HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics - Introduction
We don't want to make light of what you're going through. Getting an HIV diagnosis may feel like the worst thing that has ever happened to you. Anger, fear, numbness, confusion, depression -- all are completely natural reactions to testing HIV positive. Allow yourself to feel the way you do. Don't be hard on yourself or think you have to be strong. You don't have to be anything. It is your life, your body and your health. Allow yourself to take time to decide what you want to do. Then go do it.
But pay attention to this: There is life after testing positive. One million Americans are now living with HIV, and approximately 18 percent of those newly diagnosed with HIV are Hispanic. In fact, although they may seem invisible, more than 80,000 HIV-positive Hispanic men and women are estimated to be living with HIV in the United States.
So, take a deep breath. No matter how alone you may feel right now, know that there is a big community of people out there ready to provide information, support, advice and many other resources. In this booklet, you'll meet some of these men and women. We hope they will help you fight the fear, ignorance and prejudice about HIV and HIV-positive people that unfortunately still exist. We hope you'll use this booklet to learn more about HIV -- and to discover some helpful steps you can take to live a full and happy life with HIV.