HIV

Interview 40

Female
Age at interview: 37
Age at diagnosis: 26

Brief outline: She kept her HIV status secret for many years as she believed this was necessary for her survival. Currently in the UK, she is on a new anti-viral combination and the virus is now undetectable in her blood.

Background: She was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1994 when she got tested after a secretary at her work back in Africa became ill with HIV.

Audio & video

Age at interview' 37

Age at diagnosis' 26

Sex' Female

Background' A 37 year old black African woman who came to the UK over 2 years ago. She was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1994. 

Outline' A 37 year old black African woman who came to the UK over 2 years ago. She was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1994 when she got tested after a secretary at her work back in Africa became ill with HIV. She believes she was probably infected 10 years earlier by soldiers who used her for sex. She met a strong woman who headed a HIV charity in Africa who advised her on how to survive HIV in the early days when there was a good deal of ignorance and stigma. She kept her HIV status secret for many years as she believed this was necessary for her survival. She also managed to receive treatment in Africa as part of a research trial. Currently in the UK, she is on a new combination (lamivudine, abacavir and Sustiva) and the virus is now undetectable. She has maintained a positive outlook on life, and wants to help other people cope with their HIV diagnosis.

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