Crystal: Look at me – kept some braids in my hair.
Masonia: You don’t look different at all. You look the exact same.
Crystal: I don’t remember if it was a phone call or a text, but I remember her saying – I have to tell you something, it has to be in person, I need – we need to talk. I know it took a lot for her to do that.
Masonia: When you get a diagnosis like HIV you tell yourself internally that I’m not valuable anymore. I had friendships, but I didn’t reach out to them at all in the beginning.
Crystal: Have you talked to her?
Masonia: Just a few minutes ago on Facebook.
Crystal: I wanted her to know that she could talk to me. She could express how she felt, she could tell me anything that she wanted to tell me, and I would not judge her. M
asonia: Do you know you like helped save my life when it comes to this? Having someone in my corner, being my cheerleader, telling me how proud they are of me.
Crystal: When I look at you, I see this beautiful, strong black woman that takes care of her kids and works hard everyday, and that’s what I love about you.
Masonia: Crystal helped save my life by showing me love.
Crystal: We are family. And that’s what I think is most important – you know, us helping each other and being there for each other.
Masonia: I look forward to being able to say with Crystal “Oh my gosh, can you believe we’re going to be like grandmas? Like one day, we’ll probably be – oh my God, what’s that going to be like?” You know? Friendships like this make life worth living.
Crystal and Masonia have been best friends since they were children. After Masonia found out she was living with HIV, she turned to Crystal for love and support – which only made their friendship stronger. “She saved my life by showing me love.”
Be Informed, Talk Openly
Knowing the facts and talking openly about HIV helps end stigma. Having the support of loved ones improves the health and well-being of people living with HIV.