June #196 : POZ Stories: Byanca Parker - by Trenton Straube

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POZ at 20

From the Editor

Alive and Kicking


Letters-June 2014


Survival by Design

POZ Planet

Meet the New AIDS Poster Child

POZ Stories: Byanca Parker

What’s the Diagnosis?

The State of Louisiana

I Have Something to Tell You

Say What? Egyptian Army Edition

Preppy Style

Law & Order

Positive Leadership


The New War

Care and Treatment

Seeing the Doctor Is Vital When CD4s Are Low

HIV Rates in Black MSM Linked to STIs and Economics

Inflammatory Marker Linked to Raised Risk of Death

Big Pharma Plotted to Prop Up South African Drug Patents

Half-baked Headlines Claim that Pot Stops HIV

Research Notes

Prevention: Genetically Tooled Antibodies Fight HIV

Treatment: Benefit of Counseling With Computers

Cure: Memory Stem Cells: Reservoir Backbone?

Concerns: Youths With HIV Enter Care Late

POZ Survey Says

Have You Been Tested?

POZ Heroes

Flesh and Blood

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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June 2014

POZ Stories: Byanca Parker

by Trenton Straube

Byanca Parker When Byanca Parker was told she was living with HIV, she reacted like most anyone would. “It was scary and confusing,” she recalls, adding that matters were further complicated because, “at the time, I had no idea what HIV was.” There was good reason for her lack of knowledge—she was in sixth grade. Parker was born with HIV in 1993.

Learning about her status did explain a lot of mysterious aspects of her life, such as why she took so many pills and got sick more often than other kids—and why her mother’s health continued to deteriorate (she died of AIDS-related complications in 2003).

Since learning of her status, Parker, who lives in Dallas, has gotten to know many other people who were born with HIV. “I don’t think it’s fair,” she says, “for an innocent baby to come into this world fighting for its life because the parents didn’t know their status.”

Despite the challenges of living with HIV—Parker acknowledges that the side effects of her meds can be “sometimes overwhelming”—she has learned how to accept her status and, in the process, build her self-esteem.

Today, Parker describes herself as a “persistent, optimistic and intelligent” person who is sharing her story. “I want to help motivate others to get tested,” she says. “I want to help save lives.”

To read more about Parker and other POZ Stories, or to tell your own tale of empowerment, visit poz.com/stories.

Search: Byanca Parker, Dallas, POZ Stories

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