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Personal story: Chanda

Don't be scared because even if you are positive, it is OK

Black man smiling at camera. Selective focus. Close up.
Photo credit: ©iStock/Ivan Moreno. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

"I was so worried about HIV. My friend’s mother had it and she died when he was young. I think a lot of people had it at that time. Although I had heard people talking about it, I still didn't know that much about HIV, I had just heard people saying it was something you got from sinful behaviour.

I started to learn more about it in school. My mother was very sick one day and I was worried that she was going to die from HIV. I was lucky. One day people came to my home and asked us if we wanted to test for HIV. I was so scared that I wanted to say no - but they talked to us, and my mother wanted to test, so we tested. They told us about the medicine you can take now that means that people don’t die if they take it. Hearing about that made me feel a bit better but I was still scared. I tried to hide my fear from my mother and the healthcare workers though.

In the end we were both negative, and my sister too. I couldn't believe it. I was so, so happy! Before testing, I was so worried I thought about HIV all the time, now I don't think about it all. I know lots more about HIV now, and about how you catch it, so it doesn’t scare me anymore. I also found out that one of my friends is positive, I'm the only one who knows, but he is OK. My message to anyone reading this is don't be scared because even if you are positive, it is OK, because you can still be happy. So, I want you to know that."

What we say

Getting the right information about HIV can help you put your mind to rest. Once you know the facts about how HIV is transmitted and how treatment can keep you healthy, there is really nothing to worry about. Knowing this will help you do the simple things you need to keep yourself healthy - the first of which is taking a test so that you know your status. See our page to learn more about HIV testing.

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These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes and names have been changed to protect identities.

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  • Last updated: 14 November 2022
  • Last full review: 01 March 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
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