United States

Diagnosed HIV+ in 1996 during first trimester of pregnancy. I was OBGYN's first HIV+ patient and was quickly referred to specialist and placed on AZT. My CD4 count fell under 200 and AZT wiped out my hemoglobin, resulting in blood transfusions at 8 months of pregnancy and immediate withdrawal of AZT. There were some new drugs on horizon, but unused in pregnant women, so without any alternative my dr took a chance. I was his first patient on an antiretroviral while pregnant and delivered a healthy son via C-section.
Although my husband and immediate family stayed by my side, I lost all of my friends and family members that were told. Therefore when we relocated, I chose to tell no one, not wanting the stigma and rejection that I was sure would follow.
Fast forward, I am now 55 years old and just received news of another positive test result, this one for Covid-19. While I am trying to fight another pandemic virus, other than immediate family, the people around me do not understand my concern and anxiety. They say, "Oh it's just a little flu, you will be fine!" And again I feel lonely, isolated, and misunderstood, which has brought me to this site to see how other HIV+ women are dealing with this new pandemic while still battling the old one. I see some wonderful women doing great things here!

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