CDC: Kelly’s Story, Let’s Stop HIV TogetherOn February 3, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
[ Soft music plays ] I was diagnosed on October 25, 2010. I had noticed, you know, there was something off about my body. There was something weird going on, so I took my boyfriend at the time in to Planned Parenthood to get tested. And he came out 15 minutes later with his face white, and he was holding papers that had information about HIV on it. And we were in the waiting room, and there was a bunch of people. And he said that he tested positive for HIV. I-I knew. I took my diagnosis at that time. My first reaction was “I’m gonna get through this. “I’m not gonna let this define me. I’m gonna be okay.” I was just determined to make that happen. Yeah. And I have. And the positive attitude is definitely — it goes a long way because she could have just — there are people who don’t fight and give up and decide, “This is my fate, and I’m just gonna let it control me and let it be.” And she was like — I love that, that the story when she first got diagnosed, the first thing she said is, “This will not defeat me. This is not something that I’m gonna let control me.” I was so proud of myself. Yeah, and it’s — I don’t even know where it came from. It came like, “Mlah! I’m not gonna –” [ Both laugh ] I chose to support this campaign because I agree with the message. I want to decrease stigma and increase awareness. If I could say something to people who don’t know anything about HIV, I just — especially people our age, in our 20s and 30s, like, it’s really about time to really do our research, because if I didn’t know Kelly, I would still be ignorant to HIV. She was just, like, an average person, and I guess I just had stereotyped the idea of people who have HIV. And I felt — I felt very enlightened. To be a positive support, you need to understand that you will never know exactly what the other person is feeling, but you need to always be there for them. My best friend has HIV, but that does not define who she is.