Tuesday , April 20 2021

'I got HIV my first time' – BBC News, BBC News

There is still a lot of work to be done to educate the public about women and HIV, according to Northern Ireland’s only charity dedicated to supporting people with the virus.

Positive Life says there is still a myth that it’s a “gay man’s disease”.

Jane, not her real name, was 17 years old when she was diagnosed with HIV.

“I’d only slept with one person when I got HIV, I know people will hear that and think it’s a sob story, but it’s the truth, “she said.

She was one of the youngest women in Northern Ireland to be diagnosed as HIV-positive.

Jane has managed her condition using medication which suppresses the virus, meaning it cannot be transmitted – even through sexual activity.

Since then, she has given birth to a baby boy.

She wants to help dispel the myths that heterosexual women are not at risk, and that a diagnosis is a death sentence.

BBC News NI used illustrations and the voice of an actre ss to disguise Jane’s identity.

Video journalist: Niall McCracken

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