Stories from Women

These stories are first hand accounts about living with HIV.

Read some of the stories or if you would like your story told, please telephone us on (03) 9863 8747 or email us.

The Storywall Project

In December of 2016, we collected 18 diverse stories from women affected by or affecting HIV in Victoria as part of our World AIDS Day Women and HIV Breakfast at The Alfred. Read more

Julie's Story  

May 2005: Flu returns, but also vomiting and strange rash. Doctor thinks it's viral. She runs tests, all negative. The doctor wants to do an HIV test? The doctor asked if I think I had ever been exposed to HIV? No. I'm in my second sexual relationship, we were using protection and when we decided to stop, I was STI free and he assured me he was too. The first test is "indeterminate" and we decide to re-run the test.
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A Sister's Story  

"If I've got what they say I've got, then I am going to throw myself off the West Gate Bridge". The words came to me down the phone line like a sledgehammer. This had to be serious. My sister was the strongest person that I've ever known, why would she be talking like this? I tried to stay calm, saying the usual "Come on, it cant be that bad. Just tell me what it is and you will feel better". She wouldn't tell me, saying only that she would wait until the second test results came in.
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Karen's Story  

Being HIV positive still seems like a gift to me in many ways. It has given me my life; it has given me an appreciation of life and how precious it is. I believe that so many people walk through their lives without ever really living it because they believe there are always tomorrows…
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Michelle's Story  

I'm a Yorta Yorta woman who has had HIV for 18 years. I was born in Bendigo, the eldest child of a very big family, but left home at 17 and eventually moved to Melbourne when I was 20. I found out I was HIV positive in 1990. I already had one child by that stage, but my second baby was born in 1994…
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Suzanne's Story  

I became HIV-positive in 1992, while I was working in Africa. I'm a health professional, but like most of the 20 million positive women worldwide, I was infected by my long-term regular partner. When we first met, we always used condoms. However, as the relationship grew, we stopped using them - but believe me, trust is no protection!
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