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Warning to Teens

I was diagnosed with HIV 11 years ago. When I was 15 years old I ran away and went to Florida. I did the drug scene and was put into a lot of bad circumstances. I returned to Ohio when I was almost 17, only to find out I was pregnant. It wasn't until my son, Mikey was about 4 months old that we found out why he was always so sick. He was admitted into AKRON Children's Hospital for a hernia operation. It was there that the doctor asked if he could do an AIDS test. Well I never even gave it a thought that if might come back positive, but 2 weeks later we were being told that my Mikey had full-blown AIDS and that meant I was + also.

I felt like my life was being turned upside down and that this could not be happening. From that time and for the next few years I was in complete denial, so much so that at one point the county & city Health Departments were going to have me committed because I just could not deal with this disease. I was convinced that even though my son was dying the doctors had misdiagnosed him. Mikey died in Aug. of '89. But still I could not make myself believe that the died of AIDS.

I went on like I was not infected and ended up giving birth to another child in '91, who was 3 months premature and also had full-blown AIDS. By this time I was beginning to come to terms with this disease. But Kayla also passed away from AIDS. Here I was at 19 years old, and I had already killed 2 of my precious babies. It wasn't until a relative of mine was mixed up in a bad relationship and said to me "He doesn't sleep with those kind of people", that I began sharing my story with our local teens.

Because I believe so that if I can help one teen or one person to see that having sex is not worth the consequences,this disease has been worth the fight. I will continue to try and reach as many people as I can until my job is through.

Sent via e-mail from Ohio. January 2001.

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