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In Denial For a Long time

I was diagnosed with HIV in 1989, after giving birth to my son. Mikey had always seemed to be sick but it wasn't until he was about 4 months old that we found out why. He was admitted to Akron Children's Hospital for a hernia. It was then that the Dr. asked if he could do an AIDS test. Well I was 17 at the time and never gave any thought to it actually coming back positive. Then two weeks later I was being told my son had full-blown AIDS and that meant I was + also. My mother tried to strangle me that day and just kept asking how could I co this to her. I still don't believe she realizes it's not what I did to her but to my children and me.

See, I did not deal with this diagnosis very well and went into complete denial. Mikey passed away in Aug of 1990, but I was convinced that he did not die of AIDS that the Dr was wrong and that it was something else. My denial went on for the next two years resulting in giving birth to another AIDS-infected child, who was born three months early. Kayla became a lot sicker a lot quicker than Mikey but it wasn't until she was close to death that I began realizing that this disease was for real and now I had to deal with giving my two precious children AIDS. Which to this day is still very hard for me to deal with. At one point, the city & county health departments were going to have me committed because I was not dealing with the disease and was a risk to myself and others.

Now I have finally began speaking publicly about my story and this disease but I still find it very hard to understand how or why so many people still put themselves at risk. For what, a half hour of fun or pleasure. So many still believe that it will not happen to them.


story sent via e-mail November, 2001.

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