POZ Profiles: 31 at 30 : Sylvia Young

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Back to home » POZ Profiles: 31 at 30 » May 2011



May 2, 2011

Sylvia Young

Woman of the WORLD (peer advocate program manager at Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease), positive for 16 years.

Sylvia YoungJune 5, 2011, marks 30 years since the first published accounts of what became known as AIDS.  For this anniversary, we asked 31 long-term survivors who’ve appeared in POZ what moves and sustains them and whether they think they’ll live to see a cure. Why 31? One for each year, and one more for good luck.

What’s the most helpful thing anyone has said to you over your years living with HIV?

“How is it that you have handled living with HIV and you live your life?” This was from my grandson’s father.

What is your refuge from thinkingabout and dealing with your health?

The refuge that helps me when I am feeling a bit down is going to hear music. My husband is a performer—Bobby Young. He plays guitar and plays R&B, jazz and rock. Going with him to his gigs, watching him play and dancing helps a lot.

What has been your major economic challenge since testing positive?

Fatigue, and I have had to learn not to over extended myself.

What one thing has most aided your survival, and how difficult is it to overcome stigma?

I have to say that the one thing that has aided in my survival and emotional support is my family. My daughters, grandson and of course my husband. I have never encountered any kind of stigma from any of my family.

What advice would you give to someonenewly diagnosed?

To take life one day at a time and to self-disclose. And to forgive yourself. And try not to read all the HIV/AIDS info online, for the info can be overwhelming.

Click here to read this article as it appeared in the June 2011 issue.

Click here to read more of our "30 Years of AIDS" coverage.

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