I used to think that life without heroin was no life at all. All my time was spent making sure I had money and dope. I wouldn?t go to bed without a wakeup [drugs for the morning]. Now, I can go to the symphony, or a revival of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I can go spend time at the Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park. Those things are really interesting to me, and now I can do them, because I?m sober and living a better life.
To me, living with HIV/AIDS is NOT a death sentence nor a curse. There is a stigma that our society has normalized that if one is HIV POSITIVE it because that individual hasn?t been behaving well or had many boyfriends or girlfriends, however that is a myth.
I have been HIV positive since 2007. Two months after I found out I was positive, I had my baby. He is now nine years old and is HIV free.
From Lev (Elena’s husband)-
I want to add a small message of my own personal gratitude to the people of HIVE and Ward 86.
3 years ago, while living in Moscow, Russia I was diagnosed with HIV. Today I live in San Francisco, my viral load is undetectable, my CD4 count is at a normal level, and 2 months ago I gave vaginal birth to my healthy, HIV-negative son.
It’s almost National Youth HIV Awareness Day. Last year I wrote something about it that was positive. This year I’m having a hard time being positive. Maybe it’s because I’m a teenage girl and because of puberty I’m really sensitive about everything. But I don’t think that’s all. I think as I get older certain things about me having HIV get harder.