My name is Mandy Webb and I was diagnosed HIV Positive back in 2002 after a long, long time of illness and looking back…wondering why the hell I wasn't tested earlier???
I ended up being admitted to hospital in apparently the 3rd stage of HIV so it was touch and go that I would survive!!! Luckily, I did survive…against the odds and had to start setting goals for myself to achieve. I had to learn to walk again which was, and still is, a huge hurdle…I walk, but it is painful and I have had many falls, as I think that because of the long time going undiagnosed (probably over 10 years) that the HIV has damaged my brain and spinal cord.
I managed to study a Fine Art Degree and won The Graduate of The Year Award for my degree show which was a gallery space filled with pieces based on my status. I got my first solo show at a local art space in Portsmouth and have had three since there.
Even though this whole experience at times has been pretty scary, it has also been very empowering for me.
Why Mandy wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: I think I have a lot to offer to others with some of my daily experiences and how I deal with them…usually by creating art and a great sense of humour.