START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,470,434 people care about Health Policy

HIV & Me: Growing Up with a Secret

  • 2 of 2

There are a lot of myths out there about HIV. One is that any kind of physical contact with someone who has HIV or AIDS will cause you to be infected. Another one is that only gay people can get HIV. For anyone who believes this or any others like it, let me tell you now that a lot of them are not true. There are a few different ways to get it. A lot of people get it by having unprotected sex with someone who already has the virus. It can also be caught by using a needle that was used by someone who already has the virus. Children who are born to a mother who has it or are being breast-fed by someone who has it will also get the virus.

I havenít known for all that long about this and there arenít many people I really trust, so I havenít told anyone about my HIV. The only people who know are my family, my doctors, and people at Camp Kindle. Thatís why Iím writing this article under a pseudonym. Since only a few people know about it, Iíve never had to personally deal with discrimination, however, Iíve heard stories of people discriminating against other people with the virus. An example of this is when a school in Pennsylvania denied admission to a kid because he was HIV positive.

At this point, I bet youíre wondering what the point of this article is. The point is that there are many myths out there about HIV and AIDS and there are a lot of people who believe them, so Iím hoping that by reading my story you realize that not everything that people say about them is the real and whole truth.

For me, being HIV positive hasnít been all that bad. I really havenít had it all that hard since it isnít public information and Iíve only had one major health issue that this virus has made worse than it should have been. I do know of people who have had a tough life because of HIV or AIDS, whether itís because of discrimination, or because of health complications that were made worse by the virus.

Studies have shown that the percentage of women in South Africa who pass on the virus to their children has gone down. This is because for the past couple years, South Africans have been investing in ways to fight HIV and AIDS. In fact, 95 percent of the women there are now getting the antiretroviral treatment they need to protect their children. Also, the number of new infections that occurred between 2001 and 2009 dropped by 22 percent. It seems like things in South Africa, as far as preventing HIV and AIDS go, are improving. Unfortunately, the same canít be said for women here in America.

According to a team of US AIDS experts, the yearly number of new HIV cases among black women in Baltimore and some other major US cities is five times higher than originally thought. As a matter of fact, a recent study has shown that the HIV rate among black women in some cities here in the US is as bad as some countries in Africa. Itís unfortunate and sad that HIV is as bad as it is here in America, especially since weíve always been the more developed country. I also feel sad for the children out there who will have the virus and will have to deal with the problems that come with it.

I am one of the 1.1 million people infected with HIV in the US, and one of Fresno Countyís 1,908 total reported cases of HIV. As of March 2011, adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 years in Fresno County accounted for nearly 20 percent of all HIV cases in the county. Iím one of those adolescents. In 2010, Fresnoís only AIDS clinic closed due to lack of funding. HIV among teens in Fresno canít be ignored, but according to a recent NPR poll, young people donít think having HIV is a big deal. HIV shouldnít be taken lightly, but people should also be careful about spreading harmful stereotypes about the virus.

*In order to protect his privacy the author is using a pseudonym.

This post was originally published by New America Media.

 

Related Stories:

Pope Says It’s OK To Use Condoms To Reduce Risk of HIV/AIDS, Even Outside of Marriage

When It Comes To Fighting AIDS, Mother Knows Best

Clinton Pledges New US Funds For “AIDS Free Generation”

 

  • 2 of 2

Read more: , ,

Photo from New America Media

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

10 comments

+ add your own
12:14AM PDT on Sep 19, 2012

Beautiful article, thank you so much.

12:56AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Thanks for the share!

12:22PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

How brave!
Few 13 year-olds have to hide such a heavy burden.

9:07AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Thank you for this post, no one, espically espically not kids, should be discriminated against because of HIV/

8:04AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

The bigger secret could be that there is no such thing as the HIV virus. There is a lot of research and information that points to the fact that there is no HIV virus. Research the material and form your own opinion. From what I have read I have serious questions about the validity of HIV. Unfortunately profits rather than truth is the main focus of scientific pursuits. Hopefully this will change soon.

6:00AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Thank you for the article...

5:35AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Thanks for taking the time to write this article. Great article. Educating people is the only way to take the stigmatism out of the equation. Kudos to you for stepping up and speaking out.

7:56PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

The emotional impact of discovering that you have HIV / AIDS can outweigh the physical health issues one has to deal with. Go to HIVMatching,com to find support and other people with HIV / AIDS in your area!

4:51PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

YOUNG MAN YOU ARE A DARLING I WOULD LOVE TO MEET YOU, I AM AN OLD AIDS ACTIVIST FROM THE LATE 80'S AND I UNDERSTAND YOUR STATE AND I ADMIRE YOUR COURAGE. KEEP STANDING. AND I AM GLAD TO KNOW ABOUT THE CAMP FOR KIDS. GOD BLESS YOU.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

What we see in others is a reflection of our hidden guilt that needs forgiveness and when we have completed…

I believe that the homeless are harassed for many reasons, not just pot smoking. STEVE N. It is surprising…

meet our writers

Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.