When I Learned I Had HIV, I Told Myself Life Has to Go On

Part of the Series Day One With HIV

When I Learned I Had HIV, I Told Myself Life Has to Go On

I had to go to see a doctor because I had herpes zoster below my breasts. All was well except the herpes. The doc told me not to test for HIV on that particular day since it was a festive season. I told him, "I am not a child anymore. I wanted the truth!"

After we agreed about testing, he told me to go for counseling. I refused and told him that I am fine and have counseled myself! He then drew some drops of blood from my finger and put it on the small rapid testing device. He told me that if it I see two lines appearing, I am HIV positive and that if it was just one line, I am negative. We watched the device together and there appeared two lines.

I couldn't believe it. I was like, "No, it can't be true!" But soon I remembered that I took care of someone whom I suspected after her death that she might have been positive. I started the car and went straight to my husband's work place. I told him instantly. It was my second child's fifth birthday on that very same day.

To tell the truth, I was frustrated! But it only took me an hour or less of serious frustration. I told myself that life has to go on!

My husband and I didn't sleep well that day. We tossed and twisted on the bed and before we knew it, it was the next day. That was on December 21st, 2002. At that time I had two kids -- a boy aged 9 and a girl aged 5. Today I am a mother of another beautiful girl, four months old, thanks to ARVs.

I would like to encourage all HIV-positive people around the globe to adhere to their medication! It works. When I tell people my status, they say I am lying!

Want to share your own "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 editor@thebody.com. In the coming months, we'll be posting readers' "Day One" stories here in our HIV/AIDS Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed. Read other stories in this series.