When Vannetta and her girlfriend went to get an HIV test over 25 years ago, she wasn’t expecting the news she received. With two kids in school, she wasn’t sure how she was going to tell them and how people would react. She was determined to not let her diagnosis keep her down, and years later, she is still standing tall.
Hi I’m Vannetta and I live in Macon, Georgia. I’m active in my church. I sing gospel. I have a dog. I have two children and two grandchildren. My dad says I was drawing at the age of three or four, drawing on walls, and my art just is an expression of me of my inner soul.
In 1991, me and my girlfriend decided to go get a AIDS test. I went right to my doctor, nice little country doctors, down here. And he said I am sorry to tell you, but you tested positive for AIDS and you know I didn’t hear anything else after that. I remember crying and boo-hooing and just being like in another world. I had two kids in school, you know, and one in high school, just started high school, the other one in junior high. I was like, oh I don’t want to die, I got to live, my kids, how am I gonna, you know, how do I tell my kids, and tell my family. I worried about everything but me you know. And I decided, right then, I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die if I don’t have to die, I don’t want to die. So I said I’m doing everything I can to stay alive. There were a lot of people that said that I wouldn’t make it and people talked about me, and all the people that pitied me, a lot of them are dead and gone right now. But I am healthy and I’m alive and I didn’t know how old I had then but I’m taking my medicine and I just, life is just so much to live for. What I’m thanking God that 20 plus years I’m still here.
I’m Vannetta and I’m Greater than AIDS.