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I can still vividly remember this day, and he’s screaming at my mother on the phone and he hangs up with her and he starts to close the curtains in the house. And I knew what was about to happen, so I ran towards the front door and that’s when the billy club came down across my face.

I just wanted to get out of there. I just wanted to leave. I didn’t feel like I had choices and couldn’t make decisions on my own and was – and – and had to do whatever he told me to do which put me at greater risk for HIV. And then, once I found out I was living with HIV, that put me at greater risk for intimate partner violence. I went to therapy for a very long time. And I was able to deal with some of the issues that I didn’t want to deal with – that I didn’t want – that I had stuffed so far down in my soul, that’s how I put it. Understanding that I am worth it. I can, even though I’ve been through what I’ve been through, I can have an amazing life

There’s a lot of caring people that can help you move past whatever you’re going through.

You don’t have to be alone.

Vickie has been living with HIV for over 30 years. After an early experience with a violent and abusive partner, she learned she was living with HIV. As her health deteriorated, she lost her job, access to care, and her hope.

Although Vickie has faced many obstacles, with care and treatment, she has been able to move forward with her life, earning her MSW, MPH and PhD. Now Vickie is empowering other women by discussing how she was able to find love again and how she and negative her partner are committed to keeping one another healthy.

For people living with HIV, treatment improves health and prevents the spread of the disease. PrEP – the pill to prevent HIV – is an added layer of protection for people who do not have HIV.