"I was diagnosed HIV positive back in 2002 and had probably had HIV for over a decade."
I was diagnosed HIV positive back in 2002 and had probably had HIV for over a decade. Nobody thought I would survive. The virus really took a toll on my already compromised immune system as I had had a splenectomy in 1990.
I finally came home from hospital after three weeks, having to take a huge amount of antibiotics before they could start me on my new regime of life-saving drugs. I had lost the ability to walk and became totally dependent on my mother and friends. This was such a dark time and I hated the loss of my independence and stored lots of other medication away just in case it got so bad that I could at least have some control over my life and do what I needed to do.
It took me months to learn how to walk again and I still have mobility problems. Its now nine years on and I have gained a Degree in Fine Art in which I won the Graduate Award for my Degree Show which consisted of HIV based artwork. My artwork has become my saviour as has my medication and my positive thinking. I continue to create and exhibit work raising awareness about HIV. I have been invited to work alongside The London AIDS Memorial which I feel very honoured to be part of and have turned a very negative experience into a positive one.