How do I get through it all, a man that I thought the world of, a man that took me from the streets and helped me get on my feet with a job, a nice place to live, and practically gave me the world had also given me something that I must deal with for the rest of my life, and now I’m on my way to be Behind Prison Doors?
Through sharing my story, I want to reduce the stigma in our lives and show others that there is truly life after HIV diagnosis. I also want to teach others how to advocate for themselves when it comes to protection, stigma, and healthcare.
I’m in a position in life right now where I’m living poor. At the moment, my lights are off, I have no way to get back and forth to the doctor, I haven’t been on meds since I gave birth to my daughter in march 2016, and it’s hard to find work where I live.
Angela McGill is a woman living with HIV. She tells her story of discovering she had HIV and going on to have an HIV-free baby with the help of BAPAC (Bay Area Perinatal AIDS Center), now known as HIVE. Dr. Deb Cohan explains how it’s possible for women living with HIV to have natural births and not pass HIV on to their babies.
“I had a fear of being alone…The stigma was huge. I had more internal stigma than external stigma…I stayed out of relationships because I didn’t want to disclose.”