LIVING WITH AIDS/HIV
I would like
to take a moment to write about Project Response and my case
worker, Addy, and all that they have done for me. Without
them, I don’t know where I would be. The services that
they provide to me are excellent. First, they pay my health
insurance premiums, which is a tremendous relief for me. I
need this insurance badly, and the premiums are expensive.
Then they pay my medication co-pays.
I would like to say a few words about my case worker, Addy.
She is wonderful. She helps me in every way that she possibly
can. She is like a best friend to me. We can talk easily
and comfortably. Besides that, she calls me very often just
to see how I am doing, and if I need anything. This is a
tremendous comfort for me. I don’t know what I would
do without her—Project Response as well. Project Response
is fortunate to have her. And I am fortunate to have Project
Response and Addy on my side.
In March 5, 1990, I married
a man who I believed loved me. Two months after we were married
his doctor became my doctor for insurance purposes. He informed
me that my husband had AIDS and that I should probably be
tested. I had been testing on a regular basis; in January
I tested negative. On July 19, 1990 I found out that I was
positive. I found out that my husband was on the down low.
I was not aware of that. My husband had some legal problems,
and died in prison in 1995.
months after I was diagnosed, I found out I was pregnant.
My daughter is now 15 and is negative.
I felt like I was the only positive woman
in Michigan, but I wasn’t going out without a fight.
There was no support group, so at the suggestion of my case
manager I started one. I moved to North Carolina and continued
to be active in an AIDS organization. I now live with my
son in Florida. I have tried to be involved everywhere I’ve
lived. I have talked about AIDS at youth rallies, conferences,
and colleges. I have always gotten a positive response from
students. If I make an impact on one person’s life,
then I’ve done my job.
When living in North Carolina I had been without
medication for 10 months, and then was put on a new regimen.
I was getting ready to move to Florida and was concerned
about getting my meds. I found out about Project Response,
called them, and was reassured that as long as I had a month’s
worth of meds when I came down I would be covered. A week
after getting down here I came in and was hooked up with
a case manager, and got a referral to a doctor.
Project Response has been very supportive
and has helped me on several occasions. I am very pleased
with the services I have received, so much so that I now
volunteer. I like to stay active. It keeps me healthy to
stay involved with my own treatment and I feel like I’m
I had the pleasure of visiting
an agency called “Project Response”. Since then
I feel satisfied both physically and emotionally. I am so
grateful with the services provided, such as: food, doctors,
medicine, housing, and transportation.
appreciate the personnel and my assigned Case Manager Ms.
Cortez for their gentility and amiability. Project Response
is an agency that assists people living with AIDS and HIV
without discrimination. I am thankful for the personnel
and the wonderful support services provided by Project Response.
My story begins in January
of 1999. That month I asked my husband for a divorce, and
I had a routine gynecologist appointment in February. I had
been going to the same gynecologist for six years, and she
was aware of my marital problems—problems that involved
numerous affairs. After I was married I was diagnosed with
HPV and Chlamydia. The doctor asked if I would like a complete
workup to check for STDs including HIV, and I said “yes,”
never dreaming I would test positive. I was definitely unsure
of the outcome for other STDs—but HIV, no way.
I received a phone call on Friday from my
doctor. She told me I needed to come in on Monday for my
results. I asked her to give them to me over the phone and
she told me that I needed to come to the office for the
results. I thought it was another STD but, again, no way
I will never forget the look on her face when
she was giving me the results. I couldn’t believe
what I was hearing. I jumped off the table and began hitting
the walls and saying, “why me.” What had I done
so awful in my life to deserve this? My mind immediately
went to the thought, “I a going to die.” After
I calmed down some I began asking questions. What am I supposed
to do? How long do I have to live? What are people going
to think? I have no insurance. I have a daughter. Who is
going to take care of me? She assured me she would help
me with this process.
All the organizations I have come in contact
with to assist with my needs have been very helpful and
kind. In 1999 it seemed Project Response had many programs
to assist people living with AIDS or HIV with the qualifications
being minimal. Through the years I have experienced a lot
of change in the program. I pay for a few of my own doctors
and a few medications. I have a relationship with these
doctors and they know my history and I feel comfortable
with them and didn’t and don’t want to change.
All my case workers through Project
Response have been very helpful and fair. They have helped
me understand the changes the program is going through.
So I don’t argue or give them a hard time. I continue
to do what is asked of me. I do appreciate all the people
who have helped me through the years from various organizations
affiliated with the HIV community.
Please contact us today for more information about Project Response and living with