Mar. 13, 2009 at 12:58 am EDT
That is a wonderfull story of a beautiful young lady meeting lifes challenges head on inspite of all the ignorant people around her students and teachers alike. Keep it moving Raven, you are an inspiration!
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