March 22, 2016
The story I am about to share is a true story, just to let someone know that they are not alone, and I understand the emotion and the feeling we all go through. Yes, we may all have feelings and everyone’s feelings are different, but those who have been affected by the virus called HIV & AIDS can understand how someone else feels, because they have been through it themselves.
This story starts back in 2005, when I was rushed to the hospital in Las Vegas, NV, very sick with a high fever of 106. I knew I was sick, but how sick, I didn’t know until they admitted me into the hospital, with an IV in me, blood taking and a mask to help my breathing going in and out.
I remember waking up later. A nurse gave me a pill to take. I was still very weak. Then one day the doctor came in. I never expected to hear what doctor said: “Princess, you have a virus called HIV.”
I disagreed with the doctor, and told him he was wrong, for I been tested by my health department so many times, and it had always come back negative; I didn’t need to be tested if I was not having intercourse with someone. “Well,” I said to the doctor, “you tell me? I have the virus, well, how serious is it?”
He told me and it hit me like someone would hit you in the head with something very big and sharp. He told me he had to start me on medications and I could not be discharged until they found the right meds; and that my T-cells were low.
During that time, when I got the most SHOCKING news of my life, I was crying and asking God, “Why me? What did I do so wrong to be infected with this virus?” So many things went through my mind: Did the doctor make a mistake? or did the health department misjudge my labwork? So many questions that couldn’t be answered, but being a believer in Jesus, I knew there had to be a reason why.
Well they start medications. I got sick and couldn’t keep them down, until they found what they called a cocktail. After 21 days in Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, I was released.
I heard about HIV and AIDS through my cousin, who had been affected, but me? I never dreamed it would happen to me. Like the old saying, “It will never happen to me,”–Well, I got the biggest wake-up call that anyone ever could get.
So after 21 days, I was discharged from the hospital, started seeing another doctor and having blood work done. Then what happened? 3 weeks later, I went back in for another 14 days, did every thing doctor said to do, but with my immune system still weak, I was back in…but when they took my blood work, the virus was undetectable, though still in my blood.
Again, I asked myself why? But as time went by, I decided to learn all I could about the virus and how to help other from getting virus. I attended many hours of classes and got certificates, and got very seriously involved with different organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS. I’ve been on many boards in Nashville, Tennessee, and taking care of my cousin bring her T-cells up before she passed away from another virus. Today I am still living with HIV but undetectable, and by the grace of God I spread the word, and show others they are not alone.
God has taken me with this virus and used me to help others, and by his grace, I have been to the capitol in Nashville to talk to Congressman Mitchell about the virus. Today, I am extremely optimistic and dedicated to improving the quality of life and treatment for those with HIV. I hope to help eliminate HIV stigma and improve services offered to individuals with HIV by bringing organizations together, participating in research, providing education to individuals and organizations in the community.
I serve as member of several local committees throughout Ohio: the Ohio AIDS Coalition (OAC); the NEORGAG; Consumer Advocate Project; H.E.A.L Leader for Summit County, Ohio; Community Planning Group; and Positive’s Women Network – USA Ohio.
So as I look back, in time, I realized there was a reason and I excepted it. I am going forward to help those affected by HIV/AIDS and not let the virus get me down, but bring me up to where I belong. By the grace of God, he is doing just that.
I thank God that all the rest of my testing I have done is still undetectable, and for helping those to see that they are not alone, even though it still affects others in this world.
So I would like to share these few words with you:
“Don’t let HIV/AIDS get you down, but bring you up.”
“Tell someone you care and understand, and they are not alone.”
“Help friends get tested.”
“Most of all, never let this virus get to you. Say: ‘I am somebody.'”
“Together, we will overcome this and help someone else with the virus.”