In my family, I am the responsible one. I am born here, but my South American culture is very strong. I have to look after my sisters and my parents and they come to me for advice, or if they need something.

I used to go out with my friends, after high school finished. I went with them to see girls and all that. It was ok. Then that’s when I really knew, I like to be with men. My friends didn’t know. I had some experiences and it was like another part of me, not who I am when I am at home. I liked these experiences with men and for a while I did that a lot. It had to be a secret.

Then I had another secret. I got pretty sick. I thought it was all the partying. They did a test at the GP. He said, “I better do it for HIV too.”

I thought, “No way!” but he really wanted me to. And then the result came.

I couldn’t believe it. It was like my life fell down. I felt really bad and I couldn’t go to work. I had to hide it whenever I saw my parents or my family.

You see, I really didn’t know much about HIV. In my community it’s a big shame and no-one talks about it. And the going with men too. It’s like they know but they don’t know…

So now I have the medication and I go to the clinic. I prefer to go miles from where my family is. Every time if I get tired or sick, I worry about am I getting sick from the HIV? The clinic doctor, she tells me I am ok.

Sometimes I just want to stop the tablets. My doctors remind me of what could happen to me if I do that. I could get much sicker if I stop the tablets.

My family always talks about when I will be married and when I will have children. They want that for me. I thought I did too, but now I can’t have that.

I don’t know how my parents are going to take it if they find out. I don’t feel like going out now and I haven’t really been with anyone since I found out. I kind of just lost the good feeling about life.

Right now it is hard to feel good about my life and I hope one day I will find a way to feel different about life and about living with HIV.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support
housing support for people living with HIV
Ageing Support
Treatments and Managing your HIV