When You See Me, Do You See HIV?

Submitted on Jun 12, 2023 by  jennblake86


A Girl Like Me blogger, Jenn, and her daughter.

After being diagnosed at 19 years old, I didn't know or understand what HIV was. I just knew it was something I would have to deal with for the rest of my life. What does that mean? What does HIV look like? Am I a label now? These were all the thoughts that ran through my mind.

I had no support or advocates to help process what life was going to look like for me. I was also pregnant with my first child, so double hit. First time mom diagnosed at the early age of 19. That was me. I couldn't get past my diagnosis. I remembered asking my doctor if I was going to die. I was so confused and lost all while having to figure out how to get on treatment and protect my unborn child. When you see me, do you see HIV? Those were my thoughts.

Now at 36, I have finally accepted myself and my status. It's important that we accept ourselves, so that the journey with our status doesn't destroy us. Remember, living with HIV doesn't stop or change who we are. If anything, we are special because we've always been special.

Submitted by Red40something

Thank you for sharing. I am a big advocate of seeing and identifying yourself first and how we feel about ourselves before sharing status so that how others see us doesn't define us. I love that you said you see us as special. <3

Submitted by jennblake86

Thank you. Blogging is new for me. I am glad that I have found myself and voice in this and it’s so relieving to express what I have been dealing with for almost 20yrs. I didn’t know there was so much support for us and because of a new found friendship, I’ve been opened up to a new world ? and it’s amazing. 

Submitted by MsLilly78

All of you ladies are so inspiring and encouraging. Since my diagnosis I've experienced things I've still not fully wrapped my head around. But to know I'm not alone in this fight gives me so much strength. I feel empowered which is a feeling I don't know too well but I sure hope it sticks around ♥️♥️♥️ I love you all ♥️♥️♥️

jennblake86 's recent blog posts


Members of The Well Project community at USCHA 2022.

Become a Member

Join our community and become a member to find support and connect to other women living with HIV.

Join now >


Do you get our newsletter?

¿Recibe nuestro boletín?

Sign up for our monthly Newsletter and get the latest info in your inbox.

Suscríbase a nuestro boletín mensual y reciba la información más reciente en su bandeja de entrada.

Browse Blogs by Theme

Recent Blog Posts

Our Bloggers