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Hopeful

I'd like to firstly how happy I was to find this website, I was just trying my luck but it really comforting to know that I'm honestly not as alone as I thought I was. It really is encouraging to read other peoples stories especially since I could relate to a lot of them. I like some of the other stories I have read was born with HIV. I told that I had HIV a month after my 18th birthday, a few weeks before I left home for university in the US. The news did not come as a shock to me. I had already started having my suspicions that something was wrong after what I thought was just another routine check.

My mother had been talking to Pediatrician in his office, when she came back into the room that I was waiting for her, it was clear just from her expression something was definitely not right. That day had marked the beginning of my HIV medication administration, as from that point on I was taking medication day in and day out which at the time I believed were just vitamins for my anemia that I would only have to take them for a while. After taking these medicines for almost 2 years with no real idea of when I would be able to stop taking them, my patience grew short and curiosity kicked in. I wanted to know what exactly these so called vitamins were doing for me that I had to take them so rigidly. So I googled my drugs, only to find out that they were HIV medication, when I read that my heart sunk. I couldn't believe it.

I remember thinking over and over again that there has to be some other explanation there's no way possible I'm HIV, after an hour and being part distracted by the pile of homework I convinced myself that they were just prescribed to treat something else. Unfortunately it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to put thought of me having AIDS out of my mind, so that night after having spent hours lying awake and unable to sleep and now crying, part pleading with God that I had anything other than HIV. I finally got out of bed and went upstairs to my parents room in the middle of the night to confront them about the drugs. When I asked my mother she denied it, saying that the medicine I was taking was HIV medication but that they were for my anemia and only that. This story worked just as well for me because it didn't confirm my biggest fear, the last thing I wanted to hear was that I have HIV.

For a long time I was seriously in denial, but the thought was always in the back of my mind especially when I heard people talk about anything that had to do with HIVAIDS. After some time I started to pick up on the signs; my parents were taking the same medication yet they didn't have anemia, my mom reaction to my brother's comment about Magic Johnson when were watching MJ's memorial when he said that Magic Johnson looked too healthy to have HIV and that the whole thing is a lie someone with AIDS can't live that long. The real wake up call came one day when I was studying in the room next to the TV room with the door open. I overheard a church service, which my mom was watching about praying for the healing of sick children especially those born with illnesses. As the pastor said if you have a child sick lay your hands on them now...my mom came storming into my room to pray for me and when I asked why she was praying, after having overheard the whole thing on TV, she told me for God to give you wisdom on your exams. And that was that I told myself its time to face facts.So when the day my parents had called me up to their room to tell me what I had already long suspected that I was indeed HIV positive.

My parents couldn't believe that I handled the situation so well the feared the worst, that I would be hysterical but I told them that I guess I always knew I just never really truly accepted. I was hoping I would be wrong. I was hoping that day would never come. It's been almost 9 months since then and 8 since I started living on my own. Learning to take my medication on time, dealing with getting prescriptions, getting health insurance and seeking medical specialty advice have been part of my uphill battle with something that I never asked to have. But I can honestly say that with time it gets easier and I can honestly say I often forget that I have HIV. I'm healthy as can be; my body, the medications and most of all I am fighting. Without a doubt I believe that the greatest thanks belong to my savior Jesus Christ for keeping me and I believe that he will continue to do so.

My heart's desires to become a doctor, fall in love and start a family will surely come to pass. HIV has been anything but a death sentence to me, if anything it woke me to sit up and take notice of this beautiful gift called life, that many don't have or lose so early. With that being said I urge you all living with HIVAIDS to continue to stay strong, healthy, positive and hopeful for the future because you can trust and believe that your life is in your hands, you are at the driving wheel. HIV does not control you life you do!