Welcome to A Girl Like Me!

So this is my first blog…ever.  I’ve been HIV+ for more than 21 years now and an advocate for women with HIV for 16…but I’ve never been a blogger.  Actually, I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter and a sister too.  Some days I’m a hiker or a volunteer – other days I’m a carpool driver and a soccer Mom.  But everyday, I live with HIV. When I was diagnosed in 1988, I didn’t know another woman in the world with HIV.  I was 19 years old.  Now, I’m 40 and the mother of two wonderful little girls – and both of these things seemed impossible (or at least unlikely) for a girl like me – a girl with HIV.

We decided to start “A Girl Like Me” blog because I often meet other women who don’t know another woman with HIV – and they certainly don’t know someone “like them”.  I, however, get to meet many great women out there living with HIV disease and I KNOW there are other girls like me.  An HIV diagnosis is a scary, painful thing – but we don’t have to be alone…in fact, we are not alone.  We all have stories, we all have lives, we all have dreams.  I have found a great deal of strength in the other women out there fighting the same fight I fight every day.  So we’ve created a space where “girls like us” can come and share their thoughts, their stories, and their lives, with other women living with HIV.  Please come here as often as you like and share the lives of other HIV+ women (even consider sharing your own!), and know you are part of a community of women who understand some of what you live with everyday.

Yours,

Dawn Averitt Bridge
Founder and Chair,
The Well Project

 

A Girl Like Me is a pilot program and is now looking for a few contributors to join our blog. For more information, please click here.

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Comments

venessa's picture

it fells so good to know the are people out there just like me who are,scared,alone and with no more to talk to,now i can share how scared i am and not fellso alone anymore.im 23 yrs old,i live in south africa and i have a 2 yr old daugther who i love to bits.im dating but to scared to disclose my status,fear of being rejected.i don't want to die alone with no one to care for me.im so lost right now.

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tatty2gud's picture

Hey Vannesa, You definately are a girl like me. I have stopped dating coz of the reaction i get every time I disclose. I was constantly on antidepresants (before I discovered Yoga) because I struggled, and still struggle to understand why me. please e-mail me on tatty2gud@gmail.com so we can continue comunicating.

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celina5000's picture

Dear Venessa, My heart goes out to you this morning. I live in the Canadian prairies where it's 20 degrees below 0 and you live on a continent with a completely different climate yet, we share so much in having this virus that knows no boundaries.

You won't be alone when you die, and some days are harder to get through than others.Sounds like you have a beautiful baby to care for and she needs you very much. Live for this day. Tomorrow isn't here yet. I hope you write back, because you're not alone and it's ok to have low days. COURAGE Gisele

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Catherine's picture

l appricate this site and l will love to be a part of it, so that l will be strong when l know that am not alone in this fight, by reading other girls like me's stories about thier HIV status. thanks for vbeen there for me.

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Catherine's picture

l appricate this site and l will love to be a part of it, so that l will be strong when l know that am not alone in this fight, by reading other girls like me's stories about thier HIV status. thanks for been there for me. Am a 27 yrs old girl from Nigeria, still single am praying to God everyday that l want to get married someday but l don't know if he will ever answer my prayers.

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Busi's picture

Hi Catherine.
I think we share same sentiment. I am living with HIV for 9 years now. I was dignosed HIV+ afer a rape few days afeter
my 23rd birthday. It came as shock to me, and I wanted to die. I am single and have no child. I am praying to get married one day. I am currently dating a HIV- guy. It is not easy and today I got my cd4 results and re 203. I am so scared and feel lonely. Thanks for sharing you stury gal.

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Lydia Rwechungura's picture

Dear Dawn,

I am a lady living with HIV for 10 years now with a very bad experience of being stigmatized with my husband who closed me in house for fear that people outside dont recognize he has a wife who is full of wounds and known to be HIV positive. I had to run from ma own marrige I and ma daughter who is born HIV positive but doing very well now. God is soooo good that I had an open affair with a man who was HIV negative and gave me twins who are HIV negative through family planning and PMTCT.I can hardly imagine ' a girl like me ' going through fire and still come out without burning but healing inside wounds being shared like this gives more hope for living.

I wonder how and what made you survive for all those 20 years?! I would like to live that long too and even more but it seems we girls out here differ with our living positively. Can you kindly share your living with HIV that we get to survive more out here. I am very happy for the efforts you have made to introduce this blog. Big up sisters.

Lydia from Tanzania

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Hasinatu Camara's picture

Keep thinking and moving positive Linda, I have heard of many women that live long useful lives with HIV. Stay encouraged. Feel blessed for everyday and grateful that you can watch your children grow. Do not let the disease define U. Stay encouraged!

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Ghaji's picture

I think women in the developing world find it hard to take care of themselves or even to know exactly what to do in this situation. I think women in the West should give us advice especially in terms of positive living and medications. It is so difficult for women in Africa most especially since the stigma is more intense there. African women with hiv should come out more in this sort of forum and speak there minds and ask questions.

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netta's picture

I was just feeling so depressed , because I have not talked to any hiv+ women in a while. I feel so all alone. I am a member of another site, but sometimes there is no response, i guess people are busy. After reading your blog, I feel better and happy I found this place, I have been poz since the late 80's ,about 1986, when my fiance got ill and died shortly after. I didn't know aids existed. he was an ex- iv drug user. i went into denial, when I was told he died, we had broken up over his "mysterious illness". lots more to write, but for now thanks.

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nichole's picture

hi, am a nigerian, living with the virus, am really happy for this blog, it gives me hope, i really need someone to talk to. can mail me @ nicholejimmy@ymail.com

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SAMI's picture

Hi Ladies

I'm HIV neetive but i took my mom to test with me yesterday and she tested POSITIVE.this is such a shock to her and i need to support her and get as much information for her.she is 60 years old and has lost a lot of weight.my heart is breaking for her but i know that she can still live a positive and healthy life and i intend to help her as much as i can.south africa has come a long way in the fight agaists HIV/AIDS.but i think there's a misguided notion that only young people contract this virus and this is not true.i would like to find a support group that is age appropiate for my mother.keep up the strength and remeber,God loves you,he will never leave nor forsake you.that's his promise to all of us.

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Thomascine Camara's picture

I wish to encourage your mom to stay positive, for I am a sixty six year old woman that is also HIV positive. I was diagnosed about four years ago. It is a difficult thing to deal with, but we must. I know women that have lived with this disease for over twenty years. She must get a medication regiment. I try to keep busy and create positive situations in my life. I lost a lot of weigh at first, but now I am trying to lose some and exercise daily. I know the diagnosis can be devastating, but we must keep our e=heads up, it is better to know than not to know. I have only shared my status with one close friend, my husband, who is not HIV positive, but is quite supportive. I need to find a support group, perhaps this would be good for your mom as well. I will be going to a psychiatric support group today. For I a seeking to communicate with people that find life challenging. Tell mom to try and keep positive words and thoughts and prayers in her daily walk.
Thank you for allowing me to share

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Nandipha Madolo's picture

I am happy when you say you will support her and tell your mom its not the end of the road , she must take the diseases as a life changing condition. with positive thinking and aligned herself with all the postive Aura she will be ok ,and she must read as much as she can about the pandemic ,i am postive for the past 17 years am still strong my CD4 count is 1 450 actually its undectetable and my 13 year old's CD4 count is 950 . That shows if she tells herself seh want to live she can make all those positive life changes . and with your support and teh close family or friends

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S.C.'s picture

Hello,
I am currently a researcher assistant at a university that studies HIV. I am learning about HIV and what it means in a laboratory perspective, but also on a human level. I am not HIV+, but I read your stories and my heart aches. Because of you, I am inspired and motivated everyday to do the best I can, so that someday, there will be help for all of you and those you love.

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DARAMOLA TOSIN's picture

Oh! what a relive, i'm happy there are people like me out there who are living positively.
I'm a 26yr old single mother of a lovely 2yr old boy, live in Nigeria and tested HIV+ 4yrs ago. Though it wasn't easy but yet I never for once loose hope, because I know that my been HIV+ is never my end of life but A NEW BEGINNING OF A GREAT CHAPTER IN MY LIFE.
So lets join hands to help other women out there who are scaring about there HIV statues. e-mail me on bobbieson@yahoo.com.
LOVE YOU ALL.

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celina5000's picture

Hello, it's 8am here in Canada, and I'm so excited to read about my sisters from all over the world who have HIV, who have families and unfortunately share the same fears of the unknown futures in our lives.

I have 3 adult children, my husband died of AIDS over 20 years ago. I've had HIV for 27 years. I don't know why I've survived this long, but I am grateful that I have been able to raise my children. And now, well, I guess God has other plans for me, and dying isn't one of them yet. I write a lot, poetry mainly and I love to read quotations from writers and thinkers from centuries ago, because their words still carry meaning in our present time.

VOLTAIRE was a french writer in the 16th or 17th century, and he said:

The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their
power to harm us.

So keep thinking positively and know there;s always someone here for you. Peace and courage. Gisele

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Nandipha Madolo's picture

All these coments or short stories from these Phenominal women are really moving as a HIV positive mother of two myself the journey was not easy but as of date am HIV positive for the apst 17 years ,as of now I write news letter motivate other women , becaue I am a South African woman in Cape towm who was absued in a marraige but I chose to be pro active about it i learned a lot from themn mentors I had , tahst i why it is my mession to empower other women

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Ale's picture

hi, am a 37 year old living +ve with 2 daughters 10 and 7 and an 18 yr old step daughter. Both my husband and me are +ve. Luckily, my daughters are -ve. I have lived with the virus since 1995. The most challenge in our family is that because of knowing the status we have engaged in so many investments like building houses for our kids with the idea that when we die our children should never suffer. This is bringing in a lot of stress to the whole family becasue it is getting out of hand. Because apart from the HIV status, on top is the financial stress. Pls help me. Otherwise both of us are on ARVs and are doing great. Pls advise my good friends. Am a Malawian and have never heard of any blogs like this one.

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Ale's picture

Can somebody please help me on one of the side efects of these drugs which is loosing fat from legs and buttocks. I stopped wearing skirts all i wear are trousers only to avoid stigma since my legs are very small to be shown in public. What should I do. I have switched drugs right now but it seems the damage was already done, there is no improvement at all. Am worried.

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