Can you live normal life with HIV and how does it impact your everyday life? Even though there is a great medication for HIV, there is still a lot of stigma and wrong beliefs around it. We interviewed a person who has been living with HIV for years and asked her how is life with this chronic disease.
How is your life with HIV?
I have lived with HIV over ten years now and I have a normal life with a husband, kids and friends. Right now I have so much other things in my life than just HIV.
In the past what where your thoughts when you heard “HIV”?
I used to think that it is an infection that can kill you. I also thought you can have it only if you are a sex worker or if you are a man who has sex with multiple women. I was afraid that people think that I am a sex worker.
Have you encountered any discrimination due to being HIV positive?
My ex-husband bullied me about it. He kept telling me I will have a short life and said I am a sex worker since I got the virus.
Have you gotten any support for living with HIV?
Yes, I have a lot of supporting people around me, my family and medication. I have also got great support from Hivpoint. I’ve got friends from Hivpoint’s peer support group. Hivpoint’s adaptation training courses have given me strength and power.
What would you say to a person who has just found out they are HIV positive?
In the beginning it’s very hard to accept it and that is totally normal. Just remember that in the future everything will be fine! You will get support for living with HIV and there is a good medication for it. It is important to think of your own future.
What kind of experiences have you had with health professionals?
They have helped me to get the medication and support.
What do you want people to know about life with HIV?
HIV is not a death sentence! If you take your medication regularly, you can live a normal healthy life and you can’t transmit it to anyone.
Read more about living with HIV from Global information and education on HIV and AIDS.