Stronger than everything

12 Jun, 2020

How does it feel to deal every day with a viral infection?

HIV entered my body silently. But, once entered into my cells, it started make a big noise.

From the day I received the diagnosis, I started a pathway of information acquisition and acceptance of the disease. It has been a long journey that has contributed to my development and building my identity. I’m a 23 year-old woman full of dreams and aspirations, that HIV will not stop.

To be honest, in the past, being HIV-infected made me angry and desperate, to the point I refused to take my medication. I hated the virus because I perceived it as an enemy who became stronger as I felt weaker. But the truth is that I’m stronger than everything, and my infection does not define me, and cannot impede me in becoming who I want to be. I finally came into accepting the infection.

Nowadays, currently available treatments block disease progression into AIDS. It is possible to lead a normal life even if HIV-infected. It is possible to fall in love, to make projects for the future – such as building your own family. And the virus will not be an obstacle anymore as long as I’m still breathing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has outlined the important role of healthcare workers: could you describe your relationship with healthcare professionals?

The misfortune of being HIV-infected led me to meet, alongside my life, a lot of kind people that took care of me since I was a little child. Not only from a medical health perspective but also from a psychological point of view.

In the Hospital Department in which I attend for follow-up treatment, I found a new family; composed of my medical doctor, educators, psychologists, nurses, volunteers. This big family helped me to grow up and always supported me. I feel really lucky.