Maria was just turning 18 when she found out that she was HIV positive… very young. Back in those days, this was a death sentence. It was around the same time Magic Johnson came out saying he was positive. She remembers a doctor looking at her with eyes of horror…asking her, why didn’t you come sooner?
These are her words…I answered like any teen would ..I don’t know..well he sat me down and he didn’t even prepare me! He just said you have AIDS. I went into shock..I didn’t say a word..I saw my whole life pass in front of me! I thought I am going to DIE…it’s over and I will never marry or have kids. I received the news alone. All my immediate family was in Miami. I got it from my first boyfriend i was just 16 years old. I was so lost. I didn’t take any anti retrovirals for almost 10 years and kept myself healthy–or as healthy as I could be–with natural medicine. I do take my medication now. It has been almost 2o years. I have learned a lot in this process and also helped many along the way infected and affected. First of all, I never died as I thought…I learned to love myself more and to take care of myself more. I have taken away the stigma of being HIV+ and taught many people. I also became an activist and HIV peer educator. I learned, in this process, that I am still living to have hope, how being positive made me a more positive person!
She is a motivation speaker and a small business owner with her partner Lisa And that although she says that she is HIV positive..the way she feels is that she is a human being that happens to have the condition of being HIV positive..
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