HIVhomegirl tested HIV-positive when she was 19 years old. She didn't know she had it from birth until she became sick and a doctor suggested she get tested. This is her story.
I had been stuck at the hospital and then at home long enough. I wanted to go back to university. I was alive. I was better… but not entirely well. Still I wanted to start my life again.
I decided to leave my hometown and go study in another town. This was a decision that proved harder than I could have imagined.
Having no friends and family around was both a blessing and a curse. I was grateful to not have people fussing over me, but on the other hand I felt incredibly alone - I had no one to talk to. No one I could share this with.
I'd been accepted to study dance and choreography, but that was shot down after my very first dance lesson.
I fell sick again, this time with pneumonia. I was devastated. I thought I had been doing everything right. I was eating well, taking my medication and living a healthy life. But I had skipped some ARVs and the doctor told me that was a problem.
He told me that ARVs reduce the amount of HIV in my blood, but it will always be there. It was as if skipping a dose gives the virus an opening to HIV to surge again.
The doctor told me no dancing for six weeks. Given how tight the dance schedule is I was advised to stop dancing completely and maybe try again the following year. Unwilling to waste a year, I took up a few humanities courses to ensure I stayed in university, even though I was sick again. These weeks were very difficult. I had tried so hard to hide the fact I was HIV+ but I knew the news had spread.
I was no longer the girl with hips and curves. I was labelled: "Hi, I'm positive" and everyone could tell. At least that's what I thought.
Last year HIVhomegirl looked healthy and fit, but she still had HIV. Nobody can tell if you are HIV positive and you may not even know yourself.*
Can HIVhomegirl share her status with her new friends? Find out in her next blog.
To find out how HIVhomegirl got to this point click on the link below to start her story from the beginning ...