Today we continue with one woman’s path to acceptance. This is part 2 of a 4-part series looking at one woman’s perspective on her HIV diagnosis. Check out PART 1 if you missed it!
When I first found out my status at the doctor’s office, my sister was with me. That same day I told my god sister. That same week, I told my pastors, and my co-pastor introduced me to one of the church counselors. That was the best thing I could have ever done, to tell my pastors, because they directed me in the right path – they gave me the strength that I needed. They gave me hope and they were my support system from day one. They let me know that HIV is not the end of the world.
My daughter is my pride and joy. She’s my jewel. I was able to tell her about my HIV status when I was getting ready to tell my congregation. I felt that before anyone else knew, she needed to know and I had to educate her about what was going on. I had to let her know that she might get teased and I wanted to prepare her for that. I don’t think she fully understood because she was only eleven, but I brought it down to her level.
Connecting with other positive women and making an impact:
After I disclosed to my congregation that I was HIV positive, I was introduced to a member of PEP club (a support group in Gainesville) by one of the church counselors and a week later, the support group, “Let’s Talk About It.” I felt that it was time to connect with other women who were positive. I needed to be around positive women who were living with the virus to find out how they handled it.
*This post was adapted from a message originally published in the “Let’s talk About It Magazine.”