How has your race/ethnicity informed your experience with living with HIV?

Ivy's Answer

My race and ethnicity has informed my experience living with HIV, simply because I was born a person of color. At a very early age, I was taught that based on the color of my skin, I would have to learn to navigate the world differently than other people did. The love and guidance I received from my family, as a child, instilled in me the confidence and the strength to weather many storms. As an adult, after my diagnosis, my health care providers (Infectious Disease Doctor and HIV Case Manager) taught me the importance of self advocacy,  self management and HIV education. I never forget that my great grandmother died at 40 years of age, because she couldn’t get admitted into a hospital for emergency surgery due to her race. My race and ethnicity is always a factor, in every part of my life. It is part of who I am. I honestly believe that the skills I have learned have enabled me to successfully manage my health care and  is the reason I am thriving, living with HIV.


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