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Praying for A Cure

Straight from the Heart is the PLUS Newsletter’s newest column that features anonymous interviews of women living with HIV. Antoinette Erby-Jones, a PLUS advocate, started this column to share women’s experiences and stories of how they learned about their status and how they coped with their diagnosis.

Q: How did you feel when you discovered you were HIV positive?
A: I felt angry and depressed.

Q: How did your family respond when you told them you were HIV positive?
A: Some were supportive, some were not, and some felt the need to broadcast my information like the channel 9 news.

Q: Now that you are aware of being HIV positive, what are you going to do about doctors, care and medications?
A: Go to my doctor’s appointments as needed and take my medication as needed.

Q: At The Women’s Collective they offer support groups for women in the same situation, do you plan to take part in the support groups?
A: Yes I do, I’ll attend, add input, and support other women.

Q: How does being HIV positive affect your outlook on your life?
A: It has its negatives and positives; negative meaning I have to take meds, positive meaning I can help other women, especially those who are newly diagnosed. I pray they find a cure for this disease.

Q: What can you do to help other women who can’t handle being (HIV) positive?
A: I could link them to someone who can help them deal with what they are going through, you know, more equipped in handling their problem, and I could be that support for them to bounce back and share information and help them.

Q: Do you feel you can still function normally now?
A: Some what, 95%.

Q: What goals have you set for yourself?
A: Yeah, I want to have a child I’m going to work on that.

Q: Have you inquired about life insurance?
A: I have four policies. (chuckle)

Q: In your honest opinion, can you take the pills everyday?
A: Yes, no problem.

Q: Are you bitter at your partner for infecting you?
A: I won’t say bitter, but sometimes I think if I took another route, where would I be?

Q: Do you have medical insurance?
A: Yes.

Q: If you were bitter, would you need a doctor’s care for help?
A: No.

Q: Do you think the counseling at TWC has made you stronger in asking your partner to get tested before sex?
A: No, he is my husband and he is positive too!