MY HIV/AIDS STORY
On February 15, 2016, I was diagnosed with HIV, one week later I was told I had AIDS. I thought my life as a 45 year old single mother of 3 was over. Within 1 month of treatment, I was living my life again. After some consideration, I chose to tell my story to my Facebook family. The response was incredible, I received endless messages of love, concern and support from my FB family, as well as, complete strangers. It felt safe to be open about this new diagnosis that most regarded as the modern day plague.
Encouraged by this surprising acceptance of my positive status, I chose to share my story publicly on YouTube on August 13, 2016. Again, to my surprise, my video took off, I completely lost track of the views. People began to subscribe to me. I made more videos about HIV and my life. People began contacting me for support in very large numbers. Advocating for HIV and fighting stigma became my new passion. This was never a path I saw for myself, but it was happening and it felt right.
Outside of my day job and family, I use every extra moment I have to continue my efforts in fighting against the spread of this virus through advocacy. I've encouraged hundreds to test, I counsel individuals daily about fears, misinformation, education and stigma. The multitude of comments and messages received daily confirm I am making a difference in the world of HIV.
The outpouring of gratitude fills me with a joy I never knew existed and gives me the strength, dedication and determination to continue down this path for as long as there is a need.
I created this website to consolidate my communication and outreach with the public, share current links about HIV research and give those that are thankful a place to donate to help support my continued advocacy with the public.
Many have asked how they can thank me. It's easy. A simple donation.
If you feel I have helped you or you feel encouraged by the work I am doing, your donation will help me continue to make a difference in the world of HIV.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
So much love to you all,
Jennifer Vaughan XO