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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.

Next full review: 
30 June 2019


"I’m happy with the love and support from my friends and family. There is always a life after an HIV-positive diagnosis."
"The day that I disclosed to my brother was through text message, because I didn't have the strength to face him.”
"I speak about it… it’s how I’ve managed all these years and lived a normal life”
"I gave up my bad habits and started having my family in my life more than ever before.”
"Do not be scared… You can live a healthy life if you adhere to your medication – I have never fallen sick since then.”
“The tester was so amazing… telling me he'd known people living with HIV for 25+ years. I latched on to those words.”
“I have learnt a lot about myself since my diagnosis and how I deal with things; I have become more headstrong.”
“I am still very quiet about my status to my friends. But otherwise, I don’t let my HIV affect me in any way. I am a normal teen."
“I still go in for my routine therapy every two months but that’s the only thing that has really changed in my life.”
“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.”
“I tested HIV positive in August 2012, when I wanted to join the Nigerian Army… I was dumbfounded.”

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Last updated:
15 February 2017
Next full review:
30 June 2019