Living with HIV: Emotions

Living With HIVHIV affects thousands of teens and young adults. Between 2006 and 2009, 29,740 teens and young adults between the ages of 13-24 were diagnosed with HIV. In 2009, the young adults between the ages of 20-24 accounted for the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses. Even though HIV has been around in the United States for approximately 30 years and HIV/AIDS education is included in school based health curricula, there are still misconceptions and stigma associated with the disease.

Over the past year, the “Living with HIV” blog series has communicated multiple facets of what real life is like for teens and young adults who are currently living with HIV. In the eighth and final entry in our “Living with HIV” blog series, they address their emotions regarding life with HIV. All of the material was written by teens and young adults living with HIV.

-The Young Men’s Health Initiative staff

  • “I get mad and sad mostly.”
  • “My emotions change daily. It really depends on the day and time.”
  • “Fear and anger are connected. They collide. They are like one emotion.”
  • “Fear of coming out in the open, by saying I have HIV is anger at the reactions of people. Also, anger thinking about coming out as HIV positive and fear about people’s reactions.”
  • “I get instantly angry thinking about telling people I have HIV.”
  • “Most of the time whenever I have to come to the Dr. they have to hospitalize me. I hate it, I can’t leave the floor, it’s stressful. I feel alone.”
  • “The last time I was here (the hospital) I had to stay over for the 4th of July, my nephew’s birthday and a few other important things. It’s boring, it’s depressing, it’s upsetting. I feel like I’m missing it all, missing life.”