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Personal Stories From People Newly Diagnosed With HIV

Featured Videos on Finding Out You're HIV Positive | Day One With HIV Series | More Personal Stories

Featured Videos on Finding Out You're HIV Positive
Four faces

Newly Diagnosed With HIV: Memo to Me

We asked people living with HIV: If you could give advice to your newly diagnosed self, what would you say?

Nelson Vergel

Starting Your Journey With HIV
By Nelson Vergel

Finding out that one is HIV positive is an overwhelming and scary experience. Unless you know empowered HIV-positive people who can help you navigate the next steps to gain control of HIV can be a daunting experience. Longtime HIV survivor and wellness expert Nelson Vergel outlines the most important things for you to know in an easy-to-understand video (available in English and Spanish).

Aaron Laxton

My HIV Journey: 13 Months of Videos Following My Diagnosis
By Aaron Laxton

"I am simply a guy who on June 6, 2011, received the news that more than 33 million people have received: I am HIV positive. I decided in that moment to record the journey that I was embarking on so that I might help others as they receive that news. I'm not a doctor and I don't endorse any agenda other than simply living a healthy life."

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton Shares Tips for Beginning to Live With HIV
Interview by Kellee Terrell

Renowned speaker, blogger and advocate Rae Lewis-Thornton has been living with HIV/AIDS for more than 25 years -- and she's learned a lot about survival along the way. In this video, Rae shares wisdom from a long life with HIV/AIDS, especially for those who've just found out they're HIV positive.

Mark S. King

Two Minutes of Advice on Testing HIV Positive
By Mark S. King

"Of course, I had to create a video in my own peculiar way -- something that demonstrates the sense of humor that has served me well over the course of 30 years living with HIV. Maybe my video will help someone you know."

Day One With HIV Series

How did you get through it? Want to share your Day One With HIV story of finding out your diagnosis? Write out your story (1,000 words or fewer, please!), or film a YouTube video, and email it to In the coming months, we'll be posting readers' Day One stories here in our HIV/AIDS Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed.

Gina Brown

"I Was Given What I Thought Was a Death Sentence"
By Gina Marie Brown

"It was devastating, embarrassing, and heartbreaking. I'd finally gotten my life on track. I was so afraid of dying AND of having anyone find out my HIV status. I told my mother, sisters, and my children's father ... and no one else. I was also afraid because I was pregnant at this time."

Erin Gingrich

"I Had Never Actually Met Anyone Who Was Positive"
By Erin Gingrich

"I remember it so vividly. I was in an in-patient drug treatment facility, 21 days sober and angry at everyone. When I got the news that my HIV test was confirmed positive, I thought I was receiving my death sentence."

Gregory Fowler

"Perhaps It Was Time to Give Up"
By Gregory Fowler

"I turned 30 years old. It's suppose to be one of those traumatic experiences, right? ... Was there anyone who could understand -- when you get to the point that you feel you whole life had ended ... and the mere fact of turning 30 is the least important thing you can think of."

Patrick Ingram

"A Shadow Came Over My Head" (Videos)
By Patrick Ingram

"Getting the news was the worst news so far in my then 22 years living on this earth ... The second-worst moment was having to call my partner."

See all the stories in the Day One With HIV series

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