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First-Person Stories From HIV-Positive People

Sheila: Ups and Downs of the Positive Life
Forty-three-year-old Sheila has been living with HIV for more than nine years. Though she's now open about her status, that openness comes with a challenge to those she discloses to: "Do you want to know who I am -- or just what I've got?"
The Positive Project

Since its founding in 2000, The Positive Project has collected more than 100 first-person stories told by people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. These stories are used to reduce stigma, raise awareness, promote prevention, encourage testing and enhance care.

To learn more about The Positive Project, click here or visit the official Web site to watch more videos. You can also listen to or read our interview with Dr. Tony Miles, co-founder of The Positive Project.



Sheila: Ups and Downs of the Positive Life
Forty-three-year-old Sheila has been living with HIV for more than nine years. Though she's now open about her status, that openness comes with a challenge to those she discloses to: "Do you want to know who I am -- or just what I've got?"

Horace: Learning to Adhere to Meds
Horace is 45 years old and lives in Chicago, Ill. He has been living with HIV for 15 years. He talks about his struggles learning to adhere to his HIV meds, and shares his take on the best way to tell others you have HIV. To contact him, click here.

Tyler: Living Openly With HIV
Tyler is a 24-year-old Ohio resident who was diagnosed with HIV less than four years ago. He believes that disclosing your HIV status can feel as liberating as coming out of the closet about being gay. To contact him, click here.

  
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This article was provided by The Positive Project.
 
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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Peter (San Diego, Ca) Sun., Jan. 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm EST
I would love to thank the body.com for giving me faith and for everyone who has shared their stories with us. I just found out a few months ago about my status and in thi website I have found strength and encouragement. I wish everyone who struggles with thi disease nothing but the best and WE CAN DO this! Much Love,
Peter
San Diego
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Comment by: Queen (South africa) Mon., Jun. 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm EDT
Was diagnosed with hiv in december 2009 after giving birth to my daugther. Opening up to famaly & friends helped me
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Comment by: rad (england) Mon., May. 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm EDT
Very helpful website im 19 and found out my partner has hiv, i havent gone to be tested yet so im not a 100 percent sure i have it so first thing in the morning. I was shocked when i first found out that i might have it, but after talking to close friends i figured that if i positive about being hiv+ you can still live a long happy life, they have treatment so really helps and you still have a normal life! so live it! only tell people that you trust enough becuase its personal not everyone needs to know. im going to stop smoking and start eating very healthy as you all know that helps to!

Thanks for lissening guys its very helpful to talk to you and i think your all great :) have a good life and live it to the max!
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Comment by: that guy (mars, milky way) Mon., Apr. 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm EDT
i am touched
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Comment by: Victor H. (San Diego CA) Mon., Mar. 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm EST
How'd you get throuth the first year..........
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Comment by: Rob (San Francisco) Tue., Mar. 2, 2010 at 11:53 am EST
What an awesome website. Hearing the stories of others living with HIV is such a positive reinforcement for myself and I am sure those that recently sero-convert. It's a tough road to travel but when I was diagnosed, my life wasn't over... I simply started a new chapter in my life. Today I am healthy, active, and on a regiment of meds that work well for me. I hope that others find the strength to overcome. I did!
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Comment by: joseph.S (Newark,NJ) Tue., Feb. 16, 2010 at 10:45 am EST
Sheila God bless you because you have to terms with being hiv positive,it is not,I repeat,it is not necessary to tell everyone you are hiv positive.You look fantastic,it,s only for the one you are sexualy involved with.
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Comment by: KEKE (PLAINFIELD,IL) Wed., Feb. 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm EST
I THINK THAT ATTITUDE YOU Have about the whole situation is great. Keep that positive attitude and live life.
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Comment by: Duba (Zambia) Fri., Feb. 5, 2010 at 4:07 am EST
I agree with Sheila that being HIV+ does have its ups and downs. I for one have experienced them but the encouraging thing is no matter what we go through in this life, we can be rest assured that God still loves us regardless of who doesn't love us. Stay strong Sheila God loves you and everyone else whose HIV+. God bless!
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Comment by: jc domingez (summerfield florida) Mon., Jan. 25, 2010 at 2:10 am EST
I wis the best to all people with hiv you peolpe deserve respect,and the good lord will give them hope and may be a cure is on the way hold on love you all god be with us
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Comment by: Beatitudes (Kampala) Fri., Jan. 22, 2010 at 4:25 am EST
Horace, I have been positive since 1997.The fear of stigma and siclosure is very vivid but a loving family and close friends (prayer partners) has been very instrumental in my success.I am happy,buoyant and most of all,strongly rooted in Christ.No man can help or answer your questions except the Son of the Living God, JESUS CHRIST.Seek ( you will find), knock (it will be opened to you)ask (it will be given to you).This is His promise. Look in the Bible John 3:3 and John 3:16:I bless God for I know He has good plans for you and me.
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Comment by: Majoy (Pretoria (SA)) Thu., Jan. 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm EST
Ihave a problem of buffalo necck/shoulder.What can I do to reduce this big growth ?
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Comment by: Javier G (Hollywood, Florida) Wed., Jan. 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm EST
Horace, I do believe that all people w/disease are put throu a screening test in life where we speak our confidenciality to others in a way to find our, stigma-tax-ation. We do not live in a perfect world but that world sooner or later gets cringe on our back and it seems it will remain attach to our back forever... any way- question yourself for medication adherance- Would you like feel good and enjoy the sweetness of life not charge on a bill prescribed on your name or not? Think how will you feel not eating for several days, would you like not enjoying a great meal even alone by yourself? Make life and life will grant you because God creates equals, for a good reason. Do not trust your instinct, we are not animals than can plan our future. See yourself in the future and get close to God, worship Him in the of His Holy son, Jesus and let Jehovah God take a great effect in your life, for everlasting life...Hope is not prescribe but for the believers... there is a great book, the Bible which is a letter to us to make contact to our inner selves and protect us from personnal harms but special for unbearable emotional pain. Look forward to be visited for a free Bible study to confort your soul and do not disclose your status to a refine stigmatizer-judges of this world, those who does not pay your bread nor your salary and that means anyone who behaves as killer whale in your surroundings/local dwellings. Have a wonderful and reachable faithful day for- Is God part of your life? That's all we need - His great support and trusting help, bye.
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Comment by: Juan (Spain) Fri., Jan. 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm EST
Thanx, 1000 times to all these brave people
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Comment by: PAULINE (SAN ANTONIO) Tue., Dec. 29, 2009 at 10:35 am EST
im 33 years old i been hiv p 4 15years i have alot of depression but i do have a loving family of cousins who love me to death n i thank god 4 them
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Comment by: Fernando (Chicago, IL) Thu., Dec. 3, 2009 at 1:45 pm EST
Empowerment, respect, dignity, tolerance for all people have to encourage to speak clear with the true about HIV/AIDS; please continue to fight for the legal rights for this community.
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Comment by: Olipha (Cape Town S.A) Thu., Dec. 3, 2009 at 9:49 am EST
Thank you for sharing I am really grateful for the Body for all the advise I am getting and the information.
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Comment by: ling wang (china) Wed., Nov. 25, 2009 at 8:26 pm EST
I think it is very very great, but my mother language is not English, so it is difficult for me to hear each word clearly. transcripts could be accompanied by the video? thanks for great support from thebody!
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Comment by: niky (houston tx ) Thu., Nov. 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm EST
it's hard to come out about this disease. i then face too much of hurt for years so i spread my feelings out online. i send shot out to hotline. i already know who i am. i then seem to many people share tear so i decide to live with it in heart. i wake one day when i'm ready
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