My name is Ana de Oliveira and I'm already in my 40's. I'm a Portuguese/Cape Verdean woman living in the UK for over 15 years. I am a mother of four beautiful children (I will tell you more about my motherhood, there are some interesting facts...).
I work as an Associate Practitioner at a microbiology laboratory. I am a compassionate person and since a very young age I dreamt of becoming a nurse. I even studied Nursing at a masters level, however, life got in the way and I regretfully had to discontinue with my studies. But deep down I always knew that my fulfilment in life would only be achieved if I was caring for others, and being part of a positive change in someone's life. What I never expected was that in order to live my dream, I would need to "wear the same shoes" as those I would eventually come to help one day.
When I was diagnosed with HIV on January 3rd, 2019, I was devastated - not about the illness itself, but rather how I contracted HIV. I will never forget the day of my diagnosis and simultaneously how I was saved by motherhood. My first thought was my children... if something was to happen to me, how would they cope? Even knowing fully well that HIV is no longer a death sentence, I felt their pain of surviving without me, an unbearable pain. I was in a very dark place, but I came to slowly accept that I could not change what had happened to me. Instead, I could turn my painful story into a powerful one.
Why Ana Maria wants to be part of A Girl Like Me: I envisage a new outcome for this issue of dealing, talking about HIV, and everything in between, and to reach that outcome, I need to be part of the process. I can’t be quiet about something that can affect all of us and not prevent others from going through the same pain.
Oops, I almost forgot to mention...Yes, you can live a happy and healthy life after an HIV diagnosis.
Ana, we are so happy to have you join the A Girl Like Me family!! Can't wait to learn more from you and from your experiences. The community here at The Well Project is pretty awesome, and very much looking forward to you being a larger part of it!
Welcome to the community! It's lovely to have you!
Welcome! It's always amazing
Welcome! It's always amazing to see our community grow with new members. There our so many of us out there, many living silently with HIV. When we come together we all become a little stronger knowing "I'm not the only one"