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6 Women With HIV Share How Their Diagnoses Affect Their Lives

To this present day, Brianna*, a 25-year-old former heroin addict, is not positive precisely how or when she acquired HIV. “I spent many years in a drunk or stoned haze and I did a lot of stuff I can’t remember,” she says. “Sometime during my late teens or early twenties, I got HIV, most likely from sharing needles, but it could have been from unprotected sex. That’s been one of the hardest things for me about this, is not even knowing how I got it. Or if I gave it to someone else without knowing.” After years of dwelling on the streets, she acquired clear throughout her third try at rehab. Part of her remedy concerned getting her HIV beneath management, which concerned taking medicine to scale back her viral load, lessening her signs and making her much less contagious.

“When they first told me, I thought it was a death sentence, but now I see it really isn’t,” she says. “The heroin is more likely to kill me [if I use again] than the HIV.” This is why she says sustaining her sobriety is crucial factor she will do for her health. She’s been clear for over two years, has a gentle job, is attending remedy, and resides together with her mother and father. Fortunately her drugs are coated underneath their health insurance coverage. Dating, nevertheless, is off the desk for now. “I’m not ready to deal with what my HIV would look like in a relationship,” she says. “It’s hard enough dealing with my own feelings, I can’t handle anyone else’s. I’m going to be single, maybe forever, or maybe not, but that’s my choice.”

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