My (chosen) name is Sonia. I am 31 years old and discovered I am HIV+ less than a month ago. Still feels like a bad dream and I have been waiting for somebody to wake me up, but doesn't seem to happen. I bumped into this website while searching on the internet for "Life after finding out you are HIV". I am from India, and being a third world nation struggling for a place in the modern world, people are still are not 'modern' enough to accept HIV as a reality that can be a part of anybody's life, whether it's their fault or not. In fact my doctor, who is well aware of the social pressures of the community, has advised I keep this reality limited to my spouse and immediate family only. Hence the alias. I was, till a month ago living in the UAE and extremely happy. My husband had a great job and life was good. We have been married for just above 3 years and been trying for a baby for the last 2 years. A routine bloodtest, for my Visa extension, brought up my HIV positive status and I was asked to leave the country right away. Leave my home which I had built bit by bit. I am still not able to come to terms with the fact that I will never be seeing my beautiful home, full of precious memories, ever again. Around a year ago we found out that my husband was azoospermic, that meant I could never be pregnant with his child. After a lot of thinking, we decided to go ahead with the donor sperm method, without telling anybody. I had my first IUI in Feb 2010, and it was unsuccessful. I was looking forward to November, because we had planned to try again. little did we know that by the time October came to an end, our lives would have changed forever. I have never had a sexual relationship with anybody else except my husband, never done drugs, never undergone a blood transfusion. My husband is HIV negative, and I am not. The only possible answer to how I contracted this deadly virus is medical negligence. I have been inseminated with a HIV-infected donor sperm**. I have always been a person with very strong faith in God, and thankful for everything He has given me...I shall never lose faith, but right now I am angry, very angry at God. All we wanted was a baby, why did he have to do this to us! My husband is very supportive, and I talk to him a lot. Initially I kept breaking down, but I know that makes him weak too, so I have to be strong for him and myself. **FDA-registered sperm donor banks in the U.S. are required to screen sperm for HIV and other diseases. The Well Project recommends checking sperm donor banks for their screening requirements both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Sonia on why she wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: Since there are not too many people I can share my feelings with, I was happy to find a portal where I can discuss and share whatever my feelings are regarding my newly found status. There are so many questions and emotions in my heart and feedback from a 'circle of friends' will make a whole lot of difference to my life.
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Dear Sonia, My heart aches for you. I can understand your shock, depair and anger. This diagnosis completely shatters your faith in the medical community and in God. I hope you have moved to country more accepting of your status. When you do and please do, find a doctor who will help you become pregnant. They are out there and will help you. Children are born every day of HIV mothers and born without the disease. It's true! Know this as well, YOU ARE NOT THIS DISEASE. You are a unique and special soul who deserves the very best life can offer you. You will not die from this diagnosis and as long as you take good care of yourself, take the medication when the time comes, you can live a long and healthy life as a wife and as a mother. Believe that please. My prayers and yoga practices are for you now. bee2art
Dear bee2art, Thank you for your encouraging words. As days pass, I am feeling much better emotionally, than the first few weeks after the diagnosis. We have moved to India permanently and met up with doctors who have been very reassuring about how a healthy lifestyle can help me live a normal life as long as possible. I was very glad to know that you practice yoga. Yoga has always fascinated me and I have always been meaning to learn it. Now I have even more reason to do so. It has been my dream to be a mother someday and i am not willing to get discouraged by what has happened to let go of that dream. I am grateful for your prayers and look forward to hearing from you again.