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Barbara's sweetness and shyness are genuine.  She loves easily and trusts completely.

It was a bittersweet moment in her life when, in 1986, her pregnancy was confirmed by the Colorado health clinic which tested her blood.

She was so pleased to be having a baby.

What the clinician told her next was unbelievable. Her blood test showed that she had been exposed to HIV.  This seemed inconceivable.  She and her boyfriend had been together for years and they were young.  

Barbara made some whirlwind decisions in the weeks that followed.  At the advice of her doctor, she aborted her baby. Heartbreaking.

At the advice of her friends, she broke up with her longtime boyfriend. Heartbreaking.


She came home alone to begin piecing together her life.  As hard as she tried, nothing congealed.  Ultimately, she landed back where she had started.  She went back to her boyfriend -- forgiving him was the right thing to do.  He had made a poor decision with a needle years before which they were both paying for.  But the love was there and they found completion at each other's side.

I wonder where Barbara is today.  She is genuinely missed by of the people who got to know her in that brief dark period of her diagnosis.  She carried joy and hope in spite of her burden.

As I understand it, Colorado has changed its policy on informed consent.


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