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Esther – I learnt to accept myself

Colour portait of a young woman standing in front of a white wall
Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

I went for an HIV test and my results came back positive. I had mixed emotions immediately, I honestly didn't know how to feel or think. Most of all I was scared.

I didn't know what I was going to tell my family. I came back from the clinic and as soon as I got to my room I already had tears running down my face, I just couldn't help it anymore. I cried myself to sleep almost every day. I even one day tried to commit suicide. But my family talked some sense into my head. It wasn't easy but I tried and accepted myself. Even today it still hurts but I am going strong no matter what.

Esther’s family helped her find strength when she was struggling to come to terms with her HIV diagnosis. Talking to someone you trust can help you process your thoughts and emotions after an HIV diagnosis, and your friends and family can be a good source of support. If you're finding it hard to cope, or are thinking of suicide or self-harm, you need to speak to someone. If don't feel ready to talk to your family or friends, there are other ways of getting support. Contact your local health clinic or look online, often there are anonymous helplines you can call. Don't struggle alone. For more advice, see our newly diagnosed page.

Personal Stories Disclaimer: 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.

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Last updated: 22 February 2021