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Hi my name is Lolisa. I’m 23 years old. I live in New York and six years ago I found out that I was HIV positive. When I found out my status, I was 17 I didn’t know anything about HIV. I didn’t even know what it stood for. Well everyone else is looking for prom dresses and cars, I’m trying to figure out what is HIV and how do I deal with it. After tests, we came to the conclusion that I may have been born with HIV because I had so much of the virus in my blood. When I used to hear about people with HIV on TV it would always be something from like the 90s and someone that looked at nothing like me. And I would be like all those people I feel so sorry for those people but it’s not those people. It’s like we are those people. A lot of people may assume that it’s a woman is HIV positive and has a child that the child will automatically be HIV positive as well but that is not true. My baby is HIV negative and he’s very healthy. You just have to take care of yourself during the pregnancy and have a good relationship with your doctor. To be able to understand and follow the proper precautions. He means the world to me I would do anything for my baby. Like I want to be around as long as possible to make sure he’s okay and to be there to see him do everything. When I was pregnant my deciding moment was to stay on treatment so that my baby could be born HIV negative.

At age 17, Lolisa found out that she was living with HIV, and after some tests, realized that she may have been born with it. She hasn’t let HIV hold her back from her dreams, including creating a healthy family of her own.