Cynthia's Surviving Story

Submitted on Feb 13, 2023 by  Healing Hope

As part of a collaboration with our longtime partner organization Christie's Place, The Well Project will be sharing stories from their book "Healing Hope: A woven tapestry of strength and solace" as blog entries on our A Girl Like Me platform. The views and opinions expressed in this project are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of The Well Project.

by Cynthia Diaz
Audio Recording Transcription
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Illustration of woman holding notebook and using walker.

Hi! My name is Cynthia Diaz and I'm sharing my story because I want others to know that having HIV is not a death sentence. With treatment, you can live a long life. It's important for people to get tested for HIV early on so they can get treated right away.

So, my diagnosis is AIDS. When I was diagnosed in 2005, I believe I was already living with HIV for a long time. I didn't transmit my HIV with anybody because I didn't have sex with anyone else in the years that I didn't get tested.

I wasn't a person who frequently tested for HIV. I want women to know that it's important to do so. This way, you won't get an AIDS diagnosis. The person who told me about my diagnosis told me that if I hadn't gone to the clinic at the time I went, then I would have probably been in the hospital. I thought I was dying.

I had a cough that I couldn't get rid of. That's why I went to the clinic. I had a friend from church who was also sick, but he was able to get rid of his cough. He took some cough syrup and he got rid of his cough. I took some cough syrup, but I wasn't able to get rid of my cough!

So, I went to the clinic, and they tested me for HIV. They didn't even tell me that I was going to be tested for HIV, but somebody told me that I tested positive.

I just want women to know that if you test early, you won't get an AIDS diagnosis. You will get an HIV diagnosis, but it's better than getting an AIDS diagnosis. I also want women to know that there is protection. There are condoms and there are other ways to protect yourself so that you won't get HIV or AIDS.

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