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Canadian Positive People Network (CPPN)

Réseau canadien des personnes séropositives (RCPS)

The CPPN acknowledges that its corporate office in Peterborough (ON) sits on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe Missis​sauga adjacent to Haudenosaunee Territory and in the Territory covered by the Williams Treaty, and that its operations and management office sits on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people.  We recognize and deeply appreciate the contributions that Métis, Inuit, and other Indigenous Peoples have made to shape and strengthen our local communities, our provinces and territories, and our country as a whole.

Le RCPS reconnaît que son bureau principal à Peterborough (ON) est situé sur le territoire traditionnel de la Anishinaabe Mississauga adjacent au territoire de Haudenosaunee et sur le territoire couvert par le traité Williams, et que son bureau des opérations et de gestion se trouve sur le territoire traditionnel non cédé du Peuple Algonquin Anishnaabeg. Nous reconnaissons et apprécions profondément les contributions des Métis, des Inuits et des autres peuples autochtones à la formation et au renforcement de nos communautés locales, de nos provinces et territoires et de notre pays dans son ensemble.

June 7, 2021

We honour Long-term Survivors of HIV

Meet Mary

This is her story.

Hi!

My name is Mary. I'm 55 and still alive. I'm a long-term survivor of full-blown AIDS. When I was diagnosed, it was early'90s. I had two young children and three jobs. I was divorced and a single mother trying to support my children. I believe in marriage, but my husband didn't. I was working all the time to support my children and give them a good home.


Everything was going well for a few years until I started to feel run down and tired all the time. It was more than usual, and I seemed to have a permanent cold that didn't want to go away. It got worse and worse. I developed a temperature and a nasty cough but kept working. Until, that is, when one day I woke up with 104 temperature and coughing blood. I ended up with pneumonia and put into quarantine for two weeks while they ran a dozen tests.


The night before my test results came in, the doctor came in and told me that I had either cancer or AIDS, and he left me there. I didn't sleep at all that night. In the morning, I was diagnosed with full blown AIDS and was told there was not much they could do for me. They advised me to get my affairs in order and spend what time I had left with my children.

But… that wasn't the hardest part. The hardest part was having to wait for the test results of my children, which took another two weeks. Their results came back negative.


When I was released from hospital, I started a regiment of experimental drugs. The side effects were just horrendous. I took them for the first ten years, until they came up with new medication for women. It got a little better after that.


As time went on, I learned to live with nausea and being run down all the time. But now that I'm getting older, I can really feel the long-term effects of HIV. I feel like my body is 90 years old that and I was run over by a car. I suffer from severe mobility issues, and I also suffer from severe osteoporosis, nausea, back pain, and headaches. I can't eat can't sleep; I have no energy and am just so tired all the time. But I think the worst thing about being a long-term survivor is the pain in my body and the loneliness. Your children grow up and move on and you are left by yourself. It's hard enough to find someone to love without being HIV positive… it's almost impossible to find somebody who is positive.


So, I will keep on going, fighting the good fight and hope that nothing falls off.


Thank you for reading my story. Keep up the good fight.

Hi!

My name is Mary. I'm 55 and still alive. I'm a long-term survivor of full-blown AIDS. When I was diagnosed, it was early'90s. I had two young children and three jobs. I was divorced and a single mother trying to support my children. I believe in marriage, but my husband didn't. I was working all the time to support my children and give them a good home.


Everything was going well for a few years until I started to feel run down and tired all the time. It was more than usual, and I seemed to have a permanent cold that didn't want to go away. It got worse and worse. I developed a temperature and a nasty cough but kept working. Until, that is, when one day I woke up with 104 temperature and coughing blood. I ended up with pneumonia and put into quarantine for two weeks while they ran a dozen tests.


The night before my test results came in, the doctor came in and told me that I had either cancer or AIDS, and he left me there. I didn't sleep at all that night. In the morning, I was diagnosed with full blown AIDS and was told there was not much they could do for me. They advised me to get my affairs in order and spend what time I had left with my children.

But… that wasn't the hardest part. The hardest part was having to wait for the test results of my children, which took another two weeks. Their results came back negative.


When I was released from hospital, I started a regiment of experimental drugs. The side effects were just horrendous. I took them for the first ten years, until they came up with new medication for women. It got a little better after that.


As time went on, I learned to live with nausea and being run down all the time. But now that I'm getting older, I can really feel the long-term effects of HIV. I feel like my body is 90 years old that and I was run over by a car. I suffer from severe mobility issues, and I also suffer from severe osteoporosis, nausea, back pain, and headaches. I can't eat can't sleep; I have no energy and am just so tired all the time. But I think the worst thing about being a long-term survivor is the pain in my body and the loneliness. Your children grow up and move on and you are left by yourself. It's hard enough to find someone to love without being HIV positive… it's almost impossible to find somebody who is positive.


So, I will keep on going, fighting the good fight and hope that nothing falls off.


Thank you for reading my story. Keep up the good fight.

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