“I was at a foreign corrections center when I found out I was HIV positive. The corrections officer who was supposed to tell me did not do that, and instead, told every other person there aside from me. I noticed that people were avoiding me. There was a South African woman who approached me and told me the reason why everyone was avoiding me, “because you are HIV positive.” I asked her why she did not personally tell me, as I had a baby and I was breastfeeding. I was very angry, because my child was only one month old. I stopped breastfeeding my baby and started feeding her formula milk, although I knew it was too late.
After I left the corrections center I went to the United Nations, and asked if I could be taken to the hospital to have my baby and myself tested for HIV so we could have confirmation. It was confirmed that I was positive, and received the bad news that my baby was positive too. I was so angry, but the good thing is that the United Nations offered to pay for the medication for one of us since we did not have insurance. I chose to have my baby treated, and after nine months of treatment she tested negative for HIV. Her treatment was the best decision I ever made. As of today, my daughter remains negative for HIV. I am still positive, but I monitored myself until I was able to come to the USA where I began treatment. It wasn’t an easy road, and in the first two months I became very sick. My medication was changed from 3 tablets to only 1 daily, and since then I have been great. My blood count is high and now I am undetectable. I like to believe that I am negative (because of my improved health), even though my blood test will say otherwise, but I love to dream.
Thank you for guys like you, (Alder Health) who make our lives easier. It is good to know somewhere there is someone caring about us. Thanks so much, and may Almighty God bless the work of your hands.”