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Living with HIV personal stories

Learning that you are HIV-positive can be one of the most difficult experiences you go through in life. You may feel scared, sad or even angry – this is OK, and a completely natural part of coping with something that can be life changing.

But remember, HIV doesn’t have to stop you living a long, happy and fulfilling life. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to live as long as the average person.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be living with HIV. Ultimately, everyone’s lives are different – how you cope with your diagnosis and how you move forward will be unique.

Read these stories about some people’s experiences of being diagnosed with and living with HIV.

If you have your own story you'd like to share, send it to [email protected]. If you'd like it to be anonymous, leave it in the comments box below.

A picture of a man looking pensive.
“I have learnt a lot about myself since my diagnosis and how I deal with things; I have become more headstrong.”
A picture of a smiling muscley man at sunset
“My point to this is find some sort of positive support from the time you find out until the time you can rely on yourself.”
Smiling man of African origin
“I tested HIV positive in August 2012, when I wanted to join the Nigerian Army… I was dumbfounded.”
Picture of a smiling mum and baby
“The tester was so amazing… telling me he'd known people living with HIV for 25+ years. I latched on to those words.”
A picture of a smiling young girl
“I am still very quiet about my status to my friends. But otherwise, I don’t let my HIV affect me in any way."
A picture of a young woman by a lake
“If I wouldn't have become pregnant right when I did and found out I was positive ... I would be dead by next year.”

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