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Interview 09

Age at interview: 49
Age at diagnosis: 45
Brief Outline: Now on anti-retroviral treatment (nevirapine, tenofovir, 3TC), she has overcome her isolation mainly through support groups and her Christian church which is accepting of HIV. She still suffers from health problems. (Video and audio clips read by an actor.)
Background: A black African female health professional who became unwell while visiting the UK and was shocked by her diagnosis of HIV in 2001.

More about me...

Age at interview' 49

Age at diagnosis' 45

Sex' Female

Background'  A 49 year old black African female health professional who became unwell while visiting the UK and was diagnosed with HIV in 2001.

Outline'  A 49 year old black African female health professional who became unwell while visiting the UK and was diagnosed with HIV in 2001. At first, she was shocked by her diagnosis and very isolated. She was also thrown out of her accommodation because of her HIV. She was unable to afford food to take with medication, or transport to get to her HIV clinic. Now on anti-retroviral treatment (nevirapine, tenofovir, 3TC), she has overcome her isolation mainly through support groups and her Christian church which is accepting of HIV. She has counselling once a month and social services have also helped her with accommodation. She was also helped by a respite placement where she learned from gay men about surviving with HIV. She now feels much more hopeful about living well with HIV. Her CD4 cells were 420 at the time of interview, although she still suffers from numerous health problems.

(Video and audio clips read by an actor.)

 

It was not until she moved to a better house that taking her medication was easier. (Read by an...

It was not until she moved to a better house that taking her medication was easier. (Read by an...

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And the first time I started with that medication I was not following the times, yeah. Well because… where I was staying again, because of being afraid with the people… those people were not… they didn't have HIV and they were, all of them were against the whole thing. 

Again it's… they were not happy with me. I could not take the medication freely. I was just hiding myself so I could delay some hours and sometimes I used to skip the morning dose, yeah. And sometimes I just miss it because I was scared. Yeah. But when I moved to the address where I was settled a bit, that's when I stabilise a bit… I was following the medication.

 

Did not have enough food to eat with her medication. (Read by an actor.)

Did not have enough food to eat with her medication. (Read by an actor.)

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But when they put me on the, on the, they when they, they started me on the drugs.

Couldn't, I couldn't, I don't know what happened, I kept on vomiting, yeah. And with the infection I had with this… with the… with the… with the salivary gland and I had, I was taking antibiotics as well. 

Then I started with this, with the drugs also, HIV drugs, I could not, it couldn't go into my stomach, I could vomit and I have yeah, diarrhoea and I… did not know that with the… the doctor told me I had to swallow the tablets with the food. I did not have enough food to eat. Yes, so you take it on an empty stomach. It was bad, I ended up in the hospital several times.

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