I’m Alex and I’m from Zambia. I remember that day I tested positive. I felt like dying, I couldn't believe it. I felt like I had been hit by a train, my dreams shattered and that I was a disgrace to my family – the hardest pill to swallow.
I had no idea how to start telling my brother, it took me days to disclose my status to him. His reaction was supportive, but I could see it pained him, although I could tell that he didn't want to blame me. I haven't disclosed to my Aunty because I feel she may just collapse or something, she's the only person remaining as my guardian. I cried when I was alone, I thought of suicide. But then I thought about it, I thought of the pain I would put my family and friends through.
The day that I disclosed to my brother was through text message, because I didn't have the strength to face him. I'm living in fear now, if my friends know about it, I may be the story of the town… but at the same time, I started praying to God to give me the strength. Also, I try to find something to keep me busy so that I may stay focused.
My advice to anyone reading this story is that being HIV positive is not a death sentence. You can live a healthy, happy life compared to any other ‘normal’ person, and you can plan your future. Keep telling yourself that you still have that golden dream. Keep your dreams alive.
After an HIV diagnosis it’s common to worry about your future, or what your friends or family will think. Just remember that getting on treatment quickly will mean that you can get back on track with your life – like Alex said, keep your dreams alive! See our page on Newly Diagnosed with HIV for more info.
*These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes. Some names have been changed to protect identities.