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Barbara

"In 1988, while working as a machinist, I became too tired and depressed to continue. Shortly after, I took a new job at Analogic. The American Red Cross called after I donated blood at a drive they held at this new job site. They informed me that they had found something regarding my blood. I didn't call them back. They called me again and by telephone informed me that my blood work showed that I was HIV+."
  "I was tested by my doctor who confirmed that I had HIV. I was a fifty two year old woman with AIDS! I must have been exposed to HIV during a brief dating relationship I had had with a man after my husband and I had separated. Feeling as I did about HIV and AIDS I lied to my co-workers, telling them I had leukemia. I confided in the head of personnel, the company nurse, and my supervisor. They were tremendously supportive. I started to attend a support group in my area."
 

"I went on short term disability after six months. A work associate invited me to come to the company Christmas party. All of my co-workers gave me a huge poinsettia and a card signed by over 275 people. All my fears had been unfounded!"

"Basically, I need to be loved by my children. What they didn't know about were the changes I feel in my body, my loss of weight and that I feel as if I am slowly wasting away. Now I am able to tell them these things and not be ashamed about living with AIDS. My confidence helps them to understand my original reasons for feeling ill."

"I hope to be here for another couple of years - maybe ten!"


To some of Barbara's thoughts for the children

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