HIV-Positive Women Overwhelmingly Report Leading Healthier, More Self-Assured Lives Thanks to The Well Project

May 2, 2017 – The Body.com.

by Annamarya Scaccia

Bose Oladayo learned she was HIV positive more than a decade ago. Back then, Oladayo didn't know much about the disease, but the stories she heard painted a grim picture of her future.

Oladayo wanted to "cure" herself of HIV. So, the mother of three made a mixture of deadly chemicals, among them bleach, and injected it into her body, thinking it would kill the disease, Oladayo told TheBody.com via email.

"This happened so [many] years back when I had no access to information, and there was no one to share my story and experience with," she said.

Eventually, Oladayo found help. She started treatment and maintained good health. Then, in 2011 her life changed exponentially. In the fall of that year, an activist friend contacted Oladayo, who lives in Abuja, Nigeria, about meeting with The Well Project, a nonprofit HIV/AIDS advocacy organization focused on women and girls. The Well Project wanted Oladayo come to New York for a two-day Global Women's Task Force meeting. The Nigerian-born mother joined women from around the world to discuss, among other issues, how women from different regions access information about HIV.

Before that session, Oladayo had only shared her story about living with HIV on local and national media in Nigeria and led multiple support groups for people living with HIV. But, her time in New York opened her eyes and expanded her reach, she said; from that point she became an active contributor to The Well Project's A Girl Like Me program, through which she's been able to connect with people living with HIV around the globe.

"After that meeting, I came home a changed woman," said Oladayo, who serves as a Well Project global ambassador and community advisory board member. "I was greatly impacted by that experience." Continue reading on TheBody.com...

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