Brooklyn, New York
Positive since 1988
I have been living with both HIV and HCV since 1988, but I really didn’t address my health until 1991. However, I have been blessed. I finally entered recovery in 2004. I found that I had to keep myself busy doing something that not only nurtured me personally but also enabled me to help others. So as part of both my recovery process and my spiritual growth, I went back to school and earned a master’s degree. I now work in the human services field. I have become a physically, emotionally and spiritually well-rounded individual. However, it wasn’t easy. HASA [HIV/AIDS Services Administration] didn’t make it easy to transition from receiving benefits to total independence, especially as it pertained to medical coverage. I sincerely hope that they begin to realize that some of us still need help during our transition period.
What three adjectives best describe you?
Compassionate. Committed. Empathetic.
What is your greatest achievement?
Becoming open and honest with myself—and becoming teachable.
What is your greatest regret?
Not being the daughter my mother so desired.
What keeps you up at night?
If you could change one thing about living with HIV, what would it be?
Nothing. Being HIV positive has actually been a blessing.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Stay true to yourself.
What person in the HIV community do you most admire?
There are too many to list.
What drives you to do what you do?
It’s in my blood to reach out to others and be nurturing.
What is your motto?
Let go, and let God.
If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
My ID and medication.
If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
I would be a bird so that I can continue to fly.