My Story: Part Five (The Good Part)


Heather O'Connor and her family.

Following our trip to California, I continued mourning my life before HIV. In the midst of the daily funerals I would have for my "old self," I was still waiting, and in some ways hoping (praying) that this was not my reality. You see, I'd tested positive for HIV antibodies, but was still awaiting the results of my Western Blot test. This test determines your viral load (copies of the HIV virus in your blood) and your CD4 count (your t-helper cells... the good guys that fight off infection). I'd convinced myself that I was nothing more than a rare occasion of a false positive. There was no way this was real. It's not that I felt that I was "too good" for HIV because, as you may recall, I am a professional at getting in my own way and putting myself down. I just couldn't foresee a future where I didn't end up sinking into a darkness born of stigma—stigma from others, stigma I felt towards myself. My life would be over. That's it. The end. This couldn't be my reality. I wasn't strong enough to fight against that darkness. It would for certain swallow me whole.

To read this blog in its entirety, click here.

A Girl Like Me




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